The diet was massively popular at the turn of the century but has in recent times suffered a little bit. There has been much mud throwing when it comes to this diet and it’s no surprise when you consider these figures:
Pasta sales dropped around 8% and rice sales 4% at the height of Atkins popularity.
So as you can see there was a lot at stake and a lot of big powerful food companies weren’t happy. I even remember when Dr Atkins passed away a few years ago all of sudden people blamed the diet and claimed that he died from heart problems when in fact he fell and hit his head.
There are four phases to the diet: Induction, On going weight loss, Pre maintanence and Maintanence.
The induction phase is where you cut down your carbohydrate intake to less than 20g per day. Your main staple during this phase will be meat, dairy and a little salad.
In the on going weight loss phase you can increase your carbohydrate consumption by about 5g per week (as long as you’re still losing weight)
Pre Maintanence is the stage you move onto when you only have around 5-10 lb of fat still to lose. Here you are allowed to add some legumes, fruits starchy veg and whole grains back into your diet.
Maintanence – During this phase (which is for life) you can have a little of everything (minus the junk food) you still need to watch you carbohydrate intake.
In conclusion I think that the Atkin’s diet is in my experience (as a personal trainer) a pretty good one for fat loss, especially in the beginning phase.
In the beginning phase your body will go into Ketosis, which put simply means your body is using it’s fat stores for energy. This is the quickest way to lose body fat, but it is impossible and not really healthy to stay on for life.
It’s during the later phases where the Atkin’s diet loses some points for me. There are certain foods that are good for very few people and it has a lot to do with genetics and ancestry, how do most east asians have very high carbohydrate diets and remain slim and healthy?
And it’s for this reason that I think that Metabolic typing is an all around better lifetime choice although if you’re after quick weight loss Ketosis/Atkin’s works well.