Low carb weight loss involves weight reduction by lowering carbohydrates.
Low carb weight loss is the most effective way to reduce weight and maintain the weight loss. On a typical UK diet, which is usually high in carbs, the body will use glycogen to get the energy it needs, meaning fat will rarely be used as an energy source. Low carb weight loss instead seeks to change the body's metabolic behaviour, essentially turning it into a fat-burning machine. With carbohydrates cut, the body's only option is to burn fat.
The low carbohydrate approach also allows the dieter to eat foods that would be off limits in many diets – full fat cheese, steaks, fish, eggs and more. These become the building blocks of an effective diet and, importantly, a diet that can be maintained, enjoyably, to make sure any weight lost remains off for life.
On a low carb weight loss programme such as Atkins, we recommend following the 4 phases. Phase one, or Induction, will reduce carbs to 20g a day. In this phase, you should see a good weight loss, some people even see up to 15 pounds in just two weeks.
This induction phase is completely safe and so can be continued to get closer to the target weight. We recommend staying in this phase until you’re about 14 lbs, or 6kg, from your goal weight. Then go into phase 2 and start to add back ‘good carbs’ in 5g increments, then 10g increments in phase 3. As the target weight approaches, the pace of weight loss drops but the diet becomes ever more varied. This is to establish phase four, lifetime maintenance.
Does low carb weight loss involve some sacrifices? You cut out refined/sugary carbs like bread, pasta and fizzy drinks but you have so much choice of foods to choose from that it’s rare to feel hungry.
As you progress through Atkins more carbohydrates get added back in – more fruit, berries, nuts, grains, legumes, soft cheeses, alcohol and more.
Check out the science on the site – more than 100 studies highlighting the benefits of low carb. We also have a range of Support Tools that will help you on your journey.