Neal Barnard, MD, author of Breaking the Food Seduction points out that the human body naturally gets its energy from carbohydrates (preferably complex carbs). During digestion, the carbs break up into sugar molecules that power the brain and other body organs. High-protein, low-carb diets (including Atkins Diet) operate on the belief that most people eat 50-60 percent of their daily intake as carbs. So if you cut out carbs, your body has no choice but to burn fat. That's true as long as cutting out the carbs results in a decrease in the number of calories ingested per day. On average, the weight-loss results with these diets are about the same as with any other weight-reduction diet (including low-fat, low-calorie, and vegetarian)—about 1 pound per week. For most people, however, the “diet” is tolerable only for so long. Sooner or later most return to their previous eating style and daily caloric intake. And what happens? The lost weight returns and they’re back where they started. The only plan that seems to work long term is to develop healthier eating patterns that lower daily caloric intake by 100-400 calories plus an increase in physical movement—along with a commitment to continue those patterns for the rest of your life.