Atkins Diet Recipes

The Atkins diet emphasizes reducing the intake of carbohydrates, while allowing the dieter to eat fats. Proponents of the Atkins diet point to results suggesting that dieters on a low-carbohydrate diet lose more weight than those on more conventional low-fat diets. They also suggest that the high fat low-carbohydrate approach can lead to improved cholesterol levels.

The Atkins diet proceeds through four phases. The first phase is a two-week induction phase that involves a severe reduction in carbohydrate intake. The goal of this phase is to induce a state of ketosis, which results when the body runs out of sugars to burn and starts burning fat. Dieters who adhere to the dietary rules of the induction phase typically lose significant amounts of weight during that phase. The diet emphasizes that carbohydrate intake should be gradually raised after the induction phase. Carbohydrates are gradually raised during on Ongoing Weight Loss phase in which weight loss should continue to occur until the dieter is within 10 pounds of his or her goal weight. A pre-maintenance phase then begins in which the dieter needs to determine the level of carbohydrates that can be consumed while maintaining a desired weight level. Finally, the dieter enters the lifetime maintenance phase, and needs to continue to follow the general guidelines of the diet in order to maintain a desired weight. It is important at this point that the dieter refrain from returning to old ways of eating.

Atkins recipes are designed to avoid sources of carbohydrates. In particular these recipes avoid sources of sugar and refined flour. Pasta is virtually never allowed, and things like soft drinks, caffeine, and alcohol need to be avoided. Lean meat, eggs, and cheeses are used extensively, while vegetables and fruits are limited. Food charts that indicate which foods are suitably low in carbohydrates are available. There are a number of books and online sites that provide specific recipes.

For a review of this diet and 3 other diets by the American Cancer Institute see the following article by TheDietChannel: Popular Diets Versus Dietary Guidelines.