Since announcing that she’s on the Atkins diet, Kim Kardashian has had everyone trying to keep up with her weight loss. The 36-year-old reality star shed 30 pounds of baby weight in just one month after giving birth using this method.
The Atkins plan severely restricts carbohydrates and sugars but encourages a diet high in protein and fat. The thinking behind it is that the diet “flips the body’s metabolic switch” from burnings carbs to burning fat. Another of the diet’s principles is that by eating meats and fats, digestion slows and inhibits hunger cravings.
The diet has proved controversial for many, with experts criticizing the fact that during the first two weeks the fruit and vegetable intake is limited and afterwards, only allowed in moderation. Although nutritionists agree that it is effective for weight loss, it can cause cardiovascular diseases.
That said, the Atkins diet has been updated since it first launched in 1979 to ensure that the diet reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by maintaining stable blood sugar levels and replacing the processed foods with increased fiber through vegetables.
The Atkins diet has four phases: induction, steady weight loss, pre-maintenance and maintenance. The first phase is the strictest — the body shifts from burning carbohydrates to burning fat. The foods eaten at this stage are vegetables low in carbohydrates but high in vitamins and minerals.
But it isn't a one-size-fits-all diet plan. "Not everyone can do it," says Samuel Duran, president of the School of Nutritionists of University of Chile. The Atkins diet can cause problems because more than 50 percent of calories come from fat. Food from animal sources are usually high in saturated fats that can lead to an increase in our cholesterol levels thus causing problems with constipation because there is so little fiber in this diet.
Foods, such as ham and butter, which are permitted in this diet, as well as being responsible for cholesterol, can also lead to liver and cardiovascular damage. The Atkins diet should only be adopted by people who have normal blood pressure and levels of cholesterol and no history of cardiovascular problems. The ketogenic diet is a high fat diet and must be supervised by a nutritionist. The other thing is that this diet is high in protein and if it is done for too long, it can cause kidney damage. A couple of weeks is enough for this diet and individuals should be supported by a specialist.