Dr. Atkins Diet Review

 
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by George Pierce
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What is the Dr. Atkins Diet??

The Atkins Diet is a low carb diet that was developed 
by Robert C. Atkins in the 1960's.  It became very popular in the 90's and peaked about 2003-2004.

The Atkins Diet has evolved over the years,  but the original concepts have not changed.   The latest Atkins Diet in 2010 , The New Atkins for a New You  and the Atkins 40 Diet have added more help, information, and foods.  
 

Atkins vs low cal/ high carb diet


How Does The Atkins Diet Work?

The Atkins Diet is made up of four phases: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance.

Induction is the initial phase which lasts about two weeks.  This phase involves switching to a state of ketosis.  This is the most restrictive phase and usually where you will see significant weight loss...as much as 5 or 10 pounds per week.

The Ongoing Weight Loss phase allows for  small increases in carbs, but still remaining at levels where weight loss occurs. This phase lasts until you are within 10 pounds of your target weight.

Pre-maintenance allows for your daily net carbs to  increase by 10 grams each week vs. about 5 in the OGWL phase  Your key goal in this phase is to find the "Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance". This is the maximum number of carbohydrates that you can eat each day without gaining weight. 

You may be able to add back some of the forbidden carbs into their diet once a week. In this phase, according to the Atkins Diet, one's body is beginning to lose the protection of ketosis as one prepares for the last phase which is Lifetime Maintenance.

Lifetime maintenance  phase is intended help you carry on the habits acquired in the previous phases.  It also helps you avoid the typical 'end-of-diet' mindset that can return you to your old habits and previous weight. 

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The latest versions of the Atkins Diet  are the Atkins 20  Diet and now the Atkins 40 Diet.  The Atkins 40 is a bit more relaxed and allows you to start with 40 grams of  carbs per day.  On Atkins 40, you can eat tons of vegetables,  meat, fish, poultry, plant-based proteins, olive oil, avocado, nuts, Greek yogurt, cheese, fruits, and whole grains.  Alcohol is permitted but most mixers are not allowed due to sugar content.  Atkins says that they used 31 clinical studies to determine that 40g Net Carbs daily will maintain fat burning and be effective for weight loss. 

In 2003, Dr. Atkins died from a fatal head injury due to a fall on ice.   His business rapidly declined and on July 31, 2005, the Atkins Nutritional Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.   His company is still in business and remains popular.

Positives:

 
  • Easy,
  • convenient, 
  • lots of delicious foods and recipes,
  •  designed for the long term,
  • tested and proven to work
Compared to other diets that work,  you are likely to have a little more weight loss initially primarily due to water loss, then  you should experience similar weight loss vs. comparable diets.

Negatives:

 
  • Cost: The Atkins  Diet is expensive.  The average diet is about 50% higher than the American national average (per  Forbes Magazine).  Atkins is about 80% higher.
  • Side Effects:  The side effects should be minor and can include diarrhea, rashes, muscle cramps, and general weakness.
  • Exercise is not included.
  • If you are a carb lover, this diet is not for you.

FYI:  

Gorging on meats and cheeses! 

This was allowed in the earlier versions but is not promoted in the later versions...aw snap! 

Although there is not a limit on calories or protein, the Atkins diet per Dr. Atkins is "not a license to gorge", rather eat until satisfied.


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Conclusion:


The Atkins diet seems to work in many cases.  Long term maintenance is probably easier now than ever before, because of more and more carb friendly products and  some great low carb recipes.   I give the Atkins diet a thumbs up and I feel that the Atkins Diet is one that you should  consider adding to your list of diet choices.

Thank you for reading, my friend.

Much success,
George Pierce
Win At Losing Weight founder

PS.  If you are interested in the Atkins Diet, allow me to suggest that you also look at the Atkins 40 Diet.  It starts out allowing 40 carbs instead of 20 carbs daily.


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BREAKTHROUGH

 
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A High Protein Diet

The Atkins Diet is a low carb diet that is high in protein.

If you are a meat eater, the Atkins 20 or the Atkins 40 Diet may be a good fit. 

We need protein, it is an essential part of our diet.  Most low carb diets such as the Atkins Diet, are considered high protein diets, so how much protein should we have? 


Low Carb Diet Mistakes - 7 Most Common

According to the U.S. government, our recommended daily allowance of protein should be 0.8 g/kg  or 0.36 g/lb.   This means that a 120 pound person should have about 43 grams of protein daily, a 150 pound person should have about 54 grams of protein daily and a 200 pound person needs about 72 grams of protein per day.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine suggests a range of recommended protein per day.  The range depends on factors such as age, gender, our daily activity, our carb intake, when we eat, and what activities we engage in.  They suggest a daily protein range from 0.375 g/kg to 1.625 g/kg of body weight  or 0.17 to 0.74g/lb of body weight. 

Per the U.S. Institute of Medicine:
120 lb person = 20 to 89g/day
150 lb. person = 25 to 111g/day.
200 lb. person = 34 to 148g/day.

Then what constitutes a high protein diet?

The U.S. Institute of Medicine considers a diet that a diet that has about 35% of its calories coming from protein is OK.  Most experts seem to agree that any diet that has more than 25% of its calories coming from protein is a high protein diet. 

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One of the concerns of a high protein diet is kidney damage.  There is actually no research that links high protein with damaging your kidneys.  On the other hand, if you already have kidney problems, high protein is not a good idea. 

The advantage of a high protein diet regarding weight loss is that protein is more filling and helps you to feel fuller longer.   The other advantage is that eating protein helps you to retain your muscle while losing fat. 

Eating more protein when your over 65 is believed to slow down muscle loss.  Although this may be true, I believe that 'movement' is the key to avoiding muscle loss. 

The Mayo Clinic in answers from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D. responded to the question:  "Are high-protein diets safe for weight loss?", Zeratsky replied:  "For most healthy people, a high-protein diet generally isn't harmful, particularly when followed for a short time."  She goes on to say that some high protein low carb diets can restrict fiber which can lead to headache, bad breath, and constipation and that a high protein diet may adversely affect someone with kidney disease.

It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor or health care professional, before making any decisions that can affect your health.

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