The Atkins Diet has been around for ages, and love it or loathe it, there are loads of celebrities and everyday people who've tried with and lost weight. But lately the Atkins Diet has gotten a bad rap, and fallen a little in popularity. Do you know why? How much do you know about the Atkins Diet? If you're considering it, read on. Here are 7 things you should know about the Atkins Diet.
1. It Will Help You Lose Weight... at First
As with almost any diet, the Atkins Diet will help you lose weight almost immediately. Why? Because your body will begin any diet by shedding water weight.
2. It's All about Carbs
Here's where the Atkins Diet differs from most other diets — most other diets promote healthy eating habits, i.e., smaller portions, fewer “empty” calories, more fresh fruits and veggies. But on the Atkins Diet, it's all about restricting carbs... REALLY restricting carbs. A double-cheeseburger with bacon is fine... as long as you don't eat the bun. Say what?
3. It's Unhealthy in the Long-term
You need about 150 grams of carbohydrates per day for your body to function properly, so obviously, restricting your carbs to a level behind that is unhealthy in the long-term. Furthermore, a diet high in food that's LOW in carbs is going to be high in cholesterol, which can lead to a range of long-term, chronic health problems, many of which are also suffered by people who are overweight. In other words, you may obtain a healthy weight, but you won't be healthy.
4. One Word: Ketosis
This is the “trick” of the Atkins Diet: ketosis. It's the process the diet encourages, restricting the carbs your body usually needs to function, forcing it to feed on stores of fat for energy. Sounds good, but remember, your body needs those carbs, too!
5. There Are Some Icky Side Effects
Be warned: following the Atkins Diet can cause REALLY bad breath and constipation, among other things. If you think about it, it makes sense. Fiber, needed for healthy digestion, is a carb, and carbs are a big no-no on Atkins.
6. It's Very Controversial
Obviously, the Atkins diet has its very vocal detractors, many of them in the health care profession. They weigh the benefits of losing weight with the dangers of this particular diet, and find them wanting. If you're not sure if it's right for you, then talk to your own doctor. It's better to be safe than sorry!
7. It Can Actually Harm Your Brain Function
It's this simple: to function properly, your brain needs carbs. If you're on the Atkins Diet, then you know carbs are very heavily restricted... which means your brain is, most likely, not getting the nutrition it needs to function properly. In the short term, this might be okay, but are you really willing to risk your memory and other brain functions to fit into your skinny jeans? Perhaps another diet plan is better...
Now that you've read my list, does it seem like the right diet for you? Before you decide, be sure to talk to your doctor about your own health situation and needs, and compare the Atkins Diet to other plans, too! Have you tried the Atkins Diet? How did it work for you? Did it help you lose weight? Did you have any side effects? Do tell!
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