How To Lose 20 Pounds REALLY, REALLY Fast

By: Tom Venuto

Back “in the day” when I used to be a full time personal trainer and I met with clients in person at my New Jersey Health Club, the first thing I would always ask my clients during the initial consultation was:

“Tell me exactly what you want… and I’ll show you how to get it.”

Typical reply from client:

“I want to lose 20 pounds fast.”

My reply:

“Are you SURE that’s what you want? If I can show you how to lose 20 pounds REALLY, REALLY fast, will that make you happy?”

They nodded their head affirmatively as their eyes lit up in anticipation of the quick weight loss secrets I was about to reveal.

Their face went white when – with a totally straight face – I pulled out a hacksaw and started walking towards them…. menacingly.

Not sure whether to laugh or to run away in sheer terror, they said,

“What the heck are you doing?”

“You said you wanted to lose 20 pounds fast. This is the easiest, surest, most effective way I know to take 20 pounds off you FAST! In fact, I figure that right leg of yours might even weigh 25 pounds!”

I kept walking closer and started to get into sawing position, wielding my fast, effective and guaranteed weight loss tool.

“Bear with me because this IS quick, but sometimes it takes a few minutes for me to cut through the bone.”

By this time, my client and I are either completely cracking up, or I have seriously scared the living you know what out of them, or they just think I’m a complete lunatic. (it depends on whether I was able to keep a straight face or not).

Finally, the light bulb goes on, and my client would see where I was going with this:

“Okay, smart alec,” I get it. I don’t want to lose WEIGHT, I want to lose FAT.”

Sometimes I would be having so much fun, I would just keep on playin’.

“But why not? This is easy, fast and guaranteed – just what everyone wants these days, it’s even better than taking a pill! Come on, let me hack it off! You’ll be my next testimonial: ‘I lost 20 pounds in 5 minutes!’ Imagine what that will do for my business!”

“Very funny. I told you, I get it, I get it! I want to lose FAT, not muscles and bones. I need my leg!

Naturally, of course, I didn’t always have to pull out my trusty blade. Every once in a while, about as often as a total solar eclipse, a client answers my question like this:

“What do I want? Tom, I want to lose 20 pounds of body fat in the next 12 weeks. I want to do it slowly, safely and healthfully and then keep it off permanently. I want all the fat around my hips and thighs completely gone and I want a firm flat stomach. I want muscle all over my body while still looking feminine. I’d like to see myself at about 16% body fat and maintain all my muscle or gain a few pounds of lean mass if I can, especially in my arms. This is important to me because I want to set a good example for my kids, I want to be healthy and live to at least 90 and I want my husband to look at me and say, “I love your body, honey,” and I want to be able to *honestly* say back to him, “me too!”

It is on these rare occasions that I know there is still intelligent life on this planet.

If you could answer the question, “What do you want” with the degree of clarity that this woman did, I don’t think you would ever have any difficulty reaching your health and fitness goals… or any other goal in your life, for that matter.

This answer is what you call a very “well-formed” goal, backed up with lots of emotional motivation-inducing “reasons why.”

“I want to lose weight” is a poorly-formed goal.

“Weight” is not the same as “fat.” Weight includes muscle, bone, internal organs as well as lots and lots of water.

If you only get ONE thing from this article, get this:


FAT LOSS is what you want, not weight loss.

If your body was 100% rock-solid muscle, with absolutely nothing that jiggled (unless it was supposed to), would you care how much you weighed?

I bet you wouldn’t!


By measuring your body fat, you take the guesswork out of your health and fitness plan and you get an accurate picture of what’s really happening in your body as a result of your diet and exercise program.

Instead of worrying about whether you are losing muscle, or wondering if you are losing fat, you can measure it and KNOW for sure. (I always get a good chuckle when someone tells me they’re worried about losing muscle when they don’t even measure how much muscle they have!)

Instead of being confused by all the “opinions” from weight loss and exercise “experts” who are all telling you something different, you can MEASURE your body composition and based on the results, you can KNOW for sure whether your program is working.

A very wise man once said,

“A single measurement is worth a thousand opinions.”

So, how do you measure body fat?

There are many methods. Thanks to technology, there are some methods today that are so accurate, they can tell you whether your left pinky has more fat than your right pinky! Unfortunately, many of them are either too expensive or they are inaccessible, being found only in hospitals or research facilities.

Instead of boring you with a lecture about all the various body fat testing methods, let me give you three quick and easy, practical suggestions:

Suggestion 1: Have a trainer or fitness professional measure your body fat if this service is available at your local health club. Sometimes, there’s a charge – usually $15 – $25, although some clubs offer the service for free to all their members.

Suggestion 2: Purchase an Accu-measure skinfold caliper. The Accumeasure was designed to allow you to measure your own body fat in the privacy of your own home (you don’t need someone else to measure you). Do a google or yahoo search to find a reseller.

Some people wonder if this is really accurate. Truth is, it’s not quite as accurate as a multi site skinfold test from an experienced tester, but it’s better than nothing. Besides, what’s most important is not the “accuracy” per se, but the reliability and ! consistency of your measurements so you can track your progress. Skinfold calipers in general are not accurate or inaccurate, it’s the person doing the test that is accurate or inaccurate.

Suggestion 3: If you have a spouse, roommate, or friend who can measure your body fat, you can purchase a “Slim Guide” body fat caliper. The Slimguide is the best inexpensive (about $20), caliper available for multi-site testing, but it wasn’t designed for you to measure your own body fat like the Accu Measure. Other models of body fat calipers (if you want to splurge), range from $150 to $450. (At our health clubs, I use the electronic “SKYNDEX” caliper with the 4-site “Durnin formula.”)

The calipers come with instructions, or you can use these formulas, which I have used and found to be very accurate:

4 Site formula for men (abdomen, suprailiac, thigh, tricep)

% fat = .29288(sum of 4 skinfolds) – 0.0005(sum of four skinfolds squared) + 0.15845(age) – 5.76377

4-Site Formula for women (abdomen, suprailiac, thigh, tricep)

% Fat = (.29669)(sum of 4 skinfolds) – (.00043)(Sum of four skinfolds squared) + .02963(age) + 1.4072

Source: Jackson A S, Pollock, M (1985) Practical assessment of body composition. Physician Sport Med. 13: 76-90.

Body fat percentages vary based on age and gender, but 20-25% body fat is average for women (15-19% is ideal), while 15-20% is average for men (10-14% is ideal).

Once you know your body fat percentage, then weigh yourself and record your weight and body fat on a progress chart. You can also calculate your lean body mass (muscle and other fat free tissue) very easily just by crunching some numbers:

For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and you have 10% body fat then you have 20 pounds of fat (10% of 200 = 20). That means you have a lean body mass (LBM) of 180 pounds. Now we’re talking! With this data, you can get a really clear picture of how your exercise and nutrition program are affecting your physique.

Losing weight is very easy. Losing fat – and keeping it off without losing muscle – is a much bigger challenge. If you simply wanted to lose weight, we could just chop off your leg. Or, (slightly less painful), I could show you how to drop 10 – 15 pounds over the weekend just by dehydrating yourself and using natural herbal diuretics. Bodybuilders and wrestlers do it all the time to make a weight class. But what good would that do if it’s almost all water and you’re just going to gain it all back within days?

You don’t have to “throw away your scale” like many “experts” tell you to. By all means, keep using the scale, the tape measure and even photographs and the mirror – the more feedback the better, but body fat is where it’s at.

By the way, I recently bought a chain saw and a shiny new axe from Home Depot, and I’ve been practicing my “A merican Psycho” and Jack Nicholson, “The Shining” impersonations… so if you want to come to my office any time soon for personal consultation, you’d better have the right answer to my question, “What do you want?”

Article Source: – Free Website Content

10 Tips for getting that sleek bathing suit body back this summer

As summer approaches, people are looking to get that bikini body or swim suit body. Here are 10 TIPS to help you reach that goal!
1. Start from SCRATCH – You are probably reading this because you are looking to drop a few extra pounds or inches. So today you are starting over from scratch. Just hit the re-start button to begin your quest for your bathing suit body. Don’t look back (at the past failures) and focus on the FRESH start. A disposal
2. Believe you can ACHIEVE your goals – This is the first habit we cover in our programs. If you do not change the way you think, you will NEVER reach your goals. Believing and having faith in what you are doing will be your key to staying on the path to success. Have faith that what you are doing TODAY will lead to your ultimate goal TOMORROW (it may take a little longer than a day, though)!
3. Get Help! Any new changes will be tough. Find some friends who are ready to get back in bikini shape with you and get start together. You may need to get some professional help with a certified personal trainer, a nutritionist, a doctor or someone who has had success with helping people lose weight and look great in a bathing suit (This article is steps to get a bathing suit body). One reason why Get You In Shape has grown 300% in the last year is because the success of what the boot camp has achieved. People are getting that groups support along with the professional help (with certified personal trainers) they need AND are in an environment that creates success that everyone wants to be a part of. We have a group of moms that started a support group to help keep each other accountable for their nutrition (what, when, and how they eat) and making sure they are all exercising. This one tip will make the journey you are taking easier and more enjoyable.
4. Eliminate anything getting in your way – What is getting in your way from your reaching that BATHING suit BODY you want? Most people can rattle off 5-10 quick things right when I ask them. So you probably have an idea of what those things are. This does NOT have to only be foods, but here are a few suggestions:
1. Do not go to fast food restaurants. This alone can help save many calories and even if they do serve healthy foods, your old habits could always come back to bite you.
2. Don’t buy unhealthy foods to out in your house. If it is in your house, it will get eaten sooner or later. Save yourself the trouble (and also your family) and just buy healthy foods and snacks to have around your house.
Those are just a few things but you will know what obstacles in your live you need to get rid of.
5. Exercise by using both cardio and resistance training – If you have been living on another planet and just came back to earth, resistance training along with a good cardio program has been proven to be more effective than just cardio exercise alone. If you already on a resistance training program, you want to make sure that you always change your workouts up, change the repetitions and sets, change the amount of time you workout and change the exercise program up. The Get You In Shape Boot Camp is a great example of changing it up. Since October of 2007, we have constantly changed every workout to make sure our participants bodies constantly have to adapt to the changes put on it. What does that mean? It means that their bodies will have to work harder (burn more calories) to adapt to the constant changes being put on it. No matter that workout you are doing, you always want to be changing it up to get the most out of your workout.
6. Think of your body as a machine and then treat it like one – You don’t put cheap oil in your car, do you? I love using this analogy because most people treat their cars better than their bodies. Cars will come and go but you only get one body! Here are some tips. Eliminate all fast foods, white breads, watch your portion sizes, eliminate alcohol, eliminate sugary drinks, and eliminate anything else YOU KNOW is not good for your body. Then add things to your body (your machine) like more water throughout the day and well-balanced (blend of protein, carbs, and fats) meals and snacks. This will take some time getting used to but you will look, feel, and perform better as you treat your body like a machine. If you are a Christian, I suggest you have the verse 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 memorized. It says “Do you not know that your body is a Temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not of your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”
7. Write down your goals! Yes, I know you want to look great in a swim suit. You want a bikini body. We all want to look great. One of the keys to getting that is to write that goal down and put it all over the place. Have it someplace where you can see it all throughout the day. Put it in your car, bathroom, the refrigerator, your office and anywhere else where you will be able to look at it and it reminds you of your goals.
8. Take measurement and pictures – I love being able to see a client after just 12 days of one of our programs and they have lost 2 inches from their waist. Talk about motivation! Taking measurement and a GOOD BEFORE PICTURE (yes, one that you don’t want to see) has really helped our clients reach their goals. It has helped with encouragement, motivation, and also inspiration (you see what results someone else got and you will be inspired to get started too).
9. ENJOY THE PROCESS – know that getting that swim suit body will be a process. The process is just that. It will not happen overnight and you need to make the process of working hard, making sacrifices (giving up deserts can be a HUGE sacrifice), doing things you don’t want to do will be tough. Celebrate each moment and enjoy those small sacrifices as they come. End the end, they will seem very small compared to the HUGE long-term RESULTS.
10. Celebrate – This is one thing that I highly recommend to all my clients once they reach their goal. Celebrate in the victory. Celebrate in the defeat. Celebrate….PERIOD. This can be a new pair of workout clothes or shoes. It can be a new bikini (in the EXACT size you wrote down in your goal) or it can be a weekend getaway. Have a plan and when you reach your goal, CELEBRATE.


Can food burn fat?

Some experts insist they can.

Here is our list of diet-friendly foods that are rumoured to fight flab!

Fat-Burning Food Guide:


Research suggests that this sweet ‘n’ sour citrus fruit can aid in weight loss. One Scripps Clinic study found that eating half of a grapefruit or drinking four ounces of grapefruit juice with meals (without making any other changes in eating habits) resulted in an average weight loss of more than three pounds in 12 weeks. Scientists speculate the weight loss happens because grapefruit lowers insulin levels, which curbs your urge to snack. And, of course, the less you snack, the easier it is to lose weight.

Tip: If grapefruit is a little too tart for you, try sprinkling some Splenda on top.

Green Tea

Green tea is one ambitious beverage. Not only is it said to help prevent cancer and heart disease, but numerous research studies have also found that drinking green tea, or taking green tea supplements, can also rev up your metabolism. Just how big of a difference can this fat-burning brew make? Some researchers claim if you drink five cups of green tea a day, you’ll burn 70 to 80 extra calories. That’s not bad, and definitely worth a shot!

Spicy Foods

Like it hot? Good news: Eating spicy foods can help you burn more fat. Hot foods make you sweat and raise your heart rate, which temporarily increases your metabolism. So grab some cayenne, your favorite bottle of hot sauce, hot chilies or red pepper flakes, and give your food — and your metabolism — a kick.

Low-Fat/Nonfat Dairy

In addition to building strong bones, calcium also inhibits the production of calcitriol, a hormone that tells cells to generate more fat. Several studies have concluded that incorporating low-fat or nonfat dairy products into your diet can help you lose more weight.


Skimp on water, and it’ll be harder to lose weight. Dehydration slows down your metabolism, and it can also lead to sugar cravings and fatigue (which might make you less likely to exercise). Some experts recommend guzzling eight cups of H2O a day.


Research shows that a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon, eaten with food, helps metabolize sugars more effectively and lower the body’s blood sugar levels. This is helpful because high blood sugar levels and excess sugar in the blood can lead to fat storage. Cinnamon also brings out natural sweetness in food and, well, tastes good. So sprinkle away! M

Protein Tip!

Protein is essential for building muscle. And the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn — even when you’re at rest. Protein also has the highest thermic effect of all the macronutrients (protein, carbs and fat). So, you burn more calories digesting protein than you do digesting carbs or fats. Best are turkey, egg whites, fish, tuna and skinless, boneless chicken breasts.

by: Barb Dearing

Looking for the best diet plan? Convinced it doesn’t exist? In a way, you are right. There is no perfect diet plan that is going to allow you to shed weight — without you having to change a thing about your lifestyle. Sorry, Virginia, but there is no Santa Claus and there is no magic weight loss pill

On the other hand, there are literally hundreds of successful diet plans that can assist you on your journey to Thinsville. But, fair warning, they all require a bit of effort and a ton of commitment on your part. The commitment is actually more important than the effort. You’ll find that once you have made the decision to do whatever it takes to shed the weight, the actions themselves become much easier. This is because you know, in your heart of hearts, that each action is bringing you closer to your goal weight, so it’s actually easy to make the choices that are aligned with your desire.
So here’s the secret. The best diet plan is the one that you will actually follow. Not the one that looked good on TV but ends up requiring sacrifices you are not willing to make. Or the one that worked great for you friend, but doesn’t fit you own lifestyle. Nope, it’s the one that resonates with you, your weight loss goal and your lifestyle.
Once again, there are hundreds of different ways to reduce your calorie intake and lose weight. And let’s be honest, it all comes down to calories in vs. calories burned. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter so much where those calories came from as it does how many “net” calories you consumed. Whether you control carbs and gorge on fats, or control fat and gorge on carbs, the net caloric intake is the determining factor in your weight loss success (or failure).
So pick the diet plan that speaks to you. Do you like to cook? Then Weight Watchers may be a great choice because it allows a great deal of flexibility in your eating choices. Hate to cook? Then you may be a good candidate for a plan like Bistro MD, where healthy gourmet meals are delivered to your door — prepared in the exact caloric portions that assist you in losing weight.
Whatever eating plan you choose, it’s important to back it up with accountability. Studies have shown that the most successful dieters are the ones who write down every calorie consumed. This forces the dieter to acknowledge every calorie and causes them to reconsider calories they might otherwise have unconsciously consumed.
There are even some great software programs today that take the accountability factor one step further. These programs, such as DietPower, help the dieter set a weight goal by a certain target date, and then it recommends a daily calorie budget. The dieter then enters information throughout the day, tracking calories, exercise, water consumption and the nutritional intake of all food consumed.
So whichever diet plan you choose, make sure it fits your lifestyle, and make sure you have a method of accountability. It won’t always be easy, but you’ll know that each choice you make is bringing you closer to the day when you can claim “I did it!”

About The Author

Barb Dearing is a writer specializing in the topics of health, beauty and weight loss. She recommends the following website to read actual user comments on the products and programs discussed in this article:

Article Source:

Dieting Tips

  • Pick one place at home and work that you will do all your eating. Be sure you are seated. Don’t eat anywhere but in that place. Enjoy your food by sitting down and eating slowly. Sitting down focuses your attention more directly on the activity of eating. By eating in the same place you identify and associate that place with the idea that it is the only area in which you should eat.
  • Shop for Groceries only after eating. You will be less likely to buy foods impulsively – especially foods you don’t need.
  • When you shop for groceries stick to your shopping list. This helps you guard against impulse buying. Make sure you list is complete and do not buy any extra food items.
  • Watch food labels. Foods with a high percentage of fat (or carbohydrates that are sugars) will slow down your weight loss program Don’t just count grams, count percentage of total calories that are fat or sugars.
  • Don’t think that just because you are eating low fat/low calorie foods that you can eat all that you want. The calories still add up and must be burned off regardless of what kind of food you eat. Balance is the key.
  • If you are going to a restaurant, decide ahead of time what you will be eating. Stick to it.
  • Exercise – If you want to stay healthy and make weight loss permanent you just cant do without exercise. Along with cutting down on the fat you eat exercising regularly may be your best ally in improving your all around health and bringing your weight loss under control.
  • Water is essential to all bodily functions and has no calories. It is the perfect drink for dieters. You need eight 8 oz. glasses of water daily.
  • Be happy: you’re OK! Resisting all those tempting foods is NOT going to kill you.
  • Let someone else be the walking garbage disposal: you are no longer responsible for eating up the leftovers after a meal.
  • Success is when you can look beyond food…and look down and see your feet.
  • Each day you stay on your weight-loss diet brings you closer to your weight goal.
  • The purpose of getting together with people is to enjoy their company…not eating.
  • Chart or graph your weight loss and serving selections.
  • Take small servings – avoid gorging yourself.
  • Consuming most calories in one big meal is the worst way to diet. Eat 4 or 5 small meals rather than in one all-out feeding frenzy.
  • If your schedule only permits you to eat one major meal in a day, eat it in the morning to midday hours rather than afternoon/evening hours.
  • Repeat: “I’m learning a way to live, not just a way to diet.”
  • Limit your time in the grocery store. The longer you stay, the more you will buy.
  • Never starve yourself, especially before going out to eat (or you will binge). Never skip meals, you must have some kind of nourishment regularly or your body’s starvation defences will kick in, lower your metabolism, and store fat.
  • Be patient – it took years to gain weight; it takes time to lose weight.
  • “Nibble” food and “linger” over drinks. Do the “Push Away From The Table Exercise.”
  • Chew your food completely: digestion begins in the mouth. Avoid “washing” half-chewed food down.
  • Lose weight with a supportive friend or in a support group.
  • Emphasize your weight loss triumphs and work towards making them more frequent
  • Find a weight loss “buddy,” club, or support group. This will help you stay with your weight loss program.
  • Use mustard on your sandwiches instead of mayonnaise. Mustard has no fat & very little calories while Mayo, is loaded with fat. If you just don’t like the taste of mustard, find a low-fat alternative, but avoid mayonnaise at all costs.

  • Weigh yourself each week. Don’t be worried about small daily changes in your weight. You shouldn’t lose more than 1 – 2 pounds a week. There may be weeks when you don’t lose weight. This is normal. Stay on your diet to lose weight.
  • Bake, roast, or broil your food instead of frying. Remove all fat from meats and skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water each day. This will help flush out your body while also suppressing your appetite
  • If you haven’t done so already, switch to diet soft drinks. An average 12 Oz can of regular soda contains around 120 calories, while the diet version usually has one or zero. If you drink 3 cans a day, you’ll be saving 360 calories right there. Now multiply that by 7 days a week, 30 days a month and 365 days a year… You’ll be saving a lot of calories!

  • Limit alcohol. Alcoholic drinks have many calories & little else.
  • Schedule your exercise time just as you plan your other activities of the day. Treat this time as an important appointment you don’t want to miss
  • Write your weight goal & post it where you’ll see it everyday.
  • You are responsible for what you do & what you eat.
  • Eat to live, not live to eat. Overeating can KILL you!
  • Don’t give it up if you don’t want to, just reduce your intake.

To lose weight fast, eat meat

Atkins diet works faster initially than low-fat diet, and may improve blood fat levels, say new studies

OBESITY rates are rising, but science has barely weighed in on the best way for people to shed fat. That state of affairs is starting to change, and doctors are getting a surprise or two.

ATKINS DIET: What’s in it THE Atkins diet promotes protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs and cheese over traditional diet basics like pasta, bread and vegetables.

Last month, the popular carbohydrate-slashing Atkins diet received a dollop of endorsement from two studies after years of being pooh-poohed by health specialists.

The studies, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that the meat- and fat-rich regimen caused faster weight loss in the short term than a conventional low-fat diet.

More importantly – because many had feared that the diet, even if slimming, might unfavourably affect cholesterol levels and be bad for the heart – the low-carbohydrate regimen also seemed to improve the dieters’ blood fat profiles.

But Atkins, like every other diet, is no miraculous fat-melter.

The longer of the two studies suggested that a low-carb regimen might be harder to maintain beyond six months, compared with a low-fat approach. By the end of the year, the low-fat dieters had caught up and lost the same – very modest – amount of heft.

In addition, although on average people on low-carb diets did not experience increases in their so-called ‘bad’ (or LDL) cholesterol levels, about 30 per cent of them did.

Even with these caveats, ‘we can no longer dismiss very-low-carbohydrate diets’, said Dr Walter Willett, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, in a written editorial accompanying the papers.

To maximise the diets’ healthfulness, he added, people should avoid going wild on fatty bacon and red meat, and should opt instead to eat healthy oils (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and get protein from fish, beans, nuts and chicken.

The weight-loss regimen popularised by the late Dr Robert Atkins – rich in meat, eggs and cheese but almost bereft of grains, potatoes and fruit – is highly popular but had not been tested in a scientifically rigorous way until last year, when two studies reported that very obese and moderately obese people lost more weight initially on the Atkins diet than on a conventional diet.

The studies published last month bolster and extend these findings.

Conducted at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Centre, the first study enrolled 132 severely obese adults with an average weight of 130kg. Many of those in the study had diabetes or other risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Roughly half of them were put on a low-fat diet and told to eat 500 fewer calories a day.

The others followed a regimen in which they were to limit their carbohydrate intake to less than 30g daily, but were not told to count calories or fat.

The scientists reported last year that at six months, the low-carb group had lost an average of 5.8kg, compared with 1.8kg for the low-fat group.

Last month, the scientists reported that after one year, individuals on the Atkins-style diet largely kept the weight off but did not continue to lose more weight.

The low-fat group continued to lose weight slowly over the course of the year.

Total weight loss for both groups over the year was slight: 4.9kg to 8.6kg for the low-carb group, and 3.1kg to 8.6kg for the low-fat group.

The study also found that diabetic patients improved control over their blood sugar levels using the low-carb approach.

The second investigation was funded by the Robert C. Atkins Foundation, although the foundation did not take part in the study or its analysis.

Conducted at Duke University Medical Centre in Durham, North Carolina, it enrolled 120 moderately obese adults who had high-blood cholesterol levels.

At six months, participants who followed a low-carb approach had lost an average of 11.7kg, compared with 6.3kg for the low-fat group.

Weight loss was not the only effect of these diets. Both studies found that levels of triglycerides – blood fats that are risk factors for heart disease – fell further in the low-carb group than in the low-fat group. Levels of HDL, or ‘good’, cholesterol also seemed to improve more in the low-carb group.

Still, experts said more studies were needed to ensure that the HDL lipid change was favourable and that the higher amounts of fat consumed on an Atkins-style diet would not increase a dieter’s risk of heart disease.

The American Heart Association issued a statement expressing concern about the safety of the diet given its richness in saturated fats.

To be safe, people on an Atkins-style diet should have their blood lipids monitored regularly in case their ‘bad’ cholesterol goes up, said Dr William Yancy, assistant professor of medicine at Duke and lead author of the study there.

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