Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution the book was first published in 1979. And since then a lot of people have turned to the Atkins diet because of foods you get to eat and there has been a lot of hype as a result. It is a good alternative to all the low fat food regimes that are so difficult to stick with. But what are the basic principles of the Atkins diet?
The Atkins diet is built upon the good doctors answer to the question, why we get fat? According to Dr. Atkins, it is too much carbohydrates and simple sugars in the modern diet that drives our body fat up. The way your body burns the carbohydrates you eat has more influence on your waistline than the amount of fat or calories that you eat. In his book, Atkins proposes something he calls “insulin resistance.”
Too much carbohydrate and sugar, raises your blood sugar levels. The body makes insulin in the pancreas store sugar as glycogen in the liver and muscle tissue. When your body reaches it’s glycogen storage limit it converts the rest of the carbohydrates into fat. Excess insulin is toxic so the body makes itself resistant to it over time, so the balance tips from glycogen production to fat production.
Some people are more insulin resistant than others and these are the ones who gain more weight. The carbohydrates that we eat get converted fat instead of being stored as energy.
The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate diet. Even the carbohydrates that traditional wisdom says make us healthy are cut out in the Atkins diet such as oatmeal, brown rice and whole wheat bread, are restricted on this diet.
On this diet you must cut your carbohydrate consumption to less than 40 grams a day. This will put your body in a state of ketosis. Ketosis allows your body to burn fat as fuel. According to Dr. Atkins’ research, the ketosis state will also affect insulin production and it will stop more fat from being formed.
You begin to convert stored fat to energy and thus begin to lose weight. One of the major benefits of ketosis is that your body will not crave carbohydrates as it did before. If you’ve been eating lots of carbohydrates, you may have a kind of addiction forming. With carbohydrate restriction and ketosis comes a reduction in carbohydrate cravings. People who have been on the Atkins diet for long period of time report that they no longer need carbohydrates as they did before.
The Atkins diet foods to eat vary over four stages. What you can eat will differ slightly in each stage. As you go through the stages, you are allowed more and more carbohydrates, but they should consist mostly of fibre-rich carbohydrates like leafy greens and certain vegetables. White rice, white bread, potatoes and pasta made from “white” or processed flour remain no no´s for the entire time you are on the Atkins plan.