Being in tiptop shape does not only benefit an individual in terms of physical perfection and attractiveness to the opposite sex, but is also beneficial to one’s health. The primary goal of maintaining one’s weight within normal limits is to avoid the consequences that the excess body volume or the lacking weight brings. Being obese or overweight is a modifiable risk factor for majority of the heart diseases, arterial and venous disorders, osteoarthritis, diabetes mellitus, and even cancer (Overweight and Obesity).
On the other hand, being underweight can cause a variety of heart and lung disorders, osteoporosis, malnutrition and even death, for our cells will stop working if there are no more nutrients in our body to fuel metabolism (Underweight is a problem too). There is a reason why anorexia and bulimia are disorders and not just a fad created by the people working in the media, most especially the Hollywood actors and actresses, who influence the lives of many people, both young and old, today. Indeed, keeping one’s weight within the normal limits is a challenge for all of us.
There cannot be a day wherein we are not exposed to certain environmental factors that may persuade us to make the wrong choices. For example, when we find ourselves very tired and hungry at the same time, we may opt to take out food from the nearest fast-food joint and eat it without even thinking about the extra calories and cholesterol this food may bring. Also, we may not have the ample time necessary to engage ourselves into physical activities that promote weight loss or improve one’s health.
This is why fad diets, like the Atkins diet, are preferred by a lot of people over going to the gym or jogging around the neighborhood. First of all, when an individual is setting a goal and is trying to focus one’s self into achieving this goal, discipline is not a problem. Those people who are convinced that engaging in a diet program will help them achieve their ideal weight will subject themselves into the program and commit to it. The Atkins’ diet claims that a person who will commit to their program will be able to lose weight and maintain their ideal weight (The New Atkins Nutritional Approach).
They also assert that their program is powerful, easy, healthy, and flexible (The New Atkins Nutritional Approach). The Atkins’ diet is said to work by starting off with an induction phase wherein the individual will reduce his or her carbohydrate intake to 20 Net Carbs per day and will only consume food items that are high in protein and fats (The New Atkins Nutritional Approach). This is because this program believes that by doing so, the body will burn the stored fat because of the lack of intake thereof (The New Atkins Nutritional Approach).
This process will immediately take off around 15 pounds in just two weeks, but of course the results vary from person to person (The New Atkins Nutritional Approach). This diet also wants the individual to consume fruits and vegetables in scarce amounts. They also require that the individual keep track of his or her ability to metabolize carbohydrates, so that when the ideal body weight is reached in the induction phase, some acceptable form of carbohydrate can be consumed again for maintenance (The New Atkins Nutritional Approach). Physiologically, their theory is scientifically proven.
According to Zelman, the body will have to resort to the stored fats inside because the individual is not consuming any, hence the areas of which the body has concentrated amounts of fat will definitely be burned up (Zelman). This state can produce ketosis, which means that fat is being burned by the body to produce energy, and ketones are the byproducts which can be noted with the presence of an unusual ketotic breath (Zelman). However, the Atkins’ diet is very controversial in the health and wellness community. But the long-term safety of the diet is rather questionable.
The ketotic metabolic state of the body itself is not healthy (Zelman). Anything that does not promote homeostasis to the body, especially when we are talking about lifelong effects can be harmful in the long run (Zelman). According to a website that is dedicated to putting an end to the Atkins’ diet, people who are following this diet is at risk for compromised vitamin and mineral intake, which can lead to malnutrition, and a variety of other abnormalities (Greger). In addition, low carbohydrate diets only hasten the development of type II diabetes (Greger).
The diet promotes consumption of fatty foods, and this may, in turn, promote the development of heart diseases, stroke and cancer (Zelman). The diet also promotes potential bone loss and complications for those individuals who have liver and kidney problems due to the high consumption of protein (Zelman). In terms of deliberating whether or not the Atkins’ diet can promote weight loss, there is no doubt that it can. There are indeed numerous testimonials by those who have used it and are still using it to maintain their ideal weights.
However, the question lies within the effects of this diet on the body, especially the long-term effects. Several nutritionists, dieticians, and physicians have given their testimonies that this diet may not be healthy to individuals in the long run and recommend further testing. Some totally abhor the concept because of the danger that this diet puts the people who are committed to it into. We should always be wary and critical of the new things that other people are saying or engaging in. remembering that we are individuals and that our needs differ from each other may be the start of being aware that not all things cater to all of us.
It is still best to ask for the opinion of a physician, a professional one that we have known for years, because aside from the fact that we are sure that they are knowledgeable, they know our health histories and our bodies, sometimes even more than we do.
Atkins, “The New Atkins Nutritional Approach. ” Atkins. 1999. Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. 3 Dec 2008 <http://www. atkins. com/nutritional-approach. html>. Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, “Overweight and Obesity. ” Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 21 Nov 2008. National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.3 Dec 2008 <http://www. cdc. gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/consequences. htm>. Greger, Michael. “Massive Health Risk. ” AtkinsExposed. org. 2004. AtkinsExposed. org. 3 Dec 2008 <http://www. atkinsexposed. org/atkins/38/Massive_Health_Risk. htm>. MediResource Clinical Team, “Underweight is a problem too. ” Canada. com. 2005. Canwest Publishing Inc. 3 Dec 2008 <http://bodyandhealth. canada. com/channel_section_details. asp? text_id=3367&channel_id=1055&relation_id=17816>. Zelman, Kathleen. “The Atkins Diet: What It Is. ” 2007. WebMD, LLC. 3 Dec 2008 <http://www. webmd. com/diet/atkins-diet-what-it-is? page=3>.