How to Incorporate Exercise With the Atkins Diet

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One of the major mistakes people make with the Atkins diet is not exercising. The reasoning goes: if you're not eating carbs, there's less to burn off. This is far from the truth. Exercise is enormously important during any diet, and especially so with the Atkins diet, as the diet is so unique.

Things You'll Need

  • Hand weights
  • 15 to 20 minutes a day

Strength training. This is especially important for women, who ordinarily need more strength training. Because the Atkins diet is high-meat, it's also highly acidic, which can be hard on the bones. Strength training with free weights is recommended.

Participate in cardiovascular workouts, such as walking, jogging and other active sports. However, don't make this an excuse to overeat. Yes, you'll burn off carbs via exercise, but that's the idea with the Atkins diet. You'll negate the benefits of exercise by cheating on the diet. Here's a formula: a piece of bread is equivalent to a full hour of vigorous walking. Because the diet is high in fat--which is hard on the heart--it is good to balance this out with cardiovascular fitness.

Know that you cannot continue the same diet if you are exercising a lot. For example, if you're jogging an hour a day, this is going to affect the amount of carbs you take in. Without some extra carbs, you're not going to have the energy to exercise. However, this is normally the case with intensive exercise. If you exercise 15 to 20 minutes a day, you should be able to sustain the same diet.

Because the Atkins diet often results in low energy, it is a good idea to start slowly--as little as 10 minutes a day, before entering into anything more intensive. You need to see how your body reacts to both the diet and exercise combined. The Atkins diet has the side effect of lessening muscle strength and energy. This doesn't mean that you should avoid exercise, but it does mean that you might have to cut down the length of a regimen.

Depending on the nature and frequency of your exercise, you could expand the amount and types of carbs you can eat if you have a steady regimen. The Atkins food pyramid will change according to the amount you exercise as it relates to your current weight, height and gender.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember, don't be fooled by the weight loss. The Atkins diet has quick results, but people then tend to get lax and begin eating carbs again. This can result in gaining the weight right back.
  • Drinking a lot of water is recommended when combining the Atkins diet with exercise.
  • Exercising during the Atkins diet can help your body adjust to the change in nutrients. It can be a tough balance between knowing how many carbs to take in to sustain energy for exercising, but it's necessary.
  • The Atkins diet is serious business. It can result in high insulin spikes for a small amount of carbs, so you should not enter lightly into this type of diet. Anyone with diabetes, heart or kidney problems should consult a doctor before trying the Atkins diet.
  • In fact, it is recommended that you consult a doctor about an intense diet like Atkins regardless of your current health.

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