What Can You Eat On The Atkins Diet

June 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Low Carb Talk

Dieting foods for the Atkins Diet or low carb diet are readily available and effortless to find. Whether you prefer prepackaged low carbs Atkins food, or you want to make your own low carbs meals, the Atkins diet can be contoured to your budget and time limit. Regardless of you weight loss method with Atkins, there is a low carbs solution that works just for you.

It is important to refer to the Atkins food pyramid when choosing what to eat on your diet. The Atkins Diet pyramid is very dissimilar to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. The bottom of the pyramid is all foods that contain protein, like eggs, fish, beef, chicken, and tofu. The Atkins diet suggests that these be the bulk of your daily intake. The stage above the protein group is the low-carb vegetable group, which includes salad greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, and spinach.

The third stage consists of berries and avocado. Fruits are recommended on the Atkins diet on an infrequent basis, after one has been on the program for a while. Other foods that are used sparingly on the Atkins diet are the seed oils, cheese, dairy, nuts, and legumes groups. Contrary to the FDA pyramid, the Atkins program puts the grain foods at the very top of the pyramid, as opposed to oils and fats. Grains (carbohydrates) are the least eaten food on the Atkins diet, and one on this program should try to avoid them wherever possible.

It is important for the new Atkins dieter to learn about the food groups, and which ones are acceptable to be eaten on each phase (and more importantly, which ones cannot be eaten). The first stage (Induction) places the most limits on food groups, but it only occurs for two weeks.

In order to lose as much weight in as little time possible, it is imperative that the dieter remains loyal the acceptable foods list. An easy and painless way to do this is to follow an Atkins recipe book, like the ones in the New Diet Revolution book. There are a plethora of other Atkins cookbooks and alternative low carb dieting cookbooks that can really help to not use food groups that are not suggested on the Atkins diet.

Another good idea is to keep a list of acceptable Atkins foods on your person at all times. That way when you go out to eat, you do not have to worry about if the last thing you ate was not on the acceptable foods list. This is especially important if you do not have a good memory. Another important thing is to not depend on “low carb” signs to tell you whether or not something is acceptable on the Atkins diet. Often, these signs can be very misleading. This is because low carb diets are now gaining popularity, and food companies are losing money on their high carb products. To counter this, they produce foods that really aren’t low carb, but they still call them that. With your trusty acceptable foods list on you, you won’t have to worry about eating things that have been well marketed towards the low carb dieter, but don’t have your health in mind.

The Atkins foods online diet program is another helpful foundation for your dieting needs. While some of these are free, others require a monthly fee. When you sign up for one of these programs, they will set you up with a personalized weekly food list designed just for your body size and weight. You can also customize the list by setting your desired carbohydrate gram level. You can print these off, and take them to the grocery store so that you only buy exactly the ingredients that you need to make the food. By doing this, you don’t buy more than you need, so you won’t end up over eating.

Diet food for the Atkins Diet is readily available if you know the right places to look. The resources for the Atkins diet like books, online resources, and diet pyramid can help you lose weight faster and easier. Often what you have always been looking for is right under your low carb nose!

What The Heck Is Ketosis Anyway?

February 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Low Carb FAQs

When you hear someone talking about the Atkins diet, one of the notable effects of the diet is when your body reaches a state of “ketosis”. Ketosis is what helps your body use your fat stores for energy, and is a very exciting thing when you realize you’re in ketosis. The only setback is, not everyone understands ketosis and what it involves, so we’ll try to explain how it fits into the big picture.

You see, a large portion of diets out there rely on reducing calories. That’s all fine and dandy, and you’ll lose weight, but you have to keep in mind that you’re going to lose weight not only from fat, but also from lean muscle tissue. This, in turn, will reduce your metabolism, which could, in the long term (assuming you don’t exercise a lot) make it harder to lose weight and make it real easy to gain it back. We don’t want that, right?

A low carb diet (which is mostly known as Atkins) revolves around reducing carbohydrates. When you drastically slow down the consumption of carbs, your body will most likely go into a state of ketosis, because since your body doesn’t have carbs to burn (which is the first source it turns to for energy), it has no choice but to burn fat stores to maintain your energy level. The ketones that are created from the fat is what is being burned as energy, and they will quickly be turned into the primary source of energy. Your good old friend Mr. liver will convert your fat stores into ketones, and any extra ketones will be excreted in your urine.

ketosisThese “ketones” we speak of are actually a very healthy and highly efficient source of energy, and after a few days, your body will be thanking you for making the switch. Since you’re reducing the amount of sugar and glucose while on a low carb diet, your blood sugar levels out, which is a great feeling. No more ups and downs, after a small “adjustment period”, you’ll have a very steady supply of energy.

One of the quickest ways to find out if you’re in a ketosis state is to head over to your local pharmacy (Walgreens, CVS, etc…) and pick up a package of Ketone Test Strips. They typically come in packs of 50, and cost around $15. Once you get used to testing your urine (you just slip it into your stream real quick, and its color coded), you can find out how your body reacts to certain foods. If you cheat one day and have too many carbohydrates, test yourself later that night, and you’ll notice the ketone count is lower. It’s kind of fun, actually and very encouraging when you continually test positive for ketones. It means you’re doing it right!

I have to add though, that in some circumstances, even if you’re following a low carb diet to the letter and aren’t seeing positive tests for ketones while using a testing strip, don’t worry. There are quite a few people that even if ketones are in fact being produced, your strips won’t show it, or it may show a small amount. This seems to be somewhat common in women more than men. It’s just the way we’re designed, and as long as you’re losing weight and inches off your waistline, there is nothing to worry about!

Make sure you stay hydrated while on a low carb diet, and always check with your physician if you have even the slightest of concern or question. Once you’re cleared by the doctor, low carb diets are an outstanding way to lose all those extra pounds!