Atkins Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

latest-akins-dietDr. Robert Atkins first wrote about the Atkins diet in the 1981, in his book The New Diet Revolution.

Over the last 2 decades, the Atkins diet plan has become one of the most popular diet plans – with Time Magazine naming it “The most popular diet program”.

In response to the negative press some aspects of the Atkins program received, the people at Atkins have revamped their program in 2010 so that it lined up with a healthier way of eatingย called ย The New Atkins for a New You. At the end of 2013 Atkins revamped their diet once again with their new book, The New Atkins Made Easy.

Original Atkins Diet (1981)

atkins-diet

Atkins has four phases – all with a carefully controlled level of carbohydrate intake.

Phase 1

The restrictive induction phases lasts for a minimum of two weeks and calls for a maximum of 20 grams of carbohydrate intake (no starchy vegetables, fruits, grains, bread).

Weight loss on the Atkins diet is based on the process of Ketosis:

“First, the main source of energy for our bodies is carbohydrates. When we have fewer carbs in our body, it must look elsewhere for another source of energy. Next in line is stored body fat. So reducing carbs forces the body to burn fat. This process is called Ketosis. Secondly, carbs stimulate the creation of insulin. Insulin is what converts excess carbs to fat. So when you have less carbs you have less insulin and therefore create less new fat.”

Phase 2

The Ongoing Weight Loss phase involves adding more fibrous vegetables (carbohydrates) until the “Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing” is reached. The small increases in carbohydrates are carefully managed on a week-by-week basis.

Phase 3 and 4

These phases are maintenance phases – where carbohydrate intake can be increased – but only until the point that weight is maintained (Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance). Any food that may lead to weight gain should be avoided.

Atkins recommends choosing unrefined or unprocessed carbohydrates.

Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

The New Atkins For a New You (2010)

The New Atkins For a New You is designed to reflect a greater emphasis on healthy, nutritionally dense foods along with portion control. Atkins has recently strengthened their online diet program and is in the process of making their services international.

The New Atkins for a New You differs from the original in the following ways:

  • More of an emphasis on wholesome foods.
  • Stresses the importance of healthy fats.
  • More focused on nutrition from fresh vegetables, lean protein, fruits, and whole grains.
  • More flexible to appeal to people with busy lifestyles.
  • More emphasis on portion and Calorie control.
  • Special attention given to those who are diabetic as well as vegetarians.
  • More emphasis on being active and exercise.
Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

New Atkins Made Easy (2013)

new-atkins-made-easyOne of the problems with the older versions of the Atkins Diet was all the guess work involved in following the plan. The New Atkins Made Easy seeks to remove all of the guess work.

It gives dieters step by step instructions on exactly how to follow the diet in the easiest way possible, including how and when to reintroduce carbs, which has often been a difficulty with previous versions.

Also Included in The New Atkins Made Easy in the following features:

  • Shopping lists including exactly which foods to buy for each phase.
  • New and improved recipes, plus quick snack ideas and quick meal options.
  • Diet tracking, meal planning, and carb counting apps to remove the guess work.
  • Backed by now decades of research regarding low carb diets and how to make Atkins the most effective.
Click here to purchase this diet for a discounted price.

New Atkins Made Easy was written by Atkins Vice President of Nutrition & Education, Colette Heimowitz.

Pros

  • Many have experienced success following the Atkins Plan.
  • Quick results can be experienced.
  • Many restaurants have adopted low-carb options on their menus.
  • The New Atkins has been adapted to a broader range of dieters with special dietary considerations.
  • Many Atkins approved snacks are available in the grocery store.

Cons

  • One of the most controversial issues with Atkins is that it is high-fat diet. Most government health agencies recommend no more than 30% fat in our diet – yet with Atkins you can easily consume more fat than this. However, the new Atkins has lined up with this percentage and recommends healthy fats.
  • One must question how healthy the process of Ketosis is. In the short term it may have the desired effect – but in the long term? Some suggest that certain organs may be overworked to sustain the process of Ketosis.
  • Promotion of their own line of processed meals and snacks.

Low Carb Diets Do Work

Atkins has been very successful for many people and has resulted in not only significant weight loss – but also health improvement.

Many people do find the diet demanding at first and need to make significant behavior modification to get the best out of Atkins.

If you are thinking of beginning this diet, we strongly encourage you to research and read as much as possible before beginning the diet and consult with your health professional.

See Also:

The official Atkin’s website

Check here for healthy high protein recipes.

    References:

  • Astrup, A., Larsen, T. M., & Harper, A. (2004). Atkins and other low-carbohydrate diets: hoax or an effective tool for weight loss?. The Lancet, 364(9437), 897-899. link
  • Beisswenger, B. G., Delucia, E. M., Lapoint, N., Sanford, R. J., & Beisswenger, P. J. (2005). Ketosis leads to increased methylglyoxal production on the Atkins diet. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1043(1), 201-210. link
  • Stephenson, J. (2003). Low-carb, low-fat diet gurus face off. JAMA, 289(14), 1767-1773. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: December 10, 2014. Disclaimer
  • Jess

    Atkins is too difficult to follow.

  • baber

    atkins is good but you need a specific taste for certain foods, i personally follow the fruit and water diet, i have lost 8 pounds in 9 days, and that is no lie.

  • Healthy Eater

    I think that if we would just eat organic and all natural foods, not only will we lose weight, we will be healthy…… you can lose weight and still not be healthy. I did Atkins for 9 days and lost 6 pounds but I felt bad everyday. I had headaches, nausa, and constipation the whole time. It was easy to follow but it wasnt worth it for me. Fruits and veggies along with all natural products (only) are found at your grocery store. A little exercise helps too. Its not that expensive to eat what is healthy, its more expensive to feel bad and be on medicine.

  • z harris

    the atkins diet worked for me and made me extremely skinny. now i seem to think i am much cooler than i actually am.

  • john jean

    this diet is a stupid diet and it does’nt work and it suchs and if will never use it agin

  • aktins believer

    Aktins worked for me twice, but when I met my goal weight, I stopped everything, diet/exercise. First time, started at 180, I regained the weight, -30 lbs +10, 2nd time -30 lbs +20. I believe it works but it is also my belief at 43, it is about a life style change of food portions, calories, and exercise. Good Luck!

  • nick kinder

    this is a great diet . im not a fat lard anymore

  • Anonymous

    you spelt carbohydrates wrong in phase 1

  • jo

    this diet worked for my mum she lost 4 dress sizes in 3 months and she is much happier now. she did suffer with a few side effects though ie head aches bad breath ect but i suppose if there is no pain then there is no gain

  • Total Wellness

    The Atkins diet is one of the best and healthiest of all the low carb diets. Not only does weight just roll off of you.. but blood lipid/cholesterol will nose dive. I was a skeptic but after gaining 40 pounds in college and staying overweight half way through med school, i did the research, realized all the health benefits to maintaining a low grain/carb diet and the transformation began. I lost 50 pounds last year and have kept it off for over a year. Its easy if you can cook your own meals and avoid processed foods.

  • Kerry

    Total Wellness, I can assure you that this diet is NOT the healthiest of all the low carb diets. I think you need to work on your research skills a little more before you make claims like that. There are plenty of low carb diets that dont cut out essential food groups as the Atkins diet does. Wasn’t doctor Atkins himself obese when he died of heart problems? The diet didnt do his blood lipid/cholesterol, or his waist line much good did it? ๐Ÿ˜€

  • KC

    It worked for me, but i didn’t have the willpower to do that all again when i gained all the weight back, plus more.

  • lupe

    how can’t I find out if THIs diet works.

  • Jessie

    Dr Atkins died of head injuries from a fall Kerry.

  • Dan

    This diet worked well for me, but is difficult to maintain as a lifestyle. I have gone up and down several times using the Atkins diet. The effectiveness of the diet lessens each time I have gone on it. Kerry … you are the one who needs to do your research … Dr. Atkins died of a head injury and helped many diabetics with his diet. It has a great premise, just needs to be done with moderation … just like anything.

  • masanori yoshida

    What is the third word in the phrase “ruler dog garage seizure”?:

  • Ski

    While I was serving in the military, many of us would go atkins. We never had any problems and gained lots of snergy. It is my opinion that a person should exercise during the diet. If you don’t, you could feel depressed because of all the extra oils that could be in your body, depending on which meets you intake.

  • momof4

    I have used the atkins diet for years to get rid of baby weight after childbirth. This diet if followed properly is very effective. If you already have no will power don’t even bother you have to really be dedicated! I have been able to go back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 115-120lbs. after each baby and maintain that weight for 5 years now…..

  • the man

    i think the diet works but is so hard to stay on but i lost weight.

  • nikki

    I almost died when I was on this diet and I have the BP readings to prove it. The American Heart Association does NOT recommend this diet due to the high fat and protein content.

  • stella

    I found the diet works great in the summer – salads are easy to prepare and appreciated in warm weather, and you will drink more water. I did this diet last year and lost almost 2 stone. BUT, as soon as I stopped, or even cheated for one day, I gained (up to 7lb in a day) which did come off immediately when I went back to it. Through the winter, the diet didn’t work at all (well, I didn’t lose weight), and I had awful achy muscles in my legs and no energy. Totally different to the summer.

    It could be psychological, I guess.

    I’m now on weight watchers, but I’m thinking about going back to atkin’s – it gets rid of a bloated tummy straight away, for one thing.

  • Venus

    I did this diet about 7 years ago. I only lasted two weeks and lost an amazing 10lbs. I didn’t go hungry, BUT I did feel sick, light headed and grumpy! I was craving toast and doughnuts and ate 5 in one go. The diet works but it makes you so miserable, so it depends on what you’d rather be, happy or thin?

  • jaymie

    i hate that diet i put on 26kilos its sucks dont go on it

  • Meghan

    i went on this diet and lost 14 punds in a little less then a month and it was amazing i kept the weight off because i didnt want to put it back on it u immediatly start eating millions of carbs a day ur going to gain the weight back just like any other diet and if you are extremely obese then u need to slowly undergo this diet because obese people consume so many carbs a day their body may shut down with out them so take it slow. Teh atkins diet is great u just need willpower and motivation

  • SeaGreg

    This diet works. Read what it instructs you to do “to the nth-degree” & if you do not stray you will drop the weight. I’ve used it successfully for better than 7 years now and maintained my weight very well (lost about 35 lbs & kept it off). My blood work continues to amaze my doc who wanted me on bp & cholestrol meds 7 yrs ago but I went on this diet instead. By simply staying the heck away from simple (& bad) carbs like sodas, candy, & pasteries & with modest exercise, & maintaining a healthy diet with lots of fiber almost anyone can maintain the weight loss after you’ve lost it on this diet. Everyone in my family has experienced cardiovascular & sugar issues in their 40’s. I’m in my mid-50’s & still no sign of trouble. I place a lot of credit with the eating habits I got from the Atkins program in 2001. I works for me!

  • denise

    I have used this diet very succesfully. I lost 21kg in 7 weeks and kept it off for 16 years. Did exercise tho. I go on the diet every now and again 2 control my weight. It takes more dedication as u get older. I think it works well 4 me.

  • Lori

    I have used the Atkin’s diet now for 4 years. I lost 74 pounds and four dress sizes in 8 months. I agree with all of you that you have to stay away from fast foods and do your own prep and cooking. I also have had nothing but skeptical doctors tell me that I’m going to kill myself yet all of the tests they run come out fantastic. Most of the doctors shake their heads and say they don’t understand this. I have battled my weight since childhood and Atkins is the first diet I have ever been able to use successfully for the long term. This diet is not for everyone but it works for me and obviously there are many other people it works for too! The person who commented on Dr Atkin’s dying of heart problems because of his weight needs to understand just how difficult a weight problem can be and I take pity that Dr Atkins couldn’t successfully use his own plan to conquer his battle with weight. But I am grateful that his plan works for me when nothing else has ever worked so well! Thank You Dr Atkins.

  • King_a

    I am from the country where we eat bread and potatos every day. I start gaining weight after I got married. I wanted to show my husband how good I can cook .After a year he was send to Iraq and I wanted to look great when he come back. Time go by so fast and 10 months were behind us .So I had to use my last 2 months to do something with my 60 over pounds. Did research and I found Atkins Diet. First week I was angry all the time…I missed my bread and fried potatos ๐Ÿ™ but reward was coming quickly at 5-6 pounds loss a week. When my honey come back and he didn’t recognize me (he walked right beside me…looking for me). I had to jump on him so he can see that this good looking girl it’s me! Thank you Atkins Diet!

  • Steve Parker, M.D.

    The Atkins diet is increasingly respected in the medical community. Concerns about the adverse effects of ketosis years ago were over-blown. Wider acceptance in the medical/nutritional community is hampered by the relatively high intake of saturated fats on the Atkins program. Many think this may contribute to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), and eventually heart attacks and strokes. Nevertheless, I’ve seen the diet work in many people. And it often helps control glucose levels in overweight type 2 diabetics.

    -Steve

  • Jessica Lucy

    I actually never try the Atkins diet but by hearing all this great stop it motivate me to try it out becuse its sound like a suitable diet to take.

  • edmund

    is this atkins stuff real, i’m on it now. i started 6days ago but i’m wondering if i’m not the victim of incredibly good marketing. maybe i’m just being paranoid

  • paramedic

    I lost a lot of weight w/ this diet and kept it off for a few years, but due to stress & a few other issues, I gained a good part of it back. My fault for not eating healthy. I went back on it, and lost 30 pounds & if I don’t go back to stress eating junk food, I’ll keep it off. The first week takes extreme dedication. Not only do I feel better but my cholesterol has dropped tremendously.

  • Gerald Spencer

    Atkins is a fine diet, when you factor calories against carbohydrates you will find yourself doing what you are supposed to do in a diet. Let’s face it, we gain weight when we overeat in regard to our exercise or lack thereof. We can only blame ourselves and hope we can better handle our problems; we are human, people, not a problem with acting like it.
    Really, count calories or count carbohydrates, learn what your safe level is and try not to go over that; just don’t over do the sugar (whatever the source).

  • worked for me!

    Its a fantastic diet if you get yourself to commit. I was diagnosed with PCOS and as a side effect, I started gaining weight like crazy. regular diets didn’t work well for me (seemed like maintaining the gained weight rather than losing it!).. I saw a doctor and he suggested I give it a try and I did. I’ve lost 60lbs in a little over two months (about 10 weeks). I followed the book and used the suggested amount of everything (yes, the fat is controlled and people seem to always miss this point!) .. the downside is that you have to fit it in your lifestyle otherwise you’d gain the weight back.. its not a diet, its a lifestyle change.

  • Teresa

    I am on the 9th day of my diet and have lost 5lb, but running out of ideas on food. [pease email me to give me ideas teresaboxell@yahoo.co.uk

  • ugh.

    the only reason you would put on weight, is if you tried the diet, stopped and then you get hungry fast and you stuff your face.

  • Ali

    Have used Atkins and seen a lot of success. Particularly for those of us who consider ourselves carnivores. If I haven’t eaten meat in a meal, I feel I haven’t eaten at all. And I’ll graze around and graze around until I get some. Counterproductive really. If you read “Eat Right for your Blood Type” apparently O-Positives are the only ones who really should eat any red meat… lucky for me… I’m O-pos. There is also all sorts of research about how quickly your body breaks down your food–if you are a fast burner (like me) fruits and carbs break down so fast, that you are VERY hungry again very shortly–fats and meats slow us down a bit. So for us, Atkins is often less difficult to follow.

    To address a few concerns that people above have mentioned:

    constipation: add more fibrous vegetables, or a fibre supplement in the first few weeks. If you feel you want to add a carb… try All Bran Buds (not the regular all-bran) the buds taste better and provide about 50% of a day’s requirement of fibre.

    achy/crampy legs: your not getting enough calcium, magnesium and potassium. Apparently this is very common in Phase One, especially if (like me) you don’t like a wide variety of vegetables (like broccoli) and so are not getting enough of these minerals. As soon as I added some extra in, problem went right away.

    That said…EVERYTHING IN MODERATION FOLKS!!! Take that in the many many ways it is meant. Moderate food groups, moderate exercise and moderate your bad self talk!!!

  • Allyson

    I have to do a recearch paper on this and i think its easy to do.looking at all the other comments it looks easy on that too. you should try it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Researcher

    Do not just go on Atkins thinking it’s a “quick fix” about eating meat all the time. That is *not* what this diet is. I did months of research before going on Atkins, consulted with doctors and people who had successes and failures on the diet, **and you have to READ THE BOOK**. This isn’t a fad diet to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks (although you can). It’s about changing the way you eat for a lifetime. Everyone focuses on the first 2 weeks of Induction, but the plan is far, far more complex. Even if you decide Atkins is not right for you, let me tell you there isn’t a doctor alive who will say that cutting out fast food, candy, soda and refined sugars is bad for you, and that’s 80% of this diet anyway.

    Personally I hate dieting, but Atkins works. 2 years on it, my blood pressure is perfect, my cholesterol is fine, and I’m down 50 pounds and I keep dropping a little each month. I still treat myself to cake & ice cream on special occasions, and even allow myself a sandwich or pasta on rare occasions. Yes, you have to give up *some* foods, for a short period of time, but you get to reincorporate many/most of them back into your life as time moves forward.

    Atkins can also help women who suffer from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). I would not recommend the diet while pregnant. Also, for a month or so, it can play havoc with your cycle. It’s fine and will pass but for some women (my girlfriend included) it was a turn off. She does Weight Watchers instead and has great success.

    Finally, to Kerry above who can’t do research: The 6-foot tall Dr Atkins slipped and hit his head, causing massive trauma. When admitted into the hospital he weighed 195 pounds. He was 258 at the time of his death due to his internal organs shutting down and fluid retention while in the hospital. He was overweight at the time of his death certainly, but not because of his diet – because he was DYING. Up until that point, he was active, healthy, and an avid tennis player.

  • Julia

    Fantastic eating plan FOR LIFE

  • Leila

    I did try atkins for 2 months and the results were tremendous. I lost a whopping 21 lbs in 2 weeks. I felt weak and hungry but it payed off seeing that i can wear almost anything and it looked good! The curves were all in the right places. Its kinda hard to STICK TO IT but im going to try my best to do Atkins again before december.

  • cookie!!

    i love tootsie rolls… and this diet made me hate them. i am now skinnyer than i ever was… thanks!

  • Denyse from Australia

    On day 7 of Atkins and its the first time in 8 years that I have managed to lose any weight. i had breast cancer 9 years ago and after chemo and radio and tamoxifen I had put on 7 kilos which I just couldnt lose – tried weight watchers and a couple of others. Bought the Atkins book on ebay and have lost 4 kilos already. I dont feel hungry and I like the idea of working out just how much carb you need to maintain your weight and sticking to it – very scientific and practical. So far so good!!!

  • lauren

    i love this i came in huge[fat] and came out ver little i lost 100 pounds

  • sam

    im trying this diet and i defiantly feel no hunger im calorie counting aswell with the aktins high protien low carb idea and i can say no hunger pangs and no mood swings threw being so hungrey it defiantly numbs your appetite i also find im not so bloated all the time and feel lighter from water retention the aktins shakes r nice but exsepensive good short time havent weighed myself yet but defiantly loseing weight my clothes r looser and no hunger on a low calorie low carb high protien diet give it a try its easy

  • mike

    i lost 40 lbs in 2 months it was easy to follow and really showed

  • bee

    This diet definitely works, but if you love bread, rice, potatoes, and sweets like me, then it will be a little difficult

  • if i can do it anyone can.

    i have only been on it for 6 days but i have already lost 3.2kg (7 lbs 0.8 oz). all you need to do is stick to it. dont cheat and it will drop off of you. get to the weight you want to be at then maintaine it. and then treat yourself. but just dont go mad. cause it will go back on.but just keep jummping on the scales to check your weight after your treat and if you have gone up a few lbs. then do phase one again till its off, then maintain again.

  • teen queen

    bein 16 and big, my motivation was obvious! boys! i lost abt 15 kilo’s in 3 months and by prom, a year later, i was below my goal weight and feelin great! its been two years since then, and the weight is still off. make carbs ur enemy, but dnt worry to indulge every nw n then. i dnt!

  • claud

    now now now… trust me ppl, this diet works wonders. lost 15kg in 3 months!!!!! beats 7 day diet, 3 day diet AND liquid. just give it a shot. least u dnt have to starve!

  • Laura

    Atkins is the best diet i have ever tried. I use it here and there when i gain weight throughout the winter months. Everytime, i loose 10 pounds in 2 weeks! there is such a huge controversy over wether or not this diet is healthy.I do not see what is unhealthy about it. I know many nurses and doctors who have lost weight and improved thier health on Atkins. Once you start into induction you don’t crave all the sugar anymore. I think the biggest problem with this diet is the fact that people don’t follow it accurately…sure they say they do, but lets be real here. I have friends who decided to do induction for 3 months at a time. NOT GOOD!! Sure you loose weight, but you are compromising your health at that point… It certainly is not going to kill someone to stop eating Wheat( which was not something we ate years ago anyway) and fruit for 2 weeks. After that you add it back slowly. I also believe that high protien diets work for certain people and not others. I would like to suggest if it didn’t work for you, try Jillian Michaels book..it talks about 3 different types of metabolisms.Mine personally is a higher protien diet. I also eat nuts during induction and cream for my coffee and still burn fat quickly.Alot of people do experience depression on the diet, that is because carbohydrates produce serotonin in the brain.This is the chemical responsible for happy feelings. Women typically experience the depression more than men due to the fact women have less serotonin already.I personally didn’t experience that. I gain more energy! This diet is truly amazing!! The first time i used it was after my 2nd son was born and i lost 40 pounds in 3 months and had more energy then i knew what to do with!I am also huge on exercise to!And if you lift weights while on this diet you see fast results!

  • maaza

    I use to work at the airport and 2 of my friends did the atkin’s diet and lost a lot of weight.For any one who needs proof i can testify to the fact.if you can stick to the diet you will loose the weight.

  • BLAH

    i like carbs too much to follow this diet.

  • Ginger

    I have personally tried the atkins diet and it does make you lose weight. Just remember don’t cheat and you will see results. I have been on the induction diet and lost 18 pounds (yay)

  • jonathon

    I would love to do this diet but i have no idea how to do it. I heard the first 2 weeks cut all your carbs out and then after that slowly add them back in
    If i am wrong please say something back to me

  • Tommie

    I have done Atkins for 4 years now…After having TWINS, I needed a way to loose weight, yet still eat!! I was tired of counting calories and weighing my portions….Atkins worked for me!! If you are in the same boat…wanting to loose and still enjoy food, this is the diet for you. I don’t refer to it as a diet anymore…its a way of life!!! For more support, check out lowcarbfriends.com…lots of ideas…recipes…and support for most any low carb diet plan!!! Good luck for a healthier and skinnier you!!!

  • janet

    This diet does work- i lost 60 lbs in 5months- I even cheated on Saturdays- But remember if you get off track don’t give up just go back on it

  • john clemintine

    i hate this diet. its horrible, i gaind 20 pounds on this diet. atkins was an idiot no one try this diet.

  • Nick

    The keto diet is a 1:1 calorie ratio of protein and fats. No cheating for 14 days, then a cheat meal once per week of at least 200g carbs. When doing cardio bpm should be between 120-130. Foods should consist of natty PB, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, green veggies (green beans, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, celery), macadamia nut oil, tuna, chicken, whey protein isolate, eggs, metamucil, black coffee, salmon.

    If plateauing occurs, adjust the fats down

    Training should not vary from offseason training and cardio should be done upon waking and/or PWO.

  • Dana

    I can’t believe people are still ignorant of how to follow this eating plan when they know darned well there is a book that tells you how to do it–or they would know, if they just used Google. Read the book!

  • Dana

    OK, the criticisms. Do some research into the role of dietary fat in the body. Don’t just listen to the calorie-count idiots going on about the nine calories a gram–they act like we only burn fat for fuel and use it for nothing else. Also, the cholesterol theory is based on feeding cholesterol to rabbits, which are herbivorous animals. If you dig deep you’ll find that the “science” against high-fat eating and the consumption of cholesterol is nothing but a house of cards. Atkins knocked it down and the establishment will never forgive him. But I notice they’re prescribing low-carb for pre-diabetic and diabetic people now. Hm. Maybe it would make more sense to avoid carb overload BEFORE we go diabetic?

    I ran into a site where this “dietician” was claiming that you can’t feel full on Atkins-style eating because you “need fiber” to feel full. Huh. Odd. I get full faster when I eat fat. I stay full for longer, too. Meanwhile, if I eat fiber without fat, I might sort of feel OK immediately but I get hungry again in a hurry. And if you eat too much fiber you’ll block your intestines. If I have any criticism of Atkins at all it’s that the good doctor thought people had to eat lots of fiber to stay regular, but if you eat enough fat, that works too, not to be too crass about it.

    Ketosis: If you’re not eating a lot of carb you’ll go into ketosis by definition. It’s what happens when your body’s using fat for fuel, either your own or the stuff you eat. Perfectly normal. Drink enough water and you should be OK. If you think it’s detrimental to “organs” then tell us what those “organs” are. There is no evidence that ketosis damages anything if you drink enough water and don’t have terminal kidney disease. Even when a diabetic is in ketoacidosis, he’s in that state because he has high blood glucose and can’t respond to it, so his body thinks it’s starving and burns fat instead. The ketones are the symptom, not the cause.

  • judy tee

    I LOVE this diet — the weight comes off quickly – and stays off as long as you don’t go wild. I was on this about 5-1/2 years ago and lost 45 pounds (from 175 to 130) – tried to stay in the induction phase as much as I could. I have regained 30 pounds since then as I didn’t follow it at all. I deserved every one of them pounds. I am back on and just finished week one. My starting weight last week was nearing 160 and I am down over 5 pounds in the first week. I only have 20 more pounds to go! I have recommended this diet to anyone I know that is trying to lose weight. It has worked for everyone — they key is staying with it. You get use to eating like this so it gets better as time goes – (although I do miss my sweets) but nothing tastes as good as thin feels. I know that the loss slows down considerably after the first several weeks but will try different options when that happens. I already see the fat melting away!

  • Lindsay Williams

    Some of you who choose to follow this diet need to see a dietitian to learn more about what you’re doing to your body. As a registered dietitian (RD), I can tell you that low carbohydrate diets, while they may induce quick weight loss, are extremely dangerous for your body to remain on for extended periods of time. It worries me very much that some individuals stick with diets like this for years. Our bodies are built to require carbohydrates, especially for brain functioning. Without them, your body breaks down protein stores (muscle) to provide energy for the brain. This results in ketosis (which is mentioned in the article above). Ketosis is basically a mechanism your body puts to use during bouts of starvation, and is severely damaging to your heart and other vital organs. I wish individuals wanting to lose weight would just see an RD to get the appropriate recommendations. Food and nutrition may not seem that important, but what you eat has an enormous impact on how well your body functions… and how long you live.

  • Kim

    I love this diet! I am trying to lose 50 pounds and I have tried EVERY diet there is to try. I’m on my 3rd week an have already lost 16 pounds!!!!

  • tyna

    this is the best diet for those with candida. it is addressed in his book. when i followed it to a “t” not only did i lose 30 pd in a month, my candida and other health problems deminish. while on it i took probotics instead of yogert which is full of sugar.

  • Catt of the Garage

    I have to speak up here. Somebody above was speaking as if “dietitian” was a made-up term. Dietitians are qualified professionals who train for years to get their title and are properly accredited and registered. “Nutritionist”, on the other hand, is a made-up term. it means nothing, and most ‘nutritionists’ are self-publicising quacks with no real qualifications. I am sorry to put it so strongly but it is true. If you want the truth about nutritional science, don’t read books by ‘nutritionists’, speak to a dietitian, like Lindsay Williams above. Everyone with an interest in dieting, weight loss or health NEEDS to know this.

  • Iulia

    I am sorry, but did anyone tried just to practice a sport?
    I read these words about how you can loose weight without doing anything, and it is so ridiculous! I don’t know why you should follow a diet when you can practice at least 20 minutes every day or an hour three times a week. and then you can eat everything you like and want. I think that this obsession for diets comes from the fact that all those people are just lazy, and don’t want to work at all. Nothing is coming easy, but you are not torturing yourself with diets,you don’t feel guilty about every product that according to this diet is not permited. Plus you loose weight it’s true, but don’t have muscles at all. You are just a scheleton covered with skin. I don’t think that this is the image that a woman wants. Just practice and eat not more food than the energie you consume.It’s better and for your body, and for your brain, and for your self-esteeme.

  • Maggie

    I have used this diet before and lost alot of weight (about thirty pounds in four-five months) on it. But after Christmas the year I started, I was “bad” and wasn’t on it and regained everything. I started Jenny Craig and had zero success on it. I’m restarting Atkins with my father. Maybe I’ll post my results. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck all!

  • pjnoir

    Outstanding- The best and healthiest diet. Carbs from GRAINS are the last food you want to consume. Read Gary Taubes- Fat is not the enemy- it is the carbs (and has been proven- fat never was shown to be the cause of health problems, hard to believe but true). If you like Carbs too much- YOU have a major health problem arising in your life- SOON.

  • pjnoir

    Catt of the Garage- dietitians today are clueless to the real facts about Carbs and Fat (read Good calorie Bad calorie by Taubes). Why? Because they would never have been allowed to graduate if they didn’t comply to the low fat high carb practices thats have been set since the 70’s and has been the cause of obesity and heart disease. Just review the stats since we went Low fat- A total shame. Pity.

  • elvis

    folks do not try this diet unless your the “no pain, no gain type”
    Burning fat so easy I feel stupid talking about it. Why don’t you split the day in 2 sections, half the day burn fat & the other half maintain weight. How you ask ? eat to burn fat from 7pm to noon the next day by eating veggies, protein, fats only then from noon to 4pm feast on carbs, protein, fats, sweets or what ever you like. Anytime we reduce starches/sugars we burn fat, anytime we eat starches/sugars we store fat so if we exercise first thing in the morning like weight train then jog then we burn 10% more calories for 6 hours. If we split the day as suggested, the body will not feel restricted & will be glad to let fat go but if we diet more then 7 days at a time then our metabolism, hormones start to decrease. By eating 300 carbs between noon & 4pm we provide the body with the energy it needs to not just fuel the brain times when we reduce carbs in the day but we also restore the body energy supply & allow the hormones to stay balance needed to burn fat. Good luck!!!

  • ali

    I went from 180 to 125 pounds ,its works ,works works ,but do not cheat its very hard to go back on it ,for 6 monts i just cheat and I gain 15 pounds back ,if u salty food lover ,its ur diet

  • jp

    Why can’t people just try self control? This diet may reduce weight but that extra fat ends up in your arteries, which causes significant damage to the cardiovascular system.

  • laurie

    I just have to ad for all the RD’s out there, that Atkins is not unhealthy if you follow the plan!! You do not give up carbs forever, you start out with lower carbs and gradually work in more healthy carbs. Many people need the lower carbs at the beginning of the program to get over their cravings and change their eating habits. There is nothing unhealthy about a diet that recommends getting your carbs from fruits and vegetable and nuts, instead of rice and bread. It is how we were meant to eat! I have lost weight (30 lbs) and regained energy following his program and have no trouble maintaining. I eat a healthy amount of carbs instead of gorging on them and feel good. My husband was able to significantly lower his A1C levels and drop a diabetic medication following the plan. I also want to point out that you do not need to eat bacon and high fat meat on this diet. You can easily keep your saturated fat levels down by eating lean meat and this CAN be a heart healthy diet!

  • e5z

    Salad = Atkins. Twinkies = not Atkins. Oh no, my arteries are doomed!

    Seriously, the people who perpetuate the rumors of how dangerous Atkins is haven’t even read the “studies” they’re citing, let alone the book. It would be embarrassing if they did.

    OMG, the fresh veggies are choking me! GARGGGGHHHHHH–

  • Sarah

    When i was 15 i was 280 pounds i went on atikins for about a year and a half (cheating occasionally) and lost 110 pounds…it works! (just dont start eating bad food once you loose the weight (i have since gained 60 of it back)

  • wendy

    I just finished Atkins induction. I have lost 8 pounds so far and enough inches that I have gone down a dress size already. I have also gained tons of energy. I feel great!

    I also can’t get over the veggies I was eating on induction. It’s more than meat, cheese and more meat. I’m finding it’s actually a very healthy way to eat.

    I have been overweight all my life and have tried practically everything. Lose and gain and lose and gain again. I know this is something I can do the rest of my life. And added bonus is it’s the best candida diet, which I have unfortunately. It’s eliminated most of my symptoms.

    I started the diet by finding info on the internet and reading the low carb message boards, etc. But reading the book really answered my questions and is helping me to keep doing it right.

  • Teri

    I’ve lost 79lbs since January. My triglycerides have gone wayyyy down and my cholesterol, which was sky high NOT eating Low Carb, is steadily going down, despite my refusal to take the cholesterol lowering drugs my dr. wants to put me on. Everyone should read the book before they go all expert on the diet. It works and I never feel deprived.

  • morimoto

    Atkins works as most can attribute. However, it will require a lifestyle change of lower carbs for the rest of your life or you WILL gain weight back. Some people are lucky and have metabolisms that can burn excess carbs, even without exercise. If you are on Atkins, you are likely not that person. I lost 110 lbs on Atkins, then gained it all back +60. I am back on Atkins again but this time I have accepted this is no longer a diet. This is a permanent lifestyle choice.

  • Emilee

    Atkins diet is great if you want to lose weight quickly, but the weight loss is usually temporary. I absolutely despise the Atkins diet. Foods that are “okay” are high fat red meats, full fat cheese, anything creamy… but apples and high fiber bread?… you can forget about it. Where is the reasoning in that? It was very hard for me to sustain energy on this diet, I had intense mood swings, and it left me feeling extremely gross. It also made me afraid of carbohydrates for a very long time, and THEY ARE NOT THE ENEMY (just eat complex carbs in the morning with protein and taper off throughout the day, and try to eat little to no refined sugar). Overall, I think the Atkins Diet is one of the worst for you… if you are passionate about cutting down on carbohydrates, please do the South Beach Diet. It is so much more reasonable and less taxing on the body. I mean, didn’t Dr. Atkins himself die from a heart attack or something? If that doesn’t say it all….

  • Frank H

    Emilee – If you don’t like the Atkins diet, thats fine but I want to clear up a myth. Dr. Atkins died when he slipped on a patch of ice and hit the back of his head, he DID NOT die of a heart attack! That is a myth spread by those that hated him AND his diet.

  • Marshall

    Wanna lose 95 pounds like me on a Ketogenic (Atkins) diet? Then read please. This is a FOOL PROOF LIFE SAVER. It saved mine.

    This diet does two things. The most important thing that happens on the ketogenic diet is the DESTRUCTION of hunger and the ability to reduce your calories below your RMR (resting metabolic rate) so you lose weight, all without uncontrollable hunger. It’s ALL ABOUT hunger control! You simply cannot be hungry with ketones floating around in your blood stream.

    Every time I revisit the Atkins diet, I lose 40 to 90 pounds. And I’ve done the Ketogenic diet 5 times, every one being a resounding, incredibly easy success. Every time I go off the Atkins system, I gain it back and then some. That is because, when my insulin starts to re-activate again, so does my out of control, insane hunger. This is a bad thing. A quick path to a heart attack. However…. Be that as it may, Let me tell you another aspect that is not really talked about in these forums as far as I can tell.

    TESTING
    First off, you need to get TESTED for cholesterol and, you need a fasting GTTl readout. Mine was bad (cholesterol) when I started, and bad when I was on the Atkins. However, I cured my diabetes COMPLETELY on this diet. It’s just a fact of life for me, so don’t expect good results with cholesterol levels.

    Secondly, you need to buy and use Ketone testing strips. If your strips turn purple, you’re in ketosis and probably losing weight, and, if you’re keeping your calories down below your Resting Metabolic Rate, which will be effortless even on 1700 cals, you’ll lose weight. Go to your GP and get an RMR test also. They all have that machine now. They stick a breathing tube in your mouth and you breathe into the tube for 10 minutes, and you get a digital readout. of your RMR.

    Weighing (CAREFULLY and OFTEN).

    Buy yourself TWO digital scales and a calculator. Once for your body weight that is 1/10 pound accurate, and another, for your food. You need a gram scale that is repeatably accurate. I’ve had excellent success with the Myweigh line of scales. I’ve also had perfect accuracy with Salter digital scales. I use the Vision series of scales.

    Finally, pick a number of calories you want to consume for the day and divide by 4. Then space out your meals 4 hours apart. Get the NUTRITION LABEL readout of the food your eating (meat, fish, poultry, a few eggs) and SALAD. Get the nutrition label fraction, Grams over Cals, and set up a missing variable in your “desired grams” based on the number of calories you want your meal to be. Cross multiply, then divide, to get the proper number of grams or ounces of food you need to eat to fullfill the number of calories you picked for you meal (let’s say 450 cals).

    Then weight yourself either every day, or every few days.

    On 1700 calories, me being a big buy with good muscle tone, I lose .2 to .4 pounds a day! Day in, Day out, Week in, Week out, like clock work.

    Just make sure you increase your carbs to more than 0, let’s say 20 to 30, ONLY with Salad. But you need to eat salad with every single meal and you need to keep super careful track of your carbs. Once you’re out of ketosis, that spells the death sentence for you Ketotic Metabolic State, and therefore, your weight loss.

    Good luck!

    Marsh

  • Rozeeta

    hi all! most malaysians have lost their weight on atkins. if you come to malaysia, fret not!!1111 ๐Ÿ™‚ i lov atkins

  • Dee

    This is a great eating plan (diet). I lost 40+ lbs the first time I was on this diet. I stayed in the Induction phase because after the first three days on the diet, it was easy enough to stay on that plan. Looking back, I wish I had moved to phase 2 or 3 of the adkins diet. This is why. As many of the comments reflect, there has been significant weight loss, but many have gained back. When I went off the induction phase and my eating habits returned to previously unhealthy patterns, I gained the weight back – very slowly, but I did. I was aware of my high carb eating, but I had over the years transitioned to exercising a good amount and did not gain weight right away. I had a problem with an injury, could not work out and started the weight gain. Regardless of all that, the diet works. I am back on it and committed to making it work for me. I will do the induction phase for the first 20 lbs, and then transition to phase 2, which includes limited but healthy carbs. As with any diet or eating plan, you have to read about the entire program, because it is not just a diet to lose weight, it is a diet, eating plan to recover health. In moderation, the diet can provide a lifetime eating program that includes almost all foods. There are some foods I know I should not eat not matter what. When I do – and I know I likely will, my plan, and commitment to myself and my future health will be to re-adjust.

    Read about Atkins, try it for 2 weeks, decide for yourself. By the way – one of the great things about this eating plan is that you can go out and eat and stay on the diet. Ask the server to not bring the bread when you sit down and then order a nice steak or chicken and a lovely salad. No one will even know you are dieting. Seriously!

  • Les

    Atkins is great especially when you have a carb overload. I lost 16lbs on it but I don’t like just eating meat too much.

  • tara

    I tried this diet and lost plenty of weight…but it all came back on as soon as i was off the diet…it was the worst diet i ever did , it puts your body through the extreme. It made me feel depressed…there are more sensabile ways of loseing the weight this diet is a quick fix that does not last…try weight watchers is better in many ways and works ( people are now gona be thinking i must be a weight watchers rep!).

  • Chad

    I have tried this diet and yes I lost 50 pounds in a couple of months. I was high protein anyway with the occasional sweets and usually things like Tomatoes and carrots (both of which are not in the introduction period). So it wasn’t hard, though I did find that the occasional cheating increased the weight loss by a couple of pounds.

    Though with those results, based upon what I know from research, this diet is not good for you. Highly acidic. Ketosis not being the best state to be in. I agree with Lindsey on this. Not a diet I will go back to.

    As I also started noticing (sorry for the crudeness), my gas was ten times worst as the red meat that stores up in your body (because you have to take into account how long it takes things like red meat to digest) and rots. I had to take showers more frequently and carry around deodorant. But I wasn’t feeling like doing much of anything (at least till I started cheating 1 day a week). Though I will say my favorites like Cherry Coke is way too sweet now.

    Also another problem is the artificial sweeteners in like Diet soda. They are terrible for you. I can understand diabetics though they should remove soda completely. But for a healthy lifestyle, stay away from Atkins.

    And as my step-father had said, “Trust doctors to heal your wounds, or perform surgery as that’s what they study for years. Leave actual nutrition to nutritionists as that’s what they study for years.” (He’s a nutritionist who’s had a successful health food company going on 30 years now.) And that quote is true. They study to fix a broken body through medicine and surgery. Like chiropractors fix bones that aren’t broken through adjustments, or psychiatrist helping people with mental issues. They are all specialized. Dietricians and nutritionists study foods to heal a body naturally.

  • Angela

    Okay Frank H, wow. Why did you even post that comment? Nobody spreads rumors about why people die… that’s just dumb

  • Aussie

    I have been on and off the Atkins for around 8 years. I fully researched it. Weight loss is a total obsession with me as I have had eating disorders all my life- I have tried all diets and Atkins seemed to be the only one that worked in the time frame that I wanted to lose weight.

    There are ways to stick to Atkins with out consuming too much fat and that is to eat lean meats. Sub steak for Chicken breast if your worried, or fish. It’s that easy.

    I’m now a personal trainer and I believe that if your sensible you can make this Eating Plan work. Just try taking a break every few months, but still be careful what you eat. I have had so many people throw questions at me like
    ” How can you recommend an eating plan that has no fruit or veg in it?” Off the record of corse.

    Well obviously this is not correct and is the biggest rumour floating around spread by people who dont really know much about Atkins. Of corse their are fruit and Veg. Your not cutting out fruit and veg- your cutting out nasty sugar. Good luck to everyone who tries Atkins. Oh and that nasty rumour about Dr. Atkins in Australia is that he died of a heart attack and when they did the autop, his arteries were full of blockages- Huh? What a load of crap!!!!!!!

    Aussie

  • Nicola

    I have been doing Atkins on and off for just over a year, Ive lost two stone and kept it off. It has worked for me and I’d recommend it to anyone. There is lots of rubbish posted on this site about what you can and can’t eat on Atkins anyone thinking of doing the diet should read the book and do it properly. You can eat loads of fresh fruit and veg and can choose lean meats. It has been a great life style change for me!

  • outlaw

    The diet works!! Did it before pregnancy 3 years ago and lost 20 lbs in 2 weeks. I have only gained about 12 lbs, in 3 years. The weight does not come back quick and you will lose at least 13 lbs in 2 weeks with no exercise. I exercise at least 3x a week!

  • T

    I lost 30 Lbs on this diet. You are never hungry but do have cravings. I didn’t do it correctly so I had a lot of stomach issues. I gained my weight back due to severe personal stress and I am now back on a different healthier diet.

  • galeantoniuk

    can u send me some feedback.

  • Rick

    This is a great and effective diet and I have lost and gained back a couple of hundred pounds over the years. It’s pretty easy to follow and contains a lot of bulky tasty food but you need to be a big meat eater. The main issue is that you are going to have to give up white bread, white rice, white pasta, alcohol and any sweets. If you live a busy life style and need to go to the fast food drive thru there isn’t anything other than a salad or Chili on the menu that does not contain bread. You end up eating burgers with lettuce for the bun. You also will become constipated from all the protein and lack of fiber. Like I said the diet works great if you stick to it but as soon as you cheat the cravings will overwhelm you and you will find it difficult to get back on track. It’s great for someone that wants to lose 20-40 lbs quickly. However, long term you need to change your bad habits and get off your ass and exercise. You will eventually get bored and eat that slice of Pizza or bread and the next thing you know you’ll fall off the wagon and gain it all back.

  • Meg

    If that is your take on Atkins you haven’t being following it correctly. For starters you don’t have to be a big meat eater. IF you follow the plan you eat balanced meals and get all the fiber you need in leafy greens such as spinach and kale. In fact the majority of your carbs should come from veggies! Giving up white bread is the best thing you can do, it has no nutrients you are better of eating wheat any day, but that is not to say you can’t have bread it’s just during phase 1, you avoid it. People forget, there are 4 phases to Atkins and you can switch phases at your will. Phase 1 you eat 20 carbs per day. One of the keys to Atkins is eating a large breakfast, medium lunch, a small dinner. I have been on this for three months now and this week alone I lost 7.4lbs in 6 days! It works! I don’t have cravings, and I have engery, energy, energy, for days. It is a life style diet, so, if your not ready to committ then don’t, but if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired this is the way to go. To handle cravings you can have Atkins bars, shakes and even sugar free jello. But if you FOLLOW the plan you won’t have cravings. You will hit a slow point in weight loss, so I reversed my meals. I ate dinner food for breakfast and breakfast food for dinner. That alone has been a key factor to fueling up for the day. Remember eat to live, not live to eat!

  • Meg

    Ohh and I forgot you can have alcohol, rum and diet coke or there are low car beers.

  • Melissa

    I lost almost forty pounds doing Atkins and kept it off for six years. I have a bad sweet tooth, but after two or three weeks of following this diet the cravings completely disappeared. It can be difficult to drop the bad carbs/sugar initially, but it is so worth it! Check out atkins.com for a detailed plan. The site also lets you sign up and track your progress.

  • KMD

    This diet worked for me before, many years ago – and I kept it off until MANY years later when a bad marriage and stress demanded my focus elsewhere. Now in happier times, a few months ago, I restarted this diet….and as before, it works. I am a bit older now, and I do also exercise at least 3 times a week, but I don’t make myself crazy with it…after induction I added a few healthy things – dark chocolate, plain unflavoured yoghurt, the occasional bit of brown rice, but I’ve dropped wheat and sugar completely and I’ve never looked back.

    And – I don’t miss it. We eat home-cooked foods, wholesome, real foods, and I do eat the odd Atkins bar, but limit myself to one serving a day of any “prefab” lowcarb bar, or biscuit.

    People complaining that it’s not healthy simply haven’t read the research which clearly (and increasingly, over time) has supported Dr. Atkins’s programme.

    My phase 2 foods consists of usually something like this:

    1)Regular, organic yoghurt (no sugar) with crumbled dark chocolate and tea for breakfast.

    2)Lunch is usually some sort of salad, or I’ll nibble on cheese and meat.

    3)Dinner is always vegetables and meat (salmon with cucumbers and bell peppers, or something), especially if I didn’t eat salad at lunch.

    4)Dessert – if we feel like it? Homemade low carb ice cream, homemade lowcarb pecan cookies, you get the idea.

    This has worked for me for months now, steadily and dependably – I have energy, I have my health back, and EVERYONE notices the difference – including me.

    As for the guy above that says it’s about “getting off your ass” and that people will “eventually get bored and eat pizza”, I can only say – speak for yourself! It’s neither an accurate representation of the diet, nor every person that follows it. Exercise is beneficial for the heart, for energy, for shaping our muscles and improving our metabolism – I don’t do it to burn calories as it’s simply not very realistic. I’ve learned that the single best thing we can do for our health is cut out processed carbs – in any form, and get our carbs from honest, whole carbs that the body will utilise more slowly.

    AND – reduce cravings.

    The way I see it, if you “have” to have any food, it’s the same as booze, and it’s something to be wary of, not an excuse to stop dieting.

    One of the problems lowcarbing had was the myth that it’s a “stuff your face on bacon” diet – or that you could mindlessly eat all the pre-fabricated stuff companies started pumping out in response to it’s popularity – neither is true!

  • Joe

    Atkins & low carb isn’t only for weight loss. I’m a Type II diabetic. On the ADA (American Diabetic Association) recommended diet my blood sugar was not in control and I had cravings for sweets. On Atkins, blood sugar is normal all the time… without insulin or drugs. I’m indifferent to sweets. Notes: Faced with embarrassing research data that showed Atkins offered superior glucose control, The ADA has begun to allow… very begrudgingly… that Atkins may work. (IMOHO..They simply don’t want to admit that they were wrong, and their diet has been a disaster. I mean, recommending a diet that’s 60% carbs… for diabetics!? It’s obliviously nuts. I also wonder if they’re afraid of lawsuits. )

  • Gabriella

    This diet is fab! I was 93 kilos when I started in beginning of April this year 2010. And now its August 2010 and i am now 75kilos. fantastic how it works..and I have o0nly been on it for 4 months.. … I love it and can say nothing bad about it ..I have added a few carbs every now and then but always in the morning …but I want to reach 70 kilos or 65 kilod then stop from there n go on the ongoing weight loss phase of atkins

  • Becky

    Hyaaa I want to start the Atkins diet on Tuesday but with it being a bank holiday weekend the book wont come in time, soo i was wondering if anyone would be kind enough to share any helpful tips and what an idea of which foods i should try stick to for the first phase until i can get my hands on a book & devise a proper eating plan Thankkks!