The Atkins diet is a low-carb diet that was created by Robert Atkins.
Though there is no clear evidence of the effectiveness of this diet, it has been a popular fad diet for the last few decades.
Popular In The 2000s
The Atkins diet was created by Robert Atkins in the 1960s, and gained popularity in the early 2000s. Between 2003 and 2004, it was estimated that upwards of 1 in every 11 adults in North America were on this low-carbohydrate diet.
Atkins Nutritionals, a 1989 company backing the claims of the Atkins diet, sold Atkins-branded products such as low-carb snacks.
Several millions of adults followed the Atkins or similar low-carb diets during the early 2000s. However, research done into the effectiveness of the diet showed that in the long term, it really didn’t work for weight loss.
A 4-Phase Diet
The Atkins diet is typically broken up into four different phases: Induction, balancing, fine-tuning, and maintenance.
In the induction phase, followers must take in under 20 grams of carbs each day for 14 days. High-fat and high-protein foods, along with leafy greens and other low-carb veggies, are designed to start the weight loss process.
In the balancing phase, more nuts, low-carb veggies, and fruit are added back into the diet.
By the fine-tuning phase, an individual should be close to their “goal weight”. At this point, they may add more carbs into their diet until their weight loss progress slows.
Finally, the maintenance phase introduces as many healthy carbs as possible back into daily meals.
Of course, there are plenty of ways to vary the Atkins diet, depending on one’s goals.
In some cases, people choose to skip the very first “induction” phase, going straight to having low-carb vegetables, nuts, and fruit in their diet.
In other cases, people will remain in that first induction phase for as long as possible, mirroring something more like the veto diet.
The End Of The Atkins Era
Most of the news surrounding the Atkins diet came out in the mid-2000s, when Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005. The company lost upwards of $340 million and was purchased by North Castle Partners two years later.
There had been a steep decline in Atkins brand products and followers of the Atkins diet around this time. By 2010, the company was sold again and was purchased by Roark Capital Group.
An Expensive, Falsified Diet
Research has shown that the Atkins diet can increase the risk of a heart attack. In fact, the creator of the diet, Robert Atkins, ended up dying of congestive heart failure and hypertension after being on the diet for an extended period of time.
Overall, it appears that while the initial weight loss advantage of the diet is typically the result of water loss, the low-carb diet doesn’t necessarily prove effective over longer periods of time.
Recent Celebrity Popularity
Though the Atkins diet has greatly declined in popularity over the last decade or so, there are still celebrities that have endorsed the low-carb diet. These include Rob Lowe, Alyssa Milano, and Kim Kardashian, who partake in the diet along with regular exercise.
The Meteoric Rise Of A Fad Diet
While the Atkins diet was at one point one of the most popular diets in North America, it quickly became a fad diet of the past. Though some celebrities still follow the diet, most of the research surrounding the Atkins diet has made it one that the general population has turned away from.