In the Atkins diet, protein, fat, and total calories are all unlimited. Carb intake is supposed to be limited to 20 grams. Is this different than our weight loss program here at Idaho Weight Loss?
Yes it is. We base our advice and our program off of modern and highly regarded nutrition research. In our program, we have requirements for protein, carb, fat and total calorie intake. Participants are asked to eat a required daily minimum of protein, not all you want. We teach controlled carb not low carb. Based on multiple factors, a patient’s medical history, their physical exam, their family history, their blood test results we can give a fairly accurate estimate of where each person’s carbohydrate intake level needs to be. We do give total caloric daily intake guides. This is to control the amount of fat consumed each day.
Why the protein/meat requirements?
Science says that daily minimum required protein for weight loss is 0.8gms/kg or about ½ gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight. In high protein very low carb diets, the protein intake is doubled or tripled. That level of protein itake, when combined with very low carb produces the condition called ketosis.
Let’s talk ketosis
When your body doesn’t have enough carbohydrates to burn for energy, it starts burning fat instead. This process is called ketosis. Both the Atkins and the Paleo diets promote putting the body into ketosis. It isn’t dangerous, and can actually be effective.
The problem arrives when you come out of ketosis. If you haven’t learned to manage carbs, you’re likely to gain the weight back that you lost while in ketosis. In other words, our goal is not to take carbs away, but learn to manage our carbohydrate intake. We can’t in this blog tell you what your carb intake should be because it is different for different persons. As you lose weight and your chemistry changes the carb level you can take in changes also. That is why it is very difficult to lose weight from a “book” or only a “fixed” nutritional plan because what we need changes. Working with a weight loss specialist that understands this fact is what gives the best long term weight loss and maintenance results.