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What is the Atkins Diet Plan? One Way to Achieve Weight Loss Goals

Achieving weight loss goals might be eaiser with the Atkins Diet Plan because it makes eating easy and healthy. Here’s how the Atkins Diet Plan works, as explained by nutritional expert Colette Heimowitz. She’s an Atkins Diet expert, and here clears up some common misperceptions many people have about this diet.

“So far I’ve always kept my diet secret, but now I might as well tell everyone what it is,” says actress Angie Dickinson. “Lots of grapefruit throughout the day and plenty of virile young men at night.” 

Okay, so the Atkins’ Diet doesn’t include lots of grapefruit by day or virile young men by night…or does it? Read on to find out how the Atkins’ Diet Plan works – and how it can help you achieve your weight loss goals!

To learn more about the Atkins Diet, read Dr. Atkins’ Quick & Easy New Diet Cookbook: Companion to Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution. 

What is the Atkins Diet Plan? One Way to Achieve Weight Loss Goals

This is a “Q & A” with Colette Heimowitz, the VP of Nutrition & Education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. If you have any questions or thoughts about this diet or achieving your weight loss goals, feel free to comment at the end of this article.

What is the foundation of the Atkins Diet Plan?

To begin, Atkins is not just a diet plan. The approach is meant for those who seek a lifestyle change that involves better eating habits. This eating  ultimately leading to better health and a sense of well-being. Atkins is a four-phase lifetime eating plan in which people need to:

  • Achieve a carbohydrate awareness regarding quality and quantity of carbohydrates consumed
  • Learn their individual threshold for carbohydrate consumption

Though certain guidelines must be followed, the Atkins approach is flexible, with a wide variety of choices to suit a variety of eating preferences and lifestyles, which helps people achieve their weight loss goals. Atkins is not a one-size-fits-all approach — it is a customized eating plan that you will match each unique metabolism. By learning individual thresholds for carbohydrate consumption, one can reach their ideal goal weight and stay there — without hunger pangs or feelings of deprivation.

What are the common misconceptions about the Atkins Diet?  

One common misconception is that the Atkins Diet doesn’t allow you to eat any carbohydrates.

People frequently mistake the Induction phase for the entire Atkins program. During this initial phase, the plan allows you to eat just 20 net carbs daily, with 12 net carbohydrates per day coming from a full array of colorful nutrient-dense vegetables. After the Induction phase is completed, you increase your carbohydrate count gradually until you reach your own carbohydrate tolerance level and your goal weight. For some, this number can be as much as 120 carbs per day of nutrient-dense foods, which includes fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.

Are there other benefits of the Atkins Diet Plan – besides weight loss?  

The most important health benefit is stabilized blood sugar. For many obese individuals, eating excess amounts of carbs was the reason for their weight gain. Their blood sugar was constantly in flux, leaving them tired and shaky (low blood pressure increases carb cravings).

Those who experience high blood sugar due to insulin resistance may also have, or are likely to develop, high blood pressure. The Atkins lifestyle is also useful in bringing this kind of high blood pressure down, which is a worthy weight loss goal. Studies comparing a low-carbohydrate and a low-fat approach, found that subjects at a high risk for coronary artery disease (CAD) that were following the low-carb approach had improvements in their cholesterol profiles, allowing them to decrease their risk of developing CAD. 

Have you tried the Atkins Diet Plan – and did it work for you? I’d love to hear if you’ve lost weight this way!

And, if you’re working out in addition to changing your eating habits (which you should be if you want to achieve your weight loss goals), read 7 Tips for Working Out With Pilates Fitness DVDs.

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Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc, is the VP of Nutrition & Education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. and writes nutrition articles for the Atkins’ newsletter.

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3 thoughts on “What is the Atkins Diet Plan? One Way to Achieve Weight Loss Goals”

  1. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    The Atkins diet works really well for some people to lose weight, and not so good for others. It just depends on your body type, lifestyle, and personality.