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Last Updated: Monday, 1 December, 2003, 19:38 GMT
Atkins trial: Dr Sarah Brewer
Sarah Brewer
Dr Sarah Brewer found the diet very successful
GP Sarah Brewer, 44, was one of three doctors who followed the controversial Atkins diet for BBC One's Real Story. Here, she explains why she is a fan of the high protein, low carb weight loss programme.

Atkins is undoubtedly the diet that has suited me best out of all those I have tried in the past.

Having put on four stone in weight after having babies, I found it really hard to lose following the usual low fat, high fibre healthy regime.

I managed to lose one stone a year over two years. With Atkins, I lost 11 lbs (going from 12st 7lbs down to 11st 12lbs) over the month while I was followed by the BBC and have lost a further 7lbs since.

Lots of water

I love seafood, steak, cheese, cream, rocket and Caesar salads so I was eating all the foods I adore.

I did not find it hard to miss out on potatoes, rice, couscous, pizza, pasta and chocolate and was quite happy having my lobster salad while the family tucked into spaghetti Bolognese.

I drank lots of water - two to three litres per day, which I think is one of the secrets of success. I also took vitamin and mineral supplements.

Dr Brewer indulged her love of seafood on the diet
I missed fruit. Although you can introduce berries (raspberries or blueberries) into the diet after the first two weeks, I now eat a lot more. Today I have had papaya, melon and apple, for example.

This has slowed my weight loss down but I now only have half a stone to lose to reach my ultimate goal of 10 stone 10 lbs (I am 5ft 7 inches). I now weigh the same as I did 10 years ago and have a lot more energy as a result.

During the first two weeks of the Atkins diet I felt quite hot, as if burning off lots of calories, and very energised. I experienced occasional muddle-headedness late at night, but no other side effects.

The dry skin I experienced initially turned out to be due to an intolerance to dairy foods and once I cut back on the amount of cheese I was eating, this quickly disappeared.

Atkins suited me and I loved it. It is not for everyone, however - it all comes down to your genes.

Real Story: BBC One, Monday 1 December at 1930 GMT. Also streamed live on the Real Story website.

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