Reducing carbohydrate intake to a minimum is one of the key factors in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. This is precisely what the Atkins diet teaches you to do. Although the concept of using low carbs to lose weight is not a new approach, the Atkins way is a very specific method. It will teach you how to stick to a plan that is proven effective, and easy to use. You will still be able to eat tasty foods, and satisfy your craving for carbohydrates. The best thing about the Atkins way is this: once you have reached your target weight, you are not left wondering what to do next. The Atkins program is tailored in such a way that you can use it for your entire lifetime.
There are two phases to the Atkins program. The first phase is especially important if you have a lot of weight to lose. It is the jump start or introductory phase. For approximately two weeks, you will be limited to an intake of about 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. During this phase your diet should include protein rich foods such as chicken, whole eggs, cooked beef, and a variety of fish. You also need foods that are high in the ‘good’ fats such as dairy products and olive oil. For your carb meal you may have a green salad with a low carb dressing. You may also have foods such as green beans and broccoli.
Phase two of the Atkins program is what they call the ongoing weight loss phase, or the OWL. During this phase, you must keep on eating the foods that are high in protein and fat. The primary difference in phase two is that you begin to re-add carbohydrates to your diet in 5 gram intervals. The objective is to add 5 grams of carbohydrates per week until you stop loosing weight.
If you are satisfied with your current weight, then you stay with the current amount of carbohydrates. If you want to lose more weight, you need to drop 5 grams per week until you are back down to 20 grams, or you reach your desired weight.
Although this yo-yo effect may at first seem confusing, it makes perfect sense. During the first two weeks of a diet, you aren’t getting rid of fat tissue. Instead, you are getting rid of water. After that, your effort to burn fat becomes complicated by your body’s tendency to want to hold onto the fat stores. It will seek to accomplish this by lowering your metabolism. Therefore, when you alter the amount of carbohydrates, your body cannot adapt as quickly, and will utilize the fat stores instead of changing the metabolism.
The Atkins way is one of the best forms of low carb diet. Not only does it allow you to see immediate results, it takes into account the homeostatic tendencies of your body. Finally, once you have reached your target weight, you will be able to continue on the regimen in order to maintain healthy nutrition habits. If you want to adjust your weight again later on, the Atkins way will help you achieve it safely and reliably.
Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Nutrition.