The Eco-Atkins Diet is a weight loss strategy that was developed to provide vegetarians and vegans with an option that is meant to work as an alternative to the Atkins Diet. Like the meat-focused Atkins Diet, Eco-Atkins is also centered around a low carb, high protein eating strategy.
High Protein, No Meat
This vegetarian version of the Atkins Diet was first developed by researchers in Toronto, Canada, at St. Michael’s Hospital. Their goal had been to see whether or not a high protein vegetarian diet could bring about a reduction of both body weight and bad (LDL) cholesterol.
The research team came up with the Eco-Atkins Diet in order to respect the same protein to carb ratio as the original diet, while replacing the animal protein – which was high in fat – with a vegetable protein that is typically lower in fat. This protein was mainly in the form of gluten and soy.
What the Research Said
The results of the study were published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, when it found that the diet brought about an average of 8.8 pounds in the first four weeks, improved blood pressure, triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Bad cholesterol improved by 0.6 percent, which was significant, particularly for that amount of time.
How to Follow the Eco-Atkins Diet
The Eco-Atkins Diet requires dieters to eat foods that are made up mostly of protein, healthy fats and carbs from high fiber vegetables. Around 30 percent of the daily calorie intake comes from plant proteins, about 45 percent comes from vegetable oils, and another 25 percent from carbohydrates. Foods most commonly consumed on this diet include healthy fats, beans, soy foods, seeds, nuts, fruits, no-starch gluten products, vegetables and fruits.
As meat is excluded from Eco-Atkins, protein sources are typically soy beverages, gluten, soy burgers, tofu, and vegetarian alternative versions such as breakfast links, bacon and deli slices. Other sources include nuts, certain cereals and vegetables. There is an emphasis placed on certain vegetables over others, with a preference for viscous veggies such as eggplant, okra and other low starch options.
Fats Preferred for the Eco-Atkins Diet
The good fats preferred in this diet include olive oil, canola oil, nuts and avocado. Carbs are meant to come exclusively from cereals, vegetables and fruits. A small amount of barley and oats are permitted. However, enriched white flour based foods and sugary foods were banned, such as white rice, white bread, potatoes, and the majority of baked products such as cakes, muffins and cookies.
Despite the fact that following Eco Atkins Diet strategies does help some dieters to improve their overall nutrition, the improvements in this and in weight loss were not all that much better than other nutritionally balanced weight loss diet plans. It is primarily the cholesterol improving benefits of this diet that makes it stand out from other balanced vegan or vegetarian diets.
Which Atkins Version is Better?
A former president of the American Heart Association, University of Denver professor Robert Eckel, MD, calls both the Eco-Atkins Diet and the Atkins Diet too restrictive for the majority of people to continue following over the long term. That said, between the two, it was the vegan and vegetarian version that was labeled as better by Dr. Eckel.
Still, whether or not the Eco-Atkins Diet is for you isn’t just a matter of whether or not it is better than the original eating strategy. There are many factors to consider as you decide if you should give this method a try. It is a very restrictive diet and would be even tougher for someone who is not already used to a vegetarian lifestyle.
For many people, that means that the change will be only temporary as most people find it challenging to keep up a highly restrictive lifestyle change over the long term. This risks not only dropping this healthy lifestyle but also returning to an old one that caused the weight to be gained in the first place. Also, after feeling as though a diet such as this one has failed, it can be more difficult to start a new strategy. The disappointment and feeling of failure can become a barrier instead of a motivation.
Beyond that, the Eco-Atkins Diet can also prove challenging to individuals who don’t have a great deal of experience in nutrition and eating a balanced diet without any meat. This can cause a spectrum of potential nutrition problems and related symptoms.
The Ketogenic Diet, also known as the Keto Diet, is an eating strategy for weight loss that is not dissimilar to the Atkins Diet and other very low carb diets. The goal of this plan is to achieve a state of ketosis in the body, which is a state in which the metabolism functions differently as a result of very low carbohydrate intake. Often, it results in improved fat burning when compared to many other forms of weight loss strategy.
The History of the Ketogenic Diet
One of the Keto Diet’s founders is Dr. Russell Wilder. His contribution occurred in the 1920s, when he became the first person to test diabetes patients for insulin. He was among the heads of the Mayo Clinic at the time and eventually took the top spot in the department of medicine, metabolism, and nutrition.
The purpose of the Ketogenic Diet strategy is to improve the body’s rate of fat burning by making the right food choices. This can be further enhanced by selecting foods that encourage ketone production in the liver. Ketones are energy molecules the liver produces from fat. They provide the body and the brain with fuel.
There are three main types: acetate (acetone), acetoacetate (AcAc), and beta hydroxybutyrate (BHB). Of the three, BHB isn’t actually a true form of ketone, but it still plays a central role in brain stimulation and the formation of new neural tissue, which is a function at the heart of ketosis. The main ketone is AcAc, which is typically converted into either energy or BHB.
Drawbacks of the Keto Diet
Ketosis can help to boost the rate of fat burning and many people find it to be effective as long as they maintain it efficiently. That said, the process is not without its drawbacks. Among the most noticeably struggles can include a symptom called “keto breath,” where the breath gains a very distinct odor from the way the body is functioning. The urine often changes smell as well.
Advantages of Using the Ketogenic Diet
While on the Ketogenic Diet, the body’s main source of energy is the fat already stored on it. It is for this reason that it can sometimes lead to rapid weight loss, as the body will burn away stored fat in order to function and give you the energy you need to get through your day. That said, while this diet may be marketed mainly as a weight loss strategy, it isn’t necessarily meant exclusively for that. It can also be used by people who have mild to severe health conditions. It is also often opted for by people trying to lower their body mass index and/or achieve a healthier overall body. In fact, it was once used – and is sometimes still used – as a part of the effort to treat children suffering from epilepsy.
This has made the Keto Diet very popular over the last few years. As its effectiveness for fat burning was identified, it took off as a weight loss diet.
Among the main advantages of following this type of diet is that hunger is rarely a problem. Moreover, blood sugar levels drop and stay stead because you are consuming more proteins and fats than carbs. That said, many people struggle with certain challenges when following this diet, such as the fact that it is highly restrictive, difficult to keep up over the long term and can sometimes result in constipation due to the reduced fiber intake from cutting carbs.
Is Keto Dieting For You?
No single type of dieting is right for everyone. There are many things to take into consideration, even when you’re looking at some of the more popular or successful strategies. Your first step, as annoying as it might seem, is to talk to your doctor. Yes, it is a nuisance and is possibly an expense. However, it is one of your top ways to know if you’re choosing a weight management strategy that will be safe for your medical and health needs. It is also the best way for you to know if it will be possible to use this strategy to meet your goal expectations.
While talking to your doctor, discuss the specific version of the ketogenic diet that you intend to follow. Talk about the types of foods you will be eating. This will help you to make sure you’re keeping your nutrition where it should be. Beyond that, be sure to remind your doctor of any medical conditions you have, medications you are taking, and even any supplements you use. Remember that this should include medications and supplements you’re not only taking currently, but also any you already know you will be using throughout your weight management efforts.
The reason is that the way you eat and putting your body into ketosis can alter the way certain drugs are absorbed or the way they function. Moreover, this diet works in direct opposition to certain types of obesity medication, such as fat blockers.
At this point, there are very few people who haven’t heard of the Atkins Diet. It was the first major fad to place low carb dieting into the spotlight. Though it was first created in 1972, it wasn’t until over twenty years later that it truly reached its peak.
Still, even after the Atkins Diet exploded in popularity, what most people learned about it was that it required dieters to consume a low carbohydrate diet. In fact, many people believed that it involved the attempt to eat no carbs at all. Many myths circulated and distorted the main understanding of what this eating strategy involved.
If you’re curious about the truth behind this diet, read on and discover what it’s truly about.
What is the Atkins Diet?
The Atkins Diet, also known as Atkins 20, is a low carb, high protein, moderate fat intake eating strategy that is meant to help you to quickly lose weight without suffering from hunger or feeling deprived from the foods you love. At the time that it first came out it had a certain amount of popularity, but it went through a significant return around the turn of the millennium.
At that time, millions of people were using the strategy to try to shed the pounds, including many well known celebrities. The diet had a popular website, books and a range of other branded products. In fact, many grocery chains carried special Atkins food items that helped people to enjoy their favorites without overeating carbs.
An Evolving Eating Strategy
The Atkins Diet has shifted and changed over the years in order to keep up with the latest nutrition and health research. The original strategy was revolutionary but was found to be flawed in some of its principles. The most recent form of Atkins now focuses more on lean proteins, healthy fats and veggies that are high in fiber.
Four Phases to the Atkins Diet
This diet is broken down into four phases to be followed by the dieter. That said, no matter the phase, the main proteins and fats to consume are meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, cheese, butter and oils. At the same time, sugary and starchy carbohydrates need to be avoided. They include foods such as potatoes, bread, chips, pasta, candy and cookies.
The Atkins Diet starts off rather restrictive but works its way toward allowing a growing number of foods once the body has adapted and adjusted.
- Phase 1 is meant to cause the body to stop burning carbs and to start burning fats instead, a process called ketosis. During that phases, weight loss typically occurs quite quickly. In this phase, dieters eat proteins, fats, and no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates, all of which must come from vegetables.
- Phase 2 starts to introduce some new foods into the dieter’s allowable options. This is a time of gradual trial and error, allowing the dieter to determine how many carbs they can eat while continuing to lose weight.
- Phase 3 doesn’t begin until the diet has only around 10 pounds left before reaching their weight loss goal. This teaches the dieter how to polish off the rest of the weight loss they still have left.
- Phase 4 is the last one and is meant to be maintained over the long term. This phase is designed to make sure that once the weight has been lost, it will never come back.
A Less Restrictive Form of Atkins
It should be noted that there is a less rigid form of the Atkins Diet, called Atkins 40, which goes by similar strategies as the Atkins 20 version, only it is not as restrictive. For example, during the first phase, dieters can eat 40 grams of carbs instead of just 20 grams. Moreover, there aren’t any food groups that are completely excluded. There are limits to certain fats, but no rigid guidelines regarding the consumption of many proteins such as meats.
Other versions of this strategy have been created to appeal to people who are concerned with the environment or who want an option that is plant-based, such as Eco-Atkins.
No matter which version of the Atkins Diet you’re considering, it’s very important to speak with your doctor first. This eating strategy is not appropriate for everyone and may even be dangerous for people with certain common medical conditions. Talking to a medical professional will help you to know if this is the right option for you or if an alternative may be safer and more effective.
The New Atkins Diet is an updated version of the diet that became explosively popular in the late 90’s and into the 21st century. Since the original was starting to show wear and many people who had been following had discovered its flaws, this new version promised improved successes.
The New Atkins Diet’s book “New Atkins New You” became wildly popular, with the promise on its cover “Lose up to 15lbs in 2 weeks”. The book declared that the weight would be very easy to lose in this form and that it’s healthy, too. Of course, with claims like that, it’s not difficult to understand why it has also been the target of substantial criticism.
What is the New Atkins Diet?
The New Atkins Diet is the strategy outlined in a book written by three doctors: Dr. Stephen Phinney, Dr. Jeff Volek, and Dr. Eric Westman. Drs. Phinney and Volek were both members of the Atkins Science Advisory Board. The purpose of the book was quite basic: to offer a new and updated version of the original strategy created by Dr. Robert Atkins with astounding popularity.
What most critics had expected to find from the New Atkins Diet book was that they would need to cut carbs, but not quite as dramatically as the original version. They also figured that while they would be encouraged to eat protein and fat, there would be a greater focus on healthy fats, while avoiding saturated fats. This was not the case.
The main difference between the original and the New Atkins Diet strategies was that there was less science applied to the methods, but that there was a substantially larger amount of practical advice available to the dieter. This meant that while the problems associated with the concept of the original diet were mainly still there, it did become easier for dieters to understand in a way that they could apply to their real lives.
The New Atkins Diet’s 4 Phases
Like the original diet, the New Atkins Diet also has four phases which must be followed by the dieter. The book offered the same guidelines regarding the quantity of carbohydrates permitted during each phase. That said, the book also offered more practical information to help the dieter actually achieve that goal in a realistic way.
Unfortunately, the same concerns remain throughout each phase of the New Atkins Diet. By following this guidance, it is still very easy for a dieter to lose track of nutrition in favor of focusing on his or her macro balance. With very little focus on consuming fruits and vegetables, for instance, it would be quite simple for a dieter to avoid eating many of the nutrients he or she should be consuming every day. Fiber intake would also likely fall, leading to a range of challenges including likely constipation.
The Bulletproof Diet was created by Dave Asprey. Asprey is the founder of the Bulletproof company, which was launched in 2013. Briefly, his story says that he had been very unhealthy and then started following a diet very different from the traditional weight loss strategy. This included melting butter into his morning coffee, among other changes.
That said, Asprey claims that following his Bulletproof diet helped him to lose 100 pounds of fat, eliminated the signs of six chronic diseases – which were not identified – experienced increased energy and productivity and he even claims that his IQ spiked by 20 points. To be clear, aside from the weight (not necessarily fat) loss, none of the additional claims are verifiable. Therefore, it’s very important for dieters to take a much closer look at this diet and to talk to their doctors before starting this type of dieting.
The Bulletproof Diet Rules
There are ten rules someone is supposed to follow if they are using the Bulletproof Diet to lose weight. They are mainly a matter of eliminating certain foods because they are “toxic” according to Asprey.
- Cut out all sugar – This includes natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey.
- Replace any sugars with healthy fats – Therefore, where you’d usually eat sugar, honey or maple syrup, you should include grass fed butter or any of the pricy branded Bulletproof fat products.
- Eliminate anything other than “clean” meats – Clean meats are grass fed meats and wild caught seafood. This will likely present a barrier to anyone whose grocery list is made on a budget.
- Eliminate grains and gluten – Asprey believes that gluten has “many negative effects”. That said, most doctors disagree, and some studies show that people who eliminate gluten when they do not have celiac disease or another specific tolerance have an increased risk of heart disease.
- Eliminate all artificial colorings, flavorings and other additives.
- Eliminate all legumes except for sprouted legumes – Sprouted legumes are permitted, but only if you must have them. They’re best cut out as well, according to the Bulletproof Diet.
- Eliminate all processed, pasteurized and homogenized dairy – Only full-fat raw dairy is permitted with the Bulletproof Diet. This will prove difficult for the millions of people living in areas where it is illegal to sell raw dairy to the consumer.
- Switch to organic fruits and veggies.
- Gently cook foods – Ideally, they should not be heated to more than 320ºF, should not be fried and should not be microwaved.
- Eat only 1 to 2 servings of fruit per day – Ideally, fruits should be low-sugar options. The Bulletproof diet recommends berries and lemons.
The Bulletproof Diet is typically considered to be a form of extreme dieting.
The Metabolic Blowtorch Diet is a type of strategy that involves a fasting protocol meant to help with fat loss and muscle preservation. Intermittent fasting isn’t anything new, but this diet takes its own direction with that concept.
What’s Involved in The Metabolic Blowtorch Diet
The Metabolic Blowtorch Diet is a strategy that shifts and adapts depending on what you happen to be doing in a day. For example, the way you eat will change depending on whether it is a training day or a non-training day. There are also some differences to be observed by men and women, to be discussed later in this review.
On non-training days, intermittent fasting is a central component of the Metabolic Blowtorch Diet design. On training days, there is a focus on adjusting carbohydrate intake. This is particularly true on days when weight training is involved.
The Metabolic Blowtorch Diet Difference
Most fasting protocols will require you to fast for 16 hours, keeping any eating that you do within a specific 8 hour span of the day. Typically, this means that from the point you wake up in the morning, all your meals will fit into the first 8 hours. Then, you can’t eat anything for the next 16 hours. However, the Metabolic Blowtorch Diet changes things around a little.
For one thing, the Metabolic Blowtorch Diet is split into two types of intermittent fasting timing: for men and for women. Men must fast for 16 to 20 hours per day. Women, on the other hand, must fast for only 12 to 15 hours per day. These hours are meant only for non-training days. When you’re working out, fasting is not required. In fact, it’s discouraged. The diet works with food, adjusting carbs on weight training days, instead of denying the body of the energy and recovery tools it needs to excel during and after workouts.
Does the Metabolic Blowtorch Diet Work?
The Metabolic Blowtorch Diet involves a certain learning curve. Moreover, it requires quite a substantial lifestyle change for the majority of users. That said, for those who stick to the strategy over a stretch of time, the reviews have been primarily positive. People like the way it provides the benefits of intermittent fasting, but not on training days when there is the potential to do more harm than good. It uses carb adjustments to compensate for the lack of fasting.
Many people also like that there is a version for both men and women, taking both types of metabolism into consideration. That said, it is important to point out that the Metabolic Blowtorch Diet is not a long-term dieting strategy. This is not the type of thing that you will be able to stick to for the rest of your life but is more appropriate for someone with specific fat loss and muscle building goals over a set length of time.