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Does the Atkins Diet Actually Work?

Written by Joseph Holevinski, Converge multimedia journalism intern and Senior at Gwinnett School of Math, Science & Technology (GSMST)

At the beginning of 2021, I did what most Americans do and gave myself a New Year’s resolution. Most resolutions are just vague statements of a semi-achievable goal to provide some sort of motivation that is–usually–futile.

I did my usual resolution, to lose weight. Normally, I set a less specific goal in hopes to not disappoint myself for not achieving it; so I can just lose 2-3 pounds and consider that a success. This year, however, was different because I set myself a goal of losing 30 pounds. If I achieved that, I achieved success.

My family decided to join me on this adventure of weight loss. The plan was to lose weight by changing our diet. We chose to try the Atkins diet because that is what a co-worker had suggested to my dad.

The Atkins diet is very similar to the keto diet in its goal to get your body to a state of ketosis. This is where you start getting energy from burning stored fat instead of getting it from the carbohydrates you consume on a day-to-day basis. In order to achieve this, your daily carb consumption has to reduce drastically.

We started out with around 20 grams of carbs a day: the equivalent of about half a can of regular Coca-Cola. The first week or two involved a lot of trial and error with trying new low-carb foods. I realized how many carbs were in everything and my diet shifted to eating almost entirely meats and low-starch vegetables.

The second week was probably the hardest because I started to deal with sugar withdrawal and the overwhelming amount of protein in my diet. The food wasn’t bad, but I was definitely starting to miss my usual meals and sides of bread, pasta and ice cream. I was even starting to miss fruit! In addition to all these changes in what I ate, my weight had little to no change, and I was starting to lose hope. However, after week two, things started to change for the better.

At the start of week three, I started feeling a lot more energy compared to the previous two weeks. I also started to lose significantly more weight. Throughout the week, I lost 10 pounds! This was a lot more compared to weeks one and two where I lost a total of five pounds.

In addition to tracking weight, my family and I were tracking reductions in waist and belly size with a tape measure. I lost three inches off of both my waist and belly after that third week.

By the end of the 4th week, I lost a total of 25 pounds! I had almost reached my goal. My family all had similar results to me. This diet had really worked

We were worried that the weight might go back up after we got off the diet. However, since we slowly started eating more and more carbs over the span of two to three months, I have continued to lose little amounts of weight even though I am back to eating what I was before the diet. This diet worked a lot better than I thought it would and it has made me feel so much better about my weight!