I started the Atkins' Diet in Feb 2001 and by July lost 4.5 stone. Over the next two odd years I kept that off and lost another half a stone. I'm within about 4 pounds of my ideal weight and remain a religious advocate of the diet. Some advice for those of you thinking of trying it. 1) Notwithstanding all the current discussion of the risks of Atkins, none of the downsides of the diet compare to the risks of obesity. It is a great way to get the weight off and allow you to get in the gym. Once the weight is off you have the luxory of deciding if its the right long term diet for you. 2) Most people opposed to the diet look at the 'induction period' and assume Atkins advocates that as a long term diet. He doesn't. Fairly quickly, after about 8 weeks, I was eating most veggies (except starchy ones) and most salads. 3) Having said this, I strongly recommend that before you start the diet you get a good physical and blood work. check out all your vitals and then do so regularly while on diet. If you're like me, you'll find that the your tests improve, but either way it helps to know where you stand. Also, it helps you answer the critics -- if you know your blood work is fine, you can tell them. If its not fine, stop the diet, it probably isn't for you. I go to a nutritionist regulary to check how i'm doing and definitely take supplements -- one a day vitamins, etc.. 4) Combine the diet with exercise, exercise, exercise. The greatest joy for me was to get enough weight off to feel okay going to the gym. The diet alone is not the road to fitness and you do need to get off your a** and exercise. 5) get the cookbooks -- it is true that the diet can get old, but there are great recipes. A couple great tricks -- eat the tops of pizzas, strawberries and whipped cream is a great desert, get an ice cream maker and make ice creams with diet sugar, etc... There are lots of ways to add varieties. 6) Finally, this isn't for everybody. For example, my wife tried and hated it. The main downsides are: a) its not great for your digestive track and you have to get used to a bit of turmoil, b) its a real ban on bread -- I didn't care, but some people die without a slice of bread or some pasta, c) you have to like meat and cheese -- no two ways around it. I tended to stop red meat pretty quickly and shifted to a whole variety of different cheeses because it does get old, and d) if you really love your wine and beer its not for you. Ironically, spirits are carb free, so you can have unlimited amounts of vodka and slim line tonic. Good luck to those who try -- as I said, lose the weight and then have the luxory to decide if its the right diet for maintenance. Until the weight is off, however, I find endless discussions about risk to be pretty pointless .. fat and no exercise are far bigger risks for you.