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Atkin’s diet for Weight Loss

Atkin Diet

If you are looking for quick weight loss, you must be curious to learn some new weight loss plans out there that really works. Fad diets are becoming increasingly popular these days and as much as I discourage consuming only a certain type of diet for a long period of time (due to issues like nutritional irregularities, non-compliance etc.), I would love to support switching (or at least trying) different FORMS of diet plans especially if you are on a weight loss mission.

Here are a few benefits of incorporating different types of diet plans:

  • Adding a variety of nutrients is always a good idea to boost metabolism and maintain high palatability of food.
  • You obviously can’t get bored of your food if you are changing the diet plans.
  • Most of the time when you are on a weight loss diet, the risk of experiencing different types of nutritional irregularities increases significantly. However, if you try different types of diets (based on different combinations of macro and micronutrients) the risk of malnutrition decreases.

What is Atkin Diet?

The affiliation of Atkin diet plan to the weight loss success of different celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Sharon Osbourne contributed significantly to the hype and popularity of Atkin Diet plan. Here is what you should know about the Atkin diet:Atkin Diet

  • With the help of this diet plan, you can lose up to 15 pounds of weight in a small period of 2 weeks.
  • The philosophy of this diet plan has these important postulates
    1. You have to significantly limit your carbohydrate intake; which means you cannot consume large amounts of white rice, bread and other foods that are made up of flour and veggies like potatoes.
    2. If your body is low on primary sources of fuel such as carbs, your biological system automatically metabolize fat stores for the generation of energy.
    3. Large part of Atkin diet is made up of lipids and proteins.

Besides providing nutritional and metabolic benefits, research suggests that Atkin diet also prevent tumor growth and carcinogenesis (2).

Fats:  A traditional American diet is made up of 20 to 25% of fats; however, if you are on Atkin diet, 60% of your diet should be made up of fats.

Proteins: You can consume up to 40 to 60% of your daily calories in the form of proteins.

Carbohydrates: Low amount of carbohydrates should ideally be consumed when you are on Atkin diet.

Salt: The normal intake of salt by a person below the age of 51 or hypertensive is about 2,300 milligrams per day. If you have an active chronic illness such as diabetes or chronic kidney disease or other risk factors (such as hypertension, cardiac illness etc.), you should not consume more than 1,500 milligrams of salt per day. Although with Atkins diet, you can keep the salt levels even below the amount recommended to a normal person. However, if you have an active history of metabolic diseases, you should maintain extra caution with low sodium diet.

Other key nutrients

The nutrients mentioned below are also called as nutrients of concern because most of the Americans have very low consumption of that in their diet.Sample Atkin Diet

Fibers: The fiber plays an important role for your digestive system. The daily intake of fibers should ideally be more than 22-34 grams. Atkins provides you with some amount of fibers but less than your dietary intake, so you may want to add extra fiber sources.

Potassium:  As per 2010 Dietary Guidelines it was suggested that high salt intake can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure, renal dysfunction due to stone formation and changes in the mineralization status of bone leading to loss of bone. All this can be prevented by controlling the intake of potassium. The recommended level of potassium intake is 4,700 milligram. Atkins has low amount of potassium then the recommended and thus it is best for Americans who takes low potassium in their diet. You can also eat 11 bananas per day as potassium is high in them.

Calcium: Calcium helps in maintaining the bone density and helps in promoting the functioning of the blood vessels. We can obtain calcium in the form of low-fat dietary products and calcium fortified cereals. Atkins has approximately the same amount of calcium as we need.

 Vitamin B-12: It helps in the optimal maintenance of cell metabolism. Most adults with the deficiency of vitamin b-12 should take 2.5 micrograms of vitamin B-12.Atkins provides more than enough requirement of vitamin B-12 but vitamin-12 mainly depends upon the intake of meal such as fish, trout and salmon etc.

Vitamin D: One of the richest sources of vitamin D is sunlight however, if your exposure to sunlight is sub-optima, it is highly recommended to consume 15 micrograms of Vitamin D for supplemental or dietary sources (as per the RDA). This can also help in the maintenance of bone health and prevention of bone fractures or trauma. By increasing your intake of vitamin D rich foods such as low-fat dairy products, sockeye salmon etc. you can make your Atkin’s diet rich in bone strengthening ingredients.

References
  1. Hu, F. B. (2012). Overcoming the fear of eating fat is critical to eating a natural, balanced ratio of nu-trients. We should never again skip SANE sirloin steak and non-starchy vegetables in favor of inSANE whole wheat spaghetti with whole wheat garlic bread. Fat is deli-cious, Satisfying, unAggressive, and impossible to overeat unless combined with starch or sweeteners. That is why most people end up losing weight on low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets like Atkins. Basically, any diet that discourages dietary fat …. The Smarter Science of Slim: What the Actual Experts Have Proven about Weight Loss, Health, and Fitness, 183.
  2. LaGory, E. L., & Giaccia, A. J. (2013). A low-carb diet kills tumor cells with a mutant p53 tumor suppressor gene: The Atkins diet suppresses tumor growth. Cell Cycle, 12(5), 718.
  3. Jenkins, D. J., Wong, J. M., Kendall, C. W., Esfahani, A., Ng, V. W., Leong, T. C., … & Singer, W. (2014). Effect of a 6-month vegan low-carbohydrate (‘Eco-Atkins’) diet on cardiovascular risk factors and body weight in hyperlipidaemic adults: a randomised controlled trial. BMJ open, 4(2), e003505.

Written by Ayesha Khan

Ayesha Khan is a medical doctor who holds a strong passion for health, nutrition and wellness. She has published research papers in scientific journals and has written for health sections of other publications as well. Ayesha typically covers science and research-related advancements in the field of weight loss and fitness.

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