Diets That Work

Spavelous Weekly Spa Magazine

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Top Diets


Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet has really generated some interest and many followers along the way. People seem to think they know all about this protein-based diet, and often the word “Atkins” strikes a dissonant chord in the mind because of its limited food choices. However, the Atkins Diet is not just about getting rid of sweets and breads. It is a lifelong habit-forming diet that is designed to first create a deficit of energy-producing foods so that you can lose weight, and then eventually the diet helps you create a balance of carbohydrates that your body can handle without storing everything as excess fat.


Diet Keys

The Atkins Nutritional Approach consists of four different phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance. These four phases focus on different aspects of the diet, and each one presents its own series of steps that help the dieter accomplish his or her goals. Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Revised Edition

Phase One, Induction, jump-starts the fat burning process by eliminating almost all the carbohydrates from your diet. By doing so, the body is forced to use fat for energy. This phase is only 14 days long, and you should see results within those first two weeks. While you do not have to start on Phase One, it is suggested to do so in order to maximize immediate results. There is a list of acceptable foods to follow, including several sources of protein and a few sources for carbohydrates and fiber (mostly salad and leafy greens). Energy may be lower during the first couple of days, and you may feel hungry until the fat burning process kicks in (about 48 hours). The first phase also has a strict set of rules that must be followed in order to actually work.

Phase Two, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), is based on slower and more steady weight loss utilizing a wider range of acceptable foods, including nutrient-rich carbohydrates.

Atkins Diets

These foods will help establish a fat-burning system in the body while still maintaining that lower carbohydrate balance in order to boost weight loss. This is the phase that any dieter can start on if they want to see more gradual results instead of boosting their results with the strict Phase One rules and food choices. Consumers are to stick with OWL until they are within 5 to 10 pounds of their weight loss goal.

Phase Three, the Pre-Maintenance Phase, is intended to help you get set for lifelong eating habits. While Phase Two slowly increases carbohydrate intake by 5 gram increments, Phase Three encourages increases of 10 gram increments as long as weight is still being lost. Ideally, weight loss should be less than a pound per week. Essentially, you are inching towards your final goal while finding the balance that works best for your body in terms of healthy carbohydrate intake.

Phase Four is called Lifetime Maintenance because it is the stage at which you have reach equilibrium—you are making food choices that help you maintain your ideal weight. These choices do include carbohydrates, but they do so in a much more appropriate way—complex carbohydrates are chosen instead of simple sugars, resulting in better maintenance.

The idea, then, behind Atkins is that eventually the dieter will be able to maintain their health goals without assistance from a book or site. The first three phases do require some direction, but Phase Four is the lifelong phase in which you are able to maintain your own dieting.



All the resources necessary for the Atkins Nutritional Approach are available online completely free of charge. If you wish, you can purchase Atkins Advantage products such as energy bars and shakes, but they are not a necessity. The cost of food is the only concern, and since you are not buying any special foods or products, you are simply required to buy appropriate groceries in order to use this plan. With no cost to the dieter, this plan is an excellent way to lose weight through proper food choices.



  • Encourages smart food choices to reduce weight
  • Many people like being able to eat as much protein and fat as they wish, because these foods are often restricted in more traditional diet plans.
  • For people who have tried a low-fat, high-carbohydrate weight loss plan without success, increasing protein in their diet often results in decreased food cravings and more rapid weight loss.
  • The diet is relatively easy to follow; there are no complicated meal plans
  • Discourages sugar and simple carbohydrate intake in order to maximize fat burning in the body
  • Works towards lifelong results—not immediate and short-term results



  • Food choices at first are extremely limited
  • Diet plan only works if the first rules are followed exactly
  • Eating unlimited amounts of fat, especially saturated fat found in meat products, can lead to increased risk of heart disease.
  • Any diet that limits carbohydrate causes the body to rely on fat or muscle for energy. When our body breaks down stored fat to supply energy, a byproduct called ketones is formed. Ketones suppress appetite, but they also cause fatigue, nausea, and a potentially dangerous fluid loss. Anyone with diabetes, heart, or kidney problems should check with their physician before following a low-carb diet.
  • Unpleasant side effects include constipation (caused by the low-fiber diet) and bad breath from the ketosis.
  • Extensive research on healthy populations tells us to eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Restricting these foods in the name of weight loss may lead to long-term health problems.


Diet Summary

With no additional cost and a wealth of online resources, the Atkins Diet is a great option for dieters who have a sense of commitment for their dieting plans. The simple diet bases its success on limiting carbohydrates to the bare necessities so that our bodies eliminate stored fat before using new carbohydrates as energy. While the rules are strict at first, eventually the plan aims at finding an equilibrium between carbohydrates and proteins, producing positive effects on weight maintenance. The goal is not to simply eat as much protein and as little carbohydrates as possible—it is to create a balance between the two that best suits your own body and metabolism. With this balance, weight can be maintained easily, and by shifting the balance slightly towards proteins, weight can be lost easily and steadily. The Atkins Diet is simply a smart choice when followed correctly.

People looking to lose weight should consider finding a healthy eating plan that they like and can live with long term – and if you have a problem with carbs – this is a great plan to get them under control. You should also exercise each day by doing an activity that is fun and enjoyable. Water is extremely important too, and dieters need a lot of it to stay hydrated and to keep their bodies free of toxins. Finally, try the addition of a supplement specifically designed to help with weight loss. Be sure that the product you choose includes the two key elements all effective diet products need; a fat-burner to rid the body of excess weight on the arms, hips, belly, thighs and buttocks, and an appetite suppressant to help control caloric intake and keep cravings at bay. Many good intentions are ruined by cravings that take us over and sabotage our dieting efforts. If you combine all these elements, along with patience and diligence, you will see the pounds come off.

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Disclaimer: Information on this web site was gathered from many sources in public domain such as published books, articles, studies and web sites. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Please discuss your health conditions and treatments with your personal physician.


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