Best Fitness Routine for the Atkins Diet

Fitness plus Atkin

Who’s Diet?

The first few years of medical practice was tough for Dr. Robert C. Atkins. He suffered through a lot of stress and gained a lot of weight. To remedy this, he put himself on a diet plan that was high in protein and fat but very low in the area of carbohydrates. For example, the diet allowed him to consume as much meat, cheese and eggs as he wanted while cutting sugar and carbohydrates (like bread, pasta, fruits, vegetables and milk) to a bare minimum. His theory was that by consuming carbs, his body would charge full steam ahead on the production of insulin which would then lead him to feeling hungry, overeat and gain weight. Instead, the Atkins Diet actually makes one have a decreased appetite and the stored fat is then used for energy. Dr. Atkins passed away in 2003 at the age of 72, but his diet lives on.

Diet or Exercise or Both?Mediterranean Atkins Diet Meal that includes Grilled Pork Chop, Peppers and Olives.

While many people still lose weight by dieting alone, most doctors don’t recommend it if one is looking for the maximum benefit. Combing exercise with dieting helps one build and/or maintain one’s muscles, bones and joints. It also improves one’s psychological well-being, reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and developing diabetes. By exercising regularly, one can maintain their weight and boost one’s energy levels while at the same time, reduce depression and anxiety. It can help one sleep better too.

Exercising Can Be Tough

One of the drawbacks of following the Atkins diet is that it can make exercising more difficult. Cutting out the carbs means to also cutting out some of the energy too.

“The Atkins diet philosophy requires an extreme reduction of carbohydrate consumption, with induction being the strictest. The lack of energy provided through food can make many exercises incredibly challenging,” says “It’s not that the exercises are “bad” or can’t help you lose more weight. The problem is you literally don’t have the energy to effectively complete certain exercises.”

With that said, the more one exercises, the stronger one becomes and the more energy one has at their disposal, so you can get to a healthy balance if you are dedicated and patient enough to see it through.

The Best Plan for New Dieters

Often, newbies at the gym tend to migrate over to the treadmills or exercise bikes thinking that by doing aerobic exercises is the way to lose calories fast. While aerobic exercise is great, it won’t lead one down the road to success all by itself. The best exercise plan for everyone from beginners to veterans is resistance training.

Resistance training helps one to build muscle and maintain that hard-won muscle. The more muscle mass one has, the larger the daily calorie burn will be. In other words, if your muscles are big enough, you can actually burn calories on the days when you aren’t working out. However, if you want to keep this engine running effectively, you need to keep training.

Resistance training is actually less time consuming than the typical earobic exercise plan. You run through a set of exercises, rest about 60-90 seconds and then do them again. And you don’t need to lift really heavy weights to see results either.

To get the biggest bang for your buck, you’ll want to focus on large muscle groups while avoiding smaller muscle groups. Some of the best exercises to for resistance training include bench presses, lat machine pull downs, triceps push downs, barbell curls, squats, leg extensions, hamstring curls and calf raises. Just three 20-minute workouts is all you need each week. Mix and match the exercises to keep motivated. Heck, take a walk or ride your bike to add to the mix for more variety.

If you don’t belong to a gym, doing body weight exercises is also a great idea. Using the same principle stated above, create your own workouts mixing and matching push-ups, pull-ups, triceps dips, sit-ups, wall squats, jump squats, lunges and calf raises.

a young woman doing squats at the gym

The 20-Minute Beginning Workout highlights what they consider their basic 20-minute workout which is geared toward those new to a low carb diet. The workout includes five basic exercises: squats, wall push-ups, crunches, spine stretches and relaxation breathing:

Stand and face away about eight inches or so from a chair. Bend your legs and basically, just sit in the chair. Well, actually, just barely sit and then stand up. That’s it. Now repeat 10 times.

Wall Push-Ups:
Standing about an arm’s length away from the wall, place your hands on the wall about a shoulder width apart palms flat on the wall. Lean in towards the wall as if you were doing a regular floor push-up. Come close to pressing your chest to the wall and then go back to the original position. Repeat 10 more times. (After a week or two when you have that mastered, move to the floor for regular push-ups.)

Lying on the floor, bend your legs and place your feet flat on the floor. Clasp your hands behind your head with your elbows touching the floor. Keep your back flat against the floor as well. Curl your upper body up and hold for a second or two before curl back down. Repeat as many times as you can with a goal of reaching anywhere between 10 and 20 reps.

Spine Stretch:
Lay on the floor and bring your left knee to your chest and hold it in place with both hands for a few seconds. Then, place your left arm on the floor at a 90 degree angle from your body. Put your right hand on the outside of your left knee. Now, gently push the left knee toward the floor on the right side of your body while turning your head to the left side. Then do it all again with the other knee.

Find a comfortable place to sit. Breath air deeply through your nose and then exhale slowly also through the nose. Repeat as long as you like.

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