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Atkins: Another Fad High Protein Diet?

Ava Lawson | October 25th, 2012

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Perhaps one of the most well-known fad diets to sweep America is the Atkins plan. Designed by cardiologist Dr. Robert C. Atkins in 1972, the protein diet limits carbohydrates while encouraging large portions of fat and protein. The basic premise behind the Atkins diet is that by drastically restricting simple sugars derived from carbohydrates, which we normally use for energy, the body burns our fat stores as an alternative source of fuel. In doing so, the weight comes off quickly with some patients losing up to 15 pounds per week. Proponents of the plan like the guilt-free option of eating fatty foods and rich meats while slimming their waistline, but many question the sustainability and health risks of such a restrictive diet.

When claims sound too good to be true they usually are, and many fad diets have proven difficult to maintain over the long-term. According to studies, individuals who lose weight successfully are those who follow a physician-supervised plan: one that emphasizes a low-calorie diet, regular exercise, and individualized counseling. The Center for Medical Weight Loss is a perfect example of a program that uses this approach to help clients meet their weight loss goals in a healthy and safe manner.

Atkins: Pros & Cons of a High Protein Diet

Though the Atkins plan promises one of the easiest ways to lose weight, it’s important to consider the implications – for both body and mind – of such a high protein diet.  The plan employs four phases, where dieters gradually increase their intake of carbs until they reach their desired weight. Atkins made the controversial statement that a low-carbohydrate intake creates a metabolic advantage, as “burning fat takes more calories so you expend more calories.”  A later medical review concluded there was no such metabolic advantage, and people were eating fewer calories due to boredom with their food choices.

Though no serious short-term health risks have been demonstrated with the Atkins program, many dieters fail to realize the four phases, as simple starches like bread, pasta and rice are almost completely forbidden in the early stages. While Atkins dieters can gorge themselves on meaty hamburgers topped with melted cheese, the bun is no longer an option. Such a highly restrictive diet yields lower success rates when compared to nutritionally-balanced, doctor-guided diet plans like those offered at The Center for Medical Weight Loss.

A Safer Alternative to Fad Diets

The dedicated physicians at The Center For Medical Weight Loss boast thousands of weight loss success stories, and with more than 450 centers across the country, dieters can realize their weight loss goals in a healthy way. The American Journal of Medicine reports that the average patient loses 11.1% of total body fat in 12 weeks on the diet and exercise program, which is tailored to each patient according to their goals, lifestyle and medical history.

Please enter your zip code in the box to the right to find a center in your area. Special offers are available to first-time customers at select locations throughout the nation.