Originally Answered: about the atkins diet.?
The Atkins Nutritional Approach, popularly known as the Atkins Diet or just Atkins, is the most marketed and well-known of the low-carbohydrate diets. It was adopted by Dr. Robert Atkins (1930-2003) in the 1960s from a diet he read in the Journal of the American Medical Association and utilized to resolve his own overweight condition following medical school and graduate medical training. After successfully treating over ten thousand patients, he popularized the Atkins diet in a series of books, starting with Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution in 1972. In his revised book, Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Atkins updated some of his ideas, but remained faithful to the original concepts.
The Atkins franchise (i.e., the business formed to provide products serving people "doing Atkins") had been highly successful due to the popularity of the diet, and is considered the iconic and driving entity of the larger "low-carb craze". However, various factors have led to its dwindling in success, and the company Atkins Nutritionals of Ronkonkoma, New York, founded by Dr. Atkins in 1989, filed for bankruptcy in July of 2005. The Atkins logo is still highly visible through licensed-proprietary branding for food products and related merchandise.
Nature of the diet
The Atkins Diet represents a radical departure from prevailing theories. Atkins claimed there are two main unrecognized factors about Western eating habits, arguing firstly that the main cause of obesity is eating refined carbohydrates, particularly sugar, flour, and high-fructose corn syrups; and secondly, that saturated fat is overrated as a nutritional problem, and that only trans fats from sources such as hydrogenated oils need to be avoided. Consequently, Dr. Atkins rejects the advice of the food pyramid, instead asserting that the tremendous increase in refined carbohydrates is responsible for the rise in metabolic disorders of the 20th century, and that the focus on the detrimental effects of dietary fat has actually contributed to the obesity problem by increasing the proportion of insulin-inducing foods in the diet.
Dr. Atkins argued that many eating disorders are the result of hyperinsulinism, or excessive secretion of insulin which comes through eating too many carbohydrates. According to Dr. Atkins, this causes food cravings and unstable blood sugar levels, which can cause mood swings, depression, and sleeping problems. He claimed that his diet stabilizes insulin and blood sugar levels, eliminating cravings and often reducing appetite, which ultimately changes metabolic process causing a more active burning of stored fat. Still, the most recent research suggests deeper roots in such alterations of metabolism functions, arguing that the ultimate effect of an increase in protein consumption prolongs the feeling of being sedated, and by doing so reduces the desire to eat.
The question remained though: Why is the feeling of fullness largely caused by high protein consumption? According to their research published at Cell Metabolism, Rachel Batterham with her colleague from University College, London suggest that the connection between protein intake and weight loss is a small protein molecule, called peptide YY - a hormone released into the bloodstream from the gut that acts in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus (the part of the brain that controls appetite). In effect, the dietary protein proves to be more effective stimulating release of Peptide YY than dietary carbohydrate, decreasing craving for food.
While most of the emphasis in Atkins is on the diet, nutritional supplements and exercise are considered equally important elements.
Atkins involves the restriction of carbohydrates in order to lower the intake of unnecessary carbohydrates albeit not to cut out comprehensively, in order to switch the body's metabolism from burning glucose to burning fat (chiefly, stored fat). This process (called lipolysis) begins when the body enters the state of ketosis as a consequence of running out of excess carbohydrates to burn.
Atkins restricts "net carbs", or carbs that have an effect on blood sugar. Net carbohydrates can be calculated from a food source by subtracting sugar alcohols and fiber (which are shown to have a negligible effect on blood sugar levels) from total carbohydrates. Sugar alcohols need to be treated with caution, because while they may be slower to convert to glucose, they can be a significant source of glycemic load and can stall weight loss. Fructose (eg, as found in many industrial sweeteners) also contributes to caloric intake, though outside of the glucose -- insulin control loop.
Preferred foods in all categories are whole, unprocessed foods with a low glycemic load.
The Induction phase is the first, and most restrictive, phase of the Atkins Nutritional Approach. It is intended to cause the body to quickly enter a state of ketosis. Carbohydrate intake is limited to 20 net grams per day. The allowed foods include a liberal amount of most meats, up to 4 ounces of aged, hard or soft cheeses, three tablespoons of heavy cream, two cups of salad vegetables, one cup of other low glycemic low carb vegetables. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
The Induction Phase is usually when many see the most significant weight loss - reports of losses up to six or eight pounds (3 or 4 kg) per week are not uncommon.
Atkins suggests the use of Ketostix, small chemically reactive strips used by diabetics. These let the dieter monitor when they enter the ketosis, or fat burning, phase.
However, simply watching your weight will work. Losing 1-2 pounds a day means you are in ketosis.
Ongoing weight loss
The Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) phase of Atkins consists of an increase in carbohydrate intake, but remaining at levels where weight loss occurs. The target daily carbohydrate intake increases each week by 5 grams. A goal in OWL is to find the "Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing". The OWL phase lasts until weight is within 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of the target weight. At first weeks you should add vegetables to your daily products. For example, 6-8 stalks of asparagus, salad, one cup of califlower or one half of avocado. The next week you ought to add berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries) and green vegetables, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts.
Carbohydrate intake is increased again, and the key goal in this phase is to find the "Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance", this is the maximum number of carbohydrates you can eat each day without gaining weight. This may well be above the level of carbohydrates inducing ketosis. So it is not necessary to maintain ketosis forever
This phase is intended to carry on the habits acquired in the previous phases, and avoid the common end-of-diet mindset that can return people to their previous habits and previous weight. Whole, unprocessed food choices are emphasized, with the option to drop back to an earlier phase if you begin to gain weight.