Atkins Diet

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)


Dr. 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 eating called  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.

See how each version has changed below.

Original Atkins Diet (1981)


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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Pingback: Atkins Diet Ideas For Lunch | kscfood

  • Fay Wright

    I am on Atkins for the umpteenth time. ATKINS work! You gotta stick to it. I have tried many diets but Atkins is NO. 1 and Weight Watchers is #2 (my opinion) because it works for me. I am almost 300 lbs on atkins for 6 months I have lost half of 55 lbs and counting. It is not so much as the weightloss…it’s PATIENCE!

    • Fay Wright

      ERROR…I have lost 55 ponds and counting. I am down to 248.

  • Jas

    I did Atkin B4 but stopped within the first 2 week, as I was told that it’s not safe for those whi are in high risk of ostoprosis, as it will make your bone thin? Is that right? What can we replace with a glass of milk?

    • Helen Williams

      take a calcium supplement or this diet allows about 4 oz. cheese which is made from milk

      • ted

        If the Atkins dieter is eating a lot of green and leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and kale there is no need for a calcium supplement.

    • Marlene Bickar

      I too do Atkins and have been VERY happy with the results.
      Your question regarding Milk replacement? I use Almond Breeze
      Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. It’s Very LOW in Carbs and as
      an added benifit – It’s also Low in Calories ( 40 – 60 ) depending on
      the one you choose. I add Torani Sugar free syrup to it (Chocolate is
      my favorite). Good Luck to you on your journey. Marlene

    • RM

      Eat like a cave man and you’ll be fine. The human body hasn’t changed so, lots of the thing we consume now aren’t suited for human consumption.

    • Laura

      Cheese, cream, no-sugar yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese….

    • ted

      Broccoli and leafy greens… Milk doesn’t prevent osteoporosis, that’s a lie cooked up by the National Dairy Council. In reality the countries that drink the most milk have the highest rates of osteoporosis.

  • Saffron

    I am 65years and look 51. Thats probably just good genes, and maybe a good attitude.

    i have put on a bit of weight, i went on an Atkins Diets in 2008, lost weight exactly after a month on low low carb and high protein.

    Then life’s ups and down, made me eat for comfort, and everyone knows what happens it doesn’t look like weight is creeping up but it does.

    I want to do it again.

    Any tips from the people of Atkins out there.

    quite sad that life and its stresses makes it impossible to stick to a diet/lifestyle.


    • RM

      My big tip would be to avoid all the prepackaged foods that say they are low carb. Low carb breads aren’t. Low carb sweets aren’t. Eat natural green veggies, cheese, eggs, meats, etc.. My rule of thumb is to eat what a cave man would eat. It’s really easy to do. Rarely do I have to face down temptation but, the secret to that is to eat before that happens.

      On a low carb diet cheating cost you big time so, don’t cheat. Being thin and healthy taste way better than a doughnut.

  • Kim

    I was on Atkins a year ago and lost 35 lbs. My stomach was so flat I felt amazing. I heard if you go back on it the second time it is harder to lose. I have been on it a week and haven’t lost a thing and am ready to give up. I gained all my weight back. It seems all the weight gain went to my stomach.

  • KBirdmom

    If you take the time to research original literature/research on fats in the diet as they relate to heart disease and diabetes, you will discover that there is absolutely NO correlation. Honestly. The medical establishment has bought into false research by charismastic individuals, and it has not been refuted despite over 50 years of research that do not support high fat diets leading to heart disease. Carbohydrates are the culprit 99.9% of the time. READ UP, folks!

  • mrs chrystol anagnostopoulos

    years ago i had one of Dr Atkins book i cant buy it now but if any deit works it was this one. only 2 weeks then nomal eating. i would love to buy it im not sure but it way early 1996 that i got it told many friends and they lost and happy with there weigh lost .please can you sent me any details about the book and were i can buy it. thank you.chrystol

    • Boss blackfoot

      you still can get that book at a thirft shop,I see the books all the time, in hard and soft editions, I got my books from a second hand store for a few dollars each. I have been doing Atkins for over two years and have loss 112 lbs so far, Went from 300 pounds down to 188 my target is 180 lbs, then I plan on going to a eaters support group or weight watchers to keep the weight off.

  • Maggie

    I too am starting on ny 3 day detox and on atkins

  • gill

    could someone just list a plan for one full week with breakfast, lunch and dinner?! :)

    • jeanette

      an easier way to change your diet , get the wheat belly book by dr. davis this is about cutting out wheat…. not other carbs unless you want to add those for extra weight loss.. this diet has been amzing for me and my husband…….. it will be an eye opener and shocking highly recomend it, allredy had rashes, hives and itchyness i had off and one for years disaper with fat also..feel really good also arthrisis symptoms gone

    • Heather

      If you go to the Atkins website linked to above and register they will send you for free: The Atkins plan with suggested menus, a calorie/carb counter book, coupons for bars and shakes and 3 or 4 bars to try all in a nice little box. Cannot beat that! Good luck. PS: I’ve been on Atkins for a week now and I’ve lost 6 lbs. Yaaay!

  • kim

    i was on atkins a year ago lost 35 lbs my stomach was so flat i felt amazing i heard if you go back on it the second time it is harder to loose is that true i have been on it a week i havent lost a thing i am ready to give up i gained all my weight back it seems all the weight gain went to my stomach

    • yaya

      Maybe you are doing it wrong? The New Atkins diet iwouldnt suggest. There was a bpook made in 2002 and thats the one alot of people prefer. Look up bowulf on youtube. He makes ALOT of atkins recipes and videos and have lost 200lbs on this. Remember not to exceed the reccommended 20 carbs a day, drink lots of water, and only 3 oz of cheese a day ! :)

  • Leah

    This is my second go around on atkins. First time I lost 13 pounds in the first two weeks. I quit it, but never gained it back and never lost anymore. I’m back a couple months later doing it again. This time is easier. I’ve found some good recipes, plus mainly I’m not being so strict on myself with the food list, like I’ll eat a cup or even two of popcorn and I definitely treat myself to a lower carb icecream bar, like weight watchers or breyers. I’ve lost am additional 9 pounds and I’m in my third week. I’m just keeping my carbs low, like around 25-30 tops for now. I’m 161, 5’5 and 43 yrs old. I’m looking alot thinner and I love it. :-) I am concerned about not eating enough calories though, cause I’m just not hungry. I’m pretty under 1000, like around 600, maybe.

    • ajm

      I’m also starting round 2. I was sick 4x with the flu in early 2010 and had started losing weight. I ‘stumbled’ on to the Atkins diet and tried it. I lost about 20 lbs. I did exercise while on this diet. What I found out was that I have an allergy to gluten. I had eaten Tums like crazy and Prilosec was my bestfriend. I was astounded that my stomach aches and burning esophagus were finally calm. I had cut out all breads at one point and felt fabulous. I eventually started back again with my old habits and gained the weight back. I blame myself for finding cotton candy ice cream. I began the white bread and butter, so I did gain it all back. I knew better, but lost self control as I had maintained the weight for about a year. I am on day 2 to begin this again for my health. I CAN’T eat gluten without breathing fire and I need to just get over it. I’m also turning 50 and I know that I need to take care of myself as my joints are not happy with the extra weight and my stomach is furious with me. So, if you possibly have a lot of heartburn and upset stomach, you might want to give the Atkins diet a try. The weight loss is a bonus!

      • Nan

        I’m starting today! It’s been about 5 years since I took off a large amount, 43 pounds, and kept it off for 4 years, but this last year I did the same thing, found ice cream and other “treats” again and poof went 20 pounds back on. So, I pulled out the old Atkins book again, made myself a 3 egg omelet with peppers, onions and mushrooms with cheese, and I have officially started! I spent some of that time gaining the weight back by trying a vegetarian type diet, which I found that I added carbs in where I lacked meat, and thus why I gained back the weight. I’m done with bread, pasta, sugars, grains and back to the way of eating that my body works best with. Good luck to you! Hope to see you posting more positive results.

  • Stacey

    Im on day 3 and I actually feel fatter!! Ive done this before idk what im doing wrong I see everyonelse lost in the first few days someone help please!

  • Megan

    I love the atkins diet more than anything. the first time I tried it I lost 45 pounds in a little less than 3 months. 5 new years later I’ve only gained about 12 of those pounds back. this is my second time trying again and I know I will have the same great results. I plan on dieting for 2 months.. it’s going on the second week and I don’t weigh myself untill the end.

    • Maggie

      I am doing the same, please keep us posted

  • nowheregirl

    This is the diet that always work…no matter how long i was off this diet everytime i go back i lose weight…and dont tell me its only water weight because its not…maybe the weight lost during the first week yes, but then i consistently lose weight and more importantly dress size…too bad i can never stick to it mostly because i live in a country(Bangladesh) where low carb food are scarce so i’ll have to make everything from scratch (i.e almond flour), can barely eat out (how many chicken fries can you eat?) … and i can only do so much without cakes, icecream, pastry, chocolate :( (i can try baking them with splenda and stupid homemade almond flour but they are never as good as bakery’s ) so eventually have to go back to normally eating…

    If i had lived in USA or somewhere I could get constant supply of low carb foodies..i’d never be off this diet ( and would be, like, slim, forever *sigh)
    on a side note…expect for the first week (carb withdrawal ugh) I have never had any problem with eating low carb…and i workout really hard (avid runner + regular p90x)… atkins is still my most fav diet. ever ! :)

    • Jerry

      Hey thanks for your feedback,can u please send me the link where i can get the complete atkins diet,thanks in advance i really need to loose my weight,i am 5 5 in height and my weight is close to 90 kgs,please help me

  • quratulain

    hey m a teenager about 18 n a half i weigh 70 kgs n ma height is 5.3 kindly tel me a suitable diet plan

  • Jv54

    I’am new to all this. I want to start the Atkins diet after I read all your posts.I like to ask Jordan how he did it.

  • Belle

    i went on the atkins diet 4 1 week and lost all the water weight totaling to 3 kg,bt dt was b4 i went hme to my moms house,i cdnt pln my meals as i ddnt knw wht ws thre so i went back to eating normally nw i wnt go low carb again,so i wna knw hw long its gna t8 my body to go to ketosis state again!

    • ted

      perhaps you could go back to using vowels when you write too… comments aren’t txt messages:-)

      • Ralph

        I was thinking the same thing… what the hell was he/she talking about?

  • Jordan

    I have been on the Atkins diet for 19 days and have lost 18 pounds so far, I extended the Phase 1 of the program and the weight keeps shedding. You’ve got to be serious with no cheating in order to lose the weight, this diet works if you really want it to, talk to me in six months…

    • Margo

      Hi Jordan , can you give us an example of your daily food intake ( ie : what you ate and how much ) . I have started the atkins today ! Breakfast was 4 eggs scrambled . Lunch : Steamed Cod , brussel sprouts , spinach , carrots & sugar snap peas . Dinner is puzzling me already !

  • Claudia

    The tradeoff with Atkin’s is the ability to eat as much as you want of the allowed foods, but you cannot cheat with the forbidden foods, not a single bite of them for the rest of your life. If you can deal with being hungry better than giving up cake for good, then the low-cal diets are more for you. This diet works better for me because hunger is actually painful to me and sugar only makes me dizzy and sick about ten minutes later. It also works well for people with thyroid disease.

  • Dean F

    I Started the atkins diet about 2 Months ago and at first it was hard but i have lost 30 pounds so far!!!! Everyone say its so hard but after a while you diet changes and you dont crave the sweet snacks like you used to. I would recommond this diet to anyone as long as they are willing to give up sweets and acholol

  • George W.

    Diane — It’s a metabolically based diet. You can’t cheat! What you lost so far is water weight and you popped it right back on. Commit to the time it will take you at 1 or 2 pounds a week and don’t cheat. If you return to the way you used to eat (a couple beers and high carb meals), you’re wasting your time anyway. I dropped 55 pounds on Atkins and have kept it off for almost 20 years — but I haven’t had a beer in all that time (or any other alcohol). Do you want to drink, or do you want to be thin?

    • Jane

      Hi George

      I did this diet with amazing results, but I always had one drinking night and still lost so you don’t have to starve yourself of anything you love forever. Just one night off and have a beer. When I did come off however I craved bread so much I ate too much! So I am doing again but including a slice of wholemeal per day and see how that goes. I lost 2 and a half stone in a month.

    • Naomi W.


      You can cheat!!! I’ve read a blog by a doctor and others that recommend that you have a cheat day or two, so that your body won’t get used to eating limited carbs. I started out at 178 on March 18th doing 30 carbs a day with 1-2 cheat days) and I’m down to 171.00. My goal is to change my body by replacing fat with muscle, not focus on lbs like most. The key to any successful weight loss is to build muscle and you do that by eating right, cardio (interval training) if you’re not too obesed and weight training.

  • David

    I think Atkins diet is amazing! I don’t feel deprived and I can enjoy whatever I want anywhere. It isn’t all about eating only meat and cheese since humans are omnivourous. So we need fruits and veggies as well. If anyone wants to learn more, I recommend the documentary Fat Head. It is available on netflix’s instant queue and free to watch on

    • Jerry

      where can i find the complete diet chart,i dnt eat non veg

  • diane

    i have been on the atkins program for 5 weeks and lost 4 lbs the first week 2 the next and one the 3rd week stayed the same on the 4th week and gain 6 pounds on the 5th. I had 2 beers and 2 carb dinners because we had company. I KNOW NO EXCUSES BUT THIS IS BEYOND SCARY. aNY SUGGESTIONS. i am thinking of going to weight watchers instead.

    • Jane

      what about slimming world you can eat a lot of that and lots of carbs as well? Weight watchers is quite limited unless you have great control (which I don’t). I did also lose a stone and a half on it, but now going back to my bad ways so not losing at the moment. Which is why I am thinking of going on Atkins before my summer holiday. It did work for me before and I can see a lot of people do return regularly to the atkins thing. But slimming world is all you can eat pasta rice and potatoes and veg and lean meat if you do the Easy plan. No fat though. Try it and see. Good luck.

  • dorothy mendonca

    im happy for anyone who can maintain a diet and keep the weight off. i myself just lost almost 200 pounds in a short six months i call the diet the one two three diet you diet three days and go off for four then repeat it.but me i stayed doing it 54 times never going off the four days period. thats how i lost the 200 pounds,no ive learned better eating habbits and i am keeping the weight off.thank you for reading this dorothy.good luck to all.

    • Kimberly

      Did you do this diet? or another one?

    • Jane

      well done, might try that myself.

  • Jessica

    Mallory…. I am a long time ORIGINAL Atkins follower and I do not recommend using the Atkins processed foods that are sold in the store. If you are having problems with sweets cravings, know that they will taper off the longer you are on the diet. Have the strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, huckleberries, etc… with some real whipped cream or splenda sprinkled over them. The berries got me through my sweet cravings. I also have a few grapes with my breakfast eggs/meat. I lost and have maintained a loss of over 80 lbs. I am a full supporter of REAL FOOD Atkins original rules. However, I was a little more liberal with the spices. What you should know is that if you focus on a few small changes at a time, you will realize that you don’t miss the old processed stuff and you will start to enjoy the full flavors of real food again! Best wishes to you on your continued success!~

  • Anonymous

    I lost more than 30 kg on a ketogenic diet and I strongly recomend them. I could get strict to it, wich I couldn’t with another diets, in special low caloric intake ones.
    Hypocaloric diets may be fine if you wanna lose 8 pounds to look ripped on the beach, but if you really have a weight problem like many of us, you gotta get serious. As Nancy said, it’s not a diet, it more like a lifestyle. One comes to understand a lot about the way the body works and changes he’s entire relationship with food, excercise and many stuff.
    I’ve been on induction phase (the first level, with almost non carb intake at all) for about 3 months the last time, and all the changes my body experienced in ketosis for that lapse were for good, including lower cholesterol and FFAs levels, other than just losing weight.
    If it’s truth that you see early results, they early start fading too, and you start losing weight slower, as in any other diet program. If you are expecting miracles, you won’t get them, with this or any other diet, just because they don’t exist. It took me 2 years or more to get from a BMI of 37 to 27 where I currently am, and there still a lot of stuff to do, even when there’s a lot done. If you are losing a lot of weight really fast and you can mantain that in time, you are just doing something wrong, and sure you are doing some damage to your body. But if you are really determined to do some serious thing for your self and get in shape once and for all, Atkins is a great option for you.
    I’m sorry I extended myself so much, I’m a pretty big fan of keto diets. Also, I apologise for my grammar, I’m not native speaker. If you are in need of advice of any sort on this diet, I’ll be glad to answer.

  • Mallory

    I just started the New Adkins diet. I haven’t really done structured dietingin the past. I have always been heavy and excercised and calorie cut on my own. Due to an injury, I began putting on weight and my doctor sigfested trying this diet. After reading the book and reviews, I was excited about getting started. I am in the first phase and the book makes it seem so easy but it isnt. I am sticking to the diet to the letter. I don’t feel hungry, but do feel very deprived. I don’t miss junk food or starches, but I LOVE fruit and I am having a terrible time shaking some pretty heavy cravings for it. I have tried the Atkins bars, but they aren’t helping to eliminate these cravings. I am also finding the seasonings a bit restrictive. I am losing weight which is encouraging since I have a lofty weightloss goal. However, I would like to have more children soon and I am afraid of gaining the weight back during a pregnancy since the book doesn’t shed much light on what to do in that situation. So, I believe that it will work for weightloss, but
    I wonder how realistic it is for the long term. It really is geared for diabetics. And I sure that sooner or later I am going to want something sweet like a dessert here or there and Adkins only calls for artificial sweeteners whixh I allergic to. If you are able to stick with it for the rest of your life then it is probably great. But I feel that non diabetics looking to lose a little weight might be just as successful eating correct portions and cutting back carb portions on the long term. I have not cheated because I am terrified that if I do, the weight will pack on as fast as it is coming off.

  • Blair

    I went on the Atkins diet last year and i lost 12 pounds in two weeks. I reccommend excersiing while on Atkins for best results. This program really works, but the hardest part is sticking to it!

  • Jamie

    What people need to realize before judging people for doing diets like this is not everyone can just watch what they eat and work out. I have pcos which is a condition that makes losing weight nearly impossible. Atkins is the ONLY thing that works for me. Plus, if youre overweight most doctors will tell you that working out alone wont do much..DIET is much more important.

  • JimGr

    Jon Arland says that diets are stupid and then essentially recommends that people cut the carbs out of their diet — which is a diet. Jon is recommending following Atkins without knowing it. Whatever way you eat is a diet, silly boy.

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