Low Carb Diets

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Posted by Linda O'Byrne (Atkins Nutritionist)

At its most basic, a low carb diet is simply one with relatively few carbohydrates. Our diet helps you cut refined, sugary carbs out, lose weight safely and quickly and then reintroduce ‘good’ carbs as you hone in on your target weight.

While variations of low carb diets have existed since the Middle Ages, the Atkins plan is based on sound, scientific research that spans over 50 years.

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How Atkins can help you lose weight

As Western diets have a tendency to be carb heavy, with foods such as bread, potatoes and pasta all figuring frequently, an average daily carbohydrate intake for men can be as much as 330 grams.

On Atkins phase one, it’s recommended that you consume just 20g of carbs per day, with 12-15g of those coming from ‘Foundation Vegetables’. Induction is for a minimum of two weeks, but it’s safe to stay in this phase for many months if you have a lot of weight to lose.

This first phase involves quick, safe weight loss and you can often make serious progress towards your target in the first fortnight. Phase two is where you add carbs back in 5g increments until you are about 14lbs from your goal weight. This allows you to assess which carbs you can tolerate and in what amounts.

In phase three, you add carbs back in 10g increments with even more variety, until you have maintained your goal weight for one month.

Finally, phase four is to maintain your new, healthy weight with a personally tailored carb intake that you will arrive at naturally.

Many people are concerned about how to deal with cravings, but in our experience creating a carefully tailored diet can help you beat the natural desire to binge and make sure your hard work remains intact.

How a low carb diet affects your body

Rather than starving your body, a low carb diet simply changes the way it works and stops you from being affected by hunger pangs. Blood sugar levels are stabilised as your insulin is not constantly being spiked by high carb, sugary foods, and this also controls hunger and cravings.

Instead of using carbs for energy, the body becomes a fat-burning machine. Normally, the fat in your diet is something you need to burn off, but with Atkins it replaces carbs to become the fuel for your body, as you can see in our science section.

Your appetite is sated by meat, fish, poultry, tofu and vegetables, all of which take longer to digest and therefore help keep hunger at bay. Phases two and three allow fruits, nuts, berries and even alcohol to return, and by the time you have reached your target weight you will know just what you can eat to stay in shape.

Not just for weight loss

Additionally, low carb diets can do much more than just lower weight. For example:

The American Diabetic Association has found evidence to support a low carb diet
Stanford University research showed the Atkins plan can help improve cholesterol and blood pressure
Some studies suggest there are benefits for cancer and epilepsy sufferers too, but you should always seek medical advice before proceeding
When carried out properly, using the help available on this site, low carb diets can be the basis of an eating plan that will leave you satisfied for life.

Contact Atkins

If you would like to discover more about how our low carb diet can help you achieve your weight loss goals, you can fill in our enquiry form and our team will be happy to answer your questions.