Unlike many diet or health writers, I am not irrationally prejudiced against the Atkins diet. Eating according to the the requirements of the induction phase for a few weeks at the beginning is not going to result in a sudden loss of health. It does indeed seem that those who are opposed to the Atkins diet don’t seem to be familiar with it. Many critics seem to think that the Atkins diet forbids a dieter from eating anything but fatty meat, cheese, and dairy products. They ignore, or perhaps they are unaware of the fact that even in the induction phase participants are encouraged to eat lots of fresh vegetables.
Atkins diet: trouble keeping it up
It’s a fact that many people who have gone on the Atkins or other low-carb diets have found their health improve. Diabetics do better when they are not eating lots of carbohydrates. Long-term studies attempting to follow people on the Atkins diet have not found the dreaded health effects that were feared.
Anecdotally speaking, I have heard a great many people say that they turned their health around, and changing some sort of low carb diet was a big part of it. I have never heard anyone warn that they honestly tried it and became much sicker. While this is anecdotal, it is interesting.
It has been shown that people who lose weight on the Atkins diet do so by consuming fewer calories. So despite the claims of “fat doesn’t count” and carb-counting being somehow different, like all other diets this follows the laws of physics: consuming fewer calories than you use results in weight loss. The fact is that being permitted to eat fat means people are more satisfied, and eat less.
One objection of mine to the Atkins diet relates to why I did not lose weight on it, which is that I was able to increase my fat intake to the point where the number of calories I was eating meant I was not losing weight. I don’t know how common this is.
But the other objection is that in the end, it is still a diet which people impose on themselves and eventually fall away from. Studies show that in the long run, Atkins works about as well as other diets. In the end, only changes to eating habits will result in permanent weight loss.