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The Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet is one of the most well-known diets around, and a lot of people swear by it. But, it’s also subject to a lot of controversy, so is it really that good for you?

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If you’re interested in health and weight loss, or even if you’re not, chances are that you’ve heard of the Atkins diet. The Atkins diet is extremely controversial, with some people swearing by it and others saying that it’s detrimental to health. But which viewpoint should you believe?


Well, let’s first of all consider what Atkins actually is. The Atkins diet was developed by Dr Robert Atkins and is, in its simplest form, a very low carb diet. It’s based on the idea that overweight people tend to eat too many carbs, and as such carbs are cut out of their daily food intake in favour of a high protein diet. This, theoretically, results in fast and sustained weight loss.


The diet is broken down into four stages, with each stage allowing more foods to be added. The end result is a diet that can be used for life, but it’s always low carb – or at least, the lowest carb intake necessary before you start to gain weight.


However, already this leads us into a problem. Of course, filling up on protein is a great way to go as it’s a lot better for you, but you shouldn’t disregard carbs altogether. A few carbs are essential for proper functioning, and a diet where you cut them out completely isn’t going to be easy to stick to as you’ll end up having cravings. And, when you give in, you’ll put all of the weight back on again.


Another problem with this diet is that it allows plenty of high fat foods. The only thing cut out is carbs, yet you’re free to fill your diet with plenty of rich, fatty foods without even batting an eyelid. This has a lot of medical professionals worried, as although too many carbs are undoubtedly bad for you, so are too many fats.


But, those on the pro-Atkins side of the scale say that it works very effectively. In usual high carb diets your body burns carbs first and then fats, but by filling up on protein and fats your body heads straight to fat burning, and thus you lose weight much more efficiently. This process is called ketosis, and is where our bodies burn our own fat for fuel. However, ketosis can come with its own drawbacks. It can cause rather unpleasant side effects in some people, such as breath odour and constipation.


Nonetheless, some people swear by the Atkins diet. It could be worth a go as a kick start to a long-term weight loss plan as too many carbs are never a good thing, but it’s not a good idea to cut them out to such an extreme level. Nor is it good to fill up on too many fatty foods as this can have completely the opposite effect.


So, the Atkins diet is extremely controversial, and the jury is still out as to whether it’s good for you or not. Ultimately it’s about what works for you, but the best and often healthiest way to go is everything in moderation, without cutting anything out of your diet.

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