Saturday, March 5, 2011

Atkins Diet Versus Exercise

The Atkins diet, popularized in the 1970s, is the world’s first low-carbohydrate diet. The diet involves limiting the carbohydrate intake. Due to the limited carbohydrates, the body switches from a glucose burning metabolism to one that utilizes the stored body fat. This process is called as Ketosis and is responsible for the weight loss achieved by this diet.

The diet doesn’t restrict the amount of food that you can eat. It restricts the type of food that you eat. You are allowed to only eat food with low-carbohydrates. Such foods are typically high in protein and fats. Proteins and fats are less easily digested when compared to carbohydrates. Therefore the digestion of the food takes longer. Consequently, you feel hungry less often. Thus, the Atkins diet works in two ways.

This being one of the oldest diets for weight-loss, it has undergone a lot of scrutiny and many drawbacks in the diet have come out over a period of time.

1. The diet is restrictive in nature and any diet that restricts a certain food-group is not good for health, as it poses the risk of deficiency diseases.

2. The diet consists mainly of high-fat items. This leads to a risk of increased cholesterol levels which might lead to heart problems.

3.Another problem with the diet is the low fiber in the diet. This can cause problems in digestion.

4. Ketosis causes formation of ketone bodies. These bodies are harmful to the kidney and cause renal-disorders. In addition, the urine turns acidic and contains leached out calcium. This leads to the bones become brittle and may be one of the reasons for osteoporosis.

5. Due to the restrictive nature of the diet, in regard of what you are allowed to eat and not, sticking to the diet is a problem.

When compared with all the disadvantages, a healthier option for losing weight would be Exercise. The Atkins diet works by changing your metabolism. Subsequently when you revert back to a normal diet, the body reverses its metabolism and all the weight lost is gained back. Exercise on the other hand, works by increasing your metabolism. When you exercise, your metabolic rate increases. Consequently all the stored fats are burned up and future weight-gain is also prevented. The Atkins diet is just a method of weight loss. It fails to strengthen and tone the muscles in your body. Exercise does all this along with weight-loss.

Continuing the Atkins diet for very long is not desirable nor is it affordable. Exercise on the other hand is desirable and affordable too. Fitness boot camps are a very effective option in this regard. Exercise is thus a long-term strategy. The Atkins diet can’t be undertaken by older people or people with dietary restrictions, due to its nature. Exercise on the other hand is universal and is advised to all.

Thus considering both, the Atkins diet and exercise, it is seen that a healthy diet with exercise is more advisable than undertaking such diets which can have deleterious effects on the body.

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