What’s the Atkins diet?
The Atkins diet was founded in the 1970s by the American cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins. It is a low-carb diet in which carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes, pasta or sweets are greatly reduced on the diet. The aim is for the body to use its stored fat as a source of energy so that you lose weight. The Atkins diet consists of four phases, which differ greatly in the amount of carbohydrate intake allowed daily. While phase one is intended to rapidly combat obesity, phase four serves as a permanent diet.
Procedure of the diet
The Atkins diet consists of four dietary phases. A main feature of this diet is the low carbohydrate intake. The amount of carbohydrate allowed is clearly regulated in the Atkins diet, which means that different amounts of carbohydrate are allowed in different diet phases and diet weeks.
This serves to ensure rapid weight loss at the beginning of the diet, weight loss over a long period of time until the desired weight is reached and finally, maintaining the desired weight. The fourth phase of the Atkins diet is understood to be a permanent diet and should at best be followed for life. The Atkins diet specifies which foods are permitted and which are prohibited. In principle, you can eat a full diet and snacks are also allowed.
Phases of the Atkins Diet
Phase I, also known as the introductory diet or induction phase, is carried out for 14 days. During this time, a maximum of 20 grams of carbohydrates may be consumed daily. High-fat foods and a lot of protein are allowed and should be combined with low-carb vegetables such as leafy vegetables.
This intensive change in diet is intended to get the weight loss going. Phase II, the basic reduction diet, serves the desired weight loss over a longer period of time. In this phase, more nutrient-rich carbohydrates, such as nuts, beans or legumes, are added to the table week after week.
The amount of carbohydrates is increased by 5 grams each week, i.e. 25 grams of carbohydrates in the first week of phase II, 30 grams in the second week of phase II, and so on. If you do not lose any more weight, it is recommended to reduce the amount of carbohydrate by 5 grams again. Once the desired weight loss is almost achieved, the pre-maintenance diet follows, phase III.
In this phase of the diet, the amount of carbohydrate is increased by 10 grams every week as long as you are still losing weight. Once the target weight is reached, the Atkins diet provides for a life-long maintenance diet. This phase IV of the diet allows for plenty of food, while pasta and potatoes remain allowed only occasionally. This dietary phase represents a permanent dietary regime designed to prevent you from gaining weight again.