At least once a year, the world is shocked by another big Discovery in the field of weight loss. Just invented new diet promises easy weight loss without any special worries or restrictions, or it’s urged you to abandon any product once and for all because it is the cause of all our misfortunes.
But the truth is between the lines. The most popular diets have passed the test of time, and now you can slowly consider their advantages and disadvantages.
Very “tasty” diet. You can eat almost without limits what some other diets dismiss in horror – all kinds of meat, eggs, cheeses, fish, seafood. It seems that here it is, happiness, the “Eat and lose weight!” call. Atkins diet is quite effective but at the expense of what? Let’s put everything on the table.
To begin with, the Atkins diet is strictly contraindicated for pregnant and lactating mothers, people suffering from kidney diseases and those who have high levels of creatinine in their blood (this is the end product of protein breakdown, a component of urine).
The diet is divided into four phases, differing from each other in the number of carbohydrates consumed. Atkins rightly believed that carbohydrates contribute to rapid weight gain, and in his diet set the strictest restriction on their intake. So, for example, during the first phase (“induction phase”) you can consume no more than 20 g of carbohydrates per day. This can be achieved by completely eliminating bread, flour products, starchy vegetables, as well as nuts, seeds, sugar, and honey from the diet.
At first glance, everything is correct, harmful effects are excluded, but there are not as many dietary benefits. For example, you can eat no more than 2-3 cups of vegetables per day, and then not all. You can safely eat alfalfa, celery, chicory, cucumbers, watercress, parsley, dill, sorrel, bell peppers, radishes, and mushrooms. Sometimes you can afford vegetables that contain a slightly larger amount of carbohydrates: artichokes, asparagus, beets, green beans and legumes, spinach, dandelion, onions, pumpkin, eggplant, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kohlrabi, carrots, turnips, tomatoes. But the total amount should not exceed the notorious 2-3 cups.
During the second phase, you can already add 5 g of carbohydrates per week. The number of vegetables is increasing, avocados, fruits, berries, and nuts are added to them, but in minimal quantities.
During the third phase, 10 g per week is added. You can already eat starchy vegetables: carrots, potatoes, peas, beets, spinach, parsnips, lentils, beans (depending on the carbohydrate content, the number of vegetables ranges from ¼ to ¾ cup), as well as cereals – rice, oats, barley (no more than ¼ cups).
The fourth phase of the Atkins diet lasts a lifetime. The main principles of this phase are strict control of the critical level of carbohydrate intake, physical education, taking dietary supplements, vitamins and minerals, and giving up bad habits. At first glance, everything is smooth. Now look at the diet through the eyes of doctors.
The first thing that any specialist will pay attention to is the imbalance in the balance of basic nutrients. The Atkins diet almost completely eliminates carbohydrates, focusing on protein foods. And this is could lead to certain troubles.
For example, a small amount of vegetables and fruits can lead to a lack of vitamins and minerals. In addition, limiting the intake of carbohydrates leads to the rapid consumption of glycogen reserves, as well as the water that is held by this substance. Rapid weight loss does not occur due to the “burning” of fat, but due to dehydration. Overloading the body with animal fat and cholesterol increases the risk of heart attack, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia. A diet rich in protein and fat leads to the excretion of a large amount of acids in the urine, to neutralize which the body spends its own reserves of potassium, calcium and magnesium. Dehydration, which inevitably occurs with such diets, threatens the formation of stones in the urinary tract and constipation.
It turns out that with the Atkins diet there are much more risks than benefits? In fact, such diets have a right to exist. But how, if not strict prohibitions, to wean a person from sugar and rolls? True, there is one “but”: an Atkins diet should be monitored by a specialist, with constant monitoring of blood and urine tests!