Atkins diet is a sure shot way to lose weight quickly. However, not many people are aware of the fact that this diet can go wrong in many ways. While some people may be on the diet for years, it may not have proved as effective as it should. Many people also give it up after a few days as it doesn’t seem to be working for them. This is probably because they are doing it the wrong way. While this diet is one of the most famous low carb diets, many people are still unaware of how to implement it. Listed below are nine ways in which the Atkins diet could go wrong.
Ignoring calories for carbohydrates
While on this diet, many people begin to think that only carbohydrates matter and forget all about calories. Just cutting down on carbohydrates and not keeping a check on the amount on calories, one’s intake in a day is a sure shot way of this diet going wrong. The basic fundamental of this diet is that it reduces your appetite. Hence you eat less, so naturally that you take in lesser number of calories. Therefore, it is extremely vital that you keep a check on both your carbohydrates and calories intake. While the effects are not visible immediately, one can see that the diet is not working for them if they do not mind the number of calories they eat. This can specially prove critical for elder people as working out are not an option to lose these calories. Hence, the best way to avoid this is to keep a count on both carbohydrates and calories while on this diet.
Consuming as little as 20 grams of carbs directly is a complete no no
While the Atkins diet states that a person should directly cut down on his intake of carbohydrates to a maximum of 20 grams per day, this is a complete no no. The reason behind this is very simple. First you need to understand how the diet works. Your body is made to produce fat burning enzymes that burn your fat. If you directly cut down on your dose of carbohydrates in a day, you will feel lethargic and your body will have no energy to produce these fat burning enzymes. This way you will be left feeling weak and your body won’t be burning fat at the desired speed. Hence, it is best to start with restricting your intake of carbohydrates to 80-150 grams for the first few days and slowly reduce the amount, giving your body the chance to adapt to this change in diet. Directly reducing to 20 grams of carbs can result in weakness that could be a severe case for elderly people.
Not cutting down on calories
It is a lesser known fact that calories control one’s body weight and not carbohydrates. While it is impossible to stay on a diet of only 20 grams of carbohydrates a day, it is not all that difficult to stay on a low calorie diet. Losing those extra calories is a far harder task than losing extra carbohydrates. Therefore, while on this diet, it only makes sense that one should cut down more on the quantity of calories than on carbohydrates. If one just cuts down on carbohydrates and not calories, what would follow is a state of weakness and not fat loss.
Giving up coffee is not required
The Atkins diet requires one to stay away from caffeine. However, this is not absolutely necessary. In fact, recent studies show that there are more chances of the diet going wrong if people addicted to coffee give it up. There are two reasons for this. First, there are 90 per cent chances that the person who is addicted to coffee would rather give up the diet. Second, for people addicted to coffee, it is only but obvious that they’d try finding a replacement for coffee which could have adverse effects on the diet. Caffeine on the other hand is known to have some medicinal values that help to keep the body fit. Moreover, it helps the body adapt to the diet changes that the Atkins diet brings about.
Cutting down on yogurt and milk products
The Atkins diet refrains one from consuming yogurt or milk products as it contains a good amount of carbohydrates. However, did you know plain yogurt is excellent when you’re looking to lose weight? It keeps the body stay fit as well as helps reduce body weight. It is best to eat yogurt in its plain form than in its labeled form. This form has bacteria called probiotics which converts the carbohydrates in the milk (present in yogurt) to lactic acid. This way you don’t consume any carbohydrates when eating plain yogurt.
A low carb diet should include a high fat diet
Your body needs a little amount of fat to digest the proteins you consume. If not, you would fall sick and have a stomach infection. This could also lead to a severe case of constipation. Cutting down completely on yogurt is especially not advisable for women. A low carb, low fat diet has three adverse effects. First, it makes you feel hungry. This leads to you eating more and not losing weight. Second, it slows down the fat burning process. Third, it causes digestion problems.
Atkins diet can sometimes lead to withdrawal symptoms
Recent studies show that people who are on the Atkins diet sometimes show withdrawal symptoms. This is because, most often than not, people who decide on taking up this diet are either addicted to sugar, caffeine or wheat. While the diet forbids them for consuming the same, there is a change in their blood sugar levels that lead to the occurrence of these symptoms. This usually should last for only two to three days. If these symptoms are severe, it is advisable to end the diet and consult a doctor.
While on this diet, the amount of fat broken down is more. During this process, the body releases a substance called ketones. This usually is the cause of bad breath. The best way to deal with this is by using a mouth spray, drinking mint tea or chewing gum containing xylitol and not sugar. It is also important that you drink lots of water, ideally 2-3 liters a day.
Weaker hearts and health risks
American studies show that people who undertake the Atkins diet usually suffer from weaker hearts and are exposed to massive health risks. This is because while on the diet they compromise on the amount of vitamins, minerals and nutrients the body needs. Some of the health risks include cardiac arrests, liver abnormalities, kidney stone and diabetics. To avoid this, people on this diet should try as much to include all the essential nutrients in their diet.