No Cerveza... No Trabajo
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Where's my beer?
Atkins' diet works by putting your body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs whenever the body lacks a sufficient supply of carbohydrates, the body's primary source of energy. During ketosis, the carb-depleted metabolisms look for other sources, including ketones from stored fat and protein (thus the name ketosis).
Ketosis is the body's last ditch emergency response. Basically, the Atkins diet attempts to place your body into an emergency response 24/7. This is definetly not health for pregnant women (which I'm sure doesn't include you!) and people with diabetes.
What most champions of the Atkins diet concentrate so much on the fat burning capability of ketosis, they never mention that over a longer period protein, thus muscle, is also burned.
Also, by restricting carbs, it will inevitably lead to lack of fiber, which will screw up your digestion.
Not to mention the Atkins diet is also high in fat, thus high amounts of cholesterol and saturated fat, increase the risk of heart disease and some cancers.
The last problem I see with the Atkins diet is that is does nothing to encourage weight management strategies (portion control, serving sizes), let alone develop skills for balanced nutrition.
I haven't read any studies regarding long term use of the Atkins diet, along the lines of "100 people lost 50 lbs each, but after 1 year after being off the diet, 50 people had gained it back". Sure they are coming soon.
When you lose weight, even a controlled 1-2 pounds a week, you invariably lose some lean muscle mass. Unfortunately, when you yo-yo diet (gaining some weight back), 100% of the weight gain (if you aren't working out) will be fat. So, if you lose 10 lbs and 1 lb is muscle, when you gain 5 lbs back, your body composition is actually worse off, then when you started the diet.
Because Atkins diet promotes lean mass as an energy source, its effect as described above is magnified.
Of course, ironically, Atkins was hospitalized in April of this year, with cardiac arrest while waiting for breakfast at a restaurant....