First thing you need to know is that Jennifer Aniston swears by the Atkins diet. If you don’t know Rachel from FRIENDS, then the second thing you need to know is that she’s been rocking a stellar bod since the 90’s. If you aim to lose weight and be that kind of fit, then this decades-old, tried-and-tested diet program may be the one for you.

WHAT IS THE ATKINS DIET?


The Atkins Diet is a low-carb diet plan promoted by cardiologist Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1970’s. You could think of it as the older sister of the buzzy ketogenic diet, as they both work around the same philosophy: limiting your intake of carbs, so the body burns fat for energy instead.

What differentiates the Atkins diet from keto is that it looks at the amount of carbs you consume instead of fat. It’s also more structured, giving you a specific period of time to rebalance your diet.

There are two programs under the Atkins diet: Atkins 20 and Atkins 40.
Atkins 20 is ideal for people who want to lose more than 40lbs of weight and for people who are pre-diabetic or diabetic. Atkins 20 is based on eating 20g of net carbs per day and gradually adding a list of acceptable foods to your diet. Here you’ll be disciplined about what you eat per phase.

Atkins 40, on the other hand, is ideal for people who want to lose less than 40lbs of weight, i.e. for women who want to lose weight gained during pregnancy. Atkins 40 is based on portion control and eating 40g net carbs per day. You get to eat from different food groups at controlled servings, so here you’ll be disciplined about how much you eat per phase.

HOW DOES THE ATKINS DIET WORK?


The easiest way to understand the Atkins diet is to visualize it as a staircase: you start at the bottom with a specific number of required carbs and limited food groups, and then you climb one step after another as you gradually increase your carb intake. All until you reach your goal weight!

PHASE 1: INDUCTION

ATKINS 20

20g of carbs / day
3 servings of protein, 4-6oz each
3 servings of added healthy fats (e.g. butter, salad dressing, olive oil, etc.)

Carbs should come mostly from vegetables for the first two weeks.

ATKINS 40

40g of carbs / day
3 servings of protein, 4-6oz each
3 servings of added healthy fats (e.g. butter, salad dressing, olive oil, etc.)

A third of carbs should come from vegetables and the rest from fruit, nuts, and whole grains.

NOTE: Follow this for at least two weeks. For more information on what food groups you can eat, check the list here and here.

PHASE 2: ADDING BACK THE CARBS
ATKINS 20

Add in 5g of carb increments starting with lower-carb foods (e.g. nuts, berries) and gradually progressing to higher-carb foods (e.g. fresh cheeses, legumes, carrots).

ATKINS 40

When you’re within 10lbs of your goal weight, add 10g of net carbs each week as long as you’re consistently inching closer to your goal weight.

PHASE 3: MAINTAINING WEIGHT LOSS

When you reach your goal, you only need to maintain that carb intake to keep it! If you’ve reached 50g after starting with 20g, for example, all you have to do is keep your carbs at 50g per day from then on.

ATKINS 20

As you reintroduce other food groups back into your diet, add only one new food per day. This way you can easily identify anything that stalls or reverses your weight loss progress.

ATKINS 40

You can virtually eat anything now so long as you keep within your carb intake, but try to continue avoiding refined sugar and processed carbs, or anything that can trigger you to consume too many net carbs.

NOTE: Remember that you’re expanding what type of food you can consume, not how much of it, so stay within the carb intake you’ve reached.

A DAY IN THE LIFE ON THE ATKINS DIET


Here’s what a typical meal plan looks like when you’re on the Atkins diet!

BREAKFAST
Start the day right with egg omelets with lots of veggies and cheese. Eggs are packed with protein to keep you feeling full and energized for the day, while veggies provide plenty of nutrients. Cheese add extra flavor and a decent amount of healthy fat, too. Pair it with herbal tea or green coffee and you’re good to go!

TRY: Manila Superfoods Green Coffee Bean Extract (50g), P130; The Green Tummy Green Coffee (100g), P140; The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf English Breakfast, P300; The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Earl Grey, P300

LUNCH
Spend your lunch break munching on a good sesame chicken salad! All you need is cooked chicken, sesame dressing, ½ cup of lettuce, thrown in with maybe ½ kale or arugula, some sautéed mushrooms, and zucchini. For those taking the Atkins 20, you can add in higher-carb vegetables and fruits of your choice after the first two weeks of induction.

TRY: Whisk Roasted Sesame Dressing (325ml), P246

SNACKS
During the induction phase of the Atkins 20 program, some easy go-to snacks would be half an avocado, veggies with cheese, or even just a boiled egg. They’re not fun, but they’ll keep you full and it’s only for the first two weeks—after that, you can slowly add nuts, berries, legumes, and higher-carb vegetables back to your diet.

TRY: Trail Bites Walnut (185g), P267; Lifestyle Gourmet Almond Trail Mix (42.5g), P55; Trail Bites Healthy Trail (185g), P208; Manila Superfoods Pecans (140g), P315; Lifestyle Gourmet Cranberry Trail Mix (42.5g), P55

DINNER
Spice up your evening meal with a plate of crispy salmon with coconut stir-fried veggies. Fish is rich in healthy fats and protein, and using cold-pressed vegetable oils is recommended when cooking low-carb veggies like broccoli and eggplant.

TRY: Greenlife Home of Coconut Products Virgin Coconut Oil (10oz), P250; Greenlife Home of Coconiut Products Organic Sap Aminos (150ml), P85

DRINKS
Sip some chamomile or lavender tea after dinner too—they’re calming metabolism boosters, perfect to prep you for a good night’s sleep.

TRY: Manila Superfoods Lavender Oolong Tea (50g); The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Fresh Leaf Chamomile Tea, P300

Pair this diet with regular exercise like pilates or yoga and you may be well on your way to looking like Jennifer Aniston… or even better! You do you!

To discover more about healthy living, visit our Wellness Tab.

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