Atkins Diet Review

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Think Twice

Atkins is a low-carb diet that’s been around since the 1970s and is known for rapid weight loss. It earns mixed reviews because of the stringent restrictions on carbohydrates and concerns about its long-term effect on your body.

The Atkins Diet (starting at $10.88/book, Amazon) is a controversial approach to losing weight. Some research, as reported in Atkins Diet reviews on sites such as Healthy Weight Forum, say the protein-rich, high-fat diet may be linked to health risks such as heart and renal disease, colon cancer, and osteoporosis. Experts also express concern about the diet's lack of sufficient nutrients and vitamins found in fruits and vegetables, which constitute a small portion of the plan, and about inadequate amounts of fiber and calcium. The rigid dietary requirements, including the near total elimination of carbohydrates, mean the body burns fat for fuel, a process that an Atkins Diet review on Weight Loss Resources says can cause dizziness, insomnia, bad breath, constipation, tiredness, and weakness. Moreover, dieters’ reviews of the Atkins approach say the absence of variety in food choices makes for a boring, one-note food regimen that can leave you craving the so-called bad stuff.

On the other hand, many consumers who posted Atkins Diet reviews report significant weight loss. At Top Diets, for example, followers write about losing weight quickly, especially in the first phase when you go cold-turkey on carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, cereal, rice, and even fruit. Some dieters tell of initial success but trouble staying with it; many caution that the weight returns once you depart from the prescribed food plan.

The Atkins Diet has been around since the 1970s and an updated version was released in 2010 that does a better job explaining how to incorporate the diet into your everyday life. The diet involves four phases: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance, and lifetime maintenance. In each phase dieters can add tiny amounts of carbohydrates back into their meals, although the total allocation in the last phase is still less than half the average American adult's daily intake of carbs. The diet is heavy on meat, poultry, fish, eggs, some cheeses, butter, salad vegetables, and oils, which makes it appealing to men but largely useless for vegetarians. Caffeine is allowed but alcohol is banned. According to Atkins Diet reviews, you can lose up to 10 pounds in phase 1 and about three pounds a week in phase 2; after that, weight loss slows until you hit your goal. The Atkins Diet offers a free online support system.

The mixed expert and consumer reviews and the extremely limited food options are reasons to pause. This is one diet you might want to think about twice before embarking on -- and definitely consult with your doctor first.

Louis DeNicola

Louis DeNicola is a freelance personal finance writer who specializes in credit, debt, and practical money-saving tips. He loves stacking savings opportunities to get amazing deals, traveling for free using credit card rewards, and teaching others how to do the same. Connect with Louis by visiting louisdenicola.com.

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