Dr. Robert Atkins adjusted a diet he read in a medical magazine to help himself lose weight. It's today known as the atkins diet menu plan. After treating over 10,000 people using this method, he decided to write a series of books to help people lose weight. The very first book was Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, published in 1972, with a revised edition later on. The revised edition, Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, had various aspects brought up to date, however, the basic idea is still the same.
Basically, this diet works by eliminating carbohydrates from your diet. Also, there is the myth most people have that saturated fat is bad for you when, in fact, it is trans fats from hydrogenated oils that should be avoided. Removing the carbohydrates causes the body to switch from burning glucose to burning stored fat. You do not remove all carbs but the Atkins Diet recommends no more than 20 net grams per day, which causes the body to enter a stage called ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body runs out of extra carbohydrates to burn and in turn causes weight loss.
There are 4 stages in the Atkins diet. The first is the induction period, when the body enters the ketosis stage and researchers say that 10% of total weight loss is shed during this period. The carbohydrate intake is 20 net grams during the start-up – 12 to 15 of these must be from vegetables and salad greens – a generous amount of meat (any kinds), fish, chicken, and eggs. Up to 4 ounces of cheese is allowed and moderate amounts of caffeine. The Atkins Diet also recommends you take a multivitamin with minerals.
The ongoing weigh loss stage allows you to increase carbohydrates, about 2 net grams per week, as long as you're still losing weight. The idea is to find out the maximum carbohydrates you can eat without gaining weight. The diet has a ladder you go by to know what to add each week. This stage continues until you are within 10 pounds of your desired weight. The food ladder must be followed. If there is one food on it that you do not intend to use in your diet, you can skip that week and go to the next.
Pre-maintenance is the next stage when you increase carbohydrates by 10 net grams per week using the same foods on your ladder. This stage is used for finding the maximum amount of carbohydrates you can eat without gaining weight.
Lifetime maintenance is the final stage when you continue to eat the foods you have found to work on the previous stages to maintain your weight. If you stray and begin to gain weight, you can go back to one of the stages of the diet and start over. The most important part is not to go back to old eating habits and start gaining back all you have lost.
This diet has been researched and in a study at Stanford University, this diet provided more overall results than any other ones studied. With no serious side effects, women studied over a 12 month period lost more weight than in any other diets.