Almost anyone that’s ever gone on a diet (or even those that haven’t) have heard about the Atkins Diet. It’s the popular plan that was promoted by Robert Atkins based on a study by Alfred Pennington. The basics of the diet are that you eat foods that are high in protein, but also low in carbohydrates. Weight loss comes when you have reached a state known as ketosis, which is when your insulin levels are at their lowest.
Many people have tried the Atkins Diet, or a similar plan called the Paleo Diet. The idea is just about the same, but did you know that there are even more offsprings of the Atkins? Today, we introduce you to a plan called the Eco-Atkins Diet. How much of the same aspects does the Eco-Atkins plan have compared to its predecessor? Let’s take a deeper look into the Eco-Atkins Diet to see if it might be the right way for you to lose weight.
Behind the Eco-Atkins Diet
Now you might know that while on the Atkins Diet, a big part of the diet was eating meat. Meat is low in carbohydrates and high in protein, making it perfect for the weight loss plan. Even with the similar Paleo Diet, people are eating a ton of beef jerky and bacon while trying to lose weight. But what about those that are trying to avoid so much meat? That’s where the Eco-Atkins Diet comes in as it’s friendlier for those that are trying to drop weight while also going vegetarian.
The Eco-Atkins Diet was developed at the St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada when they were focusing on diets that were high in protein, but comprised mainly of plants. What they found was that those that were eating a low carb diet were able to lose as much weight as those that were on the same calorie restrictions, but those eating fewer carbs had lower levels of bad cholesterol.
Because of the studies and the results that have been seen from people on the Eco-Atkins Diet, it’s expected that you can lose eight to 10 pounds per month on the system. Not only that, but you will also be able to lower your cholesterol, which was a big problem for the original Atkins Diet. This newer version of the Atkins Diet has gotten some positive reviews from experts as not filling yourself with red meat is always encouraged for heart health. That, of course, is something that doctors are more focused on than just pure weight loss.
So just how are you going to eat low carb while not eating meat? It can be pretty tough, which is where the Eco-Atkins Diet actually gets its lowest reviews. It can be hard to follow since there are limited foods that you can eat. While on the Eco-Atkins, you will be taking around 45 percent of your calories from plants, 30 percent from protein and 25 from carbohydrates. This means that you’ll have to get used to vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Other foods that you can eat include soy, seeds, canola and olive oil and avocados. You can also bend it a little bit so that you are still able to get some meat if you don’t want to give it up completely, but fish is the primary suggestion instead of red meat. You might also notice that dairy is missing from the list of foods that you can eat, which is where the Eco-Atkins Diet has drawn some criticism. Foods that shouldn’t come as a surprise that are missing include sugary foods, processed foods, red meat, potatoes, rice and anything else that you can find in those categories.
What’s on the Menu?
You’ve seen the limited options that you have on the Eco-Atkins Diet, but how can you put it all together? Here is a sample menu plan that you can eat for the first three days on the diet. Keep in mind that the suggested length of this diet is one month, so you’ll likely repeat some of the meals several times.
- Breakfast – One bowl of oatmeal with a glass of soy milk and a banana
- Lunch – Lentil soup with avocado and an orange
- Dinner – Six ounces of grilled chicken with a side salad and freshly squeezed lemonade
- Snacks – Handful of almonds with strawberries
- Breakfast – Buttermilk pancakes with a glass of soy milk and blueberries
- Lunch – Salad with avocado and kale with feta cheese
- Dinner – Slices of turkey breast with a side salad and light dressing
- Snacks – Handful of cashews with an orange
- Breakfast – Omelette made with tofu, peppers, mushrooms and tomatoes with soy milk and oat bran
- Lunch – Tomato filled salad with steamed broccoli
- Dinner – Turkey bacon with fresh fruit and almonds
- Snacks – Slice of nut bread with a handful of nuts
As you can see, even over the course of just three days, a lot of the foods repeat themselves, and there is still some meat on the menu. The only thing missing is the red meat and junk food. Once in awhile, you will be having cravings for those types of foods. This is very normal while on low carb diets, which many people chalking up to the state of ketosis.
As for how filling your diet is going to be, that might end up being a problem, especially at first. When you are used to filling up on carbohydrates, your body might feel like it doesn’t have much energy after making a drastic change. You might also not feel full because of that as your digestive system adjusts, though you will find that legumes and nuts can be very filling. Foods that are higher in protein can make you feel full throughout the day, so just give it a few days before you start to feel normal.
What to Know About the Eco-Atkins Diet
It has been shown through studies and personal anecdotes that going on a low carb diet is a fast way to lose weight. Without carbohydrates, your body will start to burn fat, and can lead to at least two pounds of weight lost per week. You might be able to get down to your goal weight quickly, but the hardest part of a low carb diet is trying to keep the weight off.
Sustaining a low carb plan for longer than it takes to lose weight is seemingly impossible, especially when you run out of weight to lose. Studies have shown that people who lose weight with low carb diets like Atkins and Eco-Atkins are likely to regain a significant amount of weight. A large part of that comes from the change in metabolism without carbs in your body, with many ending up gaining all of the weight back and then more on top of it with a worsened metabolism.
Summing it Up
While the weight loss that you can get from a low carb diet is hard to sustain, it is impressive how fast it can be. The problem with a lot of low carb diets is that they often aren’t healthy overall and rely too much on processed or prepackaged foods, as well as too much red meat. That’s not an issue on the Eco-Atkins, as you’re actually likely to improve your heart health and cholesterol. As for the weight, keeping it off will be easier if you slowly transition back into a normal amount of carbs while still continuing to eat a diet that’s filled with fruits and vegetables.
Many low carb dieters also do not get a lot of exercise, which is not encouraged for a healthy overall plan. Keeping the weight off will continue to be easier if you start an exercise plan (even if it’s something light like walking) and keep at it once you’ve lost the weight. Seeing the scale move initially will be exciting, but just expect to hit some plateaus along the way and change up your eating and exercise habits a little bit so you don’t get into a rut.
Overall, the Eco-Atkins Diet is not a bad plan as it promotes a lot of whole foods like fruits and vegetables while also being high in protein. Unfortunately, it’s not very easy to follow and the weight loss is hard to sustain. If you think that you can stave off the weight gain that usually comes afterward, then this is definitely going to be a good plan.