What Is The Adkins Diet?
Steak, eggs, bacon, omelets, and avocado cream soup;
The promise behind the Adkins Diet is that you will lose weight and not be hungry. It focuses on a low carbohydrate diet, which it promises will lead to better heart health and memory cognition. The theory is based on the belief that overweight people eat too many carbohydrates. Our bodies will burn both fat and carbohydrates for energy, but carbohydrates are burned by the body first. By reducing carbohydrate intake drastically and by increasing protein and fat intake, you body will lose weight in a more natural way by burning fat stored in your body more efficiently.
Although people are drawn to the diet for its weight loss promises, the Center for Complementary Medicine in New York claims that most followers of this diet do so to maintain their weight, for better health, and to prevent disease. However, keep in mind that this center was founded by Dr. Adkins.
The way that the diet works is by restricting the dieter’s carbohydrate intake to a mere fraction of what is found in the typical American’s diet. This puts the body into a state of ketosis, which means that the body is burning its own fat for energy. While in ketosis, the person is getting their energy from ketones, the small carbon fragments that are created by breaking down the fat stores. While you are in ketosis, you will feel less hungry and more likely to eat less. Side effects of this state can be unusual breath odor and constipation in a small number of people.
As a result of this state, your body has changed from a carbohydrate burning engine into a fat burning engine. Because of this, your fat stores become your body’s primary energy source, which results in weight loss.
When you eat a high carbohydrate meal, sugar from the carbohydrates quickly enters the bloodstream. In order to keep the blood sugar from reaching dangerous levels, the body starts to secrete insulin. The insulin allows the extra sugar to get stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen, but they are quickly filled up. Any extra sugar is then converted to fat, which is hard to get rid of. The Adkins theory is that if the body keeps making insulin to deal with the excess sugar, it responds less to insulin which can lead to diabetes.
According to Adkins, a body in ketosis will burn up excess fat, which can eventually return the body to a normal metabolic function. The fat in the diet can temporarily raise cholesterol levels, but it should soon return to a lower cholesterol and triglyceride level, and weight loss will occur.
In order for ketosis to occur, carbohydrate consumption should be no more than 40 grams per day. Physical activity should also be part of the process in order to get ketosis to kick in. Additionally, you should take vitamin supplements since you won’t be getting them from vegetables and fruit. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods can be added slowly after the first two weeks.
Over time, you will transition from weight loss to weight maintenance by slowly increasing carbohydrates.