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Diets like Atkins are not healthy, and typically result in all of the weight (and then some) being gained back when the diet is discontinued. It is not a change that can be maintained for life. For permanent, healthy weight loss, you'll need to make modifications that are sustainable. This means portion control, the eat less + sweat more equation, and not depriving yourself of things severely, which invariably leads to binges and nutritional imbalances.
I agree that most diets that deprive one of a complete food group are not good, because the body needs the nutrients from all groups. Plus once the diet it kicked to the curb, the weight usually comes back.
There are 2 types of carbohydrates; the simple ones, that include things made from refined sugar, flour, white rice, etc. These carbs raise your blood sugar quickly, and if not burned off right away, will be stored as fat. The other carbs are "complex" carbs, which take longer for the body to break them down, so they keep blood sugar more stable. These include whole grains, vegetables, fruits, etc.
Lifestyle changes are essential for maintaining a weight loss. Healthy diet and adequate exercise (gotta use more than you take in or you gain).
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