The Atkins diet (a.k.a. ketogenic diet) was not invented by Dr. Atkins. It was discovered over four hundred years ago, just no doctor publicized it until Dr. Atkins. In all those centuries the medical community did not publicize it because it is not an ideal way to lose weight. How is it possible to lose weight despite consuming several thousand calories a day? The reason is as follows: Your body needs carbohydrates for energy in order to function. If your body doesn’t get any carbs, it is forced to take your body fat and convert it into a substitute for carbs (ketone bodies). This process burns body fat at a rapid rate but is not good for your health. It’s like flooring the gas pedal of your car; it will be effective, but it may damage your car.
People are under the impression that the reason why you lose weight on Atkins is because you eat only protein. That is not true. You can technically consume no protein at all and still lose the weight for the same reason. If you consume calories strictly from fat and/or alcohol, as long as you’re consuming no carbs at all you will lose weight. For example, if someone were to consume only whiskey they would be very skinny even though whiskey contains a whopping 60 calories per ounce. This is because they are not consuming any carbs. All calories contained in whiskey are alcohol calories. Indeed, true alcoholics are rail thin despite consuming several thousand alcohol calories per day.
One thing to be aware of is that not all the weight you lose on Atkins is permanent. On a typical diet, for every 2 pounds of fat you lose, you lose about 1 pound of water. On Atkins, for every 1 pound fat you lose, you lose up to 2 pounds of water. This is of course no benefit to someone who is looking to lose body fat. It is only a benefit for someone who is trying to win a weight loss competition.Losing an unnaturally large amount of water is a temporary condition. That weight will come back at some point during or after the diet. While completely eliminating carbs is not an ideal way to lose weight, there are benefits to protein over carbs and fat, and dieters would typically do well on a high protein, low carb, and low fat diet. (“Good” carbs only). Just don’t eliminate the carbs completely.