Do You Need Herbal Supplements When On Atkins Diet?

Although the Atkins diet has been criticized for encouraging people to consume foods high in fat and not restricting caloric intake, the fact remains that the diet is effective at shedding pounds and keeping cholesterol levels low.  However, the Atkins diet also advises to avoid fruits, vegetables, breads, and grainsâ??all known sources of dietary fiber and a number of vitamins and minerals essential to your body.  So, even though the diet may help keep the pounds off, will you need herbal supplements to stay healthy as well?

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To best answer this question, it is important to remember that there are four different stages of the Atkins diet:  Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Premaintenance, and Maintenance.  During Induction, you must limit carbohydrate intake to only 20 grams per day and those carbs that you must completely avoid include:  breads; fruits; veggies; most dairy products except cheese, butter, or cream; and grains.  While the period of induction only lasts 14 days, it is especially during this period of adjustment where you will want to include some herbal supplements.

Constipation symptoms include infrequent bowel movements and difficulty or pain while passing stool.  It is common for people to experience constipation during the initial induction phase of the Atkins diet and there are two primary reasons for this.  First, sudden changes in diet are a known cause of constipation.  With the Atkins diet, this is mostly caused by the sudden loss of dietary fiber (rich sources include breads, grains, fruits and vegetablesâ??all banned during the induction phase).  You will want to take herbal supplements at least 3 or 4 days before beginning the Atkins diet to avoid problems with constipation due to fiber loss. 

Constipation is also caused by dehydration and the Atkins diet has a diuretic affect (water loss) on your bodyâ??especially in the beginning.  Therefore, it best to avoid any herbal supplements known to cause dehydration and always increase water intake when taking any medication or supplements. 

The induction phase of the Atkins diet also tends to deprive the body of Vitamin C and folic acid (no fruits or vegetables) so herbal supplements that replenish these critical substances are also beneficial during the induction phase of the Atkins diet.  During the Ongoing Maintenance portion of the diet, a person is allowed to increase carbohydrate intake to a level that is still in keeping with weight loss goals.  Just be sure to increase carbohydrates with dietary fiber, Vitamin A, and folic acid in order to avoid taking more herbal supplements during the final stages of the Atkins diet.  In some cases, you may not be able to get enough of these substances in your normal diet while still meeting weight loss goals.  In such cases, you will need to continue using herbal supplements.

One Response to “Do You Need Herbal Supplements When On Atkins Diet?”

  1. John Morgan says:

    so do you need herbal supplements?? You did not answer the question. You talked about diet pills.

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