24 Healing Options for any Illness

Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet is one of the most popular "commercial" diets. It was created and named for Dr. Atkins, a cardiologist who suggested that his patients limit their intake of carbohydrates and noticed that many patients lost weight and kept it off after making these changes, even when other diets hadn't worked for them.

The Atkins diet was one of the very first low-carb diet plans, and is centered around the idea that the body can burn one of two things for fuel - sugar (found in carbs) or fat. Of the two, sugar is burned more quickly, which can cause energy levels to rise and fall rapidly, which leads to cravings that can make it hard to stick to a diet and lose weight. Because of this, the diet seeks to cut out carbs such as bread, rice, and potatoes wherever possible and focus instead on obtaining calories from fats and proteins such as nuts, beef, poultry, and butter. Overall, those following the Atkins diet are expected to have fat and protein account for 75-90% of their daily calorie intake.

The Atkins diet promises speedy weight loss and has two main stages - weight loss and weight maintenance. The weight loss stage is the more intense of the two, with participants dramatically reducing calorie intake in addition to cutting back on carbohydrate consumption. Dieters are also advised to keep a food journal that will help them monitor their diet and control calorie intake.

Multiple different versions of this diet are available to suit different goals and lifestyles. There is even a specially modified version that is used in the treatment of epilepsy.

Because of its popularity and its commercial nature, there is a wealth of information and resources available in books and online for those interested in trying out the Atkins diet. These sources, including the diet's official website, can help you find the best version of the plan for you, know what to expect, and stick to it. Consult your physician before switching to the Atkins diet or any other low-carb diet plan, as this will affect different people in different ways.

Scientific Studies:

More than 80 clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the Atkins diet. One such trial, conducted at Stanford University Medical School in 2007, found that after one year, people on the Atkins diet had list. 4.7kg (10.4lbs) - more than those on the Ornish, Zone, or LEARN diets. A similar study published the following year reported 8.3kg (18.3lbs) lost under Atkins, which again beat out the Zone and Ornish diets. A 2006 study from the UK found that while it was not noticeably better than other diet options examined, the Atkins diet did result in significant loss of weight and body fat over a 6-month period, and produced faster weight loss during the first 4 weeks than other weight loss plans. Even studies that have found Atkins to be less effective than other diets still report notable weight loss and improved health after several months on the Atkins plan.

A study from 2004 looked at low-carb diets more generally. 132 obese adults had been assigned to either a "conventional" diet that only involved calorie restriction, or a low-carb diet. After being on these diets for a full year, mean weight loss for the low-carb group was 5.1kg (11.2lbs) compared to 3.1kg (6.8lbs) for the low-calorie group. The low-carb diet also led to reductions in LDL cholesterol and was better than the low-calorie diet for diabetic participants.

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