If you are considering the Atkins plan and want to know why the diet works...the following information comes from Colette Heimowitz, M.Sc., director of education and research for Atkins Health & Medical Information Services.
Though various experts once speculated that the Atkins diet is impossible to stick with, they have been forced to reconsider since the first long-term study of the diet got underway last year that the university of Pennsylvania Weight and Eating Disorder Clinic. Not only did test subjects on the Atkins diet lose twice as much weight by the 12 week mark as those on a traditional, low-calorie, low-fat, high-carb diet, but Atkins dieters continued to lose weight twice as fast by the 26-week mark. Plus during the study, test subjects on Atkins have been less likely to cheat or drop out then traditional dieters.
Experts concur that most diets ….even trendy ones like the Zone...Keep calories low. The Atkins diet, however, works by keeping the carbohydrates low, forcing the body-which relies on carbs to fuel the brain-to convert your body fat into carb-like substances that are quickly burned off.
You can lose weight eating as many as 2,200 calories a day! On ordinary diets, you have to burn off all the calories you eat plus 3,500 more to lose a single pound. That's why most diets limit you to a paltry 1,000 to 1,500 calories a day. But since the Atkins diet forces the body to use its fat stores not by a calorie shortage, but by a carb shortage, you get to eat a lot more. Around 1,800 to 2,200 calories a day during the weight loss phase of the Atkins diet....according to Colette Heimowitz of the Atkins Center.
Not only do you get to eat more calories then on any other weight-loss plan, your hunger diminishes since "protein and fat are slower to digest, staying in your system longer and making you feel full longer. Also the fat conversion process triggered by this diet-called ketosis-produces a by-product called ketones. Ketones are an appetite suppressant.
There are two ways that traditional diets make a sluggish metabolism worse. First... anytime you cut calories by more then 250 a day, your body fears starvation and slows the rate at which you burn calories. Second...when you take in fewer calories then your body needs to sustain itself, it burns stored fat AND muscle for fuel. When you lose muscle, your metabolism drops. But on Atkins you don't cut calories, so you stay out of starvation mode. Plus, all the protein in the plan stimulates muscle GROWTH, which increases metabolism. And the number of calories required by ketosis increases your metabolism even more.
On other diets you only burn stored fat after everything you've eaten is burned; on Atkins, you constantly burn stored fat-so you lose more of the flabby stuff.