Atkins 40 Diet

Back in the 1970’s and 80’s, the Atkins diet was considered to be a "diet revolution"! It went against the grain, offering an all you can eat diet that was high in fat and calories. How could it possibly work?

But it did. For millions.

Numerous studies have found that low carb diets such as the Atkins, Paleo and Ketogenic work. So what happened to the Atkins diet? People lost interest.

However, many celebrities and others have “rediscovered” this old fashioned diet favorite that has added a new twist.

Let’s take a look at the Atkins 40 diet plan.

What Is It?

The Atkins diet is, basically, a low carb, high protein diet. Although there are plenty of food restrictions, one of the main appeals of this diet is that you can eat as much as you want of the foods on the approved list. This means never going hungry, which is something most diets cannot ever claim.

What is the Difference Between Atkins and Atkins 40?

The answer here is simple; about 20 grams of carbs. The original diet plan was very restrictive, allowing a mere 20 grams of carbs per day, which is almost nothing. This left out fruit and milk, which caused many dieters to have vitamin deficiencies.

Atkins 40 allows for a more reasonable 40 grams of carbs per day. This is a reasonable number that most people can stick to and lose weight.

This plan uses net carbs, which are carbs minus the fiber. This means that, for example, if you consume 40 grams of carbs, but there are 5 grams of fiber, you only account for 35 grams of net carbs. This is because fiber does not impact your diet as it does not affect your blood sugar.

Perhaps the best known celebrity following the Atkins 40 is Kim Kardashian, who gained 70 pounds while she was pregnant. She’s tweeted numerous times that she is losing as much as 5 pounds a week on this amazing diet.

Other celebrities who are dropping pounds with this plan are Alyssa Milano, Sharon Osbourne, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Renee Zellweger, and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Does it Work?

Oh yes! Kardashian lost 60 pounds in 5 months and she will tell you that she never went hungry. Many people lose 30 pounds in the first 6 weeks. As you lose weight, the weight comes off more slowly, but 60 pounds in 5 months is amazing by anyone’s standards!

This plan works because it puts your body in a natural metabolic state called ketosis. Your body can use glucose (simple sugars) for its daily needs or it can use fat. When you remove simple sugars (carbs) from your diet, you force your body to burn stored fat. This means that simply by consuming a very low carb diet, you can literally become a 24/7 fat burning machine!

Pros and Cons

The Advantages:

  • Super satiety
  • No calorie counting or weighing food
  • Improved health
  • Easy to do
  • Little to no hunger
  • Significant weight loss

The Disadvantages:

  • Lower energy levels in the beginning
  • Reduced fruit intake
  • Cravings for “comfort food” (such as pasta and bread)
  • Counting carbs is sometimes as bad as counting calories
  • Possible food binges due to cravings for comfort foods

Is That All There Is? Counting Carbohydrates?

In a nutshell, yes. If you remove anything made with sugar, flour, beans, corn or rice from your diet, about 80 percent of your work is cut out for you!

Everything else simply involves counting carbs from things like fruit, milk, cheese, and nuts. Keep your daily carbohydrate count no higher than 40 grams, and that’s it!

Sample Meal Plan

For the majority of people, the Atkins 40 diet plan involves three to four 6 ounce servings of protein each day.

In addition, the diet includes healthy fats, such as nuts and avocados, as well as carbohydrates that are full of fiber. Most people consume lots of colored vegetables, such as bell peppers and carrots, as well as a bit of fruit. Of course, you can add small amounts of healthy fiber filled carbs such as brown rice or beans, just be sure to watch the portion size.

  • Breakfast: 2 egg omelet with cheese, tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers, coffee with cream and Splenda.
  • Snack: A handful of nuts
  • Lunch: Cobb salad with ham, cheese, hard boiled eggs, bacon, and Ranch dressing, herbal tea with Splenda.
  • Snack: ½ fresh peach in ½ cup of cottage cheese
  • Dinner: Grilled steak and vegetables, side salad with Blue cheese dressing, diet soda.
  • Snack: Popcorn with butter

Some people find that they have serious sugar cravings, especially in the first few days after starting this plan. This is normal and it should pass in a week or two. To control those intense cravings, try desserts that use sugar substitutes, such as sugar free Jell-O, or put sprinkle a teaspoon of Splenda over a few strawberries to help cut those cravings.

Are There Health Benefits?

There are a great many health benefits that the Atkins 40 diet is known for, including:

  • A greater reduction in visceral fat (which is the most dangerous type of fat)
  • A tremendous reduction in triglycerides
  • An increase in the good type of cholesterol (HDL)
  • Increased insulin levels
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Lower blood pressure, which leads to a lower risk of stroke, heart disease, and heart attack
  • Stops metabolic syndrome
  • Improves cognitive function, even for those with brain disorders

The Bottom Line

If you love meat, fish, cheese, salads, veggies, and eggs, then this diet will work well for you! If you cannot live without Sunday night lasagna, rice, beans, or pasta, you will most likely go off the diet quickly.

Since this is a high fat diet, you should check with your doctor first to ensure that you are healthy enough to try it, especially those with heart problems or cholesterol issues.

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