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Why is Atkins diet so popular?

was reading that it is still the most popular diet. does it really work that well?

Mon. Nov 19, 3:36pm

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it does work, I can vouch for that. Cutting down carbs and bread absolutely will help you lose weight. Whether it is healthy is a whole other issue. A gluten free diet is almost a variation on Atkins, I lost about 20 pounds almost by accident.

Monday, November 19, 2007, 4:04 PM

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Atkins most effective diet: Study

this is pretty recent stuff, yes Atkins works the best and that would explain the popularity of it.

Atkins most effective diet: Study - living - Atkins most effective diet: Study
Low-carb, high-fat diet beats Zone, Ornish, says Stanford study on efficacy of using diet books to lose weight
March 09, 2007
Lindsey Tanner
Associated press

The low-carb, high-fat Atkins diet gets high marks in one of the biggest, longest head-to-head studies of popular weight-loss plans, beating the Zone and the Ornish diet. Even so, critics say the results show how hard it is to lose weight and keep it off.

Overweight women on the Atkins plan lost more weight over a year than those on the low-carb Zone diet.

And they had slightly better blood pressure and cholesterol readings than those on the Zone, the very low-fat, high-carb Ornish diet, and a low-fat, high-carb diet similar to U.S. government guidelines.

Stanford University researcher Christopher Gardner, the lead author, said the study shows that Atkins may be more healthful than critics contend.

But the study isn't a fair comparison because by the end, few women were following any of the diets very strictly, critics argue, although those in the Atkins group came the closest.

The study "had a good concept and incredibly pathetic execution," said Zone diet creator Barry Sears.

"It's a lot easier to follow a diet that tells you to eat bacon and Brie than to eat predominantly fruits and vegetables," said Dr. Dean Ornish, creator of the Ornish diet.

Atkins followers lost about 10 pounds on average at 12 months, versus 3.5 pounds for the Zone dieters.

Women on the Ornish diet lost almost 5 pounds on average and those on the national guidelines plan lost almost 6 pounds. Scientifically, those 12-month results weren't different enough from the Atkins weight loss to rule out the possibility the differences occurred by chance.

The dieters lost the most weight early on, including an average of 13 pounds for the Atkins group at six months – nearly double the closest competitor, the national guidelines diet. After that, most began regaining weight, a trend most noticeable in the Atkins women.

With an average starting weight of about 189 pounds, even losing 13 pounds meant many women remained overweight.

"There's not a ton of weight loss here," Gardner acknowledged. Atkins "isn't the solution for the obesity problem," he said.

The study involved 311 women about 40 years old on average and was designed to measure the effectiveness of using a diet book to lose weight.

Women were randomly assigned to read one of four diet books. They attended weekly classes for eight weeks, but then were mostly on their own for the next 10 months.

At the end, Atkins women had slightly higher levels of HDL cholesterol, the good kind, and slightly lower blood pressure than those on the other three diets. Gardner said differences in weight loss likely contributed to those results.

Ornish and other naysayers argued that the study doesn't answer a big question about the Atkins diet – whether consistently eating all that fatty food long-term leads to health problems.

The study appeared in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The authors said it's uncertain whether the results would apply to men or older women since none were studied.

The study "shows that nothing works very well," said Yale University food policy researcher Kelly Brownell.

His book promoting diet and lifestyle changes similar to U.S. guidelines was used in the study.

"To me, it just screams out for the need to prevent obesity,'' Brownell said.

The results echo a Harvard study published last year involving thousands of women, which also suggested that a low-carb high-fat diet might be more heart-healthy than previously thought, although it relied on women's memories of what they had eaten over two decades.

Also, those who ate fat and carbs from vegetables rather than animal sources had lower heart disease risks in the Harvard study.

Dr. David Katz of the Yale Prevention Research Center and author of several weight control books, said the new study presents little new information and called it "much ado about nothing.''

Nurse Jackie Eberstein, whose consulting company promotes the Atkins diet, said the results are not surprising. Protein makes people feel less hungry and fat helps them feel more full, which makes weight loss easier on Atkins, she said.

Study participant Viola Manges, who does administrative work at Stanford, was assigned to the Atkins group.

Manges, 41, said the diet taught her to make healthier food choices, like eating steamed vegetables instead of mashed potatoes, even if she didn't always follow it strictly.

"I realized I had a bunch of willpower I didn't even know I had," Manges said.

Manges lost roughly 23 pounds, slimming down to a size 6 by the study's end about a year ago.

She has regained about 10 to 15 pounds, but said she still tries to follow some of the Atkins recommendations.

Monday, November 19, 2007, 4:31 PM

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I have been on South Beach for 4 years and have maintained my weight loss. It is low carb like Atkins but also limits saturated fats.

Monday, November 19, 2007, 4:47 PM

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Atkins does work

I was on the Atkins diet and lost an incredible 30lbs in 37 days. If you cheat on the Atkins you won't have that type of success. You have to maintain a state of Ketosis or you won't see results mentioned above. I mean you have to do it by the book!

Monday, November 19, 2007, 5:40 PM

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How could a vegetarian who only eats a few eggs a week (no meat, no fish, no milk products at all) adapt this atkins diet to work? I want to lose a lot of weight but I'm not going to eat meat or butter or cheese or other milk fats. My regular fats are things like avocadoes, olive oil, walnut oil, sesame oil and nuts. My proteins are beans, tofu, and the occasional egg.

Monday, November 19, 2007, 11:30 PM

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