Years ago, the Atkins weight loss plan was known as the "eat all the bacon and eggs that you want" diet dream. So when Kim Kardashian tweeted that she was using it to shed her baby weight while breastfeeding, following it up with a tweeted photo of herself on Instagram proving her weight loss success on October 16, some questioned whether the plan was really safe for a new mom.
Just how much has Kim lost? In four months, she's dropped a total of 70 pounds, reported Hollywood Life on October 17. But is a high fat, high protein, low carb diet the ideal choice so soon after giving birth?
To answer that question, Yahoo Shine interviewed a variety of experts on October 17 on the pros and cons of Atkins. Here's what they had to say:
- Tana Amen, B.S.N., R.N., author of "The Omni Diet: The Revolutionary 70% PLANT + 30% PROTEIN Program to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, Fight Inflammation, and Change Your Life Forever" (click for details):
"Moms should be focusing on what is good for a baby's brain. Many women try to go on low-fat, low-calorie diets in order to lose weight, which is a big mistake. Babies need a variety of nutrients and definitely enough fat. High-protein diets like Atkins have a lot of benefits, but you should think of protein like medicine and take it in small doses several times a day. I'm partial to a 70:30 ratio of plant-based foods to high-quality protein."
- Diane Sanfilippo, holistic nutritionist and author of "Practical Paleo: A Customized Approach to Health and a Whole-Foods Lifestyle" (click for details):
"Many breast-feeding moms find that a lower-carb diet reduces their milk supply and energy levels, so I encourage consuming at least 100 grams or more of carbohydrates per day in the form of a little bit of fruit and mostly vegetables, including the starchy varieties like sweet potatoes or plantains. I think an Atkins type of diet can be healthy and well-balanced, but it's important for pregnant and breast-feeding moms to pay special attention to energy/milk supply needs and adjust her carbohydrate intake accordingly."
- Molly Morgan, registered dietitian and author of "The Skinny Rules: The 101 Secrets Every Skinny Girl Knows" (click for details):
"A low-carb plan would not be my recommendation for losing baby weight because you would be missing out on foods like fruit and whole grains, which provide tons of vitamins, minerals, and fiber (new moms often struggle with constipation, so this is key). A new mom should focus on fueling her body with plenty of nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats like flax seed, avocado, and nuts."
And offering an insider's view on the entire diet debate: Colette Heimowitz, vice president of Nutrition for Atkins Nutritionals and author of "The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook: 200 Simple and Delicious Low-Carb Recipes in 30 Minutes or Less" (click for details).
Colette defends Kim's choice of diet by pointing out the ways in which Atkins has evolved since those days of bacon and eggs.
Before, the diet "had only 3 to 4 cups of veggies per day, now you have 8 to 10," says Colette. "We now know from research that consuming unlimited amounts of protein isn't the best approach, so it's limited to 4 to 6 ounces per meal. We also emphasize a balance of fat intake with a focus on healthy fats from olive oil and avocado."
In addition, Colette (who's been working personally with Kim) says that the famous Kardashian sister began on phase 2 of the Atkins diet. That means that Kim can include berries and Greek yogurt with her meals if desired. For more information, see "New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great" (click for details).