The Atkins diet plan is one of the most well-known diet plans around at the moment, chiefly due to the controversies it has sparked over the past decade, especially in medical circles but sometimes hitting the national and international news media. It has also been made famous by appearing in Forbes magazine as one of the most expensive diets around, however it is still very effective and the diet has options to avoid the expensive items (lobster tails).
The Atkins diet plan has four key stages; Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), Pre-Maintenance, and Lifetime Maintenance. The induction stage is the toughest stage and requires rigorous dieting, eating only the foods on the Atkins diet food list. Here your carbohydrate intake is restricted to 20 net grams per day, most of which must come from green produce and salads. The loss of 5 to 10 pounds a week in this stage of the Atkins diet plan isn’t unusual at all and does make you feel good about yourself when followed correctly.
The next phase is the Ongoing Weight Loss phase (OWL) where you are allowed to increase your carbohydrate intake but still within a specified range. At this stage in the diet you have to follow the Atkins diet food list:
• Vegetables from the induction stage (in larger quantities)
• Fresh cheese
• Nuts and seeds
• Starchy Vegetables
• Whole grains
The third stage of the Atkins diet plan is pre-maintenance and gets you ready to keep your weight off for good. Your carbohydrate increases by 10 grams each week until you find the ‘critical carbohydrate level for maintenance’ and then you finally enter the lifetime maintenance stage which teaches you to carry on with the habits you have gained during the full run of the Atkins diet plan to keep the weight you’ve lost off for good.
One of the main misconceptions about the Atkins diet plan however is that people believe it allows the dieter to consumer near unlimited amounts of fatty meats and cheeses, but you should be aware that it simply does not. Such foods are allowed, and indeed actively encouraged, but never in such vast quantities.
If you’re wondering about the levels support that are available for the Atkins diet plan and how many people are following it worldwide, a good statistic is that one in eleven people in North America were following the diet plan between 2003 and 2004. Although the plan isn’t quite as popular today, the book the plan was based on and all the literature about the plan is still widely available and you will always be able to find someone else, or even a group of people, following the plan who are there to support you.