The top low carb diets -

which one is for you?

Atkins | Protein Power | Zone | CAD (Carbohydrate Addicts Diet) | South Beach Diet

The top low carb diets are:

The Atkins diet (Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution) is the best selling low carb diet, and its been around the longest. The Atkins diet is designed for faster weight loss (although it doesn't work that way for everyone) and its the lowest in carbohydrates of the top low carb diets. Atkins is also the diet that conventional nutritionists love to criticise, because, unlike the other top low carb diets, it encourages ketosis (a sign that your body is burning fat for energy).

Protein Power is somewhat similar to Atkins, but slightly more generous in its carbohydrate allowance. It insists on adequate protein & fiber, & doesn't encourage ketosis. Protein Power is the best book to buy if you're interested in the scientific explanation of how low carbohydrate diets work. 'The Low-Carb Cookbook', one of the best low carb cookbooks on the market, was written with the protein power diet in mind.

The Zone Diet is the highest in carbohydrates of the top low carb diets. It was originally designed for athletes. It recommends a 40-30-30 balance of carbohydrates, fats & protein every time you eat. This can make meal planning tedious, but there are Zone cookbooks on the market that have done this work for you. (such as 'Zone Meals in Seconds').

The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet (CAD) is like being on Atkins for breakfast & lunch, (but without counting carbs, because you're restricted to a specific list of low carb foods) and then being on the Zone for dinner. CAD recommends that dinner is a balanced meal, (which also makes dinner planning easier!), but in later books (eg The Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program), the authors explain that this means 1/3 each by volume: protein, low carbohydrate vegetables, and other high carbohydrate foods.

Some people find CAD an easier low carb diet, because it doesn't require carbohydrate counting, and because it allows high carbohydrate foods at the main meal. But it also tends to lead to a slower weigh loss for most people. 

The South Beach Diet  is becoming popular.  Its somewhat higher in carbs than the other low carb diets - so much so, that its author claims that its not low carb at all!  - Technically, you could call it a 'moderate carb diet'.  Many people find this diet easier to handle, because its a bit more generous with the carbs.

So which low carb diet is for you?


- Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution, if you're looking for faster weight loss

- Protein Power if you want a diet similar to Atkins, but slightly more generous.

- the Zone, if you're into sport or exercise and need more carbs

- the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet for a relatively easy introduction to lowcarb dieting

- The South Beach Diet if you want to try a less strenuous approach to low carb dieting.

Help with low carb diet decisions

If you just can't make up your mind, read :
'How I Gave Up My Lowfat Diet and Lost Forty Pounds' for a more detailed explanation and comparison of the main low carbohydrate diet approaches.  

Or for help making your decision, as well as help with 'tweaking' your program to work optimally for you, read:
'The Secret to Low Carb Success!: How to Get the Most Out of Your Low Carbohydrate Diet'.

next: Low Carb Books


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