Been real busy lately so I am being lazy and posting a post I found on another site (albeit sightly edited cause most t-maggers are pretty clued up and its a long post!)
The controversial and popular Atkins diet works for reasons that Dr Atkins may not have fully understood, the BBC 2 programme Horizon has discovered.
Through a series of scientific experiments the programme shows that although the diet allows people all the fat and protein they want, they actually eat as few calories as people on low fat diets.
And the reason for this, according to recent research is because the quantity of protein the regime encourages, acts like an appetite suppressant.
Horizon teamed up with the University of Kansas and commissioned a scientific investigation to test Dr Atkins’ most controversial theory.
This states that on his diet you actually burn more calories than usual - allowing you to lose more weight.
Dr Atkins had two ideas about where the extra calories were going. Firstly, he believed you burn more calories when your body uses fats and proteins as fuel.
Dr Atkins also believed that on his diet you lose unused calories by peeing them away, as part of a process known as ketosis, which happens when you stop eating starchy foods and sugar.
In Horizon’s investigation identical twins were put on different diets, one on the Atkins diet and one on a conventional low fat diet. Each was fed identical amounts of calories for two weeks.
The twins were then locked inside a sealed chamber so that Professor Joseph Donnelly could calculate how quickly their bodies were burning calories. (By measuring oxygen respiration)
Over 24 hours the twin on the Atkins diet did lose more calories than the twin on low fat, but only 22.
Professor Donnelly even checked the twins’ urine for calories and found that the Atkins dieter had lost less than a single calorie more than his brother on low fat.
Donnelly concluded that: “the differences were too small to suggest there’s anything significant going on”.
Even though this research is at an early stage, there is little evidence for Dr Atkins’ wasted calorie theories.
Horizon examines other studies that reveal the real reason scientists believe the Atkins diet is effective.
New results from research conducted on the popular BBC series ‘Diet Trials’ (the largest diet study ever) offer the first clue.
The study examined the Atkins diet and three low fat, low calorie diets of 240 dieters.
All four diets worked, but Dr Joe Millward at the University of Surrey who headed up the research, discovered the secret to why Atkins dieters
“The Atkins dieters were eating less calories, in exactly the same way as those going to the slimming clubs on their low fat diets.”
Without apparently trying, people on the Atkins diet were eating less than they would normally.
Scientists are now more interested than ever in what makes us eat less. They have concluded that there is something about the Atkins diet that controls hunger.
Research has shown that fat is the least filling food. But new work in Denmark is showing exactly what kinds of food may control hunger.
Professor Arne Astrup, from the Royal Veterinary & Agricultural University in Copenhagen, built a supermarket for a special study to find the secret of appetite control.
Professor Astrup’s study focused on being able to eat as much as you want.
He put one group of shoppers on a high protein diet and one on a high carbohydrate diet.
He was surprised to find that the people eating more protein lost significantly more weight.
“The reason they lost more weight was because they consumed fewer calories, despite the fact they had free access to all the food they wanted.”
Perhaps without realising it, Dr Atkins stumbled across the secret of appetite control, by discovering a high protein diet.
The programme also investigates whether or not the Atkins diet is dangerous.
With no long term studies on the diet, any possible health risks of the diet are, so far, unproven.