Does the Atkins diet work in the long term

Atkins Diet: Lose Weight By Eliminating Carbohydrates

  • As much protein and fat as possible, as few carbohydrates as necessary: ‚Äč‚Äčthat is the principle behind the Atkins diet.
  • The well-known weight-loss method is one of the so-called low-carb diets.
  • Find out how the Atkins diet works and what possible health risks are here.

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Actually, the Atkins diet is old hat. Because the protein-rich form of nutrition was invented back in the 1970s.

At that time, the American cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins published his groundbreaking book on the Atkins diet of the same name and revolutionized all weight-loss programs that had been popular up until then.

Atkins Diet: How Does It Work?

The principle behind it: The Atkins diet largely dispenses with carbohydrates, but foods containing fat and protein are allowed without restriction.

In practice this means: bread, pasta, rice and potatoes are removed from the menu. Sugar, fruit and some vegetables are also not tolerated. On the other hand, the proportion of protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs, sausage and butter is high.

The result: the body no longer obtains its energy from carbohydrates as usual, but falls back on fat reserves to generate energy. The fatty acids are converted into so-called ketone bodies, which serve as a substitute for glucose in the body. The whole process is known as ketosis.

The Atkins Diet consists of four phases. The first three phases differ mainly in the amount of carbohydrates allowed. Salad, eggs and meat are staple foods on the diet, and the carbohydrate content is gradually being increased. The last phase aims at permanent weight stabilization, in which carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes are avoided in the long term.

What should you pay particular attention to when dieting?

For a successful diet it is important to adhere to the list of prohibited and permitted foods. In order not to exceed the prescribed amounts of carbohydrates, calorie counting is also on the program. Ideally, you plan in advance what you want to put on your plate in the course of the day.

Who is this type of diet suitable for?

Since the Atkins diet is very strict, it is only suitable for very disciplined people with good stamina. Due to the high protein and fat content, the weight-loss method is also the right thing for meat and sausage fans.

However, the diet is not suitable for risk groups, which include children and adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as the elderly and sick.

What Do Experts Say About The Atkins Diet?

Nutrition experts classify the Atkins diet as one-sided and potentially harmful to health. The World Health Organization (WHO) sees an increased risk of cardiovascular disease due to the high amount of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids that come from the enormous proportion of animal foods.

"A high-fat diet also promotes the development of type 2 diabetes," says Prof. Dr. med. Till Hasenberg, nutritionist at the Helios Adipositas Center West in Oberhausen. "Liver and kidney damage can also occur as a result of an Atkins diet."

In addition, the expert is critical of the limited selection of foods: "The lack of numerous types of fruit and vegetables can lead to an undersupply of various nutrients."

Hasenberg advises those who want to lose weight from the Atkins diet. "It is far better to rely on a long-term change in diet." Patients who are pathologically overweight should also seek help from specialized centers.

Sources used:

  • Conversation with Prof. Dr. med. Till Hasenberg, nutritionist at the Helios Adipositas Center West in Oberhausen
  • Atkins diet
  • Atkins diet: This is how fat makes you slim