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Atkins Diet

Carbohydrate control is at the core of the Atkins Diet. Individuals who are able to stick to the program experience significant weight loss and a boost in "good" cholesterol levels.

Side Effects & Risks

Some researchers argue that the Atkins Diet is not balanced and that it can result in long-term kidney damage. Carb-cutting can also result in headache, dizziness, weakness, fatigue and constipation during the Induction phase of the diet.

Some nutritionists believe that Atkins may not provide sufficient amounts of fiber, which leads to constipation, diarrhea and nausea. Fiber is paramount to everyone's health, aiding in digestion and proper bodily function.

The Atkins diet should not be followed by pregnant women. Complex carbs are a rich source of folic acid, which is essential for healthy pregnancies. In addition, ketosis can cause brain damage to the fetus.

Children under the age of 18 should also avoid the diet. Very active people may find that they tire sooner on Atkins, since it is easier for the body to convert carbs into quick energy (glycogen) than protein.

As for the initial 15-pound weight loss, the actual results are relative to the individual dieter. And still, there are many studies that show Atkins may not be a sustainable diet in the long-term. As soon as carbohydrates return, so do the pounds.

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