Sharon Osbourne is in the best shape of her life at 61, thanks to a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic-inspired Atkins diet that helped her lose 30 pounds in six weeks.
Linda O'Byrne, chief nutritionist for Atkins Nutritional, told me the star's meal plan and discussed the health benefits of low-carb diets.
Osbourne, an Atkins rep, typically limits her daily carb intake to 25 grams, said O'Byrne. A sample meal plan for Sharon looks like this:
- Breakfast: Sliced tomato, mozzarella cheese and chopped basil with olive oil.
- Mid-morning snack: Two Atkins Advantage Rye Crackers with cream cheese and a celery stalk.
- Lunch: Two-egg omelette stuffed with mushrooms and half a sautéed onion.
- Mid-afternoon snack: Atkins Advantage protein bar
- Dinner: Chicken cooked in cream, with pancetta and chopped shallot. Served with spring greens sautéed in olive oil.
The 5-foot-2 Sharon, who once weighed 230 pounds, said Atkins is the only diet that has enabled her to maintain her weight loss without constantly feeling hungry. In 1999, Osbourne lost over 100 pounds after undergoing lap-band surgery. She then regained 45 pounds after getting the band removed in 2006.
Low-Carb High-Fat Diets Curb Hunger and Prevent Depression
Osbourne's weight has fluctuated over the years until she switched to the LCHF Atkins diet two years ago. Sharon said the best part of her diet is being able to stay slim without feeling deprived.
O’Byrne said LCHF diets are effective appetite suppressants, so you don't feel hungry all the time like you do on low-fat diets. "Low-carb diets keep blood sugar levels stable and prevent food cravings, which also boosts mood," said Linda.
Eating more healthy fats and restricting carbs promotes weight loss by forcing the body to burn body fat for fuel, explained Maria Emmerich, author of Keto Adapted.
Another Atkins success story is Kim Kardashian. Kardashian lost 56 pounds in six months on a LCHF ketogenic-style diet that limited her daily carb intake to less than 60 grams.
While Kardashian's dramatic weight loss has helped raise the mainstream profile of the Atkins and ketogenic diets, the eating plans have recently enjoyed renewed popularity after recent scientific reports confirmed that unprocessed saturated fat is not unhealthy.
Time Magazine Reverses Anti-Fat Stance After 40 Years
In a stunning reversal, Time magazine recently trumpeted that scientists were wrong for blaming saturated fat as the cause of obesity, diabetes and heart disease for the past four decades.
In a provocative cover story, Time said the 40-year demonization of saturated fat was based on flawed data. Time — which had slammed fat as unhealthy in a damning 1977 cover story — said the true cause of obesity, diabetes and heart disease is a high-carb diet.
Obesity expert Dr. Eric Westman said low-carb, high-fat eating plans like the ketogenic and Atkins diets not only spur rapid weight loss, but combat epilepsy, type 2 diabetes, depression, Alzheimer's, and heart disease.
Dr. Westman, director of the Duke University Obesity Clinic, has helped hundreds of morbidly obese individuals lose thousands of pounds on the ketogenic and Atkins diets. He is pleased that mainstream media is finally debunking the myth that eating fat makes you fat and sick. To the contrary, he said: Eating fat makes you skinny and healthy.
"I tell my patients not to fear the fat," said Westman, author of New Atkins for a New You. "Eat lots of fat. Fat makes you feel full. There's no problem with fat. In fact, saturated fat — the fat that we've been taught not to eat — raises your good cholesterol best of all the foods you can eat."
Similarly, Dr. Jeff Volek, a professor at the University of Connecticut, told me the ketogenic diet improves mood and dramatically reduces inflammation. Volek, who has followed the ketogenic diet for the past 20 years, said the ketogenic diet is beneficial both for endurance athletes and the average sedentary individual.
"There are very few people a ketogenic diet could not help," said Dr. Volek, author of The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living. "For about 98% of human history, we were eating low-carb. We evolved in a state of nutritional ketosis. It was nothing short of an epiphany when I changed to a ketogenic diet 20 years ago. I felt better, more satiated, and had more consistent energy."