What Is The Atkins Diet, How Does It Work, And How Effective Is It?

Dr. Eric Westman answers the question: 'Is The Atkins Diet Effective?'

ByABC News
December 22, 2008, 3:55 PM

February 1, 2009 -- Question: What is the Atkins diet, how does it work, and how effective is it?

Answer: The Atkins diet is a lifestyle approach that limits carbohydrate in the diet. It works for weight loss, because when you count carbohydrates or restrict carbohydrates, there's a reduction in appetite and a reduction in the amount of food you eat. So there's no calorie counting involved. It's different than all of the other diets that are available -- the calorie-restricted ones.

The Atkins diet has been supported by lots of research now over the last 10 years, so that a lot of people aren't aware of that research yet. But it's now been studied out to two years and it looks just fine. In fact, not only does weight get better but cholesterol can improve and other cardiometabolic risk factors.

What's really interesting is that while some people find it restrictive, other people's lifestyles don't find it restrictive and some people really like this kind of way of eating.

So we use the Atkins diet in our clinics as an alternative if needed, because of the research, because it provides adequate nutrition, and because it fits some people's lifestyle.