The Atkins diet program or the Atkins diet was named after Robert Atkin, who devised a plan for his own weight issues. He had tremendous success with the program and decided to write a book about it that instantly became very popular.

The main focus of the Atkins diet is the use of a low carbohydrate diet or a low carb diet. Through his research, he was able to link obesity and serious weight problems to the consumption of three bad carbohydrate items which were sugar, flour and high fructose corn syrup. He found that these three ingredients were present in alarming quantities in almost all Western foods.

He concluded that elimination of these ingredients or at least a reduced intake would result in significant weight loss. The Atkins diet program has had a lot of success over the years and it is still one of the most popular diet programs available today.

More information about the Atkins diet program

The Atkins diet has four stages to it, each of which is discussed briefly in the sections below.

  • The Induction stage – This is stage where people see the most amount of fat loss with this diet program. One can lose anywhere between 5-10 pounds per week. This is the stage where carbohydrate consumption is severely restricted. The diet will give very specific instructions about what carbohydrates and how much of it can be consumed.
  • The ongoing weight loss stage – This is the second stage of the diet where carbohydrate levels are increased to more healthy levels. The first phase is a stage where the carbohydrates are severely restricted whereas this stage will be a little bit more lenient on carbohydrate intake. Though the levels are increased, it will be maintained at a level where weight loss still occurs.
  • A pre-maintenance stage – This is another stage where the level of carbohydrates that you consume is increased again. This stage is largely dependent on how well the user or dieter is able to understand his or her body. They will have to stop pr limit their carbohydrate intake at a point where they are able to still consume it without gaining any more weight.
  • Lifetime maintenance – This is the stage where the dieter will use all of what they have learned in the previous three stages to manage their carbohydrate intake in such a way that they are completely in control of their weight levels.

The diet was extremely popular in 2003 and 2004 when it was estimated that almost one out of eleven Americans were on the Atkins diet. In 2005 however, Robert Atkins died after a viral infection and the diet lost a lot of its popularity after that. It still continues to be a popular diet that has a large following although a lot of critics have criticized the Atkins diet program as being too demanding and unhealthy for the user.

The diet also became unpopular as it was a very expensive diet to follow for most people. The suggested items in an Atkins diet were usually the more expensive items that you would find at a grocery store which was not something that all Americans could afford on a regular basis.