Controversies and Misconceptions About the Atkins Diet for Weight Loss

In 1963, at a weight of 224 pounds, Robert Atkins was sick and overweight. Years of stress, work load, and poor eating habits had taken their toll. As an American physician and cardiologist, he knew that he needed to lose weight to become healthier. Little did he know that the weight-loss diet he implemented would drastically change how we think about nutrition. His high-fat diet rocked the conventional notions that low-fat foods were required for weight loss and proper health. Even today, this controversial diet continues to fight against misconceptions and criticism despite helping millions of people to lose weight.

Emerging in an era of low-fat promotion for healthy snacks, the Atkins Diet faced stiff competition. Years of scientific research (mostly directed by biased nutritionists and funded by agricultural interests) showed that high-cholesterol diets could increase the risk of heart disease. The findings prompted press releases advising people to eat less animal products and avoid fats. Due to the controversial nature of the Atkins Diet, serious research into low-carb diets has only recently been conducted. Ironically, more and more studies are demonstrating that high-fat diets actually reduce the risk of heart disease. Sadly, studies with these conclusions do not receive as much attention as those which highlight high-carb diets. In addition, the grain-based food industry is much more likely to fund studies that hypothesize the superiority of high-carb diets, helping to perpetuate the myth.

A series of studies in the mid-2000s showed that the Atkins Diet helped overweight patients lose weight as fast as or faster than individuals on the Ornish, Weight Watchers, Zone, or other diets. Undeterred, opponents of the Atkins Diet stated that the weight loss resulted from reduced food energy, not the lack of carbohydrates. Other critics claimed that the Atkins Diet still increased the risk of cardiovascular disorders because of the high cholesterol consumption (despite the research which suggested otherwise). As if that was not enough misinformation, promoters of other diets asserted that the Atkins Diet was 80% more expensive than the average American food budget. This figure was calculated by including recipes listed in an Atkins nutrition cookbook that contained high-cost ingredients, such as lobster tails (which were added to the cookbook to demonstrate the variety of potential foods on the diet).

Another misconception is that some people believe the Atkins Diet promotes eating unlimited amounts of fatty meats. Dr. Robert Atkins himself stated that the diet is “not a license to gorge.” Although the media or the opponents may claim the Atkins Diet promotes an all-the-steak-you-can-eat-and-still-lose-weight attitude, this is not the case. Also, the diet mandates limited carbohydrate consumption for just the first two weeks. Afterwards, carbs are gradually increased to adjust dieters to a healthy food regimen and avoid the after-diet shock that many dieters experience. The result of the Atkins Nutritional Approach is an informed individual who can maintain an ideal weight for the rest of his/her life.

Vegetarian Diet Plan for Weight Loss

There are many reasons that someone will choose to take on a vegetarian lifestyle. It might be that you are concerned about the treatment of animals. Perhaps you are trying to be get healthier by cutting out red meat. You might not realize that a vegetarian diet can also help you to lose weight. If you choose to start a vegetarian diet for weight loss you need to make sure that you are making healthy choices. By cutting out meat you can see dramatic changes in your waistline, but you want to do it the right way. If you change to a vegetarian diet plan and all you eat is bananas, you are not going to give your body enough fuel to keep you moving throughout the day.

Changing to a vegetarian diet for weight loss is a great idea; just make sure that you pay attention to what you are eating. This way you are sure to get all the nutrients you need. It is not just about cutting out red meats or fatty animal protein; it is about making lifestyle changes to help the way you look and feel.

Here are five areas of nutrition that you need to be aware of when cutting meat out of your diet. The average meat eater gets these vitamins and minerals from meat, so you have to keep an eye out for these things in other places.

1. Protein – no doubt you have heard people say to vegetarians “how do you get enough protein?” There are actually lots of places to get protein that do not come from animal flesh. Protein helps to fuel our bodies and keeps our muscles working properly. You can get plenty of protein from other foods like legumes, nuts, whole grains, and soy or tofu.

2. Iron – again people tend to think that vegetarians are all anemic because they don’t get enough iron in their diet. This is something you need to pay attention too, but just like protein there are many other places to get iron. Iron helps to keep your blood flowing and strong. You can get iron from whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, dried beans, and dried fruit. Keep in mind that your body needs vitamin C to properly absorb iron, so make sure that you are getting plenty of that in your diet as well.

3. Vitamin B12 – the truth is, most people do not get enough of this vital vitamin in their diet. Vitamin B12 can help with the production of red blood cells. This can dramatically affect energy and mood. There are only a few non animal related places where you can get vitamin B12; dark and leafy vegetables are one of them. You can also find this vitamin in eggs, cheese, and other dairy sources. If you are cutting back on dairy you might want to consider taking a supplement.

4. Calcium – this mineral keeps bones strong as well as teeth. Everyone knows that you can get calcium from dairy, but often vegetarians try and cut back on dairy products as well as other animal products. Dark green vegetables like kale, broccoli, and spinach all have high amounts of calcium in them.

5. Zinc – this is a lesser known mineral that people typically get from eating meat products. Zinc helps your body to create enzymes and which help process protein in the system. On a vegetarian diet you can get zinc from wheat germ, nuts, soy, and whole grains.

If you are able to watch the levels of all of these vitamins and minerals you should be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle. Being a vegetarian means paying attention to the foods you eat and how much you are taking in to stay healthy.

Top Weight Loss Diet – "PROTEINOPIA"

So what is the top weight loss diet? Well, it’s “PROTEINOPIA”… duh. You say you’ve never heard of it before? Well, here’s your first glimpse of it. You might want to remain seated as you read this… you’re in for a delicious surprise.

Top Weight Loss Diet – The ProteinOpia Method

First the name. I call it PROTEINOPIA because this diet is based around protein. The bulk of your diet is protein. So it’s like a protein UTOPIA.

Know this: Protein has natural metabolism-boosting properties. This basically means you burn more calories while doing nothing. One other key component about protein… when taken with carbs, it helps block the immediate absorption of simple sugars into your bloodstream. This prevents spikes in your blood sugar.

So back to this high protein diet.

What I want you to do is have 6 small meals a day. This is easy because 3 of the “meals” will be protein shakes. So now you’re down to 3 meals with food.

For breakfast, focus the meal around eggs. Some black beans on the side will add even more protein as well as much needed fiber.

For lunch, focus the meal around chicken, tuna, salmon, or turkey. A good idea is to put one of those on a bed of lettuce and treat it like a salad.

For dinner, focus the meal around a lean red meat. You can have 1-2 vegetables on the side…. NOT including potatoes.

Here’s the key thing I want you to remember regardless of if you’re having a protein shake or food… make sure you have at least 20 grams of protein in any meal you have.

These are just general parameters to think about. Use your common-sense and base meals off these ideals. There is plenty of flexibility built into this. If you’re looking for quick weight loss, try this top weight loss diet out and see for yourself why high protein diets such as these are used by many dieters.