November 29, 2023
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What is the Atkins Diet Plan: The Ultimate Guide

what is Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet plan focuses on low carbs intake with high protein and fat. It is a suggested diet plan to lose weight and reduce the risks of health problems, such as diabetes or heart disease. In this article, you will see a complete overview of how someone can take the Atkins Diet in daily life with benefits. Read the article throughout to understand the topic. 

What is the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins Diet is a common diet that includes a low-carbohydrate plan. A heart specialist Robert C. Atkins prepared and recommended this diet to people for weight loss in the 1960s. The Atkins Diet helps stop the high intake of carbs (carbohydrates). It aims to give importance to protein and fats. The Atkins Diet is previously known as Atkins Nutritional Approach. 

The Atkins Diet plan has four phases to lose weight and keeps a balanced lifestyle. This diet begins with a very low-carbohydrate intake plan. 

The importance of the Atkins Diet Plan

The Atkins Diet aims to lose weight by changing daily eating habits. The Atkins Diet ensures a health plan if you want to lose weight, increase your energy, or reduce your health problems, including metabolic syndrome or high blood pressure. 

Why might you take the Atkins Diet?

Here are the following reasons that urge you to start Atkins Diet plan, including

  • If you are fond of foods that are in the diet.
  • You want to stop the intake of particular carbs to decrease your weight.
  • You have a desire to change your daily eating habits.
  • If you like the related Atkins Diet products, shakes, or bars.
  • If you carry some medical issues that force you to take the diet, which may help you to recover.

Talk to a healthcare provider before taking any weight loss diet plan, specifically when experiencing health problems like diabetes or type of diabetes. 

What does the Atkins Diet Plan involve?

The principle of the Atkins Diet plan is taking a suitable amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fats for recommended weight loss and gaining overall weight. 

The Atkins Diet considers and points out that obesity and related health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease, are the leading causes of low-fat and high-carb American diets. According to the Atkins Diet, avoiding or cutting excess fat is not a big deal rather than controlling the intake of carbs.

The Atkins Diet says that taking large amounts of carbs in the form of sugar, white flour, and other refined carbs results in many different health problems, including weight gain, heart problems, and abnormal blood sugar levels. It is because the Atkins diet restricts carbs. The Atkins Diet motivates eating enough protein and fat, however, it does not recommend a high-protein diet. 

With time, the Atkins diet involves changing similar to other diet plans. Currently, it facilitates taking more fiber vegetables and adding changes to fulfill the needs of vegans and vegetarians. 


The Atkins Diet does not need to measure calories or control portions of the diet. However, you have to follow your carbs through a system known as net carbs. Net carbs are the total carbohydrate amount of a substance subtracting its fiber amount. Take a half-cup (4 ounces) of broccoli in the raw form containing 2.3 grams of total grams and 1.3 grams of fiber. The net carbs of broccoli are 1 gram. 

The Atkins Diet ensures that this carbs strategy helps eliminate or decompose the fats stored in your body, regulate your blood sugar, and get better health. With that, the Atkins diet also tells that you do not feel hunger or loss of certain carbs. 

If you find your suitable target weight, the Atkins Diet also determines it will suggest making your individual (personal) carbohydrate balance. The personal carbohydrate balance is the total amount in grams of net carbs that you eat a day without trying to lose or gain weight. 


The Atkins Diet declares that exercise is not necessary for weight loss. However, it says that exercise can help maintain your weight and offers valuable advantages to your health. 

What are the phases of the Atkins Diet Plan?

Phase 1 (Induction): You will take 20 grams of carbs daily for two weeks. Add high-fat, high-protein, besides low carbs vegetables such as green leafy to your diet. It initiates the plan for weight loss. 

Phase 2 (Balancing): Take nuts gradually with low-carb vegetables and a few fruits to your diet. 

Phase 3 (Pre-maintenance): If you see yourself reaching your actual weight goal, take more carbs in your diet until your weight decreases further or your target goal. 

Phase 4 (Lifetime maintenance): In this phase, you can take healthy carbs without limitation because your body can permit it without gaining weight. 

Although, people may not fulfill all these phases as it depends. Few people may prefer to skip the induction phase overall and can take extra fruits and vegetables from the beginning. It is the recommended and efficient step that can help to get essential nutrients and fiber into your diet. Some suggest that keeping always in the induction phase is called a very low-carb ketogenic diet (keto). 

Foods to limit

Here are the foods that you should avoid while following the Atkins diet plan, including

  • High-carb vegetables: turnips, carrots, and others. (Only in the induction phase)
  • Grains: barley, rice, wheat
  • Legumes: chickpeas, beans, lentils, and others (Only in the induction phase)
  • Sugar: Available in soft or cold drinks, cakes, ice cream, candy, and related products
  • High-carb fruits: oranges, pears, grapes, and bananas ((Only in the induction phase)
  • Starches: potatoes, sweet potatoes (Only in the induction phase)
  • Diet and low-fat foods contain high sugar.

Foods to eat

If you are on the Atkins diet plan, consider taking these foods in your diet, such as:

  • Eggs
  • Low-carb vegetables include spinach, asparagus, broccoli, kale, etc.
  • Meats, such as lamb, chicken, beef, pork, etc.
  • Fatty fish and seafood, including sardines, mackerel, salmon, and trout
  • Full-fat dairy such as cream, cheese, full-fat yogurt, butter
  • Healthy fats, including avocados, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and avocado oil
  • Nuts and seeds include sunflower seeds, almonds, macadamia nuts, and walnuts.


Following are the few drinks that you can take while taking the Atkins diet

  • Water: A best-ever drink you should consider in your priority. 
  • Green tea: It gives advantages due to possessing high antioxidants
  • Coffee: It also includes high antioxidants and provides many benefits. 

You can decrease the alcohol intake while on the Atkins diet. Stop taking high-carb drinks such as beer. 

What about vegetarians?

If you want to take a plant-based Atkins diet, you should consider that it needs additional focus and planning. The foods included in the Atkins diet come from a high source of protein, such as meat, dairy, and fatty fish. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you may have to replace these with other alternatives to receive proper essential nutrients based on the requirements. Add soy-based foods instead of protein and take a handful of nuts and seeds. Coconut oil and olive oil are the leading sources of providing plant-based fat. Lacto-ovo-vegetarians may also eat butter, eggs, and other high-fat dairy foods. 

A usual daily menu on the Atkins Diet Plan: 

Here is the daily recommended menu included in the Atkins Diet:

Breakfast. You can take egg-filled avocado with prosciutto. Take certain drinks, including coffee, tea, herbal tea, water, and diet soda. 

Lunch. Take blue cheese salad and Baby kale with hazelnut dressing as a suitable drink.

Dinner. You can take salmon and steamed artichoke with homemade lemon mayonnaise, besides the recommended drink at dinner. 

Snacks. You can usually take two snacks daily. These may include an Atkins Diet product, including a chocolate shake. Or you can also have a simple snack such as cheddar cheese and celery.

A sample Atkins Diet plan for a week

Here is the sample menu for one week on the Atkins diet plan.

It’s recommended for the induction phase, however, you should take more higher-carb vegetables and few fruits while going to other phases.

Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Eggs and vegetables, fried in coconut oil Chicken salad besides olive oil and plenty of nuts Steak and veggies
Tuesday Eggs Leftover chicken and veggies from the previous night Cheeseburger without bun besides vegetables & butter
Wednesday Omelet with veggies, fried in butter Shrimp salad with few olive oil Ground-beef stir fry with veggies
Thursday Eggs and veggies, fried in coconut oil Leftover stir fry from the previous night Salmon with butter and vegetables
Friday Eggs and bacon Chicken salad with olive oil and plenty of nuts Meatballs with vegetables
Saturday Omelet with different vegetables, fried in butter Leftover meatballs from the previous night Pork chops with vegetables
Sunday Bacon and eggs Leftover pork chops from the previous night Grilled chicken wings with salsa and veggies

You can try different vegetables in your diet. You should drink plenty of water in a day and consider following to satisfy your needs or if you are hungry between meals, including

  • A hard-boiled egg or two
  • A few pieces of cheese
  • A piece of meat
  • Any leftovers
  • Berries
  • Small carrots
  • A handful of nuts

Speak to a healthcare provider if you want to know about recommended snacks.

What are the outcomes of the Atkins Diet Plan?

Weight loss

The Atkins Diet remarks that you can lose massive weight during the first two weeks of phase 1, however, it also ensures that these are not the general results. The Atkins Diet also says that at the initial phase, you will lose weight based on water. It also says that you will lose weight within phases 2 and 3 till you do not have the intake of additional carbs compared to what your body can digest or tolerate. 

Any diet plan that limits calories may help to lose weight at least in less time than most people. However, studies indicate that low-carb diets, such as the Atkins Diet, are not more effective than standard weight-loss diets. Also, researchers describe that people often regain their weight after losing by following any diet plan. 

The big reason for considering the Atkins Diet is the lower calorie intake from taking less carbs. It occurs because carbs generally give more than half of the calories consumed. Few studies indicate that many other motives are present for weight loss along with the Atkins Diet. Taking fewer carbs and eating more protein and fat help you feel full longer. These also affect the lower intake of calories.

Health benefits

The Atkins Diet says that taking its eating plan can help manage or prevent particular health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and others. Nearbout every possible diet that can lead to lower weight may decrease the chance for heart disease and diabetes. 

One study proved that the Atkins Diet had managed and improved triglycerides, recommending good heart health. However, not enough studies show benefits related to improved health conditions for a large period.

According to some healthcare experts, taking a high amount of fat and protein from animal sources, recommended in the Atkins Diet, may lead to the risk of heart disease or some cancers. 

Schedule an online medical consultation with a healthcare provider to learn more about the benefits and advantages of the Atkins Diet. 

Risk factors of the Atkins Diet Plan

The Atkins Diet suggests that reducing the intake of carbs in the initial phase of the diet program may develop a few side effects, including

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness

There is also a chance of getting very low-carb diets that limit the intake of carbs. It develops low nutrients and fiber, leading to health diseases such as diarrhea, nausea, and constipation. Taking carbs containing high fiber and nutrients may keep you healthy such as the Atkins Diet. 


The Atkins Diet is an efficient and suitable plan to lose weight and relieve health problems. However, it is not the utmost requirement and need for every individual. Before following the Atkins Diet plan, talk to a healthcare provider online. If you have a kidney problem or are pregnant women, you should avoid taking this die

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