A new scientific review says it takes at least a year of sticking to a low-carb diet (cutting carbs to 10% of daily calories) to see the best outcome regarding body composition, but that it is more effective than a typical reduced calorie diet or less-restrictive low-carb diet. And even a less-restrictive low-carb diet is still more effective than a reduced calorie diet. This is more great news that shows that low-carb diets are healthier! But I find it very interesting when the media tries to twist the results of this study into a negative. One such article headline read ‘Sure, a low-carb diet like Atkins works, but only when you’re wiling to “suffer” through the agony of cutting carbs for at least a year to see results.” Willing to suffer? Or willing to commit? It certainly didn’t take just a few weeks to gain the weight, so in order to lose it safely while making longstanding changes you can live with, it does take a commitment. For many with a large amount of weight to lose, this could take up to a year.
Yet all the people I talk to who have successfully lost weight and kept it off with Atkins have said nothing about suffering. I hear about their increased confidence and energy. That they’ve been able to cut back or eliminate cholesterol and blood pressure medications. That they’ve successfully reduced or eliminated the risk of pre-diabetes and diabetes. That they are finally in control of their appetite. I hear about how satisfied people are—they’ve cut their cravings for sugar, they never feel like they’re starving, and they truly enjoy the low-carb snacks and meals they eat every day. This isn’t a short-term diet, but a lifestyle. Sure, it takes time to turn any new change in lifestyle into a healthy long-term habit. That is what commitment is truly about.