One of the most popular diets around is the low carbohydrate diet, of which there are several variations, the most well known of which is probably the Atkins diet. Although limiting your input of carbs would seem to be good for anyone wanting to lose weight, this type of diet has its drawbacks as well as its benefits.

As the name suggests, a low carb diet limits the consumption of foods containing sugar, gluten grains, trans fat, and artificial sweeteners as well as processed foods. Instead, the focus is on fruit, vegetables, eggs, meat, fish and dairy products rich in fat content. There are many low carb recipes and meal plans available, although your weight loss goals and your overall health will affect how strictly you follow the diet. Because carbohydrates are stored by the body to use as energy at a later date, weight loss occurs when your body uses its supply of fat for its energy supply.

One of the obvious appeals of a low carb diet is that you can lose weight quickly, ideal for those who want quick results or are dieting for a special occasion, such as a wedding or school reunion. Foods such as steak, bacon and those containing butter are allowed with the diet, which makes it seem more appealing than others. People who are eating fewer carbohydrates in their meals also feel full more quickly, and this loss of appetite can also help with weight loss.

A low carbohydrate diet has other benefits too. Eating fewer carbs can specifically target the potentially harmful abdominal fat. This in turn can minimize the chances of developing type 2 diabetes and of experiencing heart disease. Low carb diets are also good for increasing the levels of so-called good cholesterol in the body, and lowering blood pressure. Most experts acknowledge that your risk of heart disease is generally lower if you follow this type of diet, and eating more low carb foods is even beneficial for those with a brain disorder.

However, there are drawbacks of embracing the low carb lifestyle, and these should be carefully considered. Many low carbohydrate diets mean that you will inevitably consume more fatty foods than you should, while at the same time your intake of vitamins and fiber will not be adequate. A low carb diet is also probably better for short term weight loss; after a few months of low carb foods, the rate of weight loss is not as great, and like other diets, many people simply get tired of the routine. There can also be side effects if you limit your carbohydrate intake, such as dizziness, constipation, headaches and sometimes ketosis, a potentially dangerous state in which too much fat is used for energy.