By Louise Atkinson in the UK’s Mail Online
Doctors have reinvented the world’s most famous diet. Now it’s healthier, easier and works even better…
Since Dr Atkins launched the original low-carb diet in the Seventies, millions have tried it, lost weight, gained it again, and a fantastically lucrative worldwide low-carbohydrate industry has been born.
It reached its peak in the Nineties with Hollywood stars such as Renee Zellweger and Jennifer Aniston among its high-profile devotees.
But health concerns about the Atkins’ focus on fat and meat at the expense of fruit and vegetables meant it was always considered contentious by diet experts, and although many people lost weight, few devotees were ever able to stick with its draconian restrictions for very long.
Now a trio of American doctors, who scrutinised the diet and more than 150 studies of its impact on health and weight loss, have come up with a healthier, easier and more effective version.
Instead of insisting on a turgid diet of steak, eggs and yet more steak, dripping in butter (but with a small salad garnish), their New Atkins Diet allows you to enjoy vegetables, berries, potatoes, and even bread, while still losing weight.
Better still, they say, the diet works so well that you could shed as much as a stone in the first two weeks.
Although many of the basic Atkins’ principles remain (protein with every meal, restricted carbohydrates, no sugar) the new diet is more health-conscious than before.
Old Atkins allowed you as much protein as you could eat. New Atkins recommends 4-6 oz with each meal (8 oz for tall men), which is within healthy recommended amounts.
Vegetables are allowed from day one – so much so that even vegetarians and vegans can follow this version of the diet.
Berries, nuts and legumes (chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils) and alcohol can be re-introduced after two weeks, and once you get within 10lb of your goal weight, wholegrains (bread, rice, even pasta) are back on the menu.
Coffee, once banned, is positively encouraged on the back of research which shows moderate caffeine intake boosts long-term health (it contains several antioxidants) and its fat-burning properties mean it may help with the regulation of body weight.