The Atkins Diet: How to lose body fat
How to lose body fat is a mystery for many people. Your body fat may be something that you’ve been fighting all your life, or maybe it just crept up on you over the years. No matter where you are in your journey to lose body fat, there are some key things you need to realize about why you gained the fat to begin with.
How Your Body Uses Sugar
Your body is a very efficient organism. It doesn’t like to use energy unless it really needs to. That means that it’s going to use the most accessible and fastest energy it can before it ever reaches into your fat storage for energy.
When you eat sugar, your body recognizes it as quick energy. As long as you keep pumping in the sugar, your body will keep on rolling. Unfortunately, those fat rolls will keep getting bigger, too. Because, whatever sugar isn’t used is converted into fat. First, sugar gets used for instant energy, and then excess sugar gets converted to fat.
Why Carbohydrates Make You Fat
Next, you have carbohydrates that your body can turn to sugar. So if you’re good about not eating sugar directly, you still get fat from eating carbohydrates because that gets turned into sugar by your body. Again, it uses what it needs for energy, and stores the rest as fat.
How to Lose Body Fat By Eating Fewer Carbs and Less Sugar
If your diet consists mainly of fat and protein, your body has to turn to its fat storage for energy. This process takes longer for your body to adjust to, because it’s likely been using sugar and carbs for so long as an energy source. But if you try a diet such as the Atkins diet plan, you’ll almost be guaranteed to lose body body fat. This diet is hard to do because you’ll have to give up sugar, but if you’re willing to try it, here are the details.
How to Lose Body Fat With the Atkins Diet Plan
The Atkins diet plan consists of four distinct phases. Phase One lasts for two weeks and restricts the dieter to a maximum of twenty net carbohydrates per day. Net carbohydrates are calculated by subtracting the number of fiber grams from the number of total carbohydrates. This translates into a diet consisting primarily of meat protein, versus vegetable protein. A typical menu during this first phase might be eggs with bacon for breakfast, poached salmon with one cup of loosely packed salad vegetables for lunch, and a steak with melted butter and one cup of a cooked, low-carbohydrate vegetable. No fruit, cola, caffeine or alcohol is allowed.
Due to the lack of fruits and vegetables in Phase One and the resulting nutrient deficiency, the dieter is advised to supplement with vitamins and minerals such as B12 and the fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E.
Within twenty-fours hours of entering Phase One, the body enters a metabolic state called lipolysis and will produce ketones. To gauge the effectiveness of the diet, it is recommended that the level of ketones expelled through the urine be monitored at home with the use of non-prescription Ketostix, available at pharmacies.
Side Effects of the Atkins Diet
One of the most common symptoms that many have reported while in the first few days in Phase One is physical tiredness. Presumably this is the result of the body transitioning to breaking down fat cells for energy versus the more readily available carbohydrates it had been using. After approximately three days, the dieter can expect a return to normal energy levels.
Another symptom to be aware of is bad breath. The increased level of ketones in the body typically produce halitosis as a side effect. If you’re planning to try the Atkins diet, make sure you keep drinking plenty of water and use sugar free breath fresheners often.
During the remaining three phases the dieter increases carbohydrate intake incrementally, monitoring ketone levels and adjusting carbohydrate intake according to weight loss goals. The Atkins Diet meal plan is intended to be a lifelong plan, and dieters should not expect to return to eating high carbohydrate meals without experiencing weight gain.
One of the largest downsides to the Atkins diet is the expense. While testimonials and anecdotal evidence have proven this diet to be effective, with its emphasis on meat protein, the meal plan can be cost prohibitive. Expect to spend a lot more at the grocery store than you usually do.
How to Monitor Progress
Learning how to lose body fat is a process that involves learning about metabolism and energy use. Individuals will have varying reactions to different body fat loss plans, so it’s important to carefully monitor your progress as you go along.
Get a notebook or journal and prepare to make daily entries at a minimum. Preferably, you’ll make notes in your journal before and after meals and snacks, too. Make notations about what you’ve eaten, as well as the quantities. Be sure to write down your moods and emotions right after your meal, and an hour afterward. Foods and beverages have a direct influence on everything gin your body, including your hormones and emotions.
After just a few short days of monitoring your progress, you should begin to notice patterns and correlations between what you’re eating and how you feel. If you needed any proof of how powerful the influence of food on your mood, this journal should suffice.
How to lose body fat is to work at it on a consistent basis over a period of time until you see the results you desire. If you are the type to give up on things just a few days in, no diet plan will probably ever work. But here again, the journal should prove helpful to keep you motivated over the long haul.
It’s certainly easier to put on weight than to keep it off. Losing body fat is totally achievable, though. Once you fully commit to your body fat loss goals, you should be able to finally get into the shape you want.
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