Is the Atkins Diet Safe?
A few years ago, it seemed like just about everybody was talking
about the Atkins Diet. They were either on it, wanted to be, or
knew someone who was. The diet, created by Dr. Robert Atkins, continues
to be controversial because it supports eating fat. Critics of the
diet say it's dangerous, but Atkins stood by his diet until his death in
What is the Atkins Diet?
The theory behind the Atkins Diet is that you can quickly lose
weight by eating fat and eliminating carbohydrates. It was the first
diet program that encouraged eating fatty foods. When the Atkins Diet
was first introduced, millions of people got on the program. What could
be better than losing weight on a diet that allowed you to eat tons of
The diet claims that you can lose weight quickly by minimizing your
carbohydrate intake. You can do this all while pigging out on pork
chops, steak, and any other type of protein. Supposedly, the diet also
helps reduce heartburn, bloating, headaches, and a slew of other
How it Works
The first phase of the Atkins Diet lasts for 14 days. This phase is
called Induction, and during this phase, you cleanse your body of
carbohydrates. Think of it as going through "carbohydrates withdrawal."
Carbohydrates provide fuel for your body, so you're going to feel
tired and fatigued during this phase. Dieters say this is the hardest
and most uncomfortable part of the diet. However, after a few days
you're supposed to feel energized and healthier. You're also supposed
to lose the most weight during this phase.
The second part of the diet involves slowing your weight loss. This
phase is called Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), and it involves a return to
carbohydrates. You raise your carbohydrate intake from 0 to 25 grams per
day. You then raise your carbohydrates by 5 grams per day, until your
weight loss starts to slow down. You stay at that number until you're
within 5 to 10 pounds of your ideal weight. This phase also allows you
to add more of the restricted foods back into your diet.
The third phase of the diet is the pre–maintenance period. You eat
just enough carbohydrates to keep your weight steady. Your weight loss
should slow to one pound per week. Following that, you're supposed to
maintain your target weight for a month. The last phase of the Atkins
Diet is the lifetime maintenance period. Basically, it involves
learning to maintain your new weight and eating habits.
Last Words on the Atkins Diet
Some healthcare professionals argue that the Atkins Diet is very
dangerous. They say that carbohydrates provide energy, and without them
the body becomes sluggish and tired. Some even argue that any weight
loss resulting from the diet is just water weight. However, plenty of
dieters swear by the Atkins Diet. If you're considering this diet, make
sure you perform thorough research. It may be a good idea to discuss
it with your doctor.