Monday, 2 July 2012

Low-carb, The Atkins Diet - The holy grail of fat loss

I had an interesting discussion with a colleague today about diets.

She suggested trying the Atkins diet, and wondered if it was any good. I think she asked me because she knows I am fascinated with fat loss and body composition and readily get into conversation around the subject.

Anyone else who is slightly obsessed will know that the Atkins diet – that infamous low-carbohydrate plan from the beginning of the noughties - is making a bit of a resurgence.

After fizzling out a few years ago, experts seem to be coming round once more to the idea that limiting carbs is the best way to lose weight, or more importantly, body fat.

I have a theory about why this is,  and it’s quite simple - it works.

Having spent the past 25 years studying diets and weight loss theories and trying every single one, I have found that the most reliable, speedy and effective way to lose body fat is to restrict carbohydrates.

Without a shadow of a doubt – it is unbeatable, with one caveat, you CANNOT cheat, if you do, you will put on weight.

I can hear diet experts swooning in horror all around me, insisting I need highly-processed pasta, and milled grain in the form of bread to stop me suffering from all sorts of ailments.

I have a theory on that too, they are probably sponsored by food companies needing to push their products.

Of course people are going to say “you must eat breakfast if you want to lose weight” when the breakfast cereal industry has millions to throw at them to encourage their endorsement.

It is no wonder well-known dieting groups recommend low fat snack bars when they are making a fortune through unwitting punters buying the ones with their brand on it.

My conclusion – low fat is unsustainable, it doesn’t work, it is unhealthy, and it is only popular because too many billion pound corporations have already invested too much money into convincing people it is the “right” way – they need you to believe it, supermarket shelves are already stocked with their low-fat products.

There is a very simple theory to the low-carb plan.

Sugar (Carbohydrates) in the bloodstream leads to the release of insulin. Insulin is the vital catalyst to convert sugar to fat and store it.

Cut out the sugar and fat will  melt away – it’s as simple as that and believe me, melt away it will.

When I say sugar I mean fruit (which nature intended us to eat sparingly), which is packed with fructose, hidden sugars in bread, rice, pasta, and all those white, processed floury things  which our bodies were never meant to cope with.

“But can I eat.....f..f..fat???!?!” my colleague exclaimed with horror, “and  still lose weight?"

“Yep” I replied with full confidence, and that is because, I have done it, and furthermore I believe we are being duped by the low-fat industry.

There is nothing wrong with fat, nothing, in my humble opinion, but at a healthy and stable 11.5 stone I think I am in a position to speak.

I know too many people fighting with stubborn love handles while munching happily on "wholegrain" bread (sugar), fat-free pasta (sugar), plain rice (sugar) and "as much fruit as I can eat" (more sugar).

I know that is not what the multi-billion fat-free money machine would want us to believe, but it’s true.

Fat is not the enemy, it is the low-fat, so called “healthy”, sugar-packed alternatives which are waiting to send our insulin levels shooting sky high, and our waistlines outwards.

Low-fat has become ingrained in our psyche as the best and “healthiest” way to lose body fat and stay lean.

I disagree, totally.

My qualifications? No dietetics degree, no training at Weight Watchers or Slimming World and no medical degree.

No – the reason I think I am right is based on 25 years of studying diets, doing them, gaining and losing weight and through first-hand experience discovering the only way to lose and keep it off is to watch those carbohydrates like a hawk – and do not believe everything people tell you – they usually have a product to sell.

I have to say at this point this is all just my opinion, but after many years of practice, I can only trust my own experience.


  1. You're right of course, but there are plenty of well researched academic papers to back up your position. Check out Cordain, Westman, Volek, R.D. Feinman, Weston Price, Phinney, Mike Eades, Briffa.......

  2. No Carbs before Marbs...hols next week and i will take your advice!