The Atkins Diet is a well-known lower-carbohydrate ingesting system formulated in the sixties by cardiologist Robert C. Atkins. The Atkins Diet restricts carbs (carbohydrates) whilst emphasizing protein and fats.

The Atkins Diet has various phases for excess weight loss and upkeep, setting up out with a very lower carbohydrate ingesting system. The Atkins Diet, formally named the Atkins Nutritional Technique, has been detailed in several publications and is credited with launching the lower-carb food plan craze.


The function of the Atkins Diet is to modify your ingesting behavior to support you drop excess weight and retain it off. The Atkins Diet also says it really is a healthy lifelong approach to ingesting, no matter whether you want to drop excess weight, enhance your energy or support increase specified well being complications, this kind of as higher blood strain or metabolic syndrome.

Why you might stick to the Atkins Diet

You might decide on to stick to the Atkins Diet because you:

  • Delight in the forms and quantities of food stuff highlighted in the food plan
  • Want a food plan that restricts specified carbs to support you drop excess weight
  • Want to modify your general ingesting behavior
  • Have healthcare issues you believe the food plan can support increase
  • Like the connected Atkins Diet products, this kind of as cookbooks, shakes and bars

Check with your health care provider or well being treatment company right before setting up any excess weight-loss food plan, primarily if you have any well being circumstances, this kind of as diabetic issues.

Diet specifics

The principal dietary aim of the Atkins Diet is ingesting the correct balance of carbohydrates, protein and fats for ideal excess weight loss and well being. According to the Atkins Diet, weight problems and connected well being complications, this kind of as style two diabetic issues and coronary heart condition, are the fault of the usual lower-excess fat, higher-carbohydrate American food plan. The Atkins Diet says that you you should not need to have to stay clear of fatty cuts of meat or trim off surplus excess fat. Relatively, controlling carbs is what’s significant.

The Atkins Diet holds that ingesting also several carbohydrates — primarily sugar, white flour and other refined carbs — qualified prospects to blood sugar imbalances, excess weight acquire and cardiovascular complications. To that conclusion, the Atkins Diet restricts carbohydrates and encourages ingesting far more protein and excess fat. Nonetheless, the Atkins Diet says it is not a higher-protein food plan.

Like several food plan plans, the Atkins Diet continues to evolve. Now, it encourages ingesting far more higher-fiber greens, accommodates vegetarian and vegan demands, and addresses well being complications that may well crop up when starting a lower-carb food plan.


The Atkins Diet would not require calorie counting or part manage. It does require you to monitor your carbs, nevertheless. It takes advantage of a program named net carbs, which is the total carbohydrate information of an item minus its fiber information. For illustration, a half-cup (4 ounces) of uncooked broccoli has two.three grams of total carbs and 1.three grams of fiber, placing its net carb value at 1 gram.

The Atkins Diet says its approach to carbs will burn off your body’s excess fat stores, regulate your blood sugar and support you obtain ideal well being, whilst not leaving you experience hungry or deprived. The moment you are at your aim excess weight, the Atkins Diet also says it will support you identify your individual carbohydrate tolerance — the amount of grams of net carbs you can try to eat every single working day without gaining or losing excess weight.


The Atkins Diet promises training is not crucial for excess weight loss. Nonetheless, it acknowledges that training can support maintain your excess weight, as well as give other well being rewards.

Phases of the Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet has 4 phases. Based on your excess weight-loss ambitions, you can start off at any of the very first 3 phases.

  • Phase 1: Induction. In this rigorous period, you minimize out virtually all carbohydrates from your food plan, ingesting just 20 grams of net carbs a working day, mainly from greens. In its place of receiving 45 to sixty five per cent of your each day energy from carbohydrates, as proposed by most nutrition tips, you get only about 10 per cent. “Basis” greens, this kind of as asparagus, broccoli, celery, cucumber, inexperienced beans and peppers, need to account for 12 to 15 grams of your each day net carbs.

    You need to try to eat protein, this kind of as fish and shellfish, poultry, meat, eggs, and cheese, at every meal. You you should not need to have to limit oils and fats, but you are not able to have most fruits, sugary baked merchandise, breads, pastas, grains, nuts or alcohol. You need to consume eight glasses of water a working day. You remain in this period for at minimum two months, based on your excess weight loss.

  • Phase two: Balancing. In this period, you continue on to try to eat a minimum of 12 to 15 grams of net carbs as foundation greens. You also continue on to stay clear of foods with included sugar. You can slowly and gradually include back in some nutrient-wealthy carbs, this kind of as far more greens and berries, nuts, and seeds, as you continue on to drop excess weight. You remain in this period until finally you are about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) from your aim excess weight.
  • Phase three: Pre-upkeep. In this period, you continue on to gradually increase the range of foods you can try to eat, which includes fruits, starchy greens and total grains. You can include about 10 grams of carbs to your food plan every single 7 days, but you will have to minimize back if your excess weight loss stops. You remain in this period until finally you attain your aim excess weight.
  • Phase 4: Life time upkeep. You transfer into this period when you attain your aim excess weight, and then you continue on this way of ingesting for life.

A usual day’s menu on the Atkins Diet

Here is a glance at what you might try to eat throughout a usual working day on period 1 of the Atkins Diet:

  • Breakfast. Scrambled eggs with sauteed onions and cheddar cheese. Appropriate drinks contain espresso, tea, water, food plan soda and herbal tea.
  • Lunch. Chef salad with hen, bacon and avocado dressing, along with an allowable beverage.
  • Meal. Baked salmon steak, asparagus, and arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, along with an allowable beverage.
  • Snacks. You ordinarily can have two treats a working day. Snacks may well contain an Atkins Diet products, this kind of as a chocolate shake or granola bar, or a basic snack this kind of as celery and cheddar cheese.


Excess weight loss

The Atkins Diet says that you can drop 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) in the very first two months of period 1 — but it also acknowledges that individuals are not usual outcomes. The Atkins Diet also acknowledges that you may well at first drop water excess weight. It says that you can continue on to drop excess weight in phases two and three as prolonged as you you should not try to eat far more carbs than your physique can tolerate.

Most men and women can drop excess weight on virtually any food plan system that restricts energy — at minimum in the limited term. Over the prolonged term, nevertheless, experiments show that lower-carb eating plans like the Atkins Diet are no far more successful for excess weight loss than are conventional excess weight-loss eating plans and that most men and women get back the excess weight they shed regardless of food plan system.

Mainly because carbohydrates normally provide over half of energy consumed, the principal purpose for excess weight loss on the Atkins Diet is decreased general calorie ingestion from ingesting less carbs. Some experiments counsel that there are other causes for excess weight loss with the Atkins Diet. You may well lose pounds because your food stuff selections are confined, and you try to eat less considering that the additional protein and excess fat retain you experience entire for a longer time. Both of these outcomes also add to decreased general calorie ingestion.

Wellness rewards

The Atkins Diet says that its ingesting system can protect against or increase significant well being circumstances, this kind of as metabolic syndrome, diabetic issues, higher blood strain and cardiovascular condition. In fact, virtually any food plan that will help you lose surplus excess weight can lessen or even reverse possibility factors for cardiovascular condition and diabetic issues.

And most excess weight-loss eating plans — not just lower-carb eating plans — may well increase blood cholesterol or blood sugar concentrations, at minimum temporarily. One review confirmed that men and women who adopted the Atkins Diet experienced improved triglycerides, suggesting far better coronary heart well being. But there have been no important experiments to show no matter whether this kind of rewards maintain up for the prolonged term or increase how prolonged you are living.

Some well being industry experts think that ingesting a large amount of excess fat and protein from animal resources, as authorized on the Atkins Diet, can increase your possibility of coronary heart condition or some cancers. Nonetheless, it really is not recognised what pitfalls, if any, the Atkins Diet may well pose over the prolonged term because most of the experiments about it have lasted for two years or less.


The Atkins Diet acknowledges that drastically reducing carbs in the early period of the software can end result in some facet outcomes, which includes:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weak spot
  • Exhaustion
  • Constipation

In addition, some very lower carb eating plans limit carbohydrates so significantly that they end result in nutritional deficiencies or inadequate fiber, which can lead to this kind of well being complications as constipation, diarrhea and nausea.

Feeding on carbs that are higher fiber, total grain and nutrient dense can increase the well being profile of programs like the Atkins Diet, nevertheless. In addition, the Atkins Diet has changed over time to support protect against well being complications, and it now suggests getting a small amount of additional salt, along with natural vitamins or health supplements.

It’s also probable that limiting carbohydrates to less than 20 grams a working day — the level proposed for period 1 of the food plan — can end result in ketosis. Ketosis takes place when you you should not have more than enough sugar (glucose) for energy, so your physique breaks down saved excess fat, triggering ketones to create up in your physique. Aspect outcomes from ketosis can contain nausea, headache, psychological fatigue and poor breath.

In addition, the Atkins Diet is not appropriate for everybody. For illustration, the Atkins Diet suggests that you consult with your health care provider right before setting up the food plan if you choose diuretics, insulin or oral diabetic issues drugs. In addition, men and women with serious kidney condition need to not stick to the food plan, and the excess weight-loss phases of the food plan are not suited for gals who are expecting or breast-feeding.