Also known as the “Atkins Diet,” the low-carb, moderate-to-high protein diet is a popular approach to speedy weight loss. It advertises results within the first week, plus you get to eat bacon and butter, too.
But what Dr. Atkins really means by “low carb” is about 20-40 grams of net carbs a day. To put that into perspective, that’s about one sandwich. One sandwich. A day.
Your body naturally burns carbohydrates for energy, with water as a clean byproduct. This is normal and healthy. In fact, plants even do it during photosynthesis: “carbo-hydrate” meaning “carbon dioxide and water.” But in place of these carbs, the diet calls for an impractical amount of proteins and fats.
This forces your body to ineffectively use fats for energy, producing an unhealthy amount of ketones and acetone byproducts. Excess ketones are excreted through the kidney and acetone escapes through the lungs. As a result, you experience exhaustion, toxic pee, and rotten breath. Ew.
The fact that your body adjusts to fats for energy rather than carbs is scientifically impossible. The insane “weight” loss that Atkins dieters experience is actually water loss. The body uses an immense amount of water to flush those toxic byproducts out of your system, causing you to lose about a gallon of water in the first week. So in reality, “weight loss” isn’t actual “fat loss.”
Our bodies burn fat all the time, but when deprived of carbohydrates, the process is inefficient and dangerous. So really, the healthiest way to lose weight and burn fat is the good ol’ eat-healthy-and-exercise a few times a week diet.
Try healthy carbs like whole grains and sweet potatoes, and incorporate a healthy amount of good fats like avocados. You’ll burn those carbohydrates efficiently without nasty byproducts, maintain proper nutrients, feel energized, and get to eat more than one sandwich a day.