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All Diets Types and Their Explanations - How to Navigate and Choose the Best One For You

Aug 11th 2015 at 11:28 PM

Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet severely restricts the consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods and encourages the consumption of protein and fat. The diet is divided into four phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-maintenance, and Maintenance. During the Induction phase (the first 14 days of the diet), carbohydrate intake is limited to no more than 20 grams per day. No fruit, bread, grains, starchy vegetables, or dairy products (except cheese, cream, and butter) are allowed during this phase.

During the Pre-maintenance and Maintenance phases, dieters determine the level of carbohydrate consumption that allows them to maintain their weight.

To prevent weight regain, dieters are told to maintain this level of carbohydrate consumption, perhaps for the rest of their lives. According to Dr. Atkins, most people must limit their carbohydrate intake to no more than 60 grams per day to keep lost weight off. In addition to the dietary restrictions discussed above, Dr. Atkins recommends regular exercise and nutritional supplementation as part of his weight loss program.

What is so attractive about the diet that so many individuals have taken the time and effort to apply?

High-protein diets are the fad regimens of the moment. Their theory for weight loss consists of eating lots of animal proteins and skipping carbohydrates such as breads, rice and pasta. The theory behind these diets is that if you load up on animal proteins, you will feel fuller faster, so you'll end up eating less.

The Atkins Diet is attractive to dieters who have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight on low-fat, low-calorie diets. Atkins dieters can eat as many calories as desired from protein and fat, as long as carbohydrate consumption is restricted. Consequently, many Atkins dieters are spared the feelings of hunger and deprivation that accompany other weight loss regimens.

The underlying premise of the Atkins Diet is that diets high in sugar and refined carbohydrates cause weight gain, and ultimately lead to obesity. Such diets increase the production of insulin (a hormone secreted by the pancreas). When insulin levels are high, the food we eat is quickly and easily converted into fat, and stored in our cells. By restricting the consumption of carbohydrates, the production of insulin is moderated. In addition, the lack of available carbohydrate (the body's preferred fuel source) forces the body to burn stored fat as energy.

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