Weight loss with Atkins

Health and Lifestyle

With the rising cost of Healthcare and the limitations of Health Insurance in the Developed and developing Nations alike there has been a perceptible paradigm shift amongst the Health care providers and the masses. The shift is primarily that of graduating from Curative Health care towards Preventive Healthcare.

The emperesis is self evident wherein the former is exponentially more expensive than the latter. To further compound the issue the emotional trauma and the irreversible course of lifestyle crippling diseases such as coronary diseases only further reiterate the fact that it is best to prevent the onset of disease rather than to treat.

The impact is borne both by the individual and the Insurance Company hence the advent of Preventive Health. Weight gain or Obesity has far reaching consequences, which may range from cosmetic to medical. The cosmetic impact is that of loss of personal self esteem and quality of life whilst the medical impact is primarily the premature onset of lifestyle diseases such as Diabetes Mellitus and Coronary artery diseases.

The theory of Gain

A few pounds extra is being overweight whereas having many extra pounds is Obesity. If statistics are an index the coming decade could well witness many Americans succumbing to the hazards of Obesity which would be but second to only smoking in the incidence of preventable morbidity parameters

The parameter to gauge is the Body Mass Index (BMI) which can peg the person . When above the 95th percentile for age and gender it is defined as overweight whereas when between the 85th and 95th percentile it is best known as Obesity.

One of the most sensitive of Obesity indicators is the Body Mass Index ( BMI). The body weight and height is measured and the same are used to compute the BMI.

Consequently the same are plotted against the correlating age and gender on a wider scale and the percentile is so computed .

When the input (Food intake) exceeds the output (Calories expenditure) - the output is a positive deficit and translates into weight gain.

Conversely, when the input is less than the output it leads to a negative deficit, which in turn leads to weigh loss.

Control Mechanism

There are innumerable schools of thought as to the ideal modality of weight control. The most widely accepted concept is that of diet control with increase in physical activity.

The market abounds in a plethora of gizmos with claims of drastic weight loss within a fraction of time, which warrant minimal effort on the part of the user. These are not without peril as they are fraught with pitfalls and may alter body mechanics irreversibly.

The scientifically validated measures are hinged on the concept of maximizing calorie expenditure using the modality of minimizing calorie rich food and increasing calorie burnout and most importantly the success of the venture depends on the commitment of the user.

This write up will endeavor to elaborate on the concept of diet modification utilizing the model of one of the most effective of diets Atkins Diet.

Why the Atkins Diet?

The diets are many regardless the most widely accepted and scientifically tempered diet is that of Atkins t which has drawn tremendous critical flak in the recent past nevertheless it is still the most effective and scientifically validated diet in select groups.

The Mechanic of Atkins

The mechanics of Atkins mimics the physiological process of weight loss and the crux of mechanics being altering the Metabolism of the body.

The normal mechanics of the body ensure that glucose is burnt as first fuel in order to generate energy. This is altered so as to use fats as the first fuel and creating a ketosis like state wherein this process is called as Lipolysis and hence initiates and accelerates the process of weight loss. Complementing the same the ketosis alters the insulin production in the body thereby ensuring that production of fats is curtailed and this initiates the process of weight loss.

What is the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins diet has evolved based on the concept of 'high protein low carbohydrate' and is best implemented in four cycles. The induction phase is the first of the phases and is best identified by restricting the carbohydrates to twenty grams per day and the best source being salads and non starchy vegetables.

The second phase better known as the ongoing weight loss phases increases the carbohydrate content by a moderate five grams to twenty five grams and is constituted by high residue foods and the carbohydrate content is increased by five grams every year until the weight loss stops.

The weight loss so achieved is best sustained by decreasing the total carbohydrate content by a modest five grams.

The third phase or the Pre Maintenance phase as it is more commonly referred to focuses on translating weight loss by weight maintenance modalities which is best achieved by an ten gram graded increment of carbohydrates until a gradual weight loss is sustained.

The final Lifetime Maintenance Phase is best achieved by controlling carbohydrates intake while widening the spectrum of food stuffs which can be eaten without compromising on the weight loss so achieved setting the user well on the path of optimum weight control without compromising on the state of health.

It is then not without reason that the Atkin diet which was enunciated by Dr Atkins way back in 1972 and not surprisingly over thirty million Americans have been the beneficiaries of this revolutionary weight control plan.

Atkins, a Bane or Boon?

The advent of Atkins diet has been a raging debate since it's inception with the medical fraternity gives a fragmented verdict on the same.

The critics opine that overindulgence in ingestion of fats could well increase the preponderance of coronary heart disease.

Concurrently a critical insight to the hazards of Atkins is but incomplete until studies which run into years rather than mere months are conducted.

The supporters of Atkins far outnumber the detractors considering that with thirty million Americans adopting the diet there is yet to be an epidemic of disease in America.

With the exponential increase in the incidence of Obesity Atkins is here to stay and there is more to it than a mere fad considering that it has stood the test of time considering that the year 1972 to 2005 is some distance traveled!

author: Sanjay Nakra

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