Atkins Diet Review:

Atkins Diet Review

The Strengths And The Pitfalls Of The Most Popular Diet Of All Time

Dr. Pearsall’s Scorecard (Score is 8 out of 10) customer reviews (72% approval out of 1305 reviewers) 7  
Popularity: number of Amazon reviews and books sold 10  
Accuracy of nutrition information 7  
Well written, organized, engaging, understandable, original 9  
Advocates foods that are whole, natural, clean, organic and raw 6  
Advice on other weight factors (hormones, food allergies, toxicity, lifestyle) 4  
Uses a holistic weight loss approach, addressing the body, mind, and spirit 5  
Sensible meal plans and tasty, healthy quick recipes 4  
Detailed exercise advice includes weight training and cardio 3  
Easy to follow for life 2  
Reviews effective weight loss products e.g. supplements, videos, techniques 2  
Author is an experienced, credentialed professional in the weight loss field 10  





Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution

by Dr. Robert Atkins ©2002 560 pages

Review written by: Dr. Kendra Pearsall








Grade: 8/10 B+ Successful for weight loss, excellent advice for carbohydrate addiciton but not easy to maintain.

Praise For Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution:

For only $6 on this 540 page book is a steal. It is very comprehensive, detailed, and easy to understand. I highly recommend it if you are a carbohydrate addict (like most people) and you need a wake up call. Moreover, judging from the 72% approval rating on it is obvious that this diet works for the majority of people.

Before I read this book I had the misperception that the Atkins diet meant you could eat anything you wanted as long as it was low in carbs: I pictured Atkins converts feasting daily on nothing but pork rinds, hot dogs, bacon, cheeseburgers, sausages, and cream cheese.

This simply is NOT the case. Essentially Dr. Atkins advocates "The Caveman Diet" which is the same diet our caveman ancestors ate 10,000 years ago: meat, fish, nutrient dense low-carb vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries. Moreover, he suggests that readers buy fresh, organic food as much as possible. This is healthy dietary advice.

Since the 1940's all the major health organizations have been promoting that a low-fat and/or low-calorie diet is the best way to avoid obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. This is a BIG FAT LIE. Dr. Atkins’ truly was a revolutionary in his assertion that it is the overconsumption of carbohydrates that is the real demon in our standard American diet.

When you eat excess carbohydrates, your body will store them as fat and gain weight. This does not happen when you eat fat in absence of carbohydrates because your body has many uses for fat besides being an energy source.

Criticism For Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution:

The Atkins’ Diet is very restrictive with the amount of carbs you are allowed to eat. People who have abnormal blood sugars and/or insulin levels, such as diabetics, metabolic syndrome etc., should follow a restricted carbohydrate diet at least until those levels are normalized. Diabetics should follow a low-carb diet for life.

However, if you have normal glucose and insulin levels (these are routine blood tests), who just need to lose some weight, it is not necessary to follow an extremely restrictive diet such as Atkins. It is most important to get on a plan that you can stick with for life and most people have trouble following Atkins long-term.

I tried following the Atkins' diet after I read his book and I did not last past 8 hours. I was bored, hungry and had headaches from low blood sugar. It appears I am not alone as many of the reviewers on reported negative side effects from Atkins: i.e. bad breath, constipation, fatigue, and headaches. Atkins states that these symptoms disappear over time, but I was not willing to stick with it long enough to find out. I think these symptoms are indications that the body is unwell.

Research Shows A High Relapse Rate For Low-Carb Dieters

There are many published studies comparing low-carb and low-fat diets. One 2003 study showed that over 3-6 months the low-carb dieters lost more weight and have significantly improved lipid profiles (cholesterol and triglycerides) but at the end of a year there wasn’t much difference between the two diets because most of the low-carb dieters relapsed. This is a common finding in the weight loss literature.

Gary Foster,, “A Randomized Trial of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet for Obesity” The New England Journal of Medicine, 2003;348:2082-90.

You’ll Never Gain Weight Eating Broccoli and Brown Rice

In the first few weeks of the diet, you are only allowed to eat very limited amounts of low-carb vegetables. I disagree with this produce restriction because people do not become overweight because they ate too many fruits and vegetables. Most people gain weight because they ate too many processed foods that are high in carbs, calories and low in nutrients. In order to overcome their nutrient deficits, most people need to increase their produce a great deal.

I also don’t see a problem with eating small amounts of non-allergenic grains such as brown rice, amaranth, teff, quinoa, millet, and kamut. Have you ever noticed how Asians are the slimmest race in the world and they eat rice all day long? They also eat a great deal of produce. They do not eat a lot of processed foods like Americans do. One out of four Americans eat at McDonalds for breakfast each week. But the super slim Japanese typically eat a breakfast of miso soup, rice, fish and pickled vegetables. The differences are obvious.

“Atkins Nutritionals™” Is An Oxymoron

Atkins Nutritionals™ sells low-carb convenience foods such as shakes, bars, candy, baking mixes, and ice-cream. However, there isn’t much nutrition to be found in these products. They are full of artificial ingredients such as Splenda, neotame (aspartame’s twin), artificial flavors, sugar alcohols, wheat gluten and many other toxic ingredients. For more information on the dangers of artificial sweeteners read my book: Sweet Deception: Why Splenda, NutraSweet,and the FDA May Be Hazardous to Your Health.

It is essential that you understand that even low-carb junk food can make you fat because it is the liver’s job to break down toxins that enter the body. The more toxins it has to deal with, the less energy it has for fat burning. So you’ll want to keep your toxic load to a minimum, and eat only natural foods, if you want to be naturally slim.

Atkins False Advertising

Furthermore, Atkins Nutritionals™ uses false advertising when they state “2g NET CARBS*” on the cover of their bars. If you look at the nutritional label on the back, you will see the carbohydrate count is actually a much higher number like 19g but Dr. Atkins considers the sugar alcohols to have zero effect on blood sugars. This simply is not true. I have tested these Atkins bars with my diabetic patients and there are sharp increase in blood sugar levels.

In conclusion, I think Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution is a very good book and will motivate you to cut down on your carb intake. On the other hand, to follow the plan exactly not necessary. Eating only natural foods and one or two low-carb meals a day is a great place to start. But if you're truly serious about achieving your ideal weight, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter The Enlita Natural Weight Loss Newsletter (sign up at the top of the webpage). You simply can't afford to follow what popular diet books tell you to do because they are often wrong.

About the Author:
Dr. Kendra Pearsall, N.M.D. is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in natural weight loss and food addiction. She created to help millions of people achieve optimal health, natural weight loss and life success with her free weekly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page.)