If you know that you are overweight, there are some great reasons to consider losing weight. 

Looking good means feeling great. Excess body fat can really affect your self-esteem. Meeting a challenge, improving your health and looking better can improve your sense of accomplishment, self-esteem and health in countless ways. And – less guilt about the fact that you are overweight too.You can do it!

Improved energy levels. We have found that when you lose weight, your energy will have a tendency to go right up. Overweight and obese people have much less energy than people who have a healthy body weight. More energy means more vitality, happier life, more fun and enjoyment for you.

Reduced risk of developing many chronic and degenerative diseases. Being overweight dramatically increases your risk of developing a number of chronic diseases. Losing weight and keeping it off improves your long term health!

Healthy ageing. Obesity is related to unhealthy, premature ageing. Consider fat loss a type of ‘life insurance’. It is not a great idea to get older and continue to have unresolved issues such as being overweight or obese. Your risk increases considerably of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer if you don’t maintain your body weight.

You can empower yourself. Losing body fat is an incredibly powerful experience. The “pay-off” emotionally is tremendous! You are actualising something that only you have the power to do and only you will truly experience the personal reward.

What diet should I follow?

There comes that four letter word again! Do you lose weight according to Barry Sears by eliminating most of the fat and filling up on plant-based carbs in your diet, or do you listen to Dr. Atkins and shed those pounds by eliminating the carbs and filling up on protein along with the saturated fat that comes with it?

Now, let’s explore the Atkins “revolution” and the Zone Diet a little more:

The Atkins Diet: The High-Protein & Fat Diet

(attributed to Dr.Robert Atkins)

• 15-35% Carbs: non-starchy vegetables and fruits

• 30-45% Protein: fish, seafood, poultry, dairy foods and red meats

• 30-50% Fat: meat, healthy oils, nuts and seeds, and dairy foods.

The Good

Helpful for preventing cravings and binge-eating for people who have overindulged in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

The two-week induction phase works well, the initial weight loss works for most, use the Keto (urine) sticks for best results.

The body produces and excretes ketones (indicating fat is burned for energy) which is a great motivator for you to stop eating cabs for energy.

Great for people who have low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or carbohydrate sensitivity, grain allergies or insulin-related health problems.

Contains generally a higher-quality fat and carbohydrate than typical fare.
The Not-So Good


Unhealthy for people who have trouble digesting protein and fat or for those with kidney disorders. Bad for those with stomach underfunctioning (very common in those who are overweight) bad for those with bloating, flatus or constipation (common). Bad for those with liver or kidney underfunctioning – again, common.

The Atkins Diet spells constipation for many: A diet too low in fiber for proper elimination in many people.

This diet over-emphasizes common food allergens such as eggs & dairy products, and recommends processed meats and condiments containing potentially unhealthy additives.

NOT sustainable long-term without health problems. False sense of security, you are losing weight and think you are on a “healthy diet” when in fact long-term you are not.

Dr. Atkins himself had heart disease and was on medications for cholesterol and blood pressure. Very interesting.

Eric’s Instant Atkins Solutions

Get your bowel working well before embarking on the Atkins’ Diet, try a liver-cleansing approach for a week or two before embarking on the Atkins’ induction phase. It can make a big difference.

Try LSA mix, Slippery elm Aloe vera or psyllium, they are all good options here.

A good herbal liver formula taken two to three times per day in the initial two to three weeks at the outset will ensure better eliminations during the earliest and most important phase of this diet.

Food allergies? Avoid the key allergenic foods: wheat, milk, eggs, bananas and corn. So much for the Atkins approach if you are allergic.

One of the most important reasons for the popularity of the Atkins’ approach is it works — people lose lots of weight fast, but it’s generally water initially. Stored carbs holds on to large amounts of water. Switching to a low-carb & high protein diet results in the loss of these stores and the associated water, with an impressive initial weight loss. You can lose 10 kgs in two weeks with a strict approach. If this sounds like “crash” dieting, it is. But sometimes a “quick fix” is just what the doctor ordered. Your self-esteem will boom!

Start with a good kidney formula, and drink lots of water during and after your induction phase, this will allow the kidneys to properly eliminate the metabolised proteins, fluids and ketones more efficiently.

Works fast, the induction phase is good for short term results, weight will come away fast initially. Not good to stay on this high protein approach for too long, you will age faster!

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Eric Bakker is the clinical director of The Naturopaths and holds a Bachelor Degree of Science majoring in Complementary Health Care, as well as separate diploma qualifications in Naturopathy, Herbal Medicine and Homeopathy. Eric has 20 years clinical experience in natural medicine, and received post-graduate natural medicine training in Australia, India, America as well as New Zealand. Eric has four children and lives in the sunny Hawkes Bay

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