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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Why does the Atkins diet work so fast?

Hello Angela!

I have always wondered why the Atkins diet seems to work so fast! I did it a few years back and lost loads in about a week. I wasn't considering doing it this time around because the food is GROSS, but as you're here I wondered whether I could ask whether you would consider it safe and why people seem to lose so much by eating high calorie, high fat, low-carb foods?
Thanks!
Izzy x

A.

Our expert says...

Hi Izzy

the Atkins diet works so fast because in the initial stages you lose a high proportion of fluid weight which happens because you eat virtually no carbs. This depletes stores of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) in your muscle and for every one part of glycogen you lose you also lose three parts of water as this is how they are associated together. In the short to medium term the diet carries on being effective simply because protein - which you eat a lot of - is so satiating. So even though it may seem that a lot of fatty, meaty foods are being eaten, overall, people on the Atkins diet still lose weight by consuming fewer calories. Problems of the Atkins diet are that it can cause constipation, bad breath, and reduced capacity to exercise. In the longer term there are valid concerns about negative effects on the bones, kidney and even heart. It?s also environmentally unsustainable due to it's large reliance on animal protein.

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