In the world of weight loss, one-size-does not fit-all. Whether or a not a diet works for you or the person next to you depends greatly on your willingness to embrace that way of eating as a lifestyle.
In an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Dr. Sherry Pagoto and Dr. Brad Appelhans analyzed numerous meta-analyses of various diets. According to the Dr. Pagoto, the only consistent finding among the studies is that adherence—the degree to which participants continued in the program or met program goals for diet and physical activity—was most strongly associated with weight loss and improvement in disease-related outcomes.
In other words, your success at losing weight and keeping it off is most likely determined by how long you stick with the diet. If you lose weight on a quick-fix diet that you stick with temporarily, only to slip back into your old eating habits, your weight loss will be just that—temporary. Whereas if you make permanent, healthy changes in your eating habits, it’s quite likely you will lose the weight and keep it off. While the editorial in JAMA showed that there is not one single “perfect” diet that is guaranteed to work for everyone, what makes Atkins a diet that so many people can have success with is that it teaches you how to balance your carb intake while you continue to lose weight, and then shows you how to transition to a lifestyle that allows you to keep the weight off.
Even in Phase 1, you are able to eat a delicious variety of proteins, healthy fats, and lots of vegetables, and you continue to add to the list of carbohydrate foods as you progress through the various Phases. Your choices on Atkins are tasty and satisfying, whether you are making a low-carb recipe or ordering at your favorite restaurants. If you decide that a low-carb diet like Atkins is the diet for you, it’s quite possible you will have long-term success with this satisfying way of eating.
The power of the Atkins Diet rests on the fact that carbohydrate, in addition to being an energy source, has a potent effect on fat metabolism. Carbohydrate is the major stimulus for insulin release, and insulin potently inhibits the breakdown and promotes storage of fat. In this way, dietary carbohydrate-blocks access to body fat – exactly the opposite outcome desired if body fat mobilization and weight loss are the desired outcomes. However by reducing carbohydrate intake below a level where the insulin response blockades stored body fat, the Atkins Diet enables a unique metabolic state characterized by increased fat burning. You burn the fat you are eating and the fat you have stored on your body. That is why you lose weight and why eating fat does not pose a health risk on Atkins, because you are burning it for fuel when carbs are low enough.
A low carbohydrate diet like Atkins is the perfect diet for me because I have carbohydrate intolerance. When I eat the right amount of carbs for my body, I just feel better, I am not hungry all the time, and my craving are in check. When I go beyond my carbohydrate tolerance I get bloated, retain water, feel sluggish, get sleepy two hours after eating, and I crave sweets all the time. I simply will not let too many carbs bully me ever again.
How about you?