If you’re an Atkins beginner, or thinking about starting the diet you probably have a ton of questions. Does it work? Is it the right kind of diet for your lifestyle?
While proven to be incredibly effective, it has some negatives that will make it a non-starter for many people trying to lose weight.
There’s a lot to like about the Atkins diet. The food you’re allowed to eat is quite liberal compared to other diets, and the early and significant results are huge motivation boosters.
Here’s the best part of the diet:
Rapid Weight Loss
One of the key selling points of Atkins is that it actually works when followed properly. It isn’t that people experience a one or two pound weight loss either. It isn’t uncommon for disciplined dieters to lose 50-60 pounds. The weight loss is rapid and significant, especially in the initial stages.
Lots Of Meat Choices
If you’re a meat eater, and like a good steak you’ll love the Atkins diet. Year after year this is one of the more popular diets (especially among men), because of the food you’re allowed to eat. Steak, hamburger and other common meat sources are encouraged as part of your regular meal plan.
Most people try the Atkins diet for weight loss, and are pleasantly surprised with the other health benefits. In addition to shedding pounds you’re likely to lower your cholesterol and have a healthier blood sugar level.
Related: How to lose 50 pounds or more
At the top of the list of what most people don’t like, and find the most challenging are the foods you’re asked to stop eating. The core staples in many households are not allowed on the Atkins diet. You’ll be asked to stop eating bread, pasta and other common carb sources. You don’t realize how much bread you eat, and how important it is to your daily meals until you’re asked to stop.
Since this is a carb restrictive diet, it means you’ll be lowering high energy foods. This can lead to feeling sluggish and fatigued. If you normally eat carb dense meals, the first few weeks will be challenging as you begin to switch to a higher protein meal composition.
High Discipline Required
A common, and valid, argument about the Atkins diet is the diet discipline required to be successful. If you aren’t strict enough with your carb restriction you can start to gain weight. It’s an all or nothing diet.
Many say it requires more discipline to follow Atkins than it does a balanced healthy diet, and to some extent this is true.
There are some aspects of the diet, you won’t see on food labels or the main Atkins website. These are common complaints you’ll hear from people who have successfully completed the diet.
Regaining The Weight You Lost
Atkins is best viewed as a lifestyle change you’ll need to continue indefinitely. It’s very common for people to regain the weight they lost when they switch back to a normal balanced meal plan.
You’ll lose weight, but you’ll have to continue restricting common carbs for the foreseeable future to keep the weight off.
Doesn’t Teach Long Term Habits
This goes hand in hand with regaining weight, as mentioned above. The diet has a very specific interaction with food that doesn’t translate to normal meal plans. What you learn is only effective inside the Atkins world. Once you step outside that world, and eat normally, what you learned with Atkins isn’t very beneficial.
It doesn’t teach you how to manage calories, portion control, or proper food selection on a balanced meal plan.
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