|Image 1: Your scale is a fat liar and putting too much trust in it is a potential hazard to your health.|
Extreme "Atkins diet" minimizes weight gain, but induces a "skinny fat" phenotype in exercised rodents
If you take a cursory look at the results you see exactly what the disciplines of Dr. Atkins will tell you: "It is so easy to lose weight and/or maintain your weight on this diet! You just cut your carbs and are good to go!"
|Figure 1: Change in body weight in mature and adolescent rodents on "Atkins" or standard diet after the initial 10-day phase without exercise and at the end of the 21-day period with daily running exercise (to exhaustion, max. 30min; data adapted from Caton. 2012)|
|Figure 2: Adipose tissue weight (mature animals, left) and volume (adolescent animals, right) at the end of the study period (data adapted from Caton. 2012)|
"Was that grass-fed butter and lard from pastured pigs?"
I can already hear them, the voices complaining how "unfair" this study was, how the Atkins group got "omega-6 laden fats" from "conventionally raised pigs" and butter that was not made from milk of "grass-fed cows". This, the low protein content of this extreme interpretation of the "Atkins diet" and the mere fact that we are dealing with a rodent, not a human study, are certainly all valid arguments (the latter two more than the former, though), but they don't change the basic message that no-carbing (without regular carb-loads) and working out hard don't go well together, at least not if your goal is to improve your health and physical appearance.
|Image 2: If your inside looks like that of adolescent rats on the high fat diet (A), you should better forget about what the scale is telling you and how much weight you may already have lost on whatever type of diet you have been following.|