In the 1970s the Atkins diet became popular for a time, but later lost popularity in the face of considerable strong criticism from medical experts. The items published on some websites critical of his diet were legally challenged by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., but they were not able to disprove the criticism. There were also reports of people having difficulty following the diet and being unable to lose weight safely. There were some though who did lose weight with it and were quite happy with what they achieved.
What is the Atkins diet? This diet was created by Dr Robert Atkins whose theory was based on the belief that too many carbs in the diet is the cause of weight gain.
The body burns simple sugars to provide the energy required. If there are insufficient sugars available the body then breaks down carbohydrates, which are complex sugars, to provide the simple sugar it can use. The theory and the reasoning which Dr, Atkins employed is that if the supply of carbs is reduced the body is forced to burn fat in order to produce the energy required and therefore the body would lose weight.
Of course exercise is an essential part of the program, since if the person does not exercise, insufficient energy is required and the calories will not be used.
The Atkins diet has three stages:
The introductory stage, which severely limits the intake of carbs from the normal average of 300 per day to 20, while protein intake is not limited. This lasts for 14 days and is the time when major weight loss occurs.
The pre-maintenance stage, where the diet is adjusted by testing foods to see if they cause weight gain.
The final stage is maintenance of a steady weight with further gradual adjustment of the diet.
Conclusion Most of the criticism of the Atkins diet appears to focus on the severe restriction of carbohydrates and the apparent lack of restriction on protein intake which it is claimed causes a very unbalanced diet and can interfere with the proper functioning of the body and brain. On balance it would seem that the Atkins diet should be used with caution and if you suffer from health problems apart from being over weight then it would be better to opt for a healthy balanced diet.