The Atkins Diet is very popular - it is one of the few diets that doesn’t cut out calories or restrict certain fats, and the high protein intake appeals to many. Although popular, the Atkins Diet has its flaws. Here, we take a look at what’s involved.
How does it work?
The Atkins Diet is split into separate phases, the first of which is a drastic decrease in carbohydrates. In the first two weeks of the diet, the majority of carbohydrates are cut out and instead mainly meat, poultry, fish, eggs and cheese are eaten. Some carbs can be included in this phase, but Atkins diet guidelines state these should be limited to vegetables such as cucumber, peppers and broccoli.
In the later phases of the diet, more carbohydrates are introduced, but Atkins is considered to be a low-carb diet. The phases are designed to help the individual find the right amount of carbohydrates to maintain a constant healthy weight.
What’s the appeal?
The main appeal of this diet comes from its first phase. In the first couple of weeks followers can lose up to 15lbs, which is great for motivation. However, this kind of weight loss is not sustainable. This often leads to disappointment and a loss of interest in maintaining the diet, as in the subsequent weeks people maintaining this diet may only lose a couple of pounds. The long-term idea behind it is to maintain a healthy weight by controlling the amount of carbohydrates you eat.
Is it worth it?
Many people are often drawn in by the idea of losing weight quickly. However, it is not possible to sustain this amount of weight loss and often the meal choices available are limited, leading to a lack of interest.
One of the biggest flaws is its lack of nutritional balance. Eating less carbohydrate means eating fewer fruits and vegetables and the increased amount of saturated fats can also heighten the risk of developing further problems such as heart disease.
While eating less carbohydrate is a good way for some people to lose weight, the lack of vegetables and fibre in this diet make it difficult to make sure you eat a balanced diet. If followed strictly, the Atkins diet does have its pros, but this can be difficult to achieve.