The Atkins Diet is a weight loss program that has gained massive international popularity. It is also called the Atkins Nutritional Approach and was first created by Dr. Robert Atkins, after whom it was named. Dr. Atkins is an American cardiologist who had initially read about a diet in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in an effort to reduce his own weight. Based on what he read, he came up with his own program to assist his patients.
How Was the Atkins Diet Created?
One of the results of this effort was a series of books, of which the first was called “Dr Atkins’ Diet Revolution” and was published in 1972. Though the original concept has remained the same over the years, the original specifications have been revised several times. The premise of the Atkins Diet is to reduce carbohydrates and to control insulin. Though this has been around for decades, it was only over the last ten years or so that it truly caught on.
Many variations of the Atkins Diet have come about since it became popular, but the actual technique is based on an eating program with four phases, which must be combined with regular exercise, as well as vitamin and mineral supplementation.
What is it All About?
According to Atkins, there are a number of crucial factors that go unrecognized, and which lead people to become fat. It states that the primary issue leading to weight gain is the consumption of refined carbs, primarily in the form of flour, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup.
When you’re on the Atkins Diet, following the program is meant to change the metabolism of the dieter into ketosis, which means that the body burns body fat as fuel instead of glucose. When the body has low glucose levels, it also has low insulin levels. Ketosis begins when insulin levels drop below a certain point.
How is the Atkins Diet Supposed to Work?
Insulin levels reach the lowest point right before mealtime because this is the lowest point for glucose in the blood. As soon as food is consumed, glucose levels start to rise, causing insulin to rise, too. Refined carbs are high in glucose, which can enter the blood quickly. Other forms of carbohydrates don’t add glucose to the blood as rapidly as refined carbs.
The Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution says that when only small amounts of carbs are consumed, the body is able to burn a higher number of calories than it is capable of accomplishing on other diets. It also allows the body to simply get rid of unused calories, instead of storing them as fat. That said, a study that was published in the peer reviewed journal, The Lancet, claims that this effect does not actually occur but that it is merely the lower number of calories that leads to the weight loss.
Should You Use This Method for Weight Loss?
Though the Atkins Diet was considered to be relatively unique for its time – though it was hardly the first strategy to recommend low-carbohydrate food consumption – a substantial amount of research has been conducted over the decades that have provided notable improvements over its original requirements.
For that reason, you might find that if you look into more modern, well-researched developments in macronutrient balance, you’ll find that the original Atkins Diet left a lot to be desired. If you speak with your doctor or a dietician – which is typically recommended before making any major changes to your nutrition or lifestyle – you may find that they recommend a kind of version of the concept behind this diet, but not that you follow it exactly as it had once been described.
On the whole, many feel that there are strengths to the Atkins Diet, but that it is out of date. Its premise is a good one, but there is a lot more to it than what the doctor knew in the early 1970s when he designed the strategy. Making sure your own strategy is up to date will help you to ensure that you get better results and that you won’t need to be nearly as restrictive as originally believed fifty years ago.