Atkins Diet: General Information

Diet Author Robert C. Atkins (1930-2003), a cardiologist from the USA, gave rise to a revolutionary approach to dieting and weight loss, known as the Atkins diet or the Atkins Nutritional Approach. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1951 and received his medical degree from Cornell University Medical School in 1955. For more than 40 years of practicing experience Dr. Atkins treated thousands of patients, developed the revolutionary approach to nutrition and dieting, wrote dozens of best-selling books and founded the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City and Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.

Diet Categorization The Atkins belongs to a group of low-carbohydrate diet plans. Moreover, it was the Atkins diet that formed a basis for the whole family of eating plans, commonly known as “low-carb diets” nowadays, which promote reduced consumption of carbohydrates as the key strategy to lose weight and restore health.

Diet History The principles of the Atkins diet were first described in the book “Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution”, published in 1972. The next books by Robert C. Atkins - "The New Diet Revolution" and “The New Diet Revolution, New and Revised Edition” have become best-sellers in the USA in late 1990th and remain among the most popular books on healthy eating and weight loss strategies nowadays. "The New Diet Revolution" book became one of 50 best-selling books of all times.

Diet motto The Atkins diet is based on the idea that human organism can use either carbohydrates or fat to produce energy, but carbohydrates are used in the first turn. So, if a person eats too many carbohydrates, all the fat is stored in the body, causing weight gain. The Atkins diet suggests that eating carbohydrates in very small amounts will switch the organism from burning carbohydrates to burning fat. Thus, the goal of weight loss is achieved.

Diet Duration The Atkins diet plan includes 4 stages: Induction Phase with the strictest diet regimen to ensure quick achievement of the expected weight loss; Ongoing Weight Loss Phase lasts until the moderate weight loss is achieved; Pre-Maintenance Phase is to make the transition from weight loss to weight maintenance; Lifetime Maintenance Phase is, actually, life-long period, when a person may eat a wide variety of foods while controlling carbohydrate intake.

What improvements are declared by the diet? The Atkins diet ensures the most significant weight loss during the Induction Phase. The most common rate is losing 2-3 pounds per week, though it was reported about weight loss up to 6-8 pounds per week especially among the obese people. According to Dr. Atkins, it is not a problem to lose more than 2 pounds per week provided that a person eats enough not to be hungry. Beside weight loss, following the Atkins normalizes insulin and sugar levels, which helps to decrease the appetite and food cravings as well as to reduce frequency of depression, mood swings and sleep problems.