Many fad diets have come and gone, but arguably one of the most effective, controversial and talked about of them all was the Atkins Diet.

It promised incredible fat reduction through eating a diet almost devoid of carbohydrates and its story is covered in this article.

What is the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins diet is a rather controversial but potentially effective way to lose a good deal of weight through burning away the body's excess store of fat cells. The first two weeks of the diet virtually eliminate fruits and most vegetables.

It is not really a healthy idea to stay in this "induction phase" more than two to four weeks. Once you are out of the initial phase of the Atkins diet, you slowly add small amounts of fruit and other types of vegetables into your diet.

Generally, foods made from refined carbohydrates such as bread and pasta are banned from this diet.

How Many Pounds Can You Lose?

The average person will lose about 14 pounds in the first month of religiously following the Atkins diet. If you are significantly overweight or exercise regularly, you might lose as much as 20 to 30 pounds in that first month.

People who are rather obese and need to diet for several months could probably lose about 10 pounds per month in subsequent months of following Atkins to its conclusion.

What Makes You Lose Weight?

There are numerous factors that help determine how much weight you can and should lose. Men tend to lose weight faster than women.

Also, it is easier to lose a lot of weight quickly if you need to lose at least 50 pounds to begin with. If you need to shed about 30 pounds to get to your goal weight, it will probably take you a few months to lose all of that excess.

Also, the Atkins diet has a lot of fattier choices such as bacon, eggs, steak, and butter. This often represents a marked increase in the intake of saturated fats that can have a negative effect on cholesterol levels if not balanced by consuming blood cleansing vegetables such as onions and garlic.

While you should not necessarily eat fish or lean chicken all the time, if you are eating a whole lot of fat you may not slow down your weight loss efforts, but you may see cholesterol problems (check with your doctor).

Ideally you should balance leaner and fattier choices when planning your menus using this diet.

Exercise Improves Results

Exercise is important, though you probably will feel rather fatigued during the first few days of going off carbs. Be gentle with yourself but also do not use the diet as an excuse not to exercise regularly.

Even simple lifestyle changes such as using the stairs or taking a 10-minute walk every day can dramatically boost your chances of losing weight faster. Also, if you change multiple aspects of your lifestyle you are much more likely to keep off the extra weight.

If the Atkins diet does not work for you, do not lose hope. Talk to your doctor about possible alternatives.

Also, your doctor can determine whether an undiagnosed medical condition such as hypothyroidism is stalling your slimming efforts.

If you cheat on the Atkins diet and find you're not losing any of that spare tire around your waist, the best advice is to just start over again and eventually you will lose it. The trick is to keep to the plan without deviating and see it through from start to finish.