You may lose weight on the Atkins diet, but you’ll be a really crabby thin person, a new study finds. OK, few dieters have truly sunny dispositions, but Australian researchers have found that the problem’s especially bad for those on low-carb diets. In a recent study, they split 100 people into two groups, putting half on Atkins, and half on a high-carb, low-fat diet.
Most participants in both groups shed the pounds, and initially felt their moods improve. But by the eight-week mark, the low-carb crowd reported feeling angry, depressed, and confused, while the carb munchers still felt fine. Researchers hypothesize that it’s because carbohydrates produce serotonin, the brain chemical that regulates mood and sleep. Atkins devotees are experiencing what one biologist calls, “chronic low-level depression.”