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Is The Atkins Diet Effective?

Updated on August 12, 2011

Is Atkins Effective?

Discovering Atkins

One day in 2005 I was in a library with a few hours up my sleeve. I noticed an Atkins book on a shelf and decided to start reading it, mainly because the Atkins diet was so controversial at the time.

About three chapters into the Atkins book I was sold. Dr Atkins made so much sense. What he said agreed with what I'd learned years earlier when I was into bodybuilding. I had to try this Atkins diet! My partner Toni was interested also and about a week later we began our Atkins lifestyle.

I lost a kilo in the first month

It was really quite amazing. By simply reducing the carbs - cutting out bread, potatoes, cakes, etc. - I lost a kilo in the first month. It wasn't easy. Reducing carbs of course makes you want them all the more. You can expect carb cravings but these can be overcome if you have a good enough reason to do so.

Together we got through the first few days of carb craving until we noticed we were now actually repulsed by the smell of doughnuts, pastry, chips, etc. It's actually quite exciting to notice this change in physiology. It's an adventure.

But there was never any actual hunger on this Atkins diet. We probably ate too much protein until we found we just didn't need to. But amazingly, the more protein I ate, the more weight I lost. I even had to put new holes in my belt, and soon my belt was loose again. Also, when the carb cravings vanished - after about three days - I no longer got hungry like I used to on a so-called normal diet (one with useless carbs).

Atkins - The Easiest Way To Lose Weight

For Toni and me, this Atkins diet has to be the easiest and healthiest way to lose weight ever. In fact, following my heart attack three years ago the Atkins diet was recommended as part of the Pauling/Rath protocol for reversing heart disease. I ignored this part of the recovery program for the first two years, but now I'm onboard with it.

I just bought some new clothes. My new T-shirts are Medium instead of Large or even Xtra Large. I really enjoy what I'm eating. Food seems to taste much better than before. It's still hard to believe how effective the Atkins program is. I've now lost all my visceral fat. Amazing!

I'm speaking for both Toni and myself because we do most everything together. Toni didn't particularly need to lose weight - as you can see from the photo's - but she said she was tired of feeling "bloated" after meals and wanted to do Atkins with me. She too now loves being on Atkins .

Bloating caused by eating carbs

Toni says her bloating was entirely due to eating carbohydrates (bread, chips, rice, etc.) because it has completely disappeared with our new low carb Atkins diet.

I should mention that in 2011 we now consider ourselves Atkins graduates. We proved to ourselves that Atkins works. Now we have snacks, drink wine twice a week, eat chocolate daily (Atkins Advantage bars, nuts, some fruit). We have more energy, sleep well, enjoy exercising - all because we read an Atkins book and got the facts about fat.

Atkins bars for snacks

A key factor in helping us ditch carbs was discovering Atkins Advantage snack bars sold at our local pharmacy. When we substituted our usual high carb snacks (chocolate bar, sandwich, muffin, whatever) with these high protein, low carb products we quickly stopped getting hungry between meals.

These Atkins bars taste great and provide guilt-free snacks to have between meals. We found half each of the small bars and quarter of the larger ones is quite enough to have with morning and afternoon coffee or evening snack.

I'm fat here. Toni and me at aged 55, pre-Atkins, Singapore, 2006
I'm fat here. Toni and me at aged 55, pre-Atkins, Singapore, 2006
I lost kilos of weight on Atkins aged 58 in 2009
I lost kilos of weight on Atkins aged 58 in 2009
Feeling great on Atkins diet. Look ma - no fat!
Feeling great on Atkins diet. Look ma - no fat!
Pre-Atkins, 2006 aged 55, Torquay, Australia
Pre-Atkins, 2006 aged 55, Torquay, Australia
Pre-Atkins, 2002 aged 51, Canberra, Australia
Pre-Atkins, 2002 aged 51, Canberra, Australia
Pre-Atkins, 2002 aged 51, Canberra, Australia
Pre-Atkins, 2002 aged 51, Canberra, Australia

Before trying the Atkins Diet I Was In Fat Denial

I finally realised that prior to doing Atkins, I was in denial about being fat. You see, I've always exercised regularly - bodybuilding, jogging, swimming, martial arts - how could I be doing all that and still be fat? I would even blame Toni for taking "bad photographs" of me. You can see some of these "bad" photos here.

After enjoying an Atkins lifestyle for about 3 months all is forgiven. Toni is ecstatic at how much weight I have lost. She also mentions that she doesn't need to sleep any more during the day. Prior to Atkins she said she usually felt sleepy after lunch, which was often baked beans with potato wedges/hot chips, or a pie, or something else based around carbohydrates.

The most important part of any meal is protein

Now, thanks to Atkins, we understand the most important part of any meal is protein. The Atkins program helps you to wean yourself away from a lifelong dependence on carbohydrates such as bread, potato, candies, sweets, toffee, sugar, etc.

We had in fact tried the Atkins diet about five years earlier when we lived in Melbourne. Toni had never been fat and after only a month I believed she was now losing too much weight. So I insisted we get back onto what the Anti-Atkins people of the world considered a normal diet, that is, start eating carbs again. So that was the end of our Atkins adventure that first time.

However now, after reading Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution, we're much more sensible about our new lifestyle. We understand what Atkins wrote and why the diet works. And the more we understand then the more obvious it becomes why so many people continue to struggle with their weight and their health.

I See Fat People

The last couple of months has been quite a learning experience for Toni and myself. We can't help noticing how many fat people there are! And when the subject comes up, we can't help noticing how ignorant these people seem to be about losing weight. It's quite astonishing. it doesn't matter what we say, these people refuse to budge from their fixed ideas - that Atkins is dangerous, or Atkins raises cholesterol, or It's important to have balanced meals, etc. etc.

Excuses for remaining obese are seemingly endless. I do understand because I was in denial about being fat myself. Now it seems the best solution is to somehow get them to read an Atkins book for themselves. Because the book handles all these objections. I honestly don't believe an overweight person can read an Atkins book and stay overweight. I just don't see how it's possible. Or why anyone would continue to swear by a diet that leaves them feeling hungry most of the time and obviously isn't working anyway! Because they're still fat!

low carb diet is healthy and recommended for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. and of course - weight loss!
low carb diet is healthy and recommended for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. and of course - weight loss!


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    • Patti Ann profile image

      Patti Ann 7 years ago from Florida

      I lost 40 pounds on the Atkins diet about 7 years ago. I admit I did feel better - I think our society eats too many processed foods now - lots of bad carbs.

    • Charles S profile image

      Charles Russell Stockdale 7 years ago from UK

      Wow! 40 pounds is excellent, well done! Yes, Atkins is about the carbs - not the calories. Painless and enjoyable weight loss. I just bought new swimming shorts and found I've dropped from XL to Medium. Photos coming soon...

    • profile image

      Ronnie Maness 6 years ago from Tennessee

      I am on the journey and am now motivated to do the exercises that are needed to go all the way. I too see a lot more people who are fat and stick with their misconceptions. God bless them.

    • Charles S profile image

      Charles Russell Stockdale 6 years ago from UK

      Ronnie - sorry I did not respond to your comment until now! I hope you did okay with your exercises, etc! Actually, you don't need to exercise with Atkins. I found the weight just falls off. But I enjoy exercise anyway.

    • reindeerz profile image

      reindeerz 5 years ago from Georgia

      I've lost 46 pounds so far and still have another 30 to go. I never experienced success with a traditional diet because it's so easy to cheat and I would just wind up hungry. Now I feel content after my meals, and if I don't I know that it's okay to go grab a little salad, hunk of chicken or handful of nuts to help myself actually feel full. :)

    • Charles S profile image

      Charles Russell Stockdale 5 years ago from UK

      Reindeerz - well done! We still really enjoy our snacks of nuts and Atkins bars and a bit of dark chocolate. Also, we recently re-discovered protein powder drinks because Toni and I still do weights twice weekly. They work fast to satisfy any hunger and any weight gain is muscle, not fat.

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