The Atkins diet is a modern weight loss phenomenon. Founded by Dr Robert Atkins, 1930-2003, it was first published as a diet book, “Dr Atkins Diet Revolution” in 1972. This was followed by a series of books on the subject. There were worries about the safety of the diet and although it dwindled in status, it became popular again in the 1990’s.
The popularity of Atkins as the ultimate fast weight loss system was helped by the rise of the celebrity fascination and the fact that many celebrities that had shown fast weight loss, attributed this to the Atkins diet. The diet became very popular, with some hotels and restaurants offering special menus for followers.
The Atkins weight loss system is based on the diet being restricted in its intake of carbohydrates. These are largely replaced by allowing more fat and meat based products into the diet and this has been one of the main areas where the diet has been criticized as this can affect the balance of food groups that are eaten.
Many health experts contend that it is not good for the body to have a restricted level of carbohydrates in the diet and that this is also not the best way to achieve weight loss. However those in favor of Atkins point to sudden and dramatic weight loss that, so long as you follow the principles, it is possible to maintain.
If you reduce your daily carbohydrates to less than 40 grams, (some Atkins texts suggest this should be no more than 20 grams), then you will be subject to a state known as ketosis. This means that instead of using sugar from carbohydrates as fuel, the body will instead to use fat.
Some dieticians believe that this is not a good way to diet and that some of the material that is used as energy, is normal tissue rather than fat. Some also think that at least part of the loss is water. Although it has to be said that there are also health professionals that do not have a problem with the Atkins weight loss system.
Part of the problem that some people have with this, as good way to weight loss is that Atkins advises that when the desired results are achieved, then the participant should remain eating a low carbohydrate diet, or they will return to their former weight. Although a gradual increase in the carbohydrates is allowable, it is still low. One of the main criticisms that is leveled at the Atkins weight loss plan is that it does not contain any carbohydrates and so is unhealthy. This is inaccurate, although the level is low and this is mainly what the diet is based on. Another problem is that, as some fresh vegetables and most fresh fruits contain sugar, that this can restrict your intake of these and so is bad for the general health of the dieter.
The Atkins weight loss system undoubtedly works if adhered top strictly, as the amount of carbohydrates that are taken from the diet lowers the amount of calories that are eaten and you lose weight. But there are many other effective diets that are based on restricting calories.
When starting any weight loss diet, especially one that is restricting certain food groups such as the Atkins, it is a good idea to see your doctor and get advice as to whether this is the right diet for you and whether it is the best alternative. There may be other weight loss systems that provide a better all round nutrition and yet still let you lose weight at a reasonable rate.