Are Low Carb Diets Really The Window To Weight Loss?

Before changing careers, Linda Wimberley said she was determined to change her body.

"I lost 60 pounds, and I gained back 80," she said.

Linda stuck to the Atkins Diet for a year.

"I really didn't feel deprived for a long time, but pizza is the weakness," she said.

Linda said she really should be on a weight loss plan.

But which one?

Past studies show Atkins and other low-carb diets have led to weight loss.   But they can increase cholesterol levels.  Those diets have also been linked to greater risks of heart disease, and kidney damage with some diabetics.

But a new two-year study of more than 300 people found on average, participants lost 12 pounds eating fewer carbs and lots of protein.  Those on a low-fat diet lost an average of seven pounds.  The Mediterranean diet, which is full of lean protein and nuts, helped cut 10 pounds from waistlines.

Dr. Meg Reitmeyer, endocrinologist with Trinity Clinic, warned it's easy to be taken in by the results.

"They gave [those who participated in the study] in this one meal exactly what they needed every day.  How many of us are lucky to have that done?" she asked.

Dr. Reitmeyer said it's hard for anyone to try to restrict themselves to one particular thing.  Dietician Karla Wallace with U. T. Health Center agreed.

"You have to pick healthy eating," she said.  "You don't want to go on and off diets."

Wallace said eating things low in fat, high in whole grains, as well as fruits and vegetables is the best route to take.  Basically, get back to the basics.

"Balance, variety, moderation and physical activity are your keys to weight loss," she said.  "If you lose one pound a week for a year, that is fifty pounds a year, and that's fantastic."

Doctors said it's best to consult with a physician before beginning any kind of diet, especially if you suffer from an illness.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.