Thursday, June 26, 2014

Atkins diet doesn't work, and I'll tell you exactly why

The concept of Atkins diet basically is, or rather was, as I believe they've finally decided to change it, practically zero carbohydrates. Meaning that all your meals are made up primarily of just protein and fat. © 2014

First and foremost you should know that depriving your body of carbohydrates isn't healthy at all. It's not just your skeletal muscles which require the glucose broken down from carbohydrates for energy, but also your brain. 

The problem with a high protein/fat and no carbohydrate diet is that it changes your body's metabolism. Carbohydrates are the preferred source of energy, so your body would be forced to break down fatty acids and protein you ingest in such a way that it can be used as energy. 

Now, aside from health issues with this diet, the weight loss most people experience primarily consists of depleted glycogen and water, rather than bodyfat.  I'll explain. 

Glycogen is energy which the body stores mainly in the liver and muscle cells. Now this storage of energy must be well hydrated. In fact for every 1 gram of glycogen there is around 2.6 grams of water stored with it. 

So on a no carbohydrate diet, such as the Atkins, these glycogen stores are the first to deplete, and therefore you're actually losing more water than anything else.  You will experience some weight reduction, but also a great loss of strength, energy and probably also mood swings. 

It's common knowledge that the same way bodyfat doesn't accumulate overnight you can't expect to lose it in a day. The way to lose bodyfat in a healthy manner which produces lasting results is through a consistent and strict calorie controlled diet over at least 6 to 8 weeks.

Remember your caloric intake must be based on your targeted body weight, and your diet needs to be balanced in this proportion: 55% Carbohydrates, 35% Protein, and 10% Fat, which comes as a byproduct, so you don't need to actually add Fats to your diet.   


  1. I tried the Atkins diet back in 1998 and felt terrible. No energy and by all accounts miserable. The doctor said I was dehydrated and to come off the diet immediately! So I did.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. The Atkins diet isn't good, its harmful!

  2. Can you give any advice on healthy snacks.
    Paul and my self believe we have quite a healthy diet. Porridge for breakfast a sandwich for lunch then our evening meal. Thing is Paul cycles to work everyday,has a 5k run mid week, then 10k run or 50k cycle on Saturday. Once or twice a week he will have a kettle bell work out.
    So our three meals a day are not quite enough, and is often still hungry.
    Any advice would be good

    1. There are plenty of healthy snacks, such as dried fruit, nuts, wholemeal crisp bread, rice cakes, salad, yogurt, and even low-carb protein shakes. However timing is everything so as not to disrupt your goals.

      Anything that is rather high in sugar content, what we call high glycemic, such as dried fruit should be consumed before 4:00pm, after that a small portion (approx 30grams) of the snacks I've mention above is fine.