The Five Core Elements of Atkins

Atkins is all about proactive nutrition — providing you the information and inspiration you need to take charge of your health and enjoy your life to the fullest. Atkins consists of five core elements designed to help you keep your energy levels steady and strong from morning till night. These principles are easy to understand and follow once you know the basics.

Take protein, for example. Did you know that for maximum energy benefits, you need to consume smaller amounts of protein through the day, not all at once? Because your body can’t store protein the way it can carbohydrates, it’s pretty much a “use it or lose it” proposition where protein is concerned. And the more active you are, the more you need to spread out your protein intake fairly evenly and make sure you get the required amount of protein every day.

Protein has been shown in dozens of studies to increase both metabolism and satiety. It’s not only a natural appetite suppressor; it raises the rate at which your body burns calories. It also provides you with the amino acids needed to build strong bones, muscles and other body chemicals. Fiber has been associated in every major research study with lower rates of cancer, heart disease and obesity and with improved blood sugar control. Thousands of studies have shown the advantage of optimal intakes of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E and magnesium. These nutrients- often missing from the American diet- help your body to run like a well-oiled machine, providing energy, increasing fat-burning and protecting your brain and heart. And both trans-fats and high sugar diets have now been implicated as risk factors for a host of degenerative diseases including heart disease and cancer. Put these five elements together — high protein, high fiber, high intake of vitamins and minerals, low intake of sugar and the elimination of trans-fats — and you have the perfect, health-promoting, weight-controlling dietary plan for optimal health and performance:

  • High protein: Protein has been shown to increase both metabolism and satiety, it also provides you with the amino acids needed to build strong bones, muscles and other body chemicals How much protein you need depends on your activity level, metabolism and weight, but in general, you need a bare minimum of about a half-gram of protein per pound of body weight. And if you’re really into exercise or other physical activities, have a muscular build, are a nursing mother, dealing with a lot of stress or over 50, you may need even more than that.
  • High fiber: Fiber offers huge benefits to your health, from controlling your appetite and regulating blood sugar to helping your digestion. It helps keep your blood sugar levels even, too. We get fiber from nuts, seeds and fiber-rich vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and others. Women need–at a bare minimum–25 grams of fiber a day, while men need at least 35 grams.o Low sugar: Avoid the dreaded sugar spike and crash from high sugar diets and you will discover steady even energy throughout the day. Sugars and other highly refined products like white flour which are empty carbs, steer clear and discover the steady, even energy! Instead focus on low glycemic, fiber-rich foods that keep your energy levels even. Following this principle will do wonders for your energy levels.
  • Vitamins and minerals: help your body to run like a well-oiled machine, providing energy, and protecting your body form the ravages of free radicals. Sensible, healthy eating tends and supplementation will help to promote the intake of necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients. You still need to keep an eye on a few basics, though, to make sure you’re covered. o No trans fats: Trans fats have now been implicated as risk factors for a host of degenerative diseases including heart disease. They have no place in a healthy lifestyle. Consume more higher quality fats, such as mono- and poly- unsaturated fats as well as omega 3 fatty acids

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