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Diet > The Atkins Diet...what is it?.

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By: Mike Yeager

You're probably wondering how a diet like this could actually lead to weight loss. According to the late Dr. Atkins, it's all about limiting carbohydrates. As Americans, we eat a large amount of carbohydrates. These are foods that contain white flour and refined sugar. In other words, most of the packaged foods we eat such as pasta, bread and cereal are carbohydrate-rich. According to the core principle of the Atkins diet, by limiting carbohydrates in a four-phase process your body is forced to burn its stored fat, rather than carbohydrates, for fuel.

In 1972, Dr. Robert Atkins first published his book, Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, which suggested a new way to diet. Up until this time, dieting consisted of lowering the number of calories eaten per day or lowering both the amount of fats and carbohydrates eaten. But, Dr. Atkins' diet was strictly focused on limiting carbohydrate consumption. So, what are carbohydrates?

You have probably heard of "carbohydrates" and "complex carbohydrates." They come in many forms including rice, pasta, bread, crackers, cereal, fruits and vegetables. Carbohydrates provide your body with its basic fuel. You can think about the relationship between your body and carbohydrates in much the same way you would consider the relationship between a car engine and gasoline.

There are four main benefits participants gain from following the Atkins plan:

Weight Loss - When you cut down carbohydrates, your body converts from using carbohydrates for energy to burning fat as the primary energy source. This results in weight loss.

Weight Maintenance - Each individual has a level of carbohydrate intake at which they will neither gain nor lose weight. The Atkins plan allows the body to determine this amount through the eventual increase in the amount of carbs you can eat.

Good Health - Atkins dieters are encouraged to eat nutrition-rich foods with vitamin and nutritional supplements as needed.

Disease Prevention - Lowering carbohydrate intake and, in turn, insulin production may help prevent diseases like diabetes.
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