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The Kimkins diet plan is an online program that is promoted as a low carb weight loss plan. Creators of the program state that it is ‘lower fat than Atkins and lower carb than South Beach’.
In actuality the program is not just low in carbohydrates and fat but extremely low in calories with many of the programs containing a calorie intake that would be considered ‘starvation’ level by most nutrition experts.
Kimkins Diet Basics
There are six separate program options to choose from:
- Original Kimkins
This is the original low carb version of the diet.
- Kimkins Boot camp
For fast results this option includes a strict low carb and low fat diet in conjunction with daily exercise of 15-30 minutes.
- Kimmer Experiment
A very low carb diet that is similar to the induction phase of Atkins but much lower in fat. Often used as a jumpstart for the other options.
- Shake it Good
Dieters consume five protein shakes per day, which provide a maximum of 800 calories.
- Flex Cycling Option
Dieters alternate between a different diet plan on a weekly basis for greater flexibility.
- Vegetarian Option
This plan is higher in carbohydrates than the other options so dieters are advised to keep their calorie intake below 1200 calories daily.
Alcohol is not recommended for all of the options. Many foods are strictly forbidden including fruit, bread, milk, potatoes and sweets.
Egg whites, chicken and turkey breast, tuna, salmon, lean pork, flank steak, venison, ostrich, buffalo, salad greens, low carb vegetables, avocado, nuts, low carb catchup, light mayonnaise, mustard, salsa, soy sauce, light sour cream, protein shakes, low carb yogurt, crystal light drink, diet soda.
Sample Diet Plan
Exercise is not compulsory, with the exception of the Boot Camp option and dieters are only encouraged to exercise if they like working out.
Costs and Expenses
Access to the online membership site costs $79.95 which is a one time only fee.
- Includes community support forum and weight loss challenge groups.
- Access to online site includes sample menus and recipes.
- Provides guidelines for weight maintenance.
- Has a vegetarian option.
- Program was created by a morbidly obese woman with no health or medical background.
- The founder of the program is known for fraudulent advertising where she faked before and after pictures of her supposed results following the plan, as well as over 30 other before and after pictures that appeared on the website.
- The program is not endorsed by any nutritionists or health professionals.
- Programs are too low in calories, especially the Boot Camp and Shake it Good options and will make it impossible to obtain daily recommended nutritional intakes.
- Diet followers have reported symptoms including hair loss, menstrual cessation, irregular heartbeat, fainting spells and liver damage.
- The online membership site offers nothing unique in terms of diet information and is overpriced for what limited resources are on offer.
- For the same investment you could purchase more than a few diet books by respectable authors and learn how to lose weight in a healthy way.
All of the diet plans are below the standard acceptable minimum level for healthy weight loss which is 1200 calories.
Although some of the plans allow for unlimited intake of lean protein there is a natural reduction in appetite that occurs when eating a low carb diet. This means that in reality on some of the plans dieters will be consuming below 800 calories a day, which is regarded as ‘starvation’ level.
Those who are physically active are especially advised to avoid this approach to dieting, as the extremely low calorie levels will make it impossible to maintain energy levels.
These types of severely calorie-restricted diets should always be conducted under the supervision of a medical professional, as there is a high risk of complications. Additionally, while rapid weight loss will probably occur it is more than likely that dieters will regain all the weight once they start eating a more balanced diet.
Essentially all of the Kimkins options can be considered crash diets and cannot be recommended for dieters who value their health above short term results.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: January 10, 2017