A Closer Look at the Atkins Diet
As an obese nation, we are desperate for solutions and now there are numerous ways to lose weight both healthy and unhealthy.
Among many fads, the Atkins diet has become popular over the years. The diet aims to help people lose weight and control their blood sugar levels. Even though it has become one of the most preferred diets as reported by millions of users, you should be clear about the safety implications involved in following this plan.
The Atkins diet was first introduced to American markets during the 1960s. It was ridiculed for more than 30 years, not only as a fad but also as a dangerous diet. Studies have shown that low carbohydrate diets are unlikely to produce significant long-term weight loss although they will have fast short-term effects on losing weight. If the Atkins diet continues, it may lead to serious health problems. Most of the leading medical and nutrition organizations worldwide are against the diet because of high fat and protein intake that could lead to serious illness. One of the main issues is a lack of minerals, trace elements, vitamins, and fiber.
There have been modifications to the Atkins diet which make it a little safer. Here is the latest. Information on the Atkins diet as it continuously changes.
What to Expect When You Start the Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is based on the idea that carbohydrates are responsible for weight gain and other health problems. It also suggests that restricting your carb intake will help you lose weight faster than traditional diets that involve cutting calories or fat intake. Here’s what to expect when you start the Atkins diet.
Phase 1: The induction phase lasts almost two weeks. In this strict phase, you cut out almost all carbohydrates from your diet. You eat just 20 grams of net carbs a day, mainly from vegetables. Your main diet consists of proteins from different sources with no need to limit oils and fats. This is the phase where most people will have side effects which include, headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and constipation.
Phase 2: The duration of the balancing phase depends on the weight loss goal and could last more than three weeks. Carbs are added that are high in nutrients. The side effects include high and possibly low blood sugar levels, and kidney stones.
Phase 3: The duration of the pre-maintenance phase is until you reach your ultimate goal of weight loss. In this phase, you will slowly keep increasing the range of foods you can eat, including fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains. Long term effects include electrolyte imbalance which could lead to arrhythmias, ketosis, and mental fogginess.
Phase 4: You move into the lifetime maintenance phase when you reach your weight goal.Then, you will continue with this way of eating for the rest of your life.
Why the Atkins Diet Could Put You at Risk
There are many reasons why the Atkins diet could put you at risk. Here are the most common.
Low fiber intake: this increases your risk of heart disease, cancer, decreases gut motility and changes the microbiota of the intestinal tract, and could also lead to heart disease.
High concentration of saturated fat: this will increase your bad cholesterol which leads to heart disease and strokes.
Pain: Increased joint pain, gout, osteoporosis, and kidney stones.
Vitamin deficiency: a decrease in essential minerals and vitamins could affect most of your organs.