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Just about every diet makes some sort of claim about how much weight you can lose, and that claim usually extends to include how easy the particular diet will be to follow. What the Atkins Diet claims is that the people who follow can lose body fat and improve their overall health. Furthermore, the official claim made by the company is that you can get a head start on the program by losing up to 15 pounds in the first 2 weeks. No wonder it's still proving to be one of the most popular diet plans available today.

The way this is done is by drastically reducing your carbohydrate intake. The diet is broken up into distinct phases, and the first one is known as the induction phase. The claim is that it will switch your body's metabolism to burn more fat. To achieve this you are limited to no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates (mostly in the form of lower-carb vegetables) during induction. Some people choose to skip this phase, and that's okay because it is optional.

While many people tend to focus on what the foods they can't eat during this phase, others love the ability to eat foods that several other diets forbid. Some of the foods you can eat include fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, oils (but trans fats are not allowed in any quantity), butter, poultry and many cheeses. You need to make sure that these foods do not have added carbs; for example, honey glazed ham or caramelized pork chops. Plus, there really is a wide enough variety of vegetables to keep things interesting.

It should be noted that some researchers disagree with what the Atkins Diet claims. Many researchers believe that the Atkins program allows people to eat too much saturated fat, and that it can lead to major health problems later on in life. These researchers sometimes admit that people can and do lose a lot of weight, but are concerned that the potential of heart disease makes the diet less-than-desirable.

To be fair, the people behind the Atkins Diet like to point out that people who follow the plan will also be eating plenty of vegetables, and that it mainly cuts out "bad" carbohydrates. Not only that, but people are allowed to eat a wider variety of complex carbohydrates as they progress through the phases. As far as how much saturated fat people will eat, the truth is that when it is followed properly, the Atkins Diet includes good proportions of all fats.

All of this brings up an interesting point about what the Atkins Diet claims; namely, that the claims should only count when the diet is being followed as directed. The problem is that many people use the diet as an excuse to eat all of the bacon and fat that they want. But that is not what Atkins is all about. Yes, you can eat those things (especially during the induction phase of the program), but you need to eat other things too, and that includes vegetables. Making it a much healthier and safer diet than popular myth would lead us to believe.

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