The Atkins Diet is a low-carb, high-protein diet that has been the center of much controversy since it was introduced. Some people swear by it as an effective and safe way to lose weight; while others may lose some weight, but have had what they consider to be negative side effects. The ones who view it positively report substantial weight loss, feeling better, and not having cravings for carbohydrates. Those with negative experiences report less weight loss, major cravings, feeling faint and muscle weakness. The question of how does the Atkins Diet work is at the heart of this seeming contradiction in results.
The Atkins Diet centers on the theory that by reducing carbohydrates, the body will then turn to other things for its source of energy. Carbohydrates tend to be stored more readily as fat, and this is what causes weight gain. So, by limiting carbohydrates, less fat is stored. Furthermore, when the body doesn't have enough carbs to burn, it will burn fat instead. At least that's how Atkins adherents understand the process. The catch is that your body may also turn to your muscle to get the energy it needs, and that's where many of the negative side effects come from.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who are willing to forego their health if it means they can lose weight. To make things even worse, they may be doing damage to their long-term health without ever realizing it. Dr. Atkins originally created the diet as a way for him to personally lose weight. Once he saw how well it worked, he introduced it to others, and many of them were also able to lose a substantial amount of weight.
As of today, there has not been enough research done to reach a solid conclusion on the long-term effects of the Atkins Diet. There are several studies underway, but they could take years to complete. However, the anecdotal evidence from some people has shown that negative effects are a real possibility, and those people have since gone off the diet.
With all of that being said, the question of how does the Atkins Diet work may not be the most important; at least not to the average person who just wants to lose weight. So, while the jury is still out on the effects the diet has on your health, it has been an effective way for people to lose weight. However, before you try it, you should talk to your personal doctor. They will be up on the latest research, and will also be aware of any underlying health issues that may prevent you from going on the diet.
Enough people have found success with the Atkins Diet that you may want to give it a try. The average amount of weight loss is double that of other popular diets, so your waistline certainly won't mind. Just be sure to talk with your doctor first. If you get the okay, then you may find that you are one of the people who reports nothing but positive results.