Nutrition : How to Follow Dr. Atkins’ Diet
My name is Christina Marquette, and I’m a
registered dietitian with the Austin Regional Clinic, and I’m going to talk to you about
how to follow the Atkins diet. The traditional Atkins diet is a four-phase program. In the
first phase you are severely restricting carbohydrate to twenty grams or less per day. In the second
phase you start to add back in a little bit of carbohydrate, primarily from different
vegetables. The third phase is adding in slightly more. Here, you’re starting to include a few
more fruits. And then the fourth phase is going to be the highest carbohydrate level.
It’s still considered a low carb diet, but this is where you start to tran, transition
into more normal eating. There are a lot of cautions to this particular diet. The first
phase is very low carbohydrate. Twenty grams is extremely low. The general mech recommendations
for adequate carbohydrate intake actually suggest that the majority of people need at
least a hundred and thirty grams of carbohydrate. What happens; when you get below that your
body actually goes into a state of ketosis, and Dr. Atkins talks about this as this is
the main premise behind his theory for weight loss. When you go into ketosis that means
that you don’t have enough carbohydrate in your body to use for fuel, so your body starts
breaking down fat to try and use that for energy, and ketones are formed, or ketone
bodies, and if that level of ketones actually gets too high it can actually lead to severe
consequences; things like even going into a coma or having problems with your kidneys,
so you don’t want to be in that first phase for very long. And again, it really is recommended
that you don’t do that phase at all because it is so severely restrictive in carbohydrate.
Some of the additional unpleasant side effects include bad breath, and possibly some hair
loss, so the first phase is really not recommended. Getting into phase three or four, that actually
can be a slightly healthier diet, cause’ you are including some more carbohydrates, you
are choosing high fiber types of carbohydrates, trying to avoid refined sources of carbohydrate.
So at that point, you are getting into more of a basic healthy balanced diet. But again,
the first couple of phases are generally not recommended for the majority of people. So,
those are just a few tips for how to follow Dr. Atkins diet.