Ayesha Raza2022/01/12 11:48
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The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate fad diet devised by Robert Atkins in the 1970s, marketed with claims that carbohydrate restriction is crucial to weight loss and that the diet offered "a high calorie way to stay thin forever".

ATKINS

ATKINS

The Atkins diet has a lot of health benefits, but it is not exactly easy on the wallet. Fresh meats are some of the most expensive items in the grocery store and when you follow Atkins, you’ll need to purchase a lot of them. However, there are simple steps that you can take to cut costs on this low-carb plan.


First of all, be creative in your meal planning. Remember that most diet books and written to entice readers to try new combinations of foods. The recipes within those books contain the most expensive ingredients. You don’t have to cook like a professional chef in order to be able to experience the benefits of the Atkins diet. There are many simple recipes that you can make that are within the plan and cost much less than the ones shown in the diet books. If you modify the meal plans with the books, you can enjoy the low carb lifestyle on a budget.


One of the most important steps to take is to buy your meats in bulk. When you stock up on large packages of ground beef, chicken and fish you cut down on your protein costs. You can separate the large packages into small freezer bags and freeze them in meal-sized portions. Two to four chicken breasts in a bag are easy to defrost and make a good-sized meal. You can also cook ground beef in many different varieties and freeze the cooked portions. Try doing a portion of the meat with taco spices, another portion with hamburger spices and the third portion with Italian spices. That way you’ll be able to use lots of hamburger meat and still have variety in your diet.


Also, look at less tender cuts of meat to trim costs in your grocery money. While fillet mignon may be tasty, it doesn’t fit into every budget. Less tender cuts of beef and pork make excellent crock-pot meals, and using a slow cooker will help tenderize them.


Look to alternative protein sources like eggs and tofu. Both of these items pack a powerful protein punch for a fraction of the cost of meats. Nuts are a great protein source as well, but they can become expensive very quickly. Some recipes call for expensive macadamia nuts and cashews. Walnuts, peanuts and almonds contain just as much protein for a fraction of the cost.


Mixed vegetable salads will make a large portion of your daily Atkins meals. While it may be tempting to buy bagged salad that is already chopped, you are going to be paying $2 to $3 per bag. You can buy three heads of different types of lettuce for the same cost and make the equivalent of six bags of prepackaged salad. Also, consider investing in a salad spinner. This handy device will make homemade salads crispy and satisfying.


Be creative with your menus and use produce and meats that are on sale. If you’ve got a recipe that calls for chicken breasts and turkey happens to be on sale, go ahead and substitute this week. Make sure to carry an acceptable food list with you the grocery store so you can tell whether a sale food is an okay substitution on the Atkins plan.


When you go to the store, you can also cut costs by limiting your purchase of low-carb packaged foods. These items are really expensive, and sometimes full of harmful chemicals. They may also contain hidden carbs which can stall your weight loss efforts. The Atkins plan can be effectively followed without using any of these products. Unless it’s a special occasion, skip them all together.


Finally, its best to plan your meals and your shopping trips so you can buy your groceries in an effective manner. Going to the grocery store unprepared or, even worse, hungry can spell disaster for your budget. Plan each week’s menu out ahead and time and then buy what you need to make those meals.


The final phase of the Atkins diet plan is lifetime maintenance. This is the time to continue your new eating plan at a maintenance level and keep yourself at your goal weight. The habits you have created will now become a permanent way of life. During the third phase, pre-maintenance, you learned exactly how many carbohydrate grams your body can tolerate and still maintain your ideal weight. In this phase, you’ll put this approach into practice and learn to live with your ideal carb count on a daily basis.


During lifetime maintenance you will continue to expand your food selections and eat more carbohydrate grams than you did previously. Depending on your specific metabolic needs, you can eat some of the foods that you enjoyed prior to starting your weight loss program. If you do choose to eat these foods, they must be moderated and used sparingly.


Keeping your daily carb count right around your ideal carb count is the easiest way to maintain your weight loss. You weight may fluctuate by two or three pounds from time to time, but this is perfectly normal. This weight fluctuation is due to hormonal changes in your body.


During maintenance you’ll also learn how to overcome your previous bad habits. Losing weight and keeping it off means dealing with real-world situations. You’ll develop coping strategies for stress eating, emotional eating and holiday eating. You’ll also develop plans for dealing with eating out in restaurants. The challenges during the maintenance phase are many, but they can be overcome.


It’s all about preparation. When you’ve followed the Atkins diet plan for a long time, you’ve learned exactly how many carbohydrate grams you can handle. You’ve also learned what foods trigger carbohydrate cravings and which foods lead to binges. You’ve developed coping strategies over the course of your OWL and pre-maintenance phases that you will have to use in lifetime maintenance.


To prepare yourself for lifetime maintenance, make a promise to yourself never to go back to your previous weight. Make the commitment by donating all of your “fat” clothes. This way, if you do start to gain more than five pounds, you’ll know that you have to buckle down and eat better. Also, write down in a journal or in a list format all of the benefits of being at your new, thinner size. Write about how much better you feel and how healthy you are. This will cement your new way of life into your mind and your heart.


Choose your lifetime maintenance weight goal range. This is a range of weight that is acceptable to you. For example, if your initial weight loss goal was to be 165 lbs, your lifetime maintenance goal will be 160 to 170 pounds. If your weight starts to creep up toward 170 pounds, then you know that you are being too lenient with your carbohydrate grams. Never let your weight vary more than 3 to 5 pounds in either direction.


Make a commitment to weigh yourself at least once a week. This once-a-week weigh in will give you a good idea of how you are doing on your maintenance program. Use that weekly weight as a guideline for your approach in eating for the following week.


In addition to these guidelines, make sure to continue an exercise program. Your metabolism depends entirely upon the amount of exercise that you are getting. Making the commitment to exercise goes hand in hand with the commitment to keep eating correctly.


By following these guidelines, you can make lifetime maintenance simple and easy.

The Atkins diet is one of the simplest weight loss plans to follow. Although the principles are clearly set out in the books, there are some common misconceptions that occur for dieters. These mistakes can make a big difference in the amount of weight you lose and effectiveness of the diet overall. If Atkins isn’t working for you, or you find yourself suddenly gaining weight after weeks of effective dieting, make sure you aren’t making any of these common mistakes.


First, make sure to be patient with your weight loss. If you lose 8 lbs per week on the Induction phase and then slow down once you enter ongoing weight loss phase, this is perfectly normal. The level of carbohydrate grams that are acceptable on the Induction portion of the diet are not meant to carry you through the rest of your dieting experience. Induction is meant to break you of carbohydrate cravings and detoxify your body from sugar. Starting with the ongoing weight loss phase, you will begin introducing small levels of carbohydrate grams each week. This may slow down weight loss a bit from the level it was at during Induction, but this is completely normal.


Also, people are different and react differently to the diet. Some people lose weight in spurts, and other lose weight more steadily. A plateau can last for a few weeks and then voila, you’ve lost five pounds in a matter of a few days.


Make sure you are avoiding caffeine in all of its forms as well as aspartame, a common artificial sweetener. Both of these chemicals can impact blood sugar levels negatively. Look out for caffeine in coffee and diet sodas. Watch out for aspartame in diet sodas and sugar-free gelatin. These can cause cravings for sugar and take your body out of ketosis after just one serving.


Watch your daily intake of cheese. Although cheese is on the acceptable foods list, it does have small amount of carbohydrates. Your best bet is to limit your cheese intake to 4 oz per day. You can have more on special occasions, but it should not be used as your mainstay for protein. Meats, eggs and tofu are much better choices and don’t contain carbohydrate grams.


Remember to emphasize vegetables during Induction and beyond. Your carbohydrate grams should be primarily derived from leafy, green vegetables and other acceptable vegetable choices. Vegetables fill you up without spiking your blood sugar. They provide essential fiber and nutrients that help your weight loss efforts and overall health. After induction, you should have 3-4 cups of salad and 1 cup of cooked vegetables each day. Make sure the vegetables you are using are on the acceptable foods list. Eliminating vegetables from your diet can shut down your metabolism and cause your weight loss to stall.


It is also very important that you eat regularly while you are on the Atkins plan. Never go more than five waking hours without eating a combined snack of protein and fats. Two things happen when you skip meals. First, you cause a blood sugar drop that will have you craving carbohydrates like bread and sugar. Secondly, continued periods of not eating will slow down your metabolism and make it even harder to lose weight.


Finally, make sure you are drinking enough water each day. Water has a myriad of benefits for every human being, not just those on the Atkins diet. Thirst can sometimes be masked as hunger, so staying well hydrated will keep you from craving foods you shouldn’t be eating. Water also helps you avoid constipation, which is an occasional side effect of the Atkins diet. Drinking 8 eight ounce glasses of water per day will also help you flush out the toxins from your system that are produced when you burn fat.


These common mistakes can make people frustrated with the Atkins diet when there is no need to be. If you are just starting out on the diet, make sure to prepare yourself for these mistakes. If you’ve been on the diet for some time, evaluate your eating habits and make sure you are following the program correctly.


Sugar is everywhere you look and it might pop up in some surprising places. Did you know that most whole grain breads have at least one form of sugar in them? We have a national sweet tooth epidemic. Even if you don’t eat a lot of sugary treats you may experience intense sugar cravings in the first few weeks of the Atkins diet. So many “healthy” carbohydrate foods have hidden sugars in them, your body may be experiencing withdrawal.


The problem with sugar is that your blood sugar is tied into your energy levels and your overall health. When your blood sugar is too low, you will experience intense cravings. High blood sugar is a result of eating high-sugar meals. When you eat concentrated sugar, your blood sugar will raise to high levels. Your pancreas thinks there is something wrong and then it secretes insulin to lower the blood sugar. As this happens more, you can create pre-diabetic conditions in your body as your pancreas becomes worn out and eventually cannot secrete insulin.


Fortunately, getting started on the Atkins diet plan can put a stop to this cycle. However, this doesn’t mean that sugar cravings go away automatically. Sugar products are everywhere and temptation is sometimes hard to fight.


The best way to approach sugar cravings is with planning. If you maintain a balance of protein, fat and fiber in your daily diet you will prevent blood sugar drops that lead to sugar cravings. Also, do not go too long between meals without eating. Snacks are an important part of keeping your blood sugar stable. Have some handy snacks like cheese, nuts, seeds and boiled eggs on hand with you so you can quickly stabilize your blood sugar without turning to sweet treats.


Sugar cravings can also be a sign of a nutritional deficiency. When you are low on magnesium, you will crave chocolate and other sweets. Zinc and chromium can also stave off sugar cravings. If you aren’t taking a good multivitamin supplement with these minerals, start immediately. If you are and you are still experiencing cravings, consider trying additional supplements of these nutrients.


Another tactic is to brush your teeth. Many Atkins dieters find that brushing their teeth or using Listerine breath strips can help with cravings. Both methods will numb your mouth and prevent you from wanting to eat. Drinking two large glasses of water can also help eliminate cravings. If your stomach is full, then you’ll be less likely to reach for a sugary treat.


Sometimes out of sight, out of mind is the best approach. If you find yourself overcome with cravings while you are at home, get outside and take a walk. The distraction will have you forgetting your sugar craving in no time. Calling a friend for support or logging into an Atkins support forum can also go a long way toward preventing you from succumbing to sugar cravings.


Having a low-carb version of your favorite treat is another good idea. You are less likely to feel deprived if you can have a satisfying low carb treat. There are a wide variety of low-carb products available on the market that can beat your sweet tooth. Low-carb yogurt, chocolate, ice cream and candy can all help you stay on the Atkins plan and still get something sweet to eat.


Sugar cravings are a reality of following the Atkins plan, but the previous tips will help you overcome them and stay committed to your weight loss efforts.


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