If you’re having trouble sticking to diets with loose rules regarding the foods you can eat, you may want to try finding a more structured diet that’ll help you more efficiently lose weight. The Atkins diet is just that. If this diet sounds familiar, it should. It was developed over 40 years ago by Dr. Robert Atkins, but it has been changing and improving ever since and is still one of the top diets today. It has been popular ever since Dr. Atkins first started promoting his diet after finding success with it in his own weight loss journey.

The Atkins diet’s main focus is cutting back almost completely on fat-storing carbohydrates while still allowing you to eat some of the fatty foods you love like bacon, butter and mayo. This is because everyone’s body is different; for example, some people burn sugar for energy while others may burn fat for energy. The key to the Atkins diet is understanding how much sugar from carbs your body burns for energy. It’s a different type of diet because it limits your sugar and carbohydrate intake instead of making you constantly count calories like many current diets do. The steady sugar levels and low fat storage and cravings will help you burn fat and lose weight fast.

The Atkins diet consists of phases. Each phase introduces a slight increase in how many carbs you can eat starting with 20 grams during the first phase. This phase system is designed to help you find the perfect balance of carbs for you, since your body responds uniquely to different amounts of sugars. In addition to the carb cutback, you will also need to eliminate caffeine, alcohol, nuts and beans at the start. Focus instead on eating protein and fat from fish, eggs, red meat, butter and vegetable oils in small portions. As you move along the phases, you incorporate more food groups into your diet. That’s when it gets easier, but the initial phases are restrictive to really get the weight loss going.

This diet is pretty simple to do on your own since it doesn’t involve any special foods or timetables, but it will probably mean a big change in what you regularly eat. The Atkins diet does have a variety of pre-packaged meals if you need help selecting the right amount and combination of food, but you’re not required to eat those while on the diet. The only downside is that you need to stick to an approved list of food and ingredients, so there’s not a whole lot of variety in what you can eat at the beginning of the diet. However, this is perfect if you find you need a little more structure in your diet to really keep to it. The Atkins diet has also been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes in participants, and newer changes to the diet suggest focusing on plant fats is a healthier option instead of animal fats. For more information, menus or books on the Atkins diet, you can visit www.atkins.com.