If you've picked up a magazine or surfed the web lately, you might be asking yourself, "What is the Kimkins plan?" We'll give you the lowdown on this low-fat, low calorie variation of Atkins.
Brief History of the Kimkins Plan
"Kimkins" is named after "Kimmer", the user name of a weight loss forum visitor. Kimmer shared her alleged weight loss experience in the forum, chronicling her supposed successes and her failures. When she reported a drastic weight loss-- 160 pounds in seven months or 198 in 11 months, depending on which version you hear-- she developed almost a cult following. Fellow forum posters wanted to know how she did it, so Kimmer painstakingly answered questions and offered advice, supposedly offering details of her "amazing" weight loss, and others lost dramatically. Soon Kimmer took her weight loss plan to the masses, creating a website and appearing in Woman's World magazine.
''Important note: It has been proven beyond a doubt that Kimmer did not lose weight on this plan. Other people have lost weight, but that is due to the extremely low calorie intake. As some have bluntly pointed out, starvation works. Weight loss due to starvation, however, is not healthy. It is also usually not maintainable."
Who Is Kimmer?
The exact identity of Kimmer remains a mystery. Woman's World magazine identified her as Kim Drake, but websites have named her as Heidi Diaz. While Kimmer has been secretive about her identity, she has given some information:
- She is a lifetime dieter, learning by research and trial-and-error rather than medical school
- She is a former welfare mom
- She is a California housewife
- She is a foster mom
New developments: it has recently been proven by a private investigator that Kimmer is Heidi Diaz and that she is still extremely overweight. Further, the pictures used on her site as testimonials have been found on Russian mail-order sites. The before and afters are fake. The Kimkins plan was also exposed as a possible internet diet scam by a California news team.
What Is the Kimkins Plan: the Basics
Now, on to the important thing, "What is the Kimkins plan?" To create her plan, Kimmer started with a basic low carb regimen but cut out the high fat and calories. While there is no calorie counting, adherents to the plan report very low calorie intake, often well under 1000 calories daily. The following foods are allowed on the plan:
- Unlimited lean protein
- Up to 20 grams carbs per day
- Up to 3 cups green salad vegetables per day or up to 2 cups salad vegetables and 1 cup cooked non-starchy veggies
- Minimal fat
- No alcohol
- No specialty "low carb" food items
A key difference between Kimkins and Atkins is that Kimkins does not allow sugar alcohols. While recent versions of Atkins do allow this (and Atkins products even contain sugar alcohols), Kimmer maintains that sugar alcohols contribute to cravings and hunger. The basic plan requires no exercise. In fact, Kimmer herself says that she hates working out and lost her weight-- and maintains the weight loss-- without exercise of any kind.
Update: It was now been proven that Kimmer did not lose this weight and maintain it for several years. If the diet's founder could not achieve weight loss success on the plan, it is doubtful anyone else will either. Furthermore, people who did adhere to the plan, including the Woman's World cover girl, have since come forward with health problems due to the low calorie consumption.
Different Versions of Kimkins
Kimkins does not have "phases" like Atkins or South Beach, but there are different versions. The one you choose depends on your preferences, your lifestyle, and how quickly you want to lose weight. The version listed above is the basic plan and is the most flexible. Other versions are more strenuous and offer fewer food choices, but dieters report faster results.
The Kimmer Experiment is the most radical of the plans, but it also promises the quickest weight loss. The plan is simple: eat unlimited amounts of lean protein-- and nothing else. That means no:
Dieters may use minimal amounts of low carb seasonings and condiments. Clearly, this is a no carb diet, one that puts the body in deep ketosis very quickly. Many dieters report feeling weak, light-headed, and nauseous, but most say the feelings subside within a few days. It is important to note that opponents of Atkins and other low carb diets feel the high protein levels are dangerous and difficult on the liver and kidneys. If that is the case, a diet of only protein should be carefully considered and discussed with a medical doctor.
This is an extremely how calorie plan! Do not attempt this without a doctor's approval. It is not enough to tell your doctor you are doing low carb-- you must tell your physician exactly what you eat and your calorie intake.
With its insistence on exercise and vegetables, the Kimkins Boot Camp is the most strenuous approach. Each meal consists of lean protein and vegetables, both cooked with minimal fats. Additionally, dieters must exercise a minimum of 30 minutes daily, at least five days per week.
Although a regimen of diet and exercise is a balanced approach to weight loss, your caloric intake must be high enough to support the added exertion. Exercising with extremely low calories, as in the case of the Kimkins Boot Camp, can lead to fatigue, fainting, and other, more serious health risks.
Although the idea of losing 20 pounds per month is appealing, it must be noted that there are some serious health concerns over such a radical plan. Most doctors and nutritionists advocate a balanced diet, and the Kimkins plans are far from balanced. Furthermore, such high amounts of protein can be dangerous for people with kidney disease or diabetes.
The Kimmer Experiment and Boot Camp options are very low calorie diets (VLCD). According to many in the medical community, these types of plans are not right for everyone and can, in fact, be extremely dangerous for some people, especially over a long period of time. Do not undertake a VLCD on your own. You must be checked out by a physician first to ensure that your health will not be jeopardized by such a diet. You should also be monitored for the duration of the plan, so that adjustments can be made if necessary.
While Kimmer insists her plan is perfectly safe for healthy people, there are no tests or testimonials by qualified medical personnel to support this statement. In fact, recent revelations from Kimkins dieters indicate exactly the opposite-- the diet can be detrimental to your health.
In addition to concerns over the diet's safety, Kimkins has also come under fire for unscrupulous business practices. In addition to faking her own and other success stories, Kimmer has also been accused of:
- Charging a $60 fee for "lifetime membership" and later banning dieters with no explanation
- Refusing to refund money to banned members
- Allowing and encouraging a site member to hold a fundraiser for Kimmer's foster children. It has since been proven that Kimmer was not a foster mother at the time.
- Violating numerous FTC violations for selling medical advice without proper credentials
- Illegally using the Atkins name and diet plan
The Better Business Bureau has enough concerns about these issues that they rated Kimkins an "F", the worst possible rating.
We at LoveToKnow Diet urge you not to try this diet. It is unsafe, and the founder's business practices are unsavory, immoral, and illegal. Everyone wants quick weight loss, but this is not the way to get it. .