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Perhaps the most controversial diets to come along in recent years is the Atkins Diet. While the jury may still be out on the short-term and long-term effects of the diet, the main thing the average person wants to know is how much weight will be lost on the Atkins Diet. That's really what it comes down to, but just like the diet itself, the answer to even that seemingly simple question isn't that easy to figure out.

One such study looked at 120 adults who were overweight, and then tried the Atkins Diet. Over the course of 12 months the participants were reported to have lost an average of 26 pounds (about 12 kilograms). This seems like good news when compared to another popular diet where the participants only lost an average of 13 pounds (about 6 kilograms). That alone would seem like conclusive evidence of the effectiveness of the Atkins program.

As mentioned, the Atkins Diet seems to be a magnet for controversy and this study of its effectiveness is no exception. The problem is that while participants may have lost a decent amount of weight, they people conducting the study did not look further into the weight that was lost. For example, they didn't measure body fat percentage, which could have shown if it a loss of water, fat or muscle that caused the reduction in pounds. In other words, the raw data looks good on the surface, but it doesn't tell us if it was healthy weight loss or not.

See, if losing all of the weight is unhealthy, then that would obviously have a negative impact on your overall health. The problem is that you may be so focused on the thrill of losing weight that the possibility of ill effects won't dawn on you. To make matters worse, many of the health problems can take years before they have manifested themselves, and it will be too late to do anything about it when it happens.

To be clear, we are not saying that the Atkins Diet causes poor health. But that more studies need to be done, and any such study needs to look at several factors to determine how healthy the weight loss is. So, it's not really a question of how much weight will be lost on the Atkins Diet, but whether or not it's a healthy weight loss.

At this time there is really no hard and fast rule about going on the Atkins Diet. There are still too many questions, and some of the answers won't be known for several years. Your best bet at this point is to talk to your doctor about your particular situation and if the potential risks outweigh the known benefits of going on the diet. Someone who is morbidly obese may want to take the risk because being extremely overweight may be more dangerous than the unknown risks of the diet itself. As long as you are looking at things realistically, then how much weight will be lost on the Atkins Diet is really up to you.

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