This is a complete guide to the Atkins Diet Plan 2020.
If you’ve been wondering about the meaning of Atkins Diet and how to execute the diet plan succesfully, you are in the right hands.
In this article you will learn everything you need to know before starting this diet plan. You will also learn about some of the most famous people who follow the Atkins Diet.
Let’s dive straight into the article!
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You may have heard about Atkins Diet but you are not sure whether its the perfect diet for you.
Don’t worry! We got you covered in this step-by-step guide where you will learn everything you need to know before getting on the plan.
Let’s start with the definition of this diet.
Atkins Diet is a low-carb diet, which is usually recommended for weight loss. The Atkins diet was originally promoted by the physician Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who wrote a best-selling book about it in 1972.
In the Atkins Diet proponents claim that you can lose weight while eating as much protein and fat as you want, as long as you avoid foods high in carbs.
This diet plan has 4 phases for losing weight and maintaining it. Atkins diet is believed to be the launching of the low-carbs diets trend.
But, high-protein, low-carb, and high-fat? That sounds familiar. Isn’t this a ketogenic diet? It sure sounds like a keto diet but there is a difference between the two.
It’s simple. When you are following keto you are cutting out most of the carbs and they stay low. The Atkins Diet, however, starts with minimizing your carb intake to 20g/day. At least in Phase 1.
Then you are gradually increasing your carb intake and start eating more of your favorite fruits, which is highly restricted in keto.
On Atkins Diet, you are also eating more protein – 30% of your daily calorie intake (on keto you are eating around 20%). Due to increasing your carbs intake, the Atkins diet is more flexible in terms of eating favorite fruits and veggies.
Overall, the Atkins diet is a less restrictive approach because you don’t have to stay in constant ketosis.
In normal circumstances, the body’s cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. People can typically obtain glucose from dietary carbs, including sugars and starchy foods.
In general, it should take you 2–4 days to enter ketosis. However, some people may find they need a week or longer. The time it takes depends on various factors, such as your age, metabolism, exercise level, and current carb, protein, and fat intake.
The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Afterward, it either uses glucose as fuel or stores it in the liver and muscles as glycogen.
If there is not enough glucose available to provide enough energy, the body will adopt an alternative strategy to meet those needs. Specifically, it begins to break down fat stores and use glucose from triglycerides.
While most experts agree that carbohydrates are a necessary nutrient for active individuals and for people trying to build or maintain muscle, low-fat diets like keto and Atkins aren’t as bad as starvation.
When explaining the idea behind the high-protein, high-fat diets, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that a total fast or starvation would typically cause the body to start breaking down lean muscle mass for energy.
But because the Atkins diet still provides the body with calories and is not full fast, it doesn’t cause this same muscle breakdown.
Now, let’s get more specific with the 4 Phases of Atkins.
Phase 1 (induction):
Under 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks. Eat high-fat, high-protein, with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick-starts weight loss.
By limiting the number of carbs you eat to around 20g a day, your body will switch its main fuel source from carbs to fat.
Every phase of the New Atkins plan is based on proven scientific principles and is a completely safe, natural way to lose weight.
The induction phase is about helping you distinguish hunger from habit, and changing the amount what you eat to suit your appetite as it decreases.
Phase 2 (balancing):
If you don’t have that much weight to lose, you are a vegetarian or just want a greater food variety, you can skip the induction phase and start the Atkins Diet from Phase 2.
You’ll start Phase 2 by eating 25 grams of net carbs daily, and then begin to increase overall carb intake in 5-gram increments. By the end of this phase, you may find that your carb balance sits between 30 and 80 daily grams of net carbs
Phase 2 typically lasts until you’re within 10 pounds of your goal weight. However, depending on your personal weight loss goals, you may choose to transition into Phase 3 sooner. Early transitioning is best for those who are vegetarian or looking to slow the rate of their weight loss.
Slowly add more nuts, low-carb vegetables, and small amounts of fruit back to your diet. In this phase you will find your carb tolerance – that’s the level of carbs you can eat daily while still losing weight at a steady pace.
Phase 3 (fine-tuning):
When you’re very close to your goal weight, add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down. Phase 3 is all about helping you establish a long-term way of eating so you can stay happy and healthy for good.
Phase 3 is also about building up your carb tolerance, so hit by the time you’re ready to move on to Phase 4, you know what works for you in the long-term.
During Phase 3, you will increase your carb intake by 10g per week. This is so you can find your carb balance – the ideal level that will allow you to reach your goal weight and stay there. Everyone’s different, so it is just trial and error. Take it at your own pace and listen to your body.
By the time you reach your goal weight and have kept it there for a month, you should have a pretty good idea of what amount and type of carbs your body can handle, and what it can’t.
If your cravings come back or your weight loss stalls, drop your carb intake by 10g for a week, then introduce an extra 5g until you find your level. In this final ‘fine-tuning’ stage of your plan, you’ll discover the balance between what you can eat and maintain your ideal weight.
Phase 4 (maintenance):
Congratulations! You’ve done the hard work. You have achieved your dream weight. Phase 4 is all about maintaining this weight for good. Here you can eat as many healthy carbs (fruits and veggies) as your body can tolerate without regaining weight. (however, eating processed or packaged foods is not recommended because they are high in calories)
Keep in mind, that daily activity plays a big role here. The carbs intake differs as per the amount of energy you burn. So, the best way to progress is by knowing your body and how it tolerates different carb intake. You can do that by simply maintaining a journal of the foods you eat.
Although you’ve achieved your goal weight, maintaining it can be a hard task. There will be times when you slip off the edge. Don’t worry! Everybody has cravings and gains a little weight at some point. Let that don’t demotivate you.
If you happen to gain a couple of extra pounds, drop your carbs to 10-20g to remain control of the situation.
If you go back and keep the carb balance that you’ve refined over the last weeks and months, there’s nothing to stop you from staying at your goal weight indefinitely.
In Phase 4, you can decrease your fat intake and increase your carbs consumption. However, being active is more important to stay healthy than any diet. So, if you haven’t started exercising yet, now would be the perfect time to do so!
Bottom Line: You learned the definition of the Atkins Diet and went through all 4 Phases of this meal plan. You have also learned how is the Atkins Diet different from Keto.
Stay tuned because in the next chapter, you will learn why is the diet healthy and why to choose it instead of other diets.
In this Chapter, we will break down all of the reasons why you should follow this diet.
The Atkins Diet is one of the most popular methods for losing weight and maintaining health.
However, losing weight is not everything that comes with the diet. Decreasing the risk of some cancers, disease prevention, and a positive impact on the treatment of acne are only a couple of benefits that come with Atkins.
Keep reading to find out more!
You have a basic understanding of what the Atkins Diet means. You probably want to lose weight but did you know there are many more benefits to start with this diet today. Let’s find out why to choose the Atkins diet.
These are most of the health-related benefits that come with the Atkins Diet. If you are the type of person who doesn’t have any illnesses, go to chapter 4 and see all pros and cons of the diet. For those of you who are always curious, keep reading.
Preliminary findings on a study from 2006 show that a low-carb diet may help alleviate gastroesophageal reflux disease. If you want to know more about GERD and how a diet can alleviate it, check our Gerd Diet Guide.
Typically foods with caffeine or that are high in fat have been shown to contribute to acid reflux, but this survey shows that a low-carb diet may help prevent symptoms usually brought on by those foods.
This initial study suggests more research needs to be done examining the effect of low-carbohydrate diets on GERD.
There has been growing research on the effect nutrition has on skin health. In a 2012 review published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, the role of carbohydrates was examined on the development of acne, with the hypothesis that a very low carb diet could have a positive impact on the treatment of acne.
The use of a low-carb diet like the Atkins has been shown to not only help with weight loss but also improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides, as well as decrease inflammation—all factors associated with heart disease.
Obesity is a factor associated with the increased risk for some cancers, so naturally, if the Atkins diet is shown to help people lose weight and maintain their weight loss, the impact on decreasing the risk of some cancers is positive.
Examples include findings from a 2012 study in the Journal of National Cancer Institute that show that higher total carbohydrate intake and higher dietary glycemic load were associated with an increased risk of recurrence and mortality in stage III colon cancer.
That means that the Atkins diet (which is naturally low glycemic) could help in improving the survival rates in colon cancer.
Another study in Nutrition and Cancer (2010) showed that a low-carb diet like the Atkins helped overweight women breast cancer survivors lose weight – decreasing their risk for heart disease and other obesity-related diseases, as well as a recurrence of breast cancer.
A high-calorie diet is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. In a 2012 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it was shown that the risk of mild cognitive impairment or dementia was elevated in people who consumed a high-carb diet, leading to the conclusion that the Atkins diet has a role in lowering the risk.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age and is associated with obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance.
Because low carbohydrate diets like the Atkins and Keto have been shown to reduce insulin resistance, a pilot study (Nutrition and Metabolism, 2005) investigated the six-month metabolic and endocrine effects of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (LCKD) on overweight and obese women with PCOS.
In this pilot study, an LCKD led to significant improvement in weight, percent free testosterone, LH/FSH ratio, and fasting insulin in women with obesity and PCOS over 24 weeks.
Another 2013 pilot study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine showed similar positive results – Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome/Insulin Resistance
EPILEPSY AND RELATED DISEASES
More than thirty studies from ranging from 2004 to 2014 support the use of a Modified Atkins Diet in helping ease the symptoms of epilepsy and related seizure disorders in adults and children.
This was especially encouraging for children diagnosed with childhood epilepsy who are not responding to the seizure control medications. The Modified Atkins Diet is used by Dr. Eric Kossoff at John Hopkins. Dr. Kossoff has also published a book titled:
“Ketogenic Diets Treatments for Epilepsy and Other Disorders” – Fifth Edition. With info on the Modified Atkins DietMore, info can be found here.
Bottom Line: We covered some of the benefits of the diet. You know what is the diet and you learned why to choose it. However, you don’t know how to start.
Don’t worry! We got you covered in the next chapter where you will learn how to successfully make the transition and start with the Atkins Diet!
You have decided that you want to follow this plan. You don’t know how to make the switch.
In this Chapter, we are going to give you the basics of starting the change and adapting to it.
Be aware that every beginning is tough. However, with the essential knowledge in this chapter, you will be more ready than ever for making the change.
If you have decided that the Atkins Diet is the right diet for you, then congratulations! You have made the first step – the most important step of all. The motivation to change has made you take that decision.
Now you have to make the transition from your current eating habits to Phase 1 of the Atkins diet. In other guides like the candida diet or the intermittent fasting plan, we usually recommend taking baby steps with every diet.
Starting small and progressing every day may seem like a wise option for many but with this specific diet, the different phases do that for you.
With the Atkins diet, you just have to do it. Starting with the initial phase of the diet may seem tough, especially if you are used to eating all types of junk food with bad fats included (bad fats are all trans and saturated fats).
Our advice for you here is to stay consistent! Motivation is what makes you start at the beginning but dedication and consistency are what make you continue.
Remember that losing weight is only possible if you burn more calories than you consume – in other words, being in a calorie deficit
Okay, I will start the diet but what can I eat during the Atkins diet?
We have a detailed list of that too. In fact, we are going to cover every food that you can or cannot eat right now.
Full-fat dairy: Butter, cheese, cream, full-fat yogurt.
Healthy fats: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and avocado oil.
Fatty fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, sardines, etc.
Meats: Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, bacon, and others.
Eggs: The healthiest eggs are omega-3 enriched or pastured.
Low-carb vegetables: Kale, spinach, broccoli, salad greens, asparagus, and others.
Low-fat Fruits: high fiber fruit like apples, citrus, and berries
Nuts and seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Complex carbs like legumes and whole-grains are good but it depends on the phase you are in.
Beverages like water, coffee, and green tea are good-to-go options.
Foods like bacon, chocolate, and different cheeses also can be eaten. However, keep in mind that they have more fat content, which automatically means more calories consumed.
At the end of the day, calories in versus calories out are what makes the difference between losing fat and gaining weight.
High-carb vegetables: Carrots, turnips, etc (induction only).
High-carb fruits: Bananas, apples, oranges, pears, grapes (induction only).
Starches: Potatoes, sweet potatoes (induction only)
Legumes: Lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc. (induction only)
Fruits with high sugar content, such as pineapple, mango, papaya, and banana
Sugar & Sweets: Soft drinks, fruit juices, cakes, candy, ice cream, etc.
Grains: Wheat, spelled, rye, barley, rice, white bread, pasta, and foods containing processed grains
Vegetable oils: Soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, and a few others.
Trans fats: Usually found in processed foods with the word “hydrogenated” on the ingredients list.
“Diet” and “low-fat” foods: These are usually very high in sugar.
If you’re motivated by quick weight loss and thrive on structure and a minimum of choices, you may choose to stay in Phase 1 beyond two weeks. To make this process easier, as well as set the stage for when you do decide to move on:
Bottom Line: Starting the diet immediately may seem like your best option. Staying dedicated and follow your goal will lead you to success.
So, you know how to start, however, we want to make sure you also know all positives and negatives of the diet. See you in chapter 4 where your whole picture of the Atkins diet will become clear.
You are ready to make the switch but you are not sure whether this plan is the right for you.
In Chapter 4 you will learn all pros and cons of the diet and decide for yourself whether to start it or not.
Keep in mind that we want to make things crystal clear for you, so you won’t be having troubles making the choice.
Grab an apple and keep reading!
When it comes down to something, it always comes with both positives and negatives. In chapter 2 you have learned some of the health-related benefits of the Atkins diet. Now, let’s take a look at the pros in general.
Drastically Improved Mood
Without the constant highs and lows in blood sugar which zap energy and drain your mood, you’ll find that you feel much brighter.
Food really does act like medicine when it comes to the mind and, whilst you may have previously eaten sugary foods when you felt low, this works against what you’re trying to achieve and just leaves you feeling even unhappier.
With Atkins, you can control your blood sugar, put a spring in your step, and avoid the sugary ‘highs’ and ‘lows’.
On the Atkins diet, after you’ve completed the adaptation period to switch you to ketosis (about 1-2 weeks) you should start to see a big lift in stamina levels.
Cardio will feel easier, you’ll be able to lift more weights or find you have more energy to keep up with the kids. This is because your body adjusts to burning fat for energy.
Your body can also become a fat-burning machine now, however, according to your body, it takes hours to days for that to happen.
As we have a much greater supply of fat than carbs, energy levels soar. If however, you find that you’re lacking in energy after 2 weeks on Atkins, try increasing salt intake.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt
Atkins is naturally diuretic which may mean you need to replace the salt that’s lost when your water retention decreases.
Don’t worry though, on Atkins you aren’t eating salty, processed foods so your intake will naturally be lower.
Give a child a piece of cake and see how it gets hyper right before your eyes. Children find it very hard to focus on one task as they bounce off the walls on a sugar high.
Well, the opposite happens once your body switches to ketosis. You find that mental focus improves dramatically.
This is a great benefit of Atkins that most people tend to within a week or 2 of lowering their carbs.
You were wondering where did losing weight disappear. Well, there it is. The Atkins diet has a long history of successful weight loss.
Many people have lost weight on this plan and the program has been studied in numerous clinical trials. But if you are considering Atkins for weight loss or weight maintenance, you’ll find that there is a range of studies with conflicting results.
Results from a large nutritional study were reported in 2019 at both the American Society of Nutrition and the American Diabetes Association conferences. The findings suggest that there isn’t necessarily a single diet that meets the needs of every person trying to lose weight because each body responds differently.
Several of these studies have shown that there is no difference between caloric restriction and carb restriction for long-term weight loss.
Additionally, while there is some support for low-carb, higher-fat diets, there are still medical experts who question whether or not the diet is healthy or effective for the long-term.
No Calorie Counting
Even though I am a big fan of tracking calories and macronutrients, in the Atkins diet that isn’t necessary.
Now, that doesn’t mean you go crazy about eating everything you see. Usually, it is recommended for green veggies to eat more because they are low in calories and net carbs.
Arugula – 25 calories
Lettuce – 15 calories
Cucumber – 15 calories
Celery – 16 calories
Radishes – 16 calories
Cabbage – 25 calories
Mushrooms – 26 calories
So, counting calories can be implemented at first because it creates valuable habits and knowledge of food nutrition. Track your macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) until you know how much you eat to maintain and lose weight. Also the size of the portions and types of foods.
However, most nutrition experts acknowledge the importance of consuming the right number of calories each day, they admit that trying to track and monitor your intake every day can be tedious and may feel restrictive.
Those who prefer a structured approach to eating will enjoy Atkins. Each phase of the program has a specific time or weight goal that is clearly explained.
For example, Phase 1 lasts for two weeks (in most situations). Phase 2 lasts until you are 10 pounds from your goal weight. Phase 3 lasts until have been comfortably at your goal weight for four weeks.
Extensive lists of acceptable foods are available for each stage and portion sizes for each food category are clearly defined.
No More Hunger
Yes, it is true. I don’t like to think of Atkins as a ‘diet’ as this conjures up images of endless plates of lettuce leaves, egg white omelets, or worse – nothing.
The low carb, high protein approach does leave you feeling satisfied. I’d say one of the top 3 frequently asked questions from Atkins followers is “I’ve been on Atkins for a week and I’m just not hungry, can I skip meals?”, to which the answer is, of course, always a resounding “no”.
Yet the fact remains that people feel too full to eat yet the pounds are dropping off and they’re feeling great. The reason for this?
Every Atkins meal is rich in protein and dietary fat (fat that comes from food) so it is very satisfying.
If you don’t like to prepare your food all the time, Atkins snack bars and other meal replacements are conveniently available in many markets and discount stores.
However, be aware of the amount of added sugars on the foods you consume. Always read the labels as there are also hidden sugars!
This is a list of a couple of hidden sugars you should be aware of:
With so many benefits of the diet, you wonder what can go wrong? Well, here is a list of all cons of the diet.
Very low-carb diets such as Atkins can be hard to follow because they require you to make too many changes from the start.
Most people follow a standard American diet before switching to Atkins. This traditional eating style is high in starchy meals and foods or beverages with added sugars.
While the standard American diet isn’t necessarily healthy, making major changes in a short period can backfire.
In some cases, a severe restriction can lead to food binges, guilt, and weight gain. For this reason, many nutrition experts recommend making small changes over a longer time rather than undertaking a complete diet overhaul.
The Need To Count Net Carbs
While you don’t count calories on the Atkins plan, you do count net carbs. For some people, counting net carbs is just as complicated and tedious as counting calories, particularly when you eat out.
Calorie counts are getting more common on restaurant menus. But those that list calories don’t always list carb counts and very few list fiber or sugar alcohol content—making it impossible to get your net carb number.
Also, there is disagreement in the nutrition community about whether or not the idea of counting net carbs is helpful for weight loss. The impact of sugar alcohols on metabolism isn’t fully understood.
Also, the definition of “net carb” is not clearly defined by the FDA. So you may eat food that advertises a very low net carb amount and it may have more of an effect on your metabolism than you realize.
Keep in mind that everything has high carbs except – meat, chicken, green veggies. Remember that when you are eating out.
The Atkins Diet acknowledges that drastically cutting carbs in the early phase of the program can result in some side effects, including:
In addition, some very low carb diets restrict carbohydrates so much that they result in nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber, which can cause such health problems as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
Eating carbs that are high fiber, whole grain, and nutrient-dense can improve the health profile of programs like the Atkins Diet, though.
In addition, the Atkins Diet has changed over time to help prevent health problems, and it now recommends taking a small amount of extra salt, along with vitamins or supplements.
It’s also possible that restricting carbohydrates to less than 20 grams a day – the level recommended for phase 1 of the diet – can result in ketosis. Side effects from ketosis can include nausea, headache, mental fatigue, and bad breath.
In addition, the Atkins Diet isn’t appropriate for everyone. For example, the Atkins Diet recommends that you consult your doctor before starting the diet if you take diuretics, insulin, or oral diabetes medications.
On top of that, people with severe kidney disease should not follow the diet, and the weight-loss phases of the diet aren’t suitable for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Reduces Fruits And Grains Consumption
If you are a fruit lover, you’ll find it hard to say goodbye to your favorite food. Even if you don’t love fruit, the USDA recommends that you consume about two cups per day to get the important vitamins and nutrients that they provide.
Eventually, you can add some fruit but in the early stages of the diet, you’ll need to avoid healthy foods like berries, bananas, apple, and citrus fruits to get into ketosis.
Once you are closer to your goal weight, you may be able to consume small amounts of low-carb fruits (such as raspberries) but some people aren’t able to stay in ketosis when they consume any fruit.
Grain intake is another concern on the Atkins diet. On the Atkins diet, grain-based foods are restricted – especially in the early phases.
Eating whole grains can also help you to meet the fiber guideline which ranges from about 22 grams to 33 grams per day for adult men and women.
Reduced Fiber Intake (initial phase)
Fiber offers huge benefits to your health, from controlling your appetite and regulating blood sugar to helping your digestion. Fiber is a carbohydrate, but since it does not convert to glucose, it doesn’t raise your blood sugar like carbohydrates typically do.
Fiber slows the entry of glucose into the bloodstream. This, in turn, reduces the blood-sugar spikes that cause insulin production and encourages the body to produce and store body fat. Fiber also helps you feel full longer, resulting in fewer food cravings.
Pro Tip: According to the Institute of Medicine the recommended amount of fiber is 19-38 grams per day (depending on age and gender)
1. Start Slow
If you are looking to increase the fiber in your diet, be sure to do so slowly. Increasing the amount of dietary fiber in your diet too quickly can lead to gas, bloating, and even cramps.
Start slowly by snacking on fiber-rich foods like a mix of walnut and jicama.
2. Don’t Peel Veggies and Fruits
Leave the skin on veggies such as carrots and cucumbers, and eat fruits like apple whole. Eating the skin provides a fantastic source of fiber and is an easy way to slowly introduce more fiber into your diet.
3. Rise and Shine with Fiber Rich Grains
Breakfast can easily be transformed into one of the most fiber-rich meals of the day. Simply switch out refined grains for whole grains.
When making oatmeal, use steel-cut oats instead of rolled oats, or bake something but use high fiber coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour.
4. Sneak in the Veggies
Find ways to include vegetables in every meal. Make veggies an integral part of the recipe just like the Atkins recipes you will learn in chapter 9.
5. Go Veg for a Meal or Two
Ready to take your fiber game to the next level? Go vegetarian for a meal or even a day or two. By nature, many vegetarian meals are high in fiber and also low in carbs.
Bottom Line: Everything, whether it will be a new business, changing your workplace or a simple diet has cons. However, that doesn’t have to stop you from starting and succeeding.
In Chapter 5 we will delve deeper into weight loss, so keep on reading!
Losing weight can be a difficult process for many. In fact, people think they will go on a diet and start losing weight immediately.
That’s the tricky part right here. You can lose weight only if you are in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume). Every diet’s purpose is to put you in a deficit.
When you are following the Atkins diet your scale is going to drop down immediately. However, keep in mind that this weight is “water weight”.
Weight loss isn’t a linear process. If you weigh yourself every day you will see that your weight goes up and down.
Step on the scale EVERY DAY
You may find yourself in a situation where you are weighing yourself one day and see that your weight is down. However, after 2 days you decide to step on the scale again and see how many pounds more have you lost.
Bad news. You are heavier than before and you wonder what happened. You decide the diet doesn’t work and quit. Sounds familiar?
To prevent this put yourself on the scale every morning right after waking up and after bathroom on an empty stomach. Weigh yourself in the same conditions (fixed hour, no food for about 12 hours) for 7 days. (no clothes, empty stomach, after bathroom). Write your weight down on paper or your mobile phone.
Every Sunday combine your currencies and divide them by 7! That’s your weekly weight. Compare it to the next week and the next, and the next. This method of weekly comparison is more reliable than daily comparison.
Use a Measuring Tape.
Although, the previous tip works perfectly fine, keep in mind, that you can use other tools, not only the scale. Measure yourself with a measuring tape. Start with your waist, hips, shoulders, chest, and arms.
Write down your results!
Keep in mind that you have to measure yourself with fit clothing or no clothes at all, and always measure yourself at the same conditions.
Take a look into the basics of measuring yourself:
Bust: Measure around the chest right at the nipple line, but don’t pull the tape too tight.
Chest: Measure just under your bust.
Waist: Measure a half-inch above your belly button or at the smallest part of your waist.
Hips: Place the tape measure around the biggest part of your hips.
Thighs: Measure around the biggest part of each thigh.
Calves: Measure around the largest part of each calf.
Upper arm: Measure around the largest part of each arm above the elbow.
Forearm: Measure around the largest part of the arm below the elbow.
Take Pictures Weekly
Another useful tip to make sure you are progressing is to take pictures of yourself once a week
in the same conditions. You are seeing your body every day and you can’t tell whether it
is changing or not. This can lead to demotivation and quitting.
However, taking pictures every week is a powerful tool that you can use to motivate yourself and others.
Take your pictures right after waking up on an empty stomach at a fixed time. Every Sunday is a good place to start!
Manage Your Stress
If you are following a strict diet, exercising regularly but still can’t manage to lose these extra pounds that might be because of the high stress your body is subjected to.
You need to make sure that your body is functioning optimally and that your hormonal environment is favorable.
Being stressed all the time keeps the body in a constant state of “fight or flight” — with elevated levels of stress hormones like cortisol.
Having elevated levels of cortisol may increase your hunger and cravings for fast food.
Pro Tip: Try to prevent stress with meditation or deep breathing. Every time you feel stressed, control your emotions. Take a deep breath and think for a little. This little trick can save your energy for something optimal than a useless argument.
Exercising is also a great way to deal with stress. Exercising takes off stress because it releases the hormones of happiness like dopamine and endorphin.
Increase Sleep Quality
Something I always suggest people do is to invest in a nice and comfortable mattress. Think for a moment. You are spending ⅓ of your life in bed. Why not prepare to crush your day by having a deep, quality sleep.
Increasing the quality of your sleep may decrease your level of hunger the next day and increase your energy and productivity. When you are more focused and energetic, the chances you are getting rid of the extra weight become higher
Bottom Line: Following the 5 tips mentioned above and combining them with the Atkins diet will make your weight loss journey easier.
On top of that, after the next chapter, you will wonder no more what to buy on your next trip to the supermarket because you will have a detailed Atkins Diet grocery list in your pocket.
Meat, Seafood, Poultry, Eggs
A well-rounded low-carb meal will include a rich protein source. Animal products contain vital nutrients, such as essential amino acids, vitamin B12, heme iron, and omega-3 fats.
For a low-carb breakfast, eggs are an inexpensive, quick, and easy option. They’re also a strong source of B vitamins as well as choline, which boosts brain health. Try a hard-boiled egg, which has 6g of protein and 78 calories, as a snack or salad add-in.
For lunch and dinner protein, think carefully about the types of meat you choose as well as how you prepare it. For example, red meat (especially when heavily processed) has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
The quality of the meat you choose will also be affected by how the animals were raised: grass-fed, pasture-raised cows, chickens, and turkeys yield more healthy omega-3 fats than conventionally raised animals.
Having a steak or adding bacon to your breakfast are best as an occasional treat rather than a dietary staple.
For easy low-carb, protein-packed snacks you can eat on the go, try:
Canned tuna and salmon
Tuna is a widely eaten species of fish. However, canned tuna is often the most common source of mercury in the diet.
Mercury is a chemical often used in thermometers, thermostats, and automotive light switches, as well as being put to use in industrial facilities, such as power plants, cement plants, and certain chemical manufacturers.
When released into the environment, mercury can become a public health issue when it settles into our oceans and waterways.
The FDA recommends that adults eat 3–5 ounces (85–140 grams) of fish 2–3 times a week to get enough omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients.
However, research indicates that regularly eating fish with a mercury concentration greater than 0.3 ppm may increase blood levels of mercury and spur health issues. Most species of tuna exceed this amount.
The downside health effect of consuming too much mercury are:
nervousness or anxiety.
irritability or mood changes.
These recommendations are based on EPA guidance and estimates of mercury in the most popular canned tunas:
Grains and Legumes
Grains, such as rice, oats, quinoa, millet, burgels, and amaranth, as well as legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas, are high in carbohydrates: one half-cup of cooked brown rice has 34 grams of carbs.
These foods won’t be a staple of your Atkins diet (especially in Phase 1), but when you do have them, stick to small portions (1/4 to a 1/3 cup).
Try these low-carb swaps instead, especially if you enjoy baking.
Flour made with flax
Almond flour and meal
Frozen Fruits And Veggies
Most of the foods you’d find in the produce aisle can also be purchased frozen. Having bags of frozen veggies on hand to toss in a quick stir fry or berries to add to a breakfast smoothie is convenient, tasty, and packed with nutrition.
The benefits of frozen fruits and veggies come with not having to shop too often.
Fats And Oils
Whether you’re eating low-carb or not, foods with partially hydrogenated oils are best enjoyed in moderation. These oils contain trans fats, which increase harmful LDL cholesterol and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol.
If you want to learn more about different types of fats, check our Low-Fat Diet.
Sources of healthy, unsaturated fats to include on your Atkins grocery list, include:
Nut butter (almond, cashew)
Given that butter is saturated fat, its effects on health are controversial.
For decades, the consumption of saturated-fat-rich foods, including full-fat dairy products like butter, was blamed for causing heart disease.
However, recent research has shown that, although the consumption of saturated-fat-rich foods like butter may increase several heart disease risk factors, including LDL (bad) cholesterol, it does not seem to increase the risk of heart disease itself.
While butter intake may increase heart disease risk factors, current research doesn’t show a significant link between butter intake and heart disease or stroke. This area of research is complex, highlighting the need for more high-quality studies.
Milk and milk-products are permitted on a low-carb diet like the Atkins diet but some options will be healthier than others. Avoid flavored milk which is high in sugar; one cup contains almost 12 grams of carbs.
When you’re at the dairy case, look for these options instead:
Full-fat milk and cream
While water is essential, Atkins Phase 1 approves the following beverages for when you want to mix things up:
Flavored Zero-Calorie Seltzer Water
Water with lemon or lime
Iced or hot Teas
Try these delicious cheeses on a salad, as a meat topping, or for a snack! All are Atkins Phase 1 approved
Non-starch Vegetables and Fruits
While you’re in the produce aisle, look for fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, and oregano, which you can use to add flavor to meals and beverages.
Fruit can be a little trickier on the Atkins Diet. Some types of fruit can have 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving. The winning fruit here is watermelon, which has only 7g of carbs per serving of 100g.
When you’re choosing “produce”, reach for berries and melons which are the fruits lowest in sugar.
Other options that you can try are:
Blueberries – 83 calories with 21g of carbs per 1 cup
Raspberries – 10 calories with 2.3g of carbs per 10 raspberries
Strawberries – 70 calories with 17g of carbs per 8 medium strawberries
Cantaloupe or honeydew melon – 50 calories with 12g of carbs per 130g
For example bananas, apples, and sweet cherries vary from 100-140 calories and 26 to 36 grams of carbs.
Bottom Line: This is a basic list of all fundamental foods that you need when following the Atkins Diet.
In Chapter 9 you will learn how to convert these products into delicious meals but now, let’s take a look into a chapter that workouts junkies will find interesting.
Adding exercise to your Atkins program is a win-win decision. And knowing what to eat before and after a workout is equally as important.
Everyone knows that exercise is good for you. But let’s take a moment to review the benefits of working out on the Atkins diet. Regular physical activity does the following:
So, in other words, adding exercise to your program is a win-win decision. While exercise in itself is good, it helps to learn how the different foods you eat on Atkins affect your exercise performance.
However, on the downside of the equation, you’ll feel not much energetic when you consume low carbs and are in ketosis.
In the first few days, you will feel like your energy levels are at the bottom but stick to that phase. In later phases, you will feel much better when you start consuming more carbs.
And knowing what to eat before and after a workout is equally as important.
So, we know that typical physical activities like walking and jogging are good for our health but that’s not enough. Combining physical daily activity with strength training can be beneficial for many of you.
And if you are the typical workout junkie like me, you know these things. However, if you are the type of person that has never been to the gym, now would be the perfect time to make this step!
Your body responds to physical activity in ways that have really important positive effects on musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory, and endocrine systems.
It’s long been known that exercise has a positive effect on brain function and mood—probably as effective against mild or moderate depression as some medications.
Regular exercise appears to reduce both depression and anxiety, improve mood, and enhance the ability to perform daily tasks well into old age.
Aerobics exercises like cycling and walking alone aren’t enough. It certainly isn’t enough for weight loss, and it’s also not enough to produce optimal health and longevity. Here’s why:
Your body burns calories and fat in tiny structures in the cell called the mitochondria, which are like Power Central for the cell. And mitochondria are found mainly in the muscle cells.
These little power centers are the best ally you have in your fight against fat. They’re the “fireplaces” where the fuel you eat (and the calories you store) get consumed.
If you want to raise your metabolism, you need to increase the number of mitochondria. The best way to do this is by putting on some muscle!
The more mass your body has, the more calories you’ll burn while resting, sleeping, and doing other activities.
Men tend to burn more calories at rest than women of the same weight because men typically have higher muscle. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does.
The number of calories burned increases according to body weight. So, a person who weighs 150 pounds might burn 46 calories an hour or between 322 and 414 calories a night.
And a person who weighs 185 pounds might burn around 56 calories or between 392 and 504 calories for a full night of sleep
But turbo-charging your metabolism is not the only benefit of weight training. Weight-bearing activity is probably the single best lifestyle choice you can make if you want to prevent osteoporosis.
Weight training also gives shape and form to your body and, from a functional point of view, can help you maintain autonomy well into your tenth decade.
By keeping your muscles strong and functional with weight training, you can significantly lessen the odds of being dependent on others.
Your regularly planned meals and snacks throughout the day should help you stay properly fueled for your workout. Schedule your exercise session so that you have something to eat about an hour before.
Good pre-workout snacks include a hard-boiled egg or two (or deviled eggs), a serving of almonds or olives, an Atkins Advantage bar or shake, or a ham or turkey roll-up. In later phases, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with some fruit can also help fuel your workout.
Keep in mind that you need some sort of carbs before working out because your body needs the energy to get through the workout.
Plan on eating within 30 minutes of exercise—this is an important window when your body is primed to replenish nutrients, restore fluids, and rebuild muscle.
An Atkins Advantage shake is a convenient option or any low-carb meal that features a combination of protein and carbohydrates, such as a salad with your choice of chicken, fish, or meat.
Something to Keep in mind:
Despite your body’s improved use of fat and ketones on a low-carb regimen (like Atkins), fat will never be your body’s first choice of fuels during moderate and intense workouts lasting more than a couple of minutes.
I do believe that most people who are training overdo the carbs, however, given the limited amount and intensity of training that they do.
It’s an undeniable fact that it takes 24-48 hours to fully restore muscle glycogen if you deplete any during exercise, and that time frame assumes that you’re eating adequate amounts of carbs.
If you’re on a low-carb dietary regimen like the Atkins diet, it will inevitably take longer, and you may be trying to do your next workout with less muscle and liver glycogen available.
Being glycogen depleted also does not necessarily improve your fat use because, as we say in the exercise physiology world, “fat burns in a carbohydrate flame.” If your muscles are glycogen depleted, your fat use will be somewhat compromised, and you’ll have to slow down your pace for that reason as well.
So, want a good workout? You’ve got to eat carbs. It would be tough to generate enough energy to sustain a hard workout without carbs. How much do you need? It depends on how hard, and how often you work out as well as other factors, like age, gender and weight
If carbs are available, your body will use them over fats and muscles, especially as your workout gets more intense.
If you want to exercise intensely and you eat an Atkins diet, you will not be able to perform at your highest level.
If you’re eating enough calories to cover your body’s basal needs and your exercise use, you can get by with 40% or less of your calories coming from carbs.
Bottom Line: Most of the people that start with Atkins probably want to lose weight. If you are that type of person then following the diet and combining it with lifting weights can lead to incredible results in the short and long-term.
However, if you want to gain weight or prepare for any competition, then merging Atkins with strength workouts won’t work optimally.
See you in the next chapter where you will learn what Celebrities say about Atkins.
While we don’t advise you to go on any diet simply because someone famous has used it, it’s significant that the celebrities on the Atkins Diet here are all healthy and happy, and have kept their weight off for a significant length of time.
None of them have developed health problems or look underweight, either.
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Celebrities like Jennifer Aniston are the definition of looking healthy, toned, and fit. After all, you can hardly work as hard as she does on television and films without plenty of energy!
She combines her Atkins diet program with exercise and plenty of water, and continues with the Maintenance Phase today – one look will tell you the Atkins diet has been a success story for this celebrity.
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In 2016 Kim Kardashian lost 60 pounds after giving birth by following the Atkins Diet. Kardashian followed the Atkins 40, a variation of the Atkins diet that includes 40 grams of carbohydrates per day. (The more restrictive Atkins 20 (Phase 1) was too intense for her since she was breastfeeding, they decided.)
The good news about this plan? Basically anyone can do it. Kardashian herself is a huge foodie with a sweet tooth, Heimowitz says (Kardashian’s nutritionist), and she obviously aced it.
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As a working mom, the actress is committed to leading a healthier lifestyle. “I’m on a journey to become my best, healthiest self, and as a busy mother of two, that means finding a lifestyle that works for me and is easy”.
“I did my research and found the compelling science behind Atkins shows it not only helps you lose weight but improves health too,” said Milano.
“Cutting carbs and sugar have already made me feel better, and I don’t have to give up my favorite foods because Atkins offers great low-carb options. I’m excited to share my story with people and learn from them too, in the hope that together we can find a better path to wellness with Atkins.”
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For a long time, Lowe felt this routine meant he could eat whatever he wanted. As he approached 40, that started to change. He was aware of Robert Atkins, M.D., “from the beginning,” he says.
He became a convert to the high-protein, low-carb plan. He scoffs at the thought that it’s a license to eat two In-N-Out burgers without buns, because as he practices it, Atkins is a program built to maintain, not a yo-yo.
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The actress follows up on the Atkins diet to keep her body in good shape. She also combines the diet plan with exercising regularly.
“The gym is my therapy. I’ve got to get stuff out…The perk of going and spending time by myself and getting my head straight and thinking through what might be bothering me is that I get fit. That’s not the goal, but it’s a nice by-product.”
Bottom Line: As you see there are many people who follow the Atkins diet and have success.
See you in the next chapter where you will learn 5 quick & easy recipes for Atkins.
Have you ever experienced water coming out from your mouth just by looking at some meals?
Well, after this chapter you will definitely feel to need to jump to the closest supermarket and buy some products to start cooking.
Sit at your most comfortable pose and enjoy this delicious part of the article!
In this chapter, we are covering 5 low-carb, Atkins friendly recipes that you can make today.
Baked Cod With Feta And Tomatoes – recipe by Myrecipes
A perfect option for your lunch-break!
Ingredients for 4 servings:
Preparation: (10 min prep + 25 min cooking time)
Garlicky New York Strip Steak – recipe by Cookinglight
My all-time dinner choice! I suggest you try it.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
Preparation: (30 min prep + 10 min cooking)
This one’s for you salad lovers! Eat it either for lunch or dinner.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
Preparation: (Prep time – 10 min)
4. Delicious Beef & Cauliflower pie
Eat it in your lunch-break or for dinner.
Ingredients for 1 serving:
Preparation: (Prep Time – 10 min + 30 min cooking time)
5. Beef Egg Muffin
This last option you can eat either for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
Preparation: (Prep time – 5 min + 35 min cooking)
Bottom Line: These mouthwatering recipes can make your Atkins journey way easier.
If you are that woman who is waiting for her first child or you are already breastfeeding your baby you wonder whether the Atkins diet can benefit your lifestyle.
In this chapter you are getting the answers to all questions, you have in your mind.
Take a deep breath and keep on reading!
You shouldn’t go on a low-carb diet like the Atkins, or follow a restrictive or weight-loss diet, while you’re pregnant. This is because we can’t be sure that diets are safe for you or your baby.
Going on the Atkins diet while you’re pregnant may affect your baby’s weight, and how it develops. It may also prevent you both from getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Low-carb diets like Atkins or Keto tend to be high in fat, and may also restrict the amount of fruit, vegetables, and fiber you eat. You may be missing out on important vitamins and minerals you and your baby need, such as folic acid and calcium.
Weight loss is not recommended when pregnant or breastfeeding, yet it’s advisable to cut out sugary/refined carbohydrates for the health of yourself and your baby.
Refined carbohydrates provide little nutritional benefit to you or your baby so there’s no harm in reducing. Protein is an important nutrient whilst pregnant, so aim to have some with every meal or snack.
So, we have two main questions that need to be answered.
I think the answer to this question is clear. Most women can give birth to a healthy baby while on a low-carbohydrate diet like the Atkins or Keto, provided that they are obtaining adequate folate and other micronutrients (and that their thyroid health doesn’t suffer).
Anecdotally, several women in the blogosphere report eating a low-carbohydrate or even ketogenic diet throughout pregnancy and lactation without issues.
However, the answer to this question is still a bit uncertain. There are only a few studies that have looked at carbohydrate restriction and how this affects the health of offspring later in life, but in general, they don’t favor low-carb diets.
One study in humans found that the offspring of mothers who had consumed higher levels of protein and fat (likely resulting in lower carbohydrate intake) had significantly reduced insulin production in response to a glucose challenge 40 years later.
For mothers consuming adequate protein, there was also an average 9.3 mm Hg increase in adult blood pressure for each 100-gram decrease in maternal carbohydrate intake.
A similar study found that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet like the Atkins diet during pregnancy was associated with increased cortisol levels in the offspring 30 years later. (Unfortunately, these studies did not report micronutrient intakes.)
Animal studies have suggested that a ketogenic diet during pregnancy may reduce the size of brain regions like the hippocampus in offspring, while increasing the size of others, such as the hypothalamus.
Bottom Line: Following the Atkins diet during pregnancy may produce a baby free of birth defects, but it may also program the fetus for a world that contains few carbohydrates.
However, ALWAYS consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, especially when you are pregnant!
Are you curious about the most frequently asked questions about Atkins? In the next chapter, we are making a quick summary of everything we learned so far and answering all of your questions.
Tighten your belt! We are almost finished with this Step-By-Step Guide.
One thing left! We have to cover all the useful information that you’ve read so far.
There is also a BONUS waiting for you after the last lines. We’ve gathered a handful of FAQs about Atkins.
You have learned that the diet plan has been promoted by the physician Dr. Robert C. Atkins and that the plan consists of 4 phases. You have also understood that there’s a difference between the keto and the Atkins diet.
Some of the main benefits of following the Atkins plan are the successful treatment of ACNE, alleviating some GERD symptoms, and prevention of many diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Next, you have learned that you have to simply start the diet and be consistent. You’ve also been through a detailed list of recommended foods and not recommended ones.
Let us remind you of some of the pros and cons of the diet.
Stamina Improves versus Restrictions
Improved Focus versus The Need To Counts Net Carbs
Clear Guidelines versus Side effects like constipation and halitosis
You have learned that the main thing to have in mind when losing weight is being in a calorie deficit. Following the tips in chapter 5 and sticking to the diet plan can lead to success.
You’ve been through our fundamental shopping list and won’t bother anymore about the food choices you make on your next way to the grocery.
You’ve learned that strength training is very helpful when it comes down to weight loss, and anaerobic activities like walking and jogging aren’t enough for improving general health.
You’ve learned about 5 of the most famous people on the planet that spoke about their Atkins journey.
You have learned 5 quick & easy recipes for your Atkins diet.
In the previous chapter, you learned that a low-carb diet like Atkins may not be the option when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep in mind, to check with your doctor before making any changes to your regular diet or lifestyle.
Can I follow Atkins if I’m on medication?
Yes, but some medications may slow the pace of your weight loss. Don’t make any changes to your medication or dosage without consulting your GP. If you’re taking any of the following, please consult your GP before starting Atkins:
Diuretics (water pills)
Psychotropic drugs, including Prozac, Zoloft, lithium, etc.
Hormones and steroids, including estrogen (Premarin), prednisone and birth control pills
Arthritis drugs, especially NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)
All anti-diabetic medications, including insulin (with the exception of Glucophage)
Is ketosis dangerous?
Ketosis is a natural, biological process. When your body makes the switch to burning fat for energy instead of carbs, your liver produces ketone bodies. This process is called ketosis.
However, this should not be confused with ketoacidosis which is a serious blood condition that usually affects Type 1 diabetics and alcoholics.
What happens if I start to gain weight?
Noone’s perfect and there might be times you fall off the wagon. Don’t worry, simply return to your low carb eating habits as soon as you can.
You can either go back to Phase 1 for a week or two if you want to lose weight and get rid of any sugar or carb cravings. Alternatively, you can try dropping your daily carb intake by 5g-10g per day until you’re back where you want to be.
Can I drink alcohol?
Yes, but we don’t recommend it for Phase 1. Alcohol, even low carb drinks, can slow weight loss as alcohol is processed before other macronutrients. It can also lead to cravings for high carb foods.
From Phase 2 onwards, you can have moderate amounts of low carb alcoholic drinks. Wine and spirits, such as gin, vodka, and whiskey are all acceptable, but be sure to use diet mixers.
Can I eat as much cheese and cream as I like?
You can’t eat as much as you like, but both cream and cheese are fine in all phases of our low carb diet. The cream should be limited to 45ml per day and cheese to 115g per day.
What are the appropriate nutritional ratios for Phase 1?
Although there’s no need to count fat or protein, some people prefer to use a fitness tracker (like “MyFitnessPal”) and input their ratios for protein, fat, and carbs. During Phase 1, the optimal ratio is 25% protein, 70% fat, and 5% carbs.
Do I need to count calories?
There’s no need to count calories on Atkins, just make sure you eat enough at mealtimes to feel satisfied but not overly full. Caloric intake tends to settle once your blood sugar is stabilized and your sugar cravings are gone.
Plus meals on the Atkins diet are naturally satisfying, so you’re less likely to overeat. For a general guideline, we recommend 1500-1800 calories for women and 1800-2000 calories for men for weight loss.
How much fat should I eat per day?
There’s no need to count grams of fat on Atkins, only carbs. Although Atkins is higher in fat than other macronutrients, you can’t eat unlimited amounts of it.
Aim to add 1-2 servings of dietary fat to meals, such as 1 tbsp oil, butter or full-fat mayonnaise, ½ avocado or some olives, or have a serving of fattier meat or fish, such as chicken thigh or salmon.
How much protein should I eat per day?
There’s no need to count grams of protein on Atkins, only carbs. Atkins isn’t a high protein diet and the amount of protein we recommend is moderate. Aim for 1.6 – 2 grams of protein per kg if you are not weight lifting. If so, bring up the protein to 1.8 – 2.2 grams/kg.
How can I get rid of sugar cravings?
Once you’ve followed Atkins for a few days your body will switch to burning fat for energy. This stabilizes blood sugar levels and cravings do go away.
By eating complex carbohydrates, from foods such as vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds, and pulses, your insulin levels don’t spike several times a day as they would on a high sugar diet.
Once you have steady energy throughout the day, and a feeling of fullness from the protein and dietary fat, hunger and cravings become things of the past.
Atkins is high in protein, can this lead to kidney problems?
It’s a myth that Atkins is a ‘high’ protein diet. The amount of protein that is recommended comes well within the healthy range set by nutritional guidelines.
Currently, there is no scientific research that links high protein with kidney disease, but if you do have kidney problems, it’s best to discuss any change of diet first with your doctor.
Is the majority of the weight lost on Atkins from water weight?
Whilst it’s true that a portion of weight loss on any diet is initially from water, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t losing fat too.
Most people tend to lose some water weight in the first week on Atkins. You see, carbs make the body retain water, which is why you feel bloated when you eat them.
So when you cut carbs you do lose the water weight first. However, after the first week, your body switches to burning fat with little loss of water weight or muscle mass.
The Atkins diet is higher in fat. Can this lead to increased cholesterol levels or heart disease?
No, because the fats you are consuming are good fats. These not only help your body to switch to burning fat instead of carbs but could have other health benefits too, such as reducing inflammation, improving metabolic factors, and decreasing the risk of depression.
On a low carb diet like Atkins, you’re less likely to store body fat – even saturated fat is used by your body for energy. Recent research has also shown that the fat you eat has little bearing on cholesterol levels.
Instead, it’s the mix of other nutrients – especially refined carbs – which can increase ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
Even when you’re not limiting the amount of saturated fat you’re eating, blood triglyceride levels of saturated fats decline more on a low carb diet than on a low-fat weight-loss diet. Both LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels are major factors in heart disease.
Can I do Intermittent Fasting and also follow the Atkins Diet?
You’ve probably heard of the Intermittent Fasting diet (IF), which means cycling between periods of fasting and eating, with fasts ranging from 16 hours to 24 hours or more. You can learn more about the different types of IF here.
When you’re following a low carb diet like Atkins, you’re naturally “cleansing” your system of sugar, refined carbs, and overly processed foods, but feel free to give a 12- to 16-hour fast a try if you’d like, and see how it makes you feel.
Atkins does focus on fat, but a balance of fats that are commonly agreed to be healthy, such as monounsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado as well as naturally occurring saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.
If they wish, although not necessary, individuals can easily avoid saturated fats while on Atkins by following the plan as a vegetarian. It is important to remember that if carbohydrate levels are low, the fat intake needs to be higher.
Research from peer-reviewed independent studies has consistently demonstrated the diet’s safety and efficacy at the levels of fat intake recommended on a lower carb lifestyle.
What’s the difference between Paleo and Atkins?
Millions of people around the world have lost weight on the Atkins Diet. With a controlled carb intake, dieters burn fat and achieve successful weight loss.
While initially holding off on higher-carb foods, Atkins dieters eat more protein, olive oil, avocados, and other delicious fats that give food flavor – while also enjoying leafy greens and other vegetables.
The Paleo Diet is a diet based on what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. Within the Paleo Diet, the dieter should avoid dairy, refined sugars, processed foods, legumes, or cereal grains.
Similar to the Paleo Diet, Atkins requires dieters to omit food high in sugary carbohydrates and other foods low in nutrients. When comparing the two diets, the Atkins diet is easier and convenient because you eliminate less food.
The Atkins Diet could also be a better “starter-diet” for first-time dieters. The Atkins Diet provides an easy entry into a low-carb lifestyle, while still promoting healthy fats, vegetables, and fruit.
It is also less expensive than Paleo and you can have approved Atkins bars, shakes, and frozen meals. Atkins dieters also are given the freedom to learn their personal carb tolerance and slowly can incorporate certain carbs back into their diets.
Which is better – Keto or Atkins?
Both Atkins and keto have benefits and downsides.
The ketogenic diet is extremely restrictive and may be difficult to stick to. Limiting your protein intake to 20% of calories while maintaining a very low carb and a very high fat intake can be challenging, especially in the long term.
What’s more, some people may feel the need to monitor their ketone levels, which can be challenging and costly. Also, following a restrictive diet like the keto diet may lead to nutrient deficiencies if you don’t pay careful attention to your diet quality.
Additionally, evidence on the long-term safety or effectiveness of the keto diet is limited, so its long-term health risks are unknown.
Most people can reap several of the benefits of low-carb diets without being in ketosis. Therefore, moderate carb restriction on a low-carb diet like the Atkins diet – as opposed to a strict keto approach – is usually sufficient.
Overall, it’s most important to focus on choosing healthy foods, regardless of the ratio of protein, fats, and carbs you eat. For example, higher-carb diets rich in plant foods, such as vegetables and fruits, are known to benefit health in countless ways.
As they’re both low-carb diets, Atkins and keto are alike in some ways.
In fact, Phase 1 (Induction) of the Atkins diet is similar to the keto diet, as it restricts net carbs to 25 grams per day. In doing so, your body likely enters ketosis and starts burning fat as its main source of fuel.
What’s more, both diets may result in weight loss by decreasing the number of calories you eat. Many carbs – particularly refined carbs like sweets, chips, and sugary drinks — are high in calories and may contribute to weight gain
Both Atkins and keto require you to eliminate these high-calorie, carb-rich foods, which makes it easier to cut calories and lose weight.
What’s the difference between a Low-Carb Diet and the Atkins?
During the low carb diet, you should consume between 1 to 1.5 grams of carbs per kilogram body weight. This is a relatively larger carbs intake than during the Atkins diet, so it is up to you to decide if you want to enter ketosis or not.
There is a difference between low carb and no carb. Unlike the Keto and Atkins diet, where ketosis is essential, it is completely optional with the low carb diet.
Can an Atkins diet cause diarrhea?
There are two main treatments for those experiencing diarrhea when starting the induction phase of the Atkins diet. The first thing to do is to eliminate dairy products, such as cheese and cream, to see if things get better.
Sometimes, adding unsweetened psyllium husks may help to slow down the intestinal transit time and alleviate diarrhea. Alternatively, it could be due to higher fat intake, for which your body needs some time to adjust.
Try cutting back on your fat consumption and increase it gradually. If you experience diarrhea, stay hydrated by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
Can diabetes benefit from Atkins?
Numerous studies in a variety of settings show dramatic improvements in blood glucose control and blood lipids in type 2 diabetics consuming a low-carb diet (1–5).
When these studies included a low-fat, high-carb comparison group, the low-carb diet consistently showed superior effects on blood glucose control, medication reduction, blood lipids, and weight loss.
Weight loss is particularly important because treatment goals for patients with type 2 diabetes always emphasize weight loss if the individual is overweight, yet the drugs used to treat diabetics can increase the risk of weight gain.
Unlike medications, a low-carb dietary approach to type 2 diabetes can deliver improved blood sugar control and weight loss.
Will Atkins Diet lower my blood pressure?
High blood pressure is a serious health problem, one that you need to get under control as quickly as possible.
If your blood pressure is in the high normal to Stage 1 hypertension range (131 to 159 over 85 to 99), weight loss and some other important lifestyle changes may well be enough to bring it down to safer levels.
If your blood pressure is higher than that, you may need antihypertensive medication – but weight loss and lifestyle improvements can definitely still help. The Atkins diet can help you with all these things.
Will the Atkins diet lower my cholesterol?
Despite all the research to the contrary, the Atkins low carb diet can be an effective solution to lowering cholesterol.
Five hundred years ago, individuals believed the opposite as Atkins allows dieters to consume saturated fats. This mindset belongs to a generation that grew up with the message that eating eggs, meat, and shellfish raise your cholesterol. People were convinced that margarine is a better dietary choice than butter.
Consuming a diet made up of nutrient-dense, whole foods, and maintaining a physically active lifestyle are the best things you can do to keep cholesterol levels in check.
In the context of a low-carbohydrate program, a number of recent studies conducted on people doing Atkins have demonstrated that a diet containing saturated fat can have positive effects on cholesterol profiles.
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