The Atkins diet is the most well-known low-carb diet plan. It involves reducing all high-carbohydrate foods while eating as much protein and fat as desired. But is it the best option? According to Amy E. Rothberg, MD, PhD, an obesity specialist and director of Michigan Medicine's weight management clinic, the answer is both yes and no.
In theory, a low-carb diet can be effective for weight loss. However, studies have shown that low-carb diets are at least as effective as other diets. A ketogenic diet is a common name for a very strict low-carb diet, which contains very few carbohydrates, usually below 20 grams of net carbs per day. This type of diet can induce a metabolic state called ketosis, in which the body is forced to burn fat instead of carbohydrates as fuel to function.
The Atkins diet is one example of a low-carb diet, but there are many others. Whole30 is another diet (which advertises itself more as a program) that is not specifically designed to be low in carbohydrates. It can be a radical approach for someone who is used to eating the standard American diet, which is low in fruits and vegetables, and high in added sugar and fat. This approach includes 50 to 100 g of carbohydrates per day; this is where many people start because it's less restrictive than a ketogenic diet meal plan, but it can still deliver results.
McAvoy warns that while low-carb diets may be effective for short-term weight loss, research shows that weight generally returns after 12 to 24 months because of how difficult it is to maintain diets for a significant period of time. Ultimately, no single low-carb diet is considered the “best” option; it's important to find one that works for you and your lifestyle. Get information, enjoyment and inspiration to help you succeed from the planet's leading low-carb channel.