The atkins diet

Posted: August 7th, 2013





The Atkins Diet


In 1972, Dr. Robert Atkins formulated the Atkins diet that became among the original diets based on carbohydrates constituents. Diets similar to the Atkins diet include the Mediterranean diet and the South Beach Diet. The primary idea behind the Atkins diet involves starving the body of carbohydrates for a given period in turn encouraging the burning of fats as fuel instead of glucose. This process is referred to as ‘Ketosis’ and is an effective method for losing weight as well as the cornerstone behind low-carb consumption (Ahearne, 12). Primarily, the body implements the use of glucose followed by ketones for energy production. Therefore, if glucose is absent, then the body will resort to burning ketones to produce energy. Dr. Robert Atkins had the ketosis process in mind when he developed his diet on low carbohydrate. The atkins diet became popular in the early 2000 but many people failed to stick to the diet and eventually reverted to previous feeding habits after losing their weight. Dr. Atkins intended that the diet by implemented for an entire lifetime requiring lifestyle changes needed to be adhered to (Skinner, 34).


Nutrition guides provide an anagram for diet planning principles. These principles are represented by six letters A, B, C, D, M, and V; also referred to as six principles on dietary planning. Primarily, A and B stand for adequacy and balance respectively. Adequacy in diet terms implies that a diet incorporated with all the essential components. It meets the recommended amounts of minerals, vitamins, fibers and other components essential for body functions. Balancing a diet implies consuming equal amounts nutrients in the diet. It helps maintain a well-rounded diet plan where no nutrients overcrowd the other (Eyton, 54).

C and D stand for calorie and density respectively. C aims at managing the amount of calories consumed in a meal to regulate the energy supplied to the body. Density implies nutrient density in a diet plan. It represents the formula of calorie percentage in the body. For example, a diet high in calories but low on nutrients has lower energy density than a diet high in calories and low nutrients. M and V stand for moderation and variety respectively. Moderation implies emphasizing a particular part of the diet plan while providing enough amounts of the other major nutrients. Moderation helps maintain calorie count at the required level. Variety on the other hand simply means consuming varied food constituents. The main aim in this case is to keep the food diet from being monotonous (Eyton, 67).

In comparison, Atkins diet is partly consistent and partly in conflict with the six principles on dietary planning. The atkins diet meets the characteristics of B, C, and V of the six principles on dietary planning. In terms of B, the atkins diet can provide a meal incorporated with equal amounts nutrients in the diet provided carbohydrates are absent. Similarity in C comes through the atkins ability to regulate the amount of calories consumed in a meal to regulate the energy supplied to the body, only that the energy supply is limited to ketones. In terms of variety, the atkins diet implies giving an alternative source of energy from ketones. This form of diet plan can be of a mixed variety provided carbohydrates are absent. Inconsistency comes through adequacy. This consideration insists on a diet plan that has all the necessary food nutrients including carbohydrates. The atkins diet does not emphasize on calorie percentage in the body. It only provides a substitute for energy supply, thus becoming inconsistent with density.

Critical Review

According to the American Dietetic Association (14), the atkins diet is a low carbohydrate diet plan developed to resolve overweight conditions. Primarily, the nature of the Atkins diet involves consuming a diet limited in carbohydrates. This moves aims at switching the body’s metabolism from synthesizing glucose thus shifting energy supply to burnt fats. This process is referred to as ketosis and starts when levels of insulin are low. In humans, the level of insulin is lowest when glucose is low, more often before consuming a meal. On the other hand, carbohydrates react by increasing the levels of glucose after they are consumed. Therefore, the atkins diet works to restrict carbohydrate consumption to limit raising the levels of glucose in the body (American Dietetic Association, 32). One effect of the atkins diet involves the tendency of decreasing the hunger urge due to the extended duration of digestion. According to the American Dietetic Association, the atkins diet has an added advantage to people suffering from Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In this case, the Atkins diet eliminates or decreases the need for consuming drugs since it helps reduce the amounts of glucose in the blood.


Primarily, Dr. Robert Atkins formulated the Atkins diet plan with the main purpose of resolving overweight conditions. It is a proven diet plan that has positive outcomes when implemented. However, it is prudent to understand that it partly similar and partly inconsistent with other fundamental diet plans including the six principles on dietary planning. Nevertheless, one cannot overlook its main advantages of managing overweight problems as well as preventing drug intake for people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus.


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