Myth vs Fact: The Atkins diet


The people at Atkins have had to take a lot of stick, and they’ve taken it on the chin. But this is where they get the chance to answer back.

Atkins bans you from eating carbs they say: This is perhaps the biggest myth of all. Atkins is low-carb, not no-cart. It’s about eating healthy ones and you only have to count Net Carbs .

Atkins is an extreme diet that limits what you eat for as long as you do it they say: Wrong. Atkins breaks weight loss down into phases. For example, the Induction phase is the most restrictive, limiting you to 20g Net Carbs per day, but things get easier. In the Ongoing Weight Loss and Pre-Maintenance phases, you increase your carb allowance by 5g a day weekly until you’re within 5-101bs of your goal weight, and then you add another lag of Net Carbs per day, slowing your weight loss down to 1-2lbs a month.

All the protein you eat on Atkins causes kidney and liver damage.

They say: There are no studies to show that Atkins causes kidney or liver problems in healthy individuals. Research trials on liver, kidney and heart function in people on low-carb diets showed no negative effects.

Atkins makes you hungry They say: If you’re hungry, eat! If you feel ‘starving’, you should have eaten 30 minutes ago. Just as overeating can cause your body to resist weight loss, so can eating too little, which slows down your metabolism. Eat little and often.

Atkins is a crash diet

They say: The Atkins Nutritional Approach”‘ is about far more than weight loss. You can do the last phase even if you are a healthy weight and don’t want to shed pounds. We believe that almost everyone will experience health benefits by controlling carbohydrates.

Atkins is bad for your heart they say: You may have heard that a diet high in saturated fat causes heart disease, but it’s a diet high in refined carbs combined with fat that’s the real villain.

Once you cut nutrient-empty carbs such as sugar, the fat you eat is burned for fuel. Studies show that triglyceride levels drop on Atkins, while levels of HDL (or ‘good’) cholesterol rise.

Atkins causes hair loss

They say: it’s natural to go through periodic phases of hair loss, and weight-loss can lower your metabolic rate, resulting in hair loss. Atkins is the weight-loss plan least likely to contribute to hair loss because the higher calorific content prevents ‘starvation’ mode in the body.