People lose weight on the Atkins diet because they are avoiding or limiting junk foods and carbohydrates. Experience has shown, that as soon as people “go off” their Atkins diet, they gain their weight back. In the meantime, they have deprived themselves of vitamins, minerals, fiber and healthy carbohydrates from fruits, starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, and whole grains. In the long run, people who learn how to eat proper portion sizes, and correct number of servings from all the food groups learn how to maintain a healthy weight.
Few diets have ever been more controversial than the Atkins Diet Plan. While many promote the success of following such a restrictive diet plan, many critics deem it unhealthy. You may also experience a variety of side effects.
1. Lethargy and fatigue
In the early phase, since the Atkins diet restricts carbohydrates so much, there is a high chance of nutritional deficiencies. As a result, this may lead to other health problems such as headache, dizziness and overall weakness.
2. Bad Breath
The Atkins diet can also result in ketosis, a bodily condition that occurs when there isn’t enough sugar for energy. As a result, your body breaks down stored fat allowing ketones to build up. Bad breath and fatigue are some of the common side effects of ketosis.
3. Constipation and other Digestive Problems
One of the main causes of constipation includes a sudden change in dietary routine, insufficient fiber in your daily food intake, not enough fluids or lack of exercise.
The Atkins diet is hard to maintain. If you socialize or eat out on a regular basis, you can expect to be surrounded by foods that are restricted on this program.
Not surprisingly, studies have found that adherence to Atkins is low and remains one of the primary roadblocks to successful long-term weight loss. As a result, many will eventually gain weight in the process.
Here are the top 5 Side effects of the Atkins Diet
- 1. Atkins diet increases your risk for heart disease. Typically with Atkins diet, people consume more saturated fats which increased their LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
- 2. Atkins can cause social anxiety because the diet is very restrictive. Most people on Atkins have very little to no carbohydrates which can make it impossible to go out to eat.
- 3. Generalized weakness and fatigue are a common side effects to the Atkins diet. The body typically uses carbohydrates as the main source of fuel to produce energy in the body. When carbohydrates are restricted the body has to expend more to produce the same amount of energy causing the feeling of weakness or fatigue.
- 4. Important nutrients come from whole grains and other carbohydrates that are restricted with the Atkins Diet. This can cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies that could impact daily living..
- 5. Constipation can occur on the Atkins Diet due to the lack of fiber. Fiber is important in helping regulate bowel function in the body.
The side effects of this kind of diet may increase the risk of heart disease. The diet limits and in the induction phase does not allow nutritious foods such as bananas, apples, oranges, pears and grapes, all of which have been shown to lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and prevent heart disease. What’s worse, the diet not only allows, but promotes eating meat, bacon, full fat dairy such as butter, cheese and cream.
The first thing a cardiologist and the American Heart Association will advise is to limit the amount of saturated fat you eat from meats, cheeses, full fat dairy and those mentioned above because they contribute to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
One of the reasons for the popularity of this diet is that it prevents people from eating candy, processed baked goods, Trans fats and other high sugar, white flour carbohydrate foods which cause people to gain weight without contributing nutrients.
Low carbohydrate diets have been on the fad-diet scene for many years, one of the earliest being the Atkins Diet. While these diets may be effective in the short term they can have long term negative side effects if not done and stopped properly.
Weight loss is possible with a low-carb diet, however, most are not sustainable. The body requires carbohydrates for proper fueling. Low carbohydrate diets, like Atkins, are not sustainable as the body will reach a point where carbs are necessary. Once you begin reintroducing carbs the body stores them rapidly as fat making weight gain nearly inevitable.
Following the Atkins diet can be healthy if done for a short period of time and the dieter is integrating healthy fats and lean meats. If the goal is weight loss or glucose control to prevent chronic disease following a low-carb diet can be healthy. Otherwise, high saturated fat consumption can lead to other health consequences like heart disease.