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Kim Kardashian West Goes on Atkins Diet to Lose Baby Weight

Kim Kardashian West Goes on Atkins Diet to Lose Baby Weight

In the last six weeks, Kim Kardashian gave birth, celebrated the holidays, and—she announced today on Twitter—lost an impressive 30 pounds of her 70-pound post-baby weight goal. Exercise was part of it, the other part was the same trendy diet your parents used back in the day: The low-carb, Atkins diet:

The Atkins diet, also known as the Atkins nutritional approach, is a low-carbohydrate diet promoted by Robert Atkins and inspired by a research paper he read in The Journal of the American Medical Association. The paper entitled “Weight Reduction” was published by Alfred W. Pennington in 1958. The Atkins diet lead to 0.1% to 2.9% more weight loss at one year compared to a control group which received behavioral counselling.

The claim:

You’ll lose up to 15 pounds within two weeks, and eat lots of fatty foods.

The theory:

The body is an engine; carbs are the gas that makes it go. Limiting carbs makes the body turn to an alternative fuel – stored fat. So sugars and “simple starches” like potatoes, white bread, and rice are all but squeezed out; protein and fat like chicken, meat, and eggs are embraced. Fat is burned; pounds come off.

How does Atkins Diet work?
You go through four “phases,” starting with very few carbs and eating progressively more until you get to your desired weight. Keeping carbs at bay isn’t as simple as saying No to sugar and baked potatoes. You’ll keep acceptable foods lists handy and polish your arithmetic skills. In phase 1, for example, you’re allowed 20 grams a day of “net carbs” (pull out the food list), 12 to 15 of them from “foundation vegetables” (pull out another list) high in fiber. But as for fat, you don’t even have to trim it off your steak.

The Atkins 40 Plan is a new entry point to the diet geared toward those who want to lose 40 pounds or less.

How much does it cost?
Meat and fresh veggies are pricier than most processed and fast foods. How much more you’ll spend will depend largely on your choices of protein sources. Are you buying mostly ground beef or springing for veal? Chicken or turkey? Chuck vs. New York strip? Buying in season should keep the veggie tab reasonable.

“The New Atkins for a New You,” an essential guide, is $16. There’s also a workbook for $12. “New Atkins Made Easy,” the most updated version of the Atkins book, is $10.

Will you lose weight?
Atkins and other low-carb diets have been studied longer and harder than most other approaches, and Atkins does appear to be moderately successful, especially in the first couple of weeks. That’s only part of the story, however.

Much of the initial loss is water, say experts, because of the diet’s diuretic effect. That’s true of many other diets, too, and is one of the reasons researchers don’t judge diets based on a few weeks of results. In diet studies, long-term generally starts at two years. Here’s what several key studies had to say about Atkins and other low-carb diets:

Over short periods, Atkins results vary. In one study, published in 2006 in the British Medical Journal, Atkins dieters lost an average of 10 pounds in the first four weeks while those on meal-replacement (Slim Fast), caloric-restriction (Weight Watchers), and low-fat (Rosemary Conley’s Eat Yourself Slim book) diets lost 6 to 7 pounds. At the one-month point and thereafter, however, there were no significant differences in weight loss among the groups.
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