Have you ever struggled through the ups and downs of a low-fat diet without losing weight, and/or even gaining weight in the long run because it was not a diet that worked with your body? Meanwhile all you heard from medical professionals and through the media was that a low-fat diet was the only way to lose weight safely and effectively? But then you tried Atkins, and suddenly you found you were able to lose weight, while improving many other health risk factors? In another flash of brilliance, the scientific community has validated what those of us at Atkins have known for years: Low-fat diets don’t work for everyone. In fact, low-carb diets like Atkins might work better for folks who are insulin resistant.
This theory was put forth in an opinion piece called “Tailoring Dietary Approaches for Weight Loss” in the International Journal of Obesity Supplements written by Dr. Chris Gardner from Stanford Medical School and author of The A to Z Weight-Loss Study. “Given the heterogeneity and complexity of the causes and manifestations of obesity, it would be overly simplistic and even arrogant to think that there could be one dietary approach to weight loss that would be superior to all other approaches, for all individuals,” he says.
Dr. Gardner concludes that weight-loss is not a one-size-fits-all approach. If anything, this approach may have contributed to our growing obesity problem. “After decades of health professionals promoting a low-fat dietary approach for weight loss and weight control, a series of studies conducted in the past decade pitting low-fat vs. low-carb diets have provided evidence that the low-fat diet is not a superior approach; a low-carb, and possibly a high-protein, diet is equally, if not modestly more, effective,” he says.
My thoughts? Research has supported the safety and efficacy of low-carb diets for years, and I am confident 64% of the population could benefit from an Atkins type approach. I also agree with Dr. Gardner and would love to see more research done on different dietary approaches for different conditions. Personalized medicine may be the way of the future.