I’m going to be biased and say if I was choosing the best diet for losing weight fast then I would always pick the Atkins ahead of all the rest.
But, that’s because the Atkins diet plan suits me and my lifestyle; however, I know from many years of unsuccessful dieting myself that what might suit one person could be someone else’s idea of food hell.
For me the Atkins diet plan was the only diet that I lost weight on and kept it off.
The pounds shifted quickly – which is what helped to keep me motivated initially. And, because the food is varied and interesting, it’s what keeps me going during my Lifetime Maintenance phase of the Atkins diet.
Using the Atkins diet food list has become part of my everyday life, and I don’t give it second thought these days.
There are other diets around that are similar to the Atkins – in that they are low carbohydrate – but they do all vary slightly.
I’ve picked out some of the most well-known and have compared them to the Atkins diet plan so you can see at a glance what the differences are, and whether or not they would suit your body and lifestyle as a way of choosing a weight loss diet.
Atkins Diet vs Suzanne Somers Diet
Have you tried “Somersizing”? Well, TV celebrity Suzanne Somers would like you to.
In essence the Suzanne Somers Diet is a low carb diet but with the added excitement of food combining!
There are lots of rules about what you can eat, with what and when, for example fruit must be eaten on an empty stomach and all on its own. So called “funky foods” such as sugar and sweet potato are eliminated from your diet – basically all the high GI foods (high Glycemic Index foods are foods with a GI index more than 70).
Pros: uses the Atkins principle of maintaining a steady blood glucose level to stave off hunger and burn fat more efficiently, no calorie counting, no limit on portion sizes.
Cons: lots of foods are on the eliminated list, there is no compelling scientific evidence that food combining actually aids weight loss.
Celeb count: I did a quick search and couldn’t immediately find any celebrities endorsing this diet apart from Suzanne herself.
Products: lots for sale on the Suzanne Somers website, including cook books and fitness DVDs.
Atkins Diet vs Dukan Diet
Currently all the rage with the school gate crowd, the Dukan offers really fast weight loss – but at what cost to your health? And, how sustainable is it in the long term?
Like the Atkins, the Dukan Diet takes a four phase approach.
This low carb diet starts with very restrictive two week “Attack Phase” in which only protein is consumed, this is then followed by alternating protein days with protein and low carb vegetable days. With celebrity endorsement from J-Lo (Jennifer Lynn Lopez; American actress, singer, producer, dancer, etc.) and supermodel Gisele Bundchen this is a diet in the media spotlight.
Pros: good diet for quick weight loss initially, followed by continued steady weight loss, no calorie counting.
Cons: very restrictive, not suitable for anyone with gout, high cholesterol or kidney disease, not particularly nutritionally balanced.
Celeb count: Jennifer Lopez, Gisele Bundchen, The Duchess of Cambridge (formally known as Kate Middleton).
Products: diet plans, guidance and products available from the Dukan website.
Atkins Diet vs South Beach Diet
Just like the Atkins diet plan, the South Beach Diet was initially devised by a doctor for his overweight cardiology patients.
With celebrities as famous as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie reported to be fans, this diet appears to have all the bells and whistles. Also, like the Atkins, it has a low carb two-week induction phase.
I admit that if the Atkins diet plan didn’t exist (and I wasn’t so in love it), then the South Beach Diet would definitely be my next choice weight loss plan.
Pros: good diet for weight loss initially, nutritionally healthy and balanced after the first phase, sustainable in the long term.
Cons: Erm, still looking! Am I allowed to say it isn’t the Atkins?
Celeb count: Oprah Winfrey, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bette Midler.
Products: lots of books, exercise DVDs, and recipe ideas all available on the website.
Atkins Diet vs Low Fat, Low Cholesterol Diet
There are many low fat, low cholesterol diets, some are much easier to follow than others.
Some popular choices include the Mayo Clinic Plan, Weight Watchers, the Jenny Craig diet plan, but most people just follow a general cholesterol lowering regime.
Animal fats are high in cholesterol and any low fat diet will exclude or substantially cut back on these products, so in effect a low fat diet will also be low cholesterol.
The danger food to be aware of is eggs – low fat but very high in cholesterol.
Pros: low fat, low cholesterol is an extremely healthy diet to follow, nutritionally balanced, heart healthy.
Cons: unless you follow a strict diet plan like Weight Watchers the weight may be slow to come off.
Celeb count: I bet if you ask any celebrity they will say they eat low fat, low cholesterol anyway.
Products: each diet has its own range of own brand products and support online.
Atkins Diet vs Slimming World
A very popular diet; can be done online or by attending a class.
Foods are classified as “Free”, “Healthy” or “Synful”.
You can either have a red day (high protein, low carb) or a green day (high carb, low protein), more recently the diet has undergone some revision and this old distinction of red and green days is a bit more blurred, or “flexible” as it is now called.
Pros: good diet for fast weight loss initially, easy to follow, wide choice of foods.
Cons: it’s too easy to go off track and eat the wrong things, unlimited quantities of certain foods may not be a good idea for those that binge eat.
Celeb count: A favorite among the UK daytime TV presenters.
Products: Plenty of bars, snacks and books available in class or online, you can even get an app for your phone.
Atkins Diet vs Paleolithic Diet
New agers and baby boomers seem to like this diet.
The Paleolithic Diet is based on the premise that as humans our dietary requirements have not evolved in line with our advances in technology, in particular agriculture.
So our bodies are not able to adapt to large quantities of carbohydrate, for example farmed grains, rather our bodies are still adapted for a hunter gatherer diet.
Therefore foods that were not available to our ancestors are restricted, such as any processed foods, sugar, salt, coffee, alcohol, grains and legumes.
It may all seem a bit wacky but the Paleolithic Diet does have devout followers and is another low carb diet option.
There are various versions of this diet; the Paleolithic Diet is also known as the paleo diet, the hunter-gatherer diet, the stone-age diet or the caveman diet.
Pros: unlimited quantities of fruit and vegetables (not including potatoes), no calorie counting or measuring, high in protein so suppresses appetite.
Cons: very restrictive, not suitable for vegetarians or vegans, not scientifically proven (what did our ancestors eat?).
Celeb count: Peter Andre (some would say that this really says it all).
Products: various cookbooks and diet plans available online.
Atkins Diet vs The Zone Diet
This is a diet I find a bit baffling! I understand what it entails but boy is it complicated to follow!
The Zone Diet is all about ratios; every meal should have the ratio 40:30:30. That is, 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fats, and these have to be exact for the diet to work effectively.
Now, I don’t know about you but I’m not a celebrity with a personal chef, so it’s all a bit of a faff for me, and just wouldn’t suit my lifestyle (I’m too busy!).
Pros: encourages a balanced intake of carbs, protein and fat at every meal, avoids processed carbs (bread, white pasta, etc.).
Cons: very complicated, large list of restrictive foods.
Celeb count: Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Demi Moore.
Products: bars, shakes and a lot more available from the website.
Atkins Diet vs Special K Diet
You’ve all seen the adverts, right? “Drop a jeans size in two weeks”.
The Special K Diet goes something like this: Have a bowl of Special K with half a cup of low-fat milk for breakfast, another bowl for lunch or dinner, and a third, low calorie, meal (for lunch or dinner).
Include a snack mid-morning and afternoon of a piece of fruit, vegetables, low-fat yogurt or a Special K bar.
Drink plenty of fluids, but no alcohol is allowed.
Pros: no calorie counting, easy to follow.
Cons: lack of variety, low in fiber, unless your third meal is well balanced it may be nutrient deficient as well, should only be followed for two weeks.
Celeb count: none that I can locate.
Products: Kellogg’s Special K and milk, buy it from your food store. No sorry, I’m being unfair, there are also cereal bars …
Atkins Diet vs Yeast Free Diet (Candida Diet)
Now, I do know someone who tried this – but not to lose weight, they just had awful thrush! (In case you don’t know, that’s a yeast-like fungus that infects the mouth and throat and, yes, the female genitals, too, causing whitish patches – the condition is sometimes called candidiasis).
The first part of the Yeast Free Dietor Candida Diet is a detox, you cleanse your body (and colon) through fasting, vegetable juices that are low on sugar, water and cleansing herbs (no I don’t know what they are, either).
This is followed by a period when you reintroduce yeast cells back into your body through herbs and formula drinks.
Basically, yeast lives on sugars, so avoiding sugar and maintaining a low carbohydrate diet is the best defense against a candida infection.
Pros: if too much yeast is a serious problem for you then this diet will sort you out.
Cons: very restrictive, lots of foods to avoid, is a life long commitment to a not very big food list.
Celeb count: doesn’t seem especially popular with the celebs, must be the lack of glamour … Who wants the world to know that they’ve been eating so much sugar and carbs they now have fungus growing on their private parts?
Products: lots of online help in the forums and on the website.
Atkins Diet vs Low Purine Diet
This is another diet I know quite a lot about. The men in my family all suffer from gout – not through living it up with their wild lifestyles, they are just genetically prone to it.
A Low Purine Diet involves restricting certain foods that are high in purines. A lot of healthy foods contain purines so it is quite a difficult diet to get your head around, but basically fatty foods, fish and seafood are right out, in fact all protein in animal form is severely limited, so you end with a mostly vegetarian diet plan.
Pros: can reduce or even prevent the symptoms of gout.
Cons: restrictive, low in animal protein.
Celeb count/Products: not really applicable, you will lose weight on this diet, but essentially it is not the primary concern.
Conclusion on Choosing the Best Diet for Quick Weight Loss
It is interesting to me how many of these diets for quick weight loss include elements from the Atkins diet plan!
Most are low carb, some place particular prominence on blood glucose levels, and all see processed foods as the bad guy.
They all advocate exercise as well as dieting in order to fight the obesity epidemic, and place a high emphasis on soluble fiber intake.
Despite all of this though, the Atkins diet plan is still the one that works for me, and I’ll be sticking with my Atkins diet food list thanks very much.
But, if you find a plan that suits you then good luck; all things considered we are all aiming towards the same goal – our ideal weight. And, regardless of which one is YOUR best diet for fast weight loss, you should know that you CAN reach that goal!
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