I swear by this diet and others like it, but the detractors like to make a lot of noise.
Carbohydrates are digested as sugar, sugar converts to fat, and also spikes the metabolism upward. This causes hunger, which dieters try to satisfy with "low fat" carbohydrates, which starts the cycle all over again.
Why is America so fat, with all the "low fat" food around? It's all carbohydrate, that's why. What do farmers feed pigs? Grain, and CARBOHYDRATES!
Eat like our ancestors ate: meat, some cheese, greens, and low-glycemic vegetables.
If one gets the sugar (both obvious and hidden) out of the diet, one will lose weight.
By avoiding carbs, you force your body to use fat for energy. Fat has two advantages: it takes longer to metabolize, and does not need insulin for the conversion. (As well, lots of fat serves as an appetitie suppressant.)
Etc. etc. Anyways the main thrust is that using high fat, high protein is better for you in general and specifically when dieting. You can safely lose between 0.5 and 1 lb per day on Atkins.
I started hearing about it 3+ years ago from someone who had lost about 40 lbs on it and loved it. I tried it without reading the book and wasn't too successful. But when I finally read the book and did it right, I lost 35 lbs in about 3-4 months and got down to my ideal weight. I still eat a low-carb diet and love it.
That's Atkins diet. It's named for the guitarist Chet Atkins. When he was starting out on the honky-tonk circuit, he noticed he'd lose weight while travelling through central Kentucky-- which is known for its greasy french fries. He came to realize that those french fries were an extraordinarily effective diet food.
He developed a diet of french fries five times per day -- breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner and before bed snack.
The trick was that all you eat were the fries, and all you could drink was Schwepps club soda. For some reason, he insisted that the brand be Schwepps -- an unfortunate fact that caused him to lose credibility during the Congressional hearings.
To add variety, Chet doctored his "fries" up. He'd put ketchup on 'em in the morning, Cheese Whiz at supper, and chocolate syrup when he had a yen for something sweet.
It was a great success.
The corporate powers that be, however, -- with the notable exception of the potato industry -- soon spread stories about the unhealthiness of eating five servings of french fries a day. The Congressional hearings were pretty much the final nail in the coffin. Chet had to go back to his music.
I'm glad you asked.