The Atkins Diet
by Owen Jones
Dr. Atkins, in his Atkins diet book, stated that he believed that the current theories about weight gain were
terribly wrong. First, he dismissed the notion that saturated fats were bad for weight loss; instead he said it was
the carbohydrates that led to the weight problems Americans have these days.
Atkins held that on the contrary, our obsession with avoiding fat actually worsened the problem. He pointed out
that the low-fat diet foods on the market were high in carbohydrates but were not helping the nation, which
probably meant that people on a 'normal' diet often ate foods that were worse for them than what they had been
The Atkins diet shifted the focus. Atkins stated that by cutting out carbohydrates, people would consume their
stored body fats. And, of course, if you lose the fat, you lose the weight. He said it was not only a question of
eating less. Atkins postulated that a diet could actually help you burn calories and that The Atkins Diet
supposedly burned more calories than were being consumed everyday. But the claims were contested. Dr. Atkins also
promulgated the positive influence this Atkins diet could have on people with type 2 diabetes.
As opposed to type 1 diabetes, type 2 is often closely associated with diet and excess body weight. So, it
should follow that any diet that helps decrease weight will help people with type 2 diabetes. The Atkins diet is
low in carbohydrates, which must be avoided with type 2 diabetes regardless of caloric intake, so by means of this
aspect of the diet Atkins claimed those who suffer type 2 diabetes would no longer need medication such as
The medical world, in general, disagrees with Atkins on this point. They do agree, however, that a lower
carbohydrate intake helps with type 2 diabetes, but there is no proof that carbohydrates cause the disease.
What are the steps one has to take to follow the Atkins diet? It is followed in four phases - Induction;
On-Going Weight loss, Pre-maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance. Here is an overview of the most important phase -
The Induction Phase.
The Induction phase is the most difficult phase of the Atkins diet. Atkins is flexible about the time period,
but recommends it lasts for two weeks. During this phase carbohydrates are severely curtailed " you can only
consume up to 20 grams per day. The idea is to enter a fat burning metabolic phase called ketosis when the body,
starved of glucose, will start converting stored fat into fatty acids needed to power the body. Weight loss during
this phase can be large - some Atkins followers reported losses of 5-10 pounds a week or more.
The purposes of the three final phases in the Atkins diet are the learning of the ideal carbohydrate levels for
the next two phases: continued weight loss and weight maintenance. Millions of people are still losing the weight
they want to on this diet - but be aware of the dangers of taking in too much cholesterol.
by +Owen Jones