The Kimkins Diet - A Winner or Killer?
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?
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 Kimkins.com site of "promoting medically unsound and potentially life-threatening diet plans."
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.