Right now you are probably like most other consumers following the standard food pyramid
, consisting of some variation of the five basic food groups.
Chances are you do not follow the USDA recommendation to the letter, but you get by eating 2-3 servings of dairy, 2-4 servings of fruit, and 6-11 servings of grains
The key to the Atkins diet is this: if you cut off carbohydrate intake (from flour, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup), then the body will alter its metabolism to burn stored fat instead of the fast-burning quick-energy from carbs.
This is achieved by halting your intake of bread, sugar, juice, anything with carbohydrates in it. This causes your body to enter a state of ketosis
. when your body is in ketosis, it burns the fat that it has stored for energy in the past. By continuing to restrict carbs, your body keeps burning fat, and you lose weight until you gradually add carbs back in to your diet to stabilize the effect. The carbohydrate content of a food can be found on its nutrition facts
Before anyone asks, it is not dangerous to live without consuming carbohydrates. This is explained very well in an article that I have linked to previously in this step, and in Dr. Atkins' book
. I highly suggest it, it is a really good read.