The Atkins Pyramid of permitted foods
The Atkins Diet is one of the most famous ones out there. It is composed of four phases, the induction phase, the ongoing weight loss phase, the pre-maintenance phase, and the lifetime maintenance phase. The induction phase lasts two weeks. In this phase you will burn off your fat reserves and free yourself from food dependencies. It is very important to avoid forbidden foods such as bread, pasta, fruits, and certain vegetables. Be sure to quit eating when you are no longer hungry. Your daily consumption of glucides must not exceed 20 grams a day. The ongoing weight loss phase lasts for several weeks. In many ways it resembles the previous phase. Now your food intake may include small red fruits or berries, cheese such as cottage cheese or mozzarella, or nuts such as almonds or walnuts. Another choice is sunflower seeds. You may also add lemon juice or tomato juice to your diet at this point. Pay strict attention to the quantities of all these additional foods and do not add more than 5 grams of glucides to your daily intake.
Your consumption of glucides increases by 10 grams a week during the pre-maintenance phase. During this phase you have to add foods one at a time to your diet. Each week you add 10 grams to your daily glucide intake. Permitted fruits include kiwi, peach, apples or grapefruit, (half an apple or grapefruit per day), or a third of a banana. Other choices include lentils, dried green beans, chick peas, long grain brown rice, oatmeal, potatoes, and carrots. Among the principles to follow in the lifetime maintenance phase are: avoid prepared foods (they tend to contain excessive glucides), stay away from sugar, practice sports or exercise a half hour a day, and moderate your caffeine and alcohol consumption.
You'll need a book to follow this diet
The Atkins Diet is fairly easy to follow, at least if and when you reach the later stages. You don’t have to count calories. It is said to help fight heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. Among its disadvantages are the major changes in dietary habits and the lack of variety in the early stages. During these stages many people suffer from constipation due to the lack of fiber and fruits.
Here are two sample menus:
Menu 1 (Induction phase) Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with nitrate-free bacon and stewed tomatoes. Lunch: Chicken salad with nitrate-free ham and cheese. A fried egg with hamburger. Supper: Lamb chops, braised endives, and cheese.
Menu 2 (Ongoing weight loss phase) Breakfast: Fried eggs and creamed salmon. Lunch: Steak (half pound) with spinach, cucumber, and celery salad. Supper: Shrimp cocktail with mayonnaise. Roast chicken and red pepper. Cream cheese.
Some of the information in this article comes from a fascinating new book, La Bible des Régimes, written by Jenny de Jonquières, and published by Amérik Media. Her book describes more than 80 diets and weight reduction programs. Each diet is presented with 5 menu plans, a detailed discussion of its advantages and disadvantages, and lots more. This information-packed book is presently available only in French. For more information consult the publisher’s website www.amerik-media.com.