Obesity is a modern lifestyle disease. It gives rise to several serious medical problems such as diabetes, blood pressure and heart disease. It is often caused by excess intake of food. However, the solution is not to cut down on all kinds of food. We need to eat nutritious food to stay healthy. What needs to be cut down is excessive intake of weight increasing calorie laden food such as carbohydrates.
The importance of cutting down on carbohydrates was first brought home to people at large by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1970s when he wrote his famous book on the subject. Millions of Americans followed his diet plan to cut their weight and improve their health.
Atkins diet deals with the problem of excessive intake of carbohydrates and seeks to replace it with protein. The rationale is that excess carbohydrates lead to release of excessive enzymes which affects the health of our pancreas. If we cut down on carbohydrates the body enters a stage of ketosis in which fat is dissolved to burn energy for our body’s requirements in the absence of carbohydrates. This has twofold healthy effect on our health. The pressure on pancreas for releasing insulin decreases. Secondly, the fat content of the body is reduced through burning leading to reduction of weight.
There are several advantages to Atkins diet.
- The problem of obesity is reduced as fat is reduced through burning.
- The problem of overeating is solved as the diet is more filling and there is no urge to eat between meals.
- Blood sugar level is maintained without much fluctuation due to decrease in carbohydrate intake which tends to burn faster and shoot up blood sugar levels.
- Toxins in the body are normally deposited in the fatty layers. By reducing fat the diet helps reduce toxins in the body.
You need to take a few precautions however before starting Atkins diet.
First, you must consult your physician for an opinion on whether the above diet is suitable for you. Your physical condition and presence of any disease needs to be considered before starting the diet.
Atkins diet must be taken in conjunction with daily exercise. This diet goes well with an exercise plan and is not suitable in isolation.
People with diabetes should not follow this diet plan. If you have a kidney problem, avoid the diet. The diet also needs to be avoided during pregnancy.