I am not a big advocate of fad diets by any means. Quite simply, they don’t work. You usually lose some weight initially, about half of which is water and fat, and the rest, very desirable and difficult to replace muscle tissue. After the diet you go back to your old eating habits, and back comes the weight you lost, only now you have less muscle tissue burning calories for you so it is even easier to become even fatter still. While the Atkins diet is not without flaw, Dr. Atkins was well ahead of his time. The diet focuses on protein as the mainstay for caloric intake, with dramatic carbohydrate reduction. The diet’s main pitfall was in allowing almost any type of fat in the diet. The problem with dieting, (calorie restriction), is that it is really important whether your calories come from protein, fat or carbs. Your body can obtain needed fats and carbs very easily from your existing stores, exception being omega 3 fatty acids, (EFA, for essential fatty acids), you cannot make these and need to get them from your diet. As such I believe fish oil supplementation to be wise. Protein however, if not in the diet, your body will obtain from lean muscle tissue. Think of your body’s muscle cells as factories and your fat cells as warehouses. The more muscle you breakdown for needed protein, the less factories you have so the less calories you will burn, meaning more calories for storage for the warehouses, as fat. This concept is what makes the Atkins style diet shine. Your body requires protein every few hours. Not a two pound steak, but protein. If you give your body this needed protein the carbs and fat come from storage, you lose weight, not just weight, but fat, and maintain needed lean muscle. If you are significantly overweight this is even more important. If you are obese there is a marked likelihood that you are insulin resistant. When this happens it is almost impossible to lose weight without extreme calorie restriction. Once again, the Atkins style diet is extremely effective in this case and the way to reduce insulin sensitivity. Body mass index, (BMI), calculators can easily be found on the internet to quickly calculate your BMI. A BMI over 30 is clinically obese. Over 40 is morbidly obese. Obesity is typically associated with diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and sever cardiovascular risk. If you are considering a diet and currently have health risks you should always be supervised by a doctor.