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Hard to believe that a diet that has been around since 1972 is still such a hot topic. Of course, a diet that advocates eating high protein, high fat food while cutting out most of the carbohydrates is a popular diet of choice today. Although it has come under some scrutiny over the last couple of years, one thing is for certain - this diet can lead to serious weight loss!

Jumping forward from 1972, Dr. Atkins published three books on his diet plans between 1992 and 2002. He has also published several companion books, like cookbooks, journals and various specialized dieting books. Using these books and his diet plan, a great amount of weight loss success has been achieved by numerous dieters.

Over the last few years, Dr. Atkins’ diet has not only been popular in homes, but in restaurants and grocery stores, as well. Many restaurants are now featuring an “Atkins” option, or low-carb selections based on his or other similar diet plans. Atkins Advantage is a company that is creating and distributing nutritional bars, shakes and other goods based on the Atkins diet in grocery stores, pharmacies and discount outlets nationwide.

One of the main draws of the Atkins diet is the fact that when you follow it, counting calories is not something that is required. No funny charts are used and no journal has to be kept (unless you choose to). You also don’t have to watch “portions” when you are on the Atkins diet. You can eat as much of certain types of food as you want, when you want, without worry. This leads to another of the pros of the diet - serious weight loss!

Another thing that attracts people to the Atkins diet is the fact that you can eat as much meat, cheese and eggs as you like. High fat, high cholesterol foods are not a “no-no” with the Atkins diet. As anyone who has been on a diet knows, you have to give up something when you choose to follow any kind of plan. This plan allows you to keep eating as much protein rich foods as you want.

One of the main complaints about the Atkins diet is its strict limitation of carbohydrates, which includes basic foods like bread, pasta, rice and even fruits. You can up your intake of eggs, cheese and any type of meat, but you have to practically eliminate any processed flours and sugars from your daily food intake. Some say even this is not that big of a problem in an age where artificial sweeteners can allow you those guilty pleasures, like ice cream. Also, if you stick with the diet long enough, those craving for carbs will not be as strong and easily managed. However, if you cheat and eat carbs occasionally to stop those cravings, they will come back stronger and stronger.

This diet has been criticized by others in the medical community, which might be seen as another drawback to the diet. It does not conform to the American Heart Association’s guidelines for a healthy heart due to its high levels of cholesterol and fatty foods. Other medical professionals also state that due to this diet’s low levels of dietary fiber, it can lead to constipation and bowel problems. It can also lead to high levels of uric acid and ketones in the body, since it is burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. These high levels can lead to problems with the kidneys and headaches.

Truthfully, if you are finding success with this diet, it could be the correct diet for you. However, if you are experiencing health problems or are not satisfied on this diet, it probably is not. As with other diets, the dropout rate of those who start the Atkins diet is high…so it obviously isn’t the best thing since “sliced bread”!


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