Does Protein Really Have Power?

"I reached a point in my life where I had to get thinner, loose weight to live longer," says Bob Cranmer. One year later he had lost 85 pounds.

He did it by eating foods like cream cheese, pork rinds, and tuna. All typical food found on the Atkins diet with lots of protein and very few carbohydrates. " I kind of look at it as the old pioneer days; meat, eggs, cheese, and that's basically what it is," says Cranmer.

In fact the Atkins' diet is so strict with carbohydrates, you're only allowed around 20 grams per day. That means you can't even have one regular soda or one bread roll in a day's time. The diet is based on the "Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution." It's a book that Bob follows very closely. He sees lots of pros to the diet, including eating some of his favorite foods, not feeling hungry between meals, and the guaranteed rapid weight loss.

"It is effective for the short term, but we have absolutely no research that shows long term weight loss," says nutrition expert Dr. Georganne Syler, a professor at Southeast Missouri State University.

But the temporary weight loss is only one concern Georganne Syler has with the Atkins diet. "This diet is devoid of vitamins and minerals, and fiber. We know vitamins, minerals and fiber are things we need," says Syler. Other big concerns include increased risk of heart disease, possible dehydration, limited food choices, and damage to the metabolism.

"I don't have any concerns. One thing I do is visit the doctor every six weeks," says Cranmer. He's gotten a clean bill of health so far, but his doctor is recommending he start take dietary supplements. His only complaint is trying to keep his meals interesting. "The diet does get old after a while. You have to have will power to stay on it," says Cranmer.