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The Kimkins Diet - A Winner or Killer?

Updated on March 8, 2011
Ex-PR person Christin on the cover of Women's Weekly, now maintains her own anti-Kimkins blog.
Ex-PR person Christin on the cover of Women's Weekly, now maintains her own anti-Kimkins blog.

The Controversy

The Kimkins plan landed on the diet scene with a splash in the summer of 2007. Introduced to the public eye by articles in People Magazine and Women's Weekly, it wasn't long before the Kimkins Diet had created international controversy. And for good reason: this "program" is nothing short of systematic self-starvation.

Founder "Kimmer" (now revealed as Heidi Kimberly Diaz) was simply another low-carb dieter before she founded Kimkins. She has no qualifications as a nutritionist, personal trainer, or physician. All she has going for her is that she lost 100 lbs in six months-and then managed to gain it all back. In the "Kimkins Debate" section of the website, she insists that the weight gain was "due to personal issues and is no reflection on Kimkins. I've been back on track for several weeks and you can track my progress on the Kimkins homepage. I'll be experimenting and rotating with various Kimkins diet options." (Italics have been added.) Fishy, no?

The Diet

Not to mention the plan itself, which is a complete disaster. As you may know from reading my other diet reviews, I do not condone low-carb dieting in the first place, because of the inherent dangers. Even if that were not the case, Kimkins takes low-carb dieting to new extremes. There are several variations (or, as "Kimmer" has referred to them above, "diet options") on the Kimkins plan, one of which calls for a daily total of only 500 calories, and all of which are low not only in carbs, but in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. All but eliminating fruits and vegetables, fats, and even fiber, following this plan is an absolute guarantee of malnutrition.

Even those who worked with "Kimmer" to launch Kimkins have since distanced themselves, giving much the same reasons: this diet is unhealthy and unsustainable, doing more harm than good to those that engage in it. Countless participants and at least two former employees (ex-PR person Christin and ex-admin Becky) have founded their own web logs to combat the diet they themselves once followed and promoted. There are whispers of a class action lawsuit, and the website Kimkins Survivors has created a petition accusing the site of "promoting medically unsound and potentially life-threatening diet plans."

The Aftermath

Browsing through the stories of those who have either been kicked off of Kimkins for disagreeing with "Kimmer," and those who have come to their senses (sometimes as a result of hospitalization), you can hear the same symptoms repeated over and over: hair loss, fatigue, joint pain, laxative dependence. Not coincidentally, these are exactly the same signs of malnutrition that occur as symptoms of eating disorders.

The verdict: Kimkins is not just a scam of the money-leeching sort (such as Wu-Yi Tea or Kevin Trudeau's Weight Loss Cure), Kimkins is an extremely dangerous road to travel, and it doesn't lead anywhere good.


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    • profile image


      12 years ago

      I think the most dangerous diets of all are those that leave saggy skin because they withhold the nutrition needed to heal the body.

      When I first read the Kimkins web pages way back when, it made perfect sense that she mentions that there might be some plastic surgery needed afterward, given the nutritionally depleted regimen she promotes.

      But haven't we all seen the same thing on television - those medically-supervised primarily cooked-food diets? They have hideous folds of flesh left over after those diets which are, by very nature of trying to look like "normal" meals, depleted down to survival levels. Or who doesn't know someone who had gastric bypass or lapband, and was allowed to eat anything in small portions? When calories are so limited, I think that only super-nutritious food is appropriate, or the body will lack what it needs to have firm, beautiful skin as well as healthy organs inside or to have the reserves needed to bear a healthy baby.

      Look at the people who have lost weight using a balanced raw vegan diet - they don't get saggy skin. I personally think that most people need some B-12 supplements and/or animal protein since 80% of us can't manufacture B-12, but there is no arguing that there is, ounce for ounce, great protein in a fruit smoothie made with leafy greens, along with a fabulous mineral buffet of beauty.

      It's no coincidence that the spa's people go to for fat loss and radiant skin rely heavily on fish and salads and raw veggies to achieve their results. And of course raw vegan spas are treasure troves of health improvements, fat loss and even cures.

      The body needs to take in bioavailable, appropriate nutrition to build and to remove both old and new waste products from the body...the best natural approaches seek to maximize these two processes, taking advantage of the body's natural repair mechanisms.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      And now Heidi Diaz is trying to scare us with a countersuit. What a crock.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      Great post! Thank you so much for sharing it.

      For more, see Good Morning America:

      It has also been covered on KTLA news several times, Fox TV's Mike & Juliet Show, and KVUE news.

      Here is some information about the class action lawsuit:

    • profile image

      Kimkins Kills 

      13 years ago

      The Kimkins Diet is nothing more or less than starvation.Period.It's a super low everything diet -- super low calories, super low carbs, super low fats, super low protein, super low nutrients. For over a year now, many members of the online weightloss community have been investigating this diet and its creator, and the facts are shocking. Anybody who cares about their health, and the health of their family and friends, can Google "Kimkins scam" as well as basic nutrition info especially the medical data on what starvation diets do to the human body and brain. Talk to the Kimkins Survivors. Check out the research that's been dug up and the evidence that's been gathered. Read the court documents. And yes, there are a ton of court documents, and they're online at the website of the Riverside California court system because Heidi Diaz and several people who work for her are being sued for massive consumer fraud.You want to see what Heidi looks like? This alleged diet diva who has made millions teaching desperate dieters how to starve themselves and their unborn babies and newborns? Look for yourself. Google the surveillance photos and videos, shot by news cameras and a private investigator. This woman, who has not lost any weight, and drives around with open boxes of sugar cookies, has the gall to insult and demean people when they eat an extra piece of lettuce. You think I'm kidding? The evidence is right there, online, in posts she herself wrote, at the Kimkins website and before that at the Low Carb Friends support boards while she was "perfecting" her spiel.

    • profile image

      Say NO to Kimkins 

      13 years ago

    • Brandy Owens profile image

      Brandy Owens 

      13 years ago from Wherever life takes me

      This (Kimkins diet) really sounds like a disguised version of pro-anorexia to me. :/ Thanks for writing a hub about it and how dangerous it is. Thumbs up.

    • profile image


      13 years ago

      The aftermath is horrifying.If anybody knows about this they need to quit such diet.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I agree Maddie - to paraphrase Alice in Wonderland: dangerous, dangerous-er, dangerous-iest! The diet describes above sounds like suicide to me!

      Good work!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      13 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Maddie! It is just very sad that so many have and will try these fad diets. These are one and all bad for the body. As the weight didn't go on over night neither should it come off that way. A sensible, professionally supervised way to reduce is the only way to go; as we all know.

      great HUB

      regards Zsuzsy

    • MrMarmalade profile image


      13 years ago from Sydney

      Thems are the facts. Thank you very explicit explanation. I was not a convertee anyway, Still you have comfirmed it


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