Heard the hype about the Atkin's Diet and looking to give it a try?
The Atkin's Diet is the leading eating plan in the current trend towards low-carb slimming trends. Formulated by its doctor namesake in the 1960's, the Atkin's Diet is based on the idea that modern weight gain is predominantly to do with eating too many carbohydrates, and in doing so, disrupting our natural levels of blood sugar.
This unbalancing of blood sugar levels causes our bodies to store fat rather than burn it. It's got plenty of celebrity advocates, and there's no doubt that slimmers on the plan lose weight, but is the Atkin's Diet safe?
The Atkin's diet maintains that because we have been taught to view the saturated fats found in meats and dairy products in a negative light, we now eat more carbohydrates than ever before in order to feel full. The problem with this is that eating too many carbs, particularly complex carbs, causes our blood sugar to spike and our bodies to go into fat storage mode. This diet plan seeks to get our bodies to shift back into fat burning mode through limiting carb intake.
The founder claims that when carbs are drastically reduced, the body adopts a process called Ketosis where the body begins to burn fat stores for energy because there is no energy left to burn in the form of dietary glucose. Slimmers can confirm whether they have entered Ketosis by using Ketostix, small paper tester sticks like those used by diabetics that detect blood sugar levels in urine. Once the slimmer has arrived at the goal weight, the eating plan then calls for the gradual re-introduction of carbohydrates and starches.
Though the eating plan undoubtably results in substantial weight loss, there are concerns over the plan's nutritional balance. Critics say it's too high in saturated fat and there are concerns over potential long term effects, given that there have been no studies conducted to measure effects past the 6 month mark. If you're thinking about giving the plan a try, be sure to consult your doctor first.