Low Carb Diets – An Introduction to Atkins


You have just been to a social gathering and there are tears playing mischief in your eyes. There are some sorrows that you can not scream out of your existence, pains that do not seem to vanish in a quick puff or drown in a shot of tequila. You look at yourself in the mirror and through blurred vision, you perceive your body frame. You think about that lady in red and carelessly shrug your shoulders to your resigned fate.

Maybe your being overweight will never let you make an impression while your dumber but thinner counterparts get away so luckily. You need to do something about it and yet everyday when you lazily crawl out of bed nothing seems to right. You do not want to go for a brisk walk or a jog around your block. You just want to creep under the rug and go back to sleep again. This way probably your day takes off. Then when you go off to office after hogging your unhealthy breakfast, you wish you had better exercised.

Somewhere in these entire daily marathon and other Olympic feats, you had felt that had you been fitter, life would have taken a completely different turn. Mornings would have seemed sprightly fresh, you could judge for yourself whether the clich├ęd statement- "Exercise makes me feel refreshed and rejuvenated" is true or not. The office hours would have seemed better and better day-by-day, with people slowly succumbing to your popular nature. All these dreams could be true but first you need to create a good first impression. Lets us look at one the important aspects of this makeover program.

Nine out of ten times, it is noticed that an improper diet is responsible for the excessive weight gained by an individual. We forget the golden rule of "breakfast like a king, lunch like a queen and dinner like a beggar" and keep on piling the calories progressively throughout the day. What we forget to pay heed to is that our body metabolism follows a certain pattern and if we go on disrupting it with our shifting eating habits, it will gradually fail and most of the calories ingested will get stored as fat in the body.

In order to redress the situation, Dr. Robert Atkins came with a miraculous low carbohydrate diet in the 1970's, which he elaborated in his book, Dr.Atkins' New Diet Revolution. Although people did not take to it then, with its re-introduction into public consciousness during the 1990's, it has become a matter of many coffee table discussions. The Atkins diet has proved to be beneficial in many cases while nutritionists and health experts have exorcised it of all its fame and glory. Let us take a brief look at this oft-cited diet fad-

The Atkins diet is broken up into several different stages based on the portion of carbohydrates included into your food chart. In the archetypal introductory phase, it allows for consumption of 20 gm of carbohydrates per day. In these first two weeks, one subsists on bacon, poultry products, meat, cheese, butter, sausage, seafood and oils and he is barred from consuming food with a high glycemic index like cereals, fruits, milk, grains or breads. In the maintenance phase, the dieter is recommended to increase his carb intake by 5 grams everyday till he reaches a total of 40-90 gm per day. This when he should limit himself from taking any farther carbohydrate or else he will contribute to the adipose tissue again.

Some of the disadvantages of the low carb diet are as follows. When a person reduces his carb intake and stresses the body metabolism to breakdown fat to release energy, at first, things take place in a healthy manner. But when lipolysis occurs due to starvation or if protein breakdown starts taking place in the absence of body fat, one risks the peril of ketone body formation or ketosis.

The ketone bodies formed during ketosis, interfere with your blood cells' oxygen carrying capacity and may permanently damage brain tissues and lead to brain death or coma. So one should stay on the lookout for signs of ketosis. Bad breath is one of the chief indicators of ketosis since the ketone body formed in the digestive system and its interaction with the enzymes and bacteria leads to fermented products. Sluggish movement is also due to lesser energy being released on breakdown of fat.1 gm of carbohydrate release 7 Kcal of energy while 1 gm of fat releases only 4.9 Kcal of biochemical energy.

On the whole, the Atkins diet will prove beneficial if one does it in moderation and combines a regular fitness program with it. Regular exercise reduces stress levels and improves your mood apart from making you lose weight and look better. The better you feel physically, the more calm, relaxed and confident will you be mentally.


Source by Ricardo D Argence

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