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After losing 30 pounds, Sharon Osbourne praises high fat low carb Atkins diet

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Sophisticated and charming Sharon Osbourne appears to have it all. But she spent years battling her weight, and only recently discovered her solution in the high fat low carb ketogenic Atkins diet, reported Xpose Entertainment on Saturday.

At one point, Sharon even submitted to a gastric bypass procedure. But the popular weight loss surgery made her feel like a "cheat." Now that she's lost about 30 pounds using the Atkins plan, Sharon appreciates its healthy benefits.

Even when she has an occasional treat, Sharon hops right back on the low carb diet. "I don't guilt myself out because the next day I'll start with my Atkins breakfast sandwich and I'm right back on it," she said.

One of the reasons some people hesitate to go on the Atkins diet is the emphasis on foods high in fat, since for years consumers have been told to eat a low-fat diet. But now two new studies have shown that even for athletes, a diet high in fat is safe and effective, reported the Richmond Register on Saturday.

The researchers analyzed the heart disease risk factors of high-fat versus high-carbohydrate diets. The percentages of fat in the diet ranged from low (16 percent) to high (42 percent).

The results: High fat diet study participants experienced no negative impact in terms of heart disease risk or fitness. Moreover, those on the low-fat suffered the most in terms of cholesterol and corresponding cardiovascular health.

How does Sharon's high fat low carb ketogenic Atkins diet compare in terms of health - and is it really effective for long-term weight loss? Yes, said Colette Heimowitz, VP of Nutrition & Education at Atkins Nutritionals.

Colette noted that more than 80 clinical trials have studied the Atkins diet. As a result, the plan that Sharon followed reflects changes made since Dr. Robert Atkins first created his "eat all you want of bacon" diet.

A key change: Eating more vegetables because "fiber has a minimal impact on blood sugar and is not biologically available." As a result, Atkins dieters learn to count net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) and to consume their leafy greens.

The induction phase, which is designed to provide dieters with 12 to 15 net carbohydrates to induce nutritional ketosis and thus boost fat-burning weight loss, also includes "the recommendation of the optimal level of protein intake," Colette told me.

And while Atkins dieters can still bite into bacon bliss, their high fat diet puts "more emphasis on healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, seeds/nuts and their oils and butters."

One of the most frequently asked questions: How fast can dieters lose weight? "Remember the real goal is not to lose weight fast but to keep excess weight off for good," says Colette. "If someone is losing two or more pounds a week, they are doing just fine."

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