If you mention the popular Atkins diet to those who have never read the book, you will often get a negative reaction. People hear “low carb diet” and immediately think that you will be eating pounds of bacon, steaks, butter, cheese, cans of tuna, and eggs. How can this possibly be healthy they think. And in reality, you would not be healthy long if that is all you eat.
However, that is the biggest myth of the Atkins diet. First of all, people think that it is a “NO carb” diet. The Atkins diet does not tell you to get rid of all carbs in your diet, but instead to focus on the healthy ones. There is also a gradual progression that includes more and more as time goes on.
The First Two Weeks
The first two weeks on the Atkins diet direct you to keep your carbohydrate levels below twenty grams. This is to jumpstart your body into fat burning mode. Even at twenty grams, you can eat leafy green vegetables and low starch vegetables as well. In deed, the average overweight person who ate junk food and snacks would not eat this many vegetables in one day.
Finding Your Carb Tolerance Level
Over the next few weeks, you are supposed to increase your carbohydrate levels slowly to see where you best lose weight. Not only will you be increasing your vegetable intake, you can also add in very high fiber, low sugar bread products such as Wasa bread. You can also add low carb fruits such as berries and melon.
It should be noted here that the Atkins diet does not recommend eating high fat meats and excessive sauces and dressings. It also limits cheese intake per day. The goal is to eat lean proteins such as fish and chicken instead of heavily marbled steaks, bacon, and sausages.
The Real Diet Commences
Once you find your carb tolerance level, the real Atkins diet begins. This is a way of eating for life that will get you to, and keep you at, your ideal weight. It will regulate blood sugar levels and keep you healthy as well.
So, is it all butter, bacon, and pork chops? Nope. The Atkins diet is about white meat chicken, Omega-3 laden fish, healthy eggs, limited dressings and oils, lots of leafy green vegetables, large servings of other vegetables, low-sugar fruits, and high fiber breads. That is the diet recommended by most diet gurus and health organizations too.
The Atkins diet has always been shrouded in the stigma of being a “No carb” diet. Many people think that followers of this diet eat nothing but piles of meat, eggs, and fats. This, however, is not the reality of this healthy eating plan. By stressing lean protein and complex carbohydrates, it provides a way of eating that can be followed for your whole life.