Many nutrition and fitness experts agree when it comes to losing weight: Sugar and white flour products damage our figure and our health. The Atkins diet could therefore be the key to weight loss for many. Here you will find information and assessments on the advantages and disadvantages of the Atkins diet.
What is it and how is the diet going?
The Atkins diet follows the low-carb principle, which means that it is based on a greatly reduced intake of carbohydrates. In order to achieve a positive effect on the metabolism, one goes through four successive phases:
- Introductory phase
- Reduction phase
- Pre-maintenance phase
- Continuous maintenance phase
The concept of the diet goes back to the US doctor Robert Coleman Atkins, who, with the publication of his program in the 1970s, gave the impetus to a reduced-carbohydrate diet and the associated positive effect on body fat distribution. In contrast to other diets, the number of kilo calories consumed is not strictly controlled in the Atkins diet, rather the individual distribution of the macro nutrients is the focus.
The cornerstone for this is a diet, in which the carbohydrates are drastically reduced and more fat and protein sources are consumed. But even if it is not a classic form of reduced-calorie diet, enormous stamina is required in order to achieve success.
Which low-carb foods are allowed?
The Atkins diet starts with low-carbohydrate plant foods such as lettuce and vegetables:
- Lettuce, chicory, lamb’s lettuce, cucumber, rocket, celery
- Artichoke, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, sauerkraut, zucchini, tomato, asparagus, spinach
The Atkins menu is supplemented by animal and vegetable protein sources:
- Meat (e.g. beef, pork, poultry)
- Fish (e.g. salmon, tuna, trout, herring)
- Soy products (e.g. tofu)
- Cheese (e.g. cheddar, mozzarella, goat cheese)
In addition, essential fats should also be supplied to the body during the diet. The main high-quality sources of fat in the Atkins diet are:
- Rapeseed oil
- olive oil
- Pumpkin seed oil
- Coconut oil
Even if you can initially achieve quick weight loss successes with the Atkins diet, it requires a lot of discipline to integrate this nutritional concept sustainably into your everyday life. The freedom in calorie intake appears to be tricky for many people who want to lose weight: The Atkins diet should not be understood as a free ticket to excessive eating. In addition, the limitations on nutrient sources can prove problematic in the long term.
Especially high-carbohydrate fruits and various types of vegetables are not allowed in the Atkins diet, or only to a limited extent. Since the German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends the consumption of around 650 grams of vegetables and fruit daily, the Atkins diet in particular runs the risk of deficiencies in vitamins, trace elements, minerals and fiber from whole grains.
Since the first phase in particular is accompanied by headaches, fatigue and other side effects due to the strict avoidance of carbohydrates for most people, the diet is generally not to be recommended unreservedly. Especially when you do a lot of sport, you should refill your energy stores quickly – ideally with healthy carbohydrates. The Atkins diet is therefore controversial among nutrition experts and some even classify it as questionable or hazardous to health.
A permanent healthy change in diet that covers all macro nutrients. With additional sports units per day, you can achieve such good weight loss without compromising your health.
Basically, you should always be extremely critical of diets. Rather, your goal should be to optimize your diet. For example, a Mediterranean and carbohydrate-conscious diet (adapted to your own lifestyle) is advisable – with lots of fresh vegetables and fruit and good oils and high-quality protein.