How to Start the Atkins Diet

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The Atkins Diet is an extremely low-carbohydrate diet that is approached in stages. Follow the Atkins diet plan with the help of a licensed dietitian in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Weightloss and Dieting
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Charlotte Lawson, a registered and licensed dietitian here in Tampa Bay, Florida, and I have some information for you on the Atkin's Diet and maybe how you get started and maybe why this is probably not the best diet to sustain. The Atkins Diet is an extremely low or no carbohydrate diet. Now, as a dietitian, I would normally recommend 45 to 60 percent of your diet come from carbohydrates as that is the first and foremost nutrient our body wants to utilize as energy, especially our brain. Brain chooses glucose or carbohydrates as it's number one energy source so when we remove these carbohydrates from our diet, we have to find alternate sources of energy and we have to work a little harder at it as well. Now, the key weight loss component here ends up being an initial water weight loss because carbohydrates do require water to utilize, excuse me to metabolize so you see a water loss or a flush will give you that extra couple pounds right away that your body sheds initially. Now, adding protein, a lot of extra protein and sometimes a lot of extra fat our body goes through a different metabolism process and we actually send ourself into ketosis where we try to utilize fatty acids as a form of energy. Now, this is not in a desired form to utilize energy especially for the brain. If you've ever met someone that's on a very very low carbohydrate diet, they're not always pleasant and their energy level is not always up. Now, also keep in mind, that when you're choosing these proteins to try to choose low fat or lean proteins. Adding a lot of saturated fat for instance from our animal products like your bacon and steak sometimes can really be detrimental to our health and increase our risk for vascular atherosclerosis, that plaque or hardening of the arteries as well as just cardiovascular disease in general. So again, carbohydrates are important in our diet, choose complex or smart carbohydrates, high in fiber, and if you're going to increase your protein, choose lean or low fat proteins when possible. And again, Atkins or any sort of low or no carbohydrate diet is not something you should be sticking on or sticking with for a long period of time. I'm Charlotte, and eat happy.

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