We frequently get asked how our HEALcare program compares to the Atkins diet that became nationally known with the publication of the book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972.
The short answer is that the HEALcare eating recommendation is modeled after the Atkins diet. Both plans are very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and liberal but not excessive consumption of natural fats. The induction phase of the Atkins diet consists of eating 20 grams of total daily carbohydrates, which is the same as the HEALcare recommendation. Consuming less than about 50 grams of daily carbohydrates causes the body to utilize both dietary fat and stored body fat for fuel, which is “being in ketosis”. For this reason, both the Atkins and HEALcare diets are ketogenic.
My experience with the Atkins diet includes being the head nurse and director of medical education and nutrition information at the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York from 1974 to 2003. I also co-authored the book, Atkins Diabetes Revolution: The Groundbreaking Approach to Preventing and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes (2004), and our Dr. Eric Westman co-authored the book The New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great (2010).
The HEALcare program evolved from the Atkins diet based on the research and clinical experience gathered by Dr. Westman and me during our combined 43 years of treating over 64,000 patients at the Atkins Center, Dr. Westman’s clinic at Duke University and the HEALcare program. The program’s scientific foundation is expressed in Dr. Westman’s 45+ research papers plus a growing body of third-party research and medical practice.
The HEALcare program is like the Atkins diet in being straightforward to understand, follow and sustain. It does not use gimmicks, food diaries, special products or devices, packaged foods, smartphone apps or other complicated methods. As we like to say, it is “uncomplicated keto”.
But uncomplicated does not mean simplistic. HEALcare‘s fundamental components are sophisticated, evidence-based one-on-one personalized guidance and support, and peer-group behavioral coaching. Research shows that these are essential for the sustained lifestyle changes necessary to keep obesity and diabetes in remission because medical treatment is not enough for long-term success. HEALcare‘s behavioral coaches continuously assess progress, customize each individual’s diet, prevent adverse effects, develop realistic expectations, promote accountability, and help overcome roadblocks like stress, food addiction, old habits, bad advice, and pressure from friends and relatives.