Shakes, pills, potions and lotions – we’ve heard a million ways to lose weight, but what actually works? When choosing a weight loss program, it makes sense to choose one founded on scientific research, that’s supported by experts. Atkins is probably the most famous weight loss program, perhaps because it has been around for more than 40 years – and because the program is backed by science, with long-term results from thousands of consumers across the globe.
Atkins is based on a low-carb eating plan that incorporates plenty of healthy, fresh vegetables, small amounts of high fibre fruits and a small amount of complex “good” carbs. In addition to this, the Atkins range of products include sweets, bars, shakes and snacks that fit the macronutrient profile of a low carb diet (high protein, high fat, low sugar, low carb). So, why have so many people achieved results by following this sort of diet plan? Read on to find out.
The low-down on low carbs
Being hungry is a horrible side-effect of dieting, but if you’re losing weight the right way then hunger should not be an issue. Look at it this way, if you’re hungry on a diet – that diet is not going to work long term. Sooner or later hunger pangs are going to go into overdrive and you can end up binging or throwing in the towel on the diet altogether, which is when any weight lost will quickly return.
Low-carb diets work only when done right, this means rather than just removing carbs altogether – which will leave you feeling super hungry – you change your portion sizes to small amounts of carbs with a low glycemic index that are nutrient rich – think sweet potato, legumes and brown rice. By lowering carbs and increasing levels of good fat and protein you will feel fuller for longer.
When carb stores are low in the body, it forces the body to turn to fat for energy, therefore your body will begin to burn up stored fat and the process of weight loss has begun! For a more in-depth look at this process, check out this video:
How does the Atkins diet work?
The Atkins diet is a four phase program, or you can simply adopt the principles of a low carb diet and then incorporate Atkins products once or twice a day, or throughout the week when you want a treat or snack. The products in the Atkins range are a balance of the right protein, carb and fat levels for a low-carb diet, so you can indulge in an Atkins treat without hindering your weight loss efforts. When looking at your carb options, a typical low-carb diet should include small portions of these “good” complex carbs
- Sweet potato
- Brown rice
- High fibre fruits
And very limited to none of these processed or “bad” carbs:
- Processed food or meats
- Starchy carbs
- Soft drinks
As mentioned in this all-questions-answered article The Atkins Diet: Everything You Need to Know (Literally) by Authority Nutrition, the four phases of the Atkins diet are:
Phase 1 (Induction)
Under 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks. Eat high-fat, high-protein foods, with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick-starts the weight loss.
Phase 2 (Balancing)
Slowly add more nuts, low-carb vegetables and small amounts of fruit back to your diet.
Phase 3 (Fine-tuning)
When you are very close to your goal weight, add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down.
Phase 4 (Maintenance)
Here you can eat as many healthy carbs as your body can tolerate without regaining weight.
You can incorporate the products from the Atkins range in conjunction with the above phases, or simply adopt a low-carb, high (healthy fat) and high protein diet. Some of the healthy fats and protein options you can begin to implement into your diet are:
- Oily fish
- Small amounts of full fat dairy (e.g. cheese or organic butter)
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Lean meat
The Atkins range of products includes shakes and bars and sweets. According to the Atkins website, the products are “absolutely delicious – yet low in sugar and carbohydrates – so the perfect complement to your New Atkins healthy eating plan. In fact, used together, they’re the best way to achieve your weight loss goal”.
All of the products in the Atkins range can be used throughout the four phases of the program or simply incorporated into your diet as a better option when sugar cravings hit! For this reason, the Atkins range includes plenty of options as listed below
- Advantage Chocolate Brownie Bar – 18g Protein, 1.1g Sugar, 3.1g Carbs
- Advantage Cookies and Cream – 8.2g Protein, 1.1g Sugar, 1.4g Carbs
- Advantage Chocolate Raspberry – 7.5g Protein, 1.2g Sugar, 1.5g Carbs
- Advantage Fudge Caramel – 15g Protein, 2.3g Sugar, 2.9g Carbs (pictured, above)
- Advantage Chocolate Shake Mix – 17.8g Protein, 1.1g Sugar, 3.1g Carbs
- Advantage Vanilla Shake Mix – 17g Protein, 1.3g Sugar, 2.7g Carbs
- Chocolate Peanut Candies – 4g Protein, 0.5g Sugar, 1.3g Carbs
- Milk Chocolate Bar – 1.7g Protein, 2g Sugar, 2.3g Carbs
- Chocolate Coconut Bar – 4.8g Protein, 0.9g Sugar, 2.8g Carbs
- Milk Chocolate Mint Crisp Bar – 1.5 g Protein, 1.8g Sugar, 2.1g Carbs
Cooking with Atkins – Recipes
As part of any diet, it’s important to make sure that you are consuming adequate intake of fresh vegetables with small amounts of fresh fruit. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, mixed lettuce and bok choy will increase weight loss and provide your body with stacks of nutrients and energy to keep that metabolism burning!
Fresh fruits like strawberries, blueberries and banana will provide fibre to help your body remove toxins while also boosting your intake of vitamins and minerals. Check out these yummy and super simple recipes from the Aktins website that you can incorporate into your daily meal plans: Almond Berry Smoothie for a small afternoon meal or the Almond Protein Pancakes and Blueberries for a yummy and nutritionally balanced breakfast.