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Atkins Diet

The classic low-carb diet, revamped with the Atkins 40 approach.

BACKGROUND Start the Diet Now Advertisement

More than 40 years ago, Dr. Robert Atkins introduced his low-carb diet, now popularly known as the Atkins Diet. The Atkins Diet is credited with starting the low-carb revolution. Although the buzz about low-carb diets has fizzled some, and mostly replaced by the increasingly popular Paleo Diet, the Atkins Diet is still around and there is a legion of people who still follow it.

The Atkins Diet has recently received a much needed update, releasing in early 2015 as Atkins 40. The updated Atkins program is a research-supported eating plan that still features the low-carb, high-protein principles of the original Atkins Diet, but with more leniency, simplicity, and variety. It seems very similar to The New Atkins for a New You launch a few years ago, but is targeted to promote sustainability and prevent participants from falling off the bandwagon due to excessive restriction.

Atkins 40 is marketed as more sustainable and more empowering, and ideal for those with 40 or fewer pounds to lose. The goal is to eat delicious and healthy food, like a variety of lean protein, leafy greens and other vegetables, nuts, fruits, and whole grains. In addition, tips and suggestions are perfect for those with busy lifestyles ensuring you that you can stick with Atkins at work, at home, on vacation, or when you're eating out.

Atkins 40 no longer includes the four basic Atkins phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-maintenance, and Lifetime Maintenance. Previously, many traditional Atkins participants wouldn’t go past Induction or Ongoing Weight Loss which caused them to fall off track due to excessive restriction. Atkins 40 targets more of a lifestyle shift creating a plan that someone could eat and follow for their whole life: no stages, no excessive restriction.

  • Encourages eating a proper combination of foods
  • Large weight loss the first couple of weeks
  • Program is thoroughly covered on the web site
  • More sustainable format than previous Atkins programs
  • Encourages eating more vegetables
  • Allows frequent eating to reduce hunger
  • You decide when to start your fitness program
  • Carb counting tools
  • Program updates focus as much on maintenance as weight loss
  • New plan offers more leniency than previous Atkins plan
  • Atkins Community web site available for free
  • Many find it extremely difficult to cut out breads and grains
  • Promotes excessive consumption of dairy, processed sweeteners, and packaged snacks
  • High caloric restriction, high need for tracking and counting
  • May overeat or include too much of the wrong type of protein
  • Can be high in cholesterol and saturated fat
  • Still may be too restrictive to create true lifestyle change
  • Difficult for vegetarians or vegans to follow their principles

Unlike previous Atkins programs, there are no longer four phases to follow. This means there is only one “plan” and lifestyle to build and maintain through Atkins 40. Principles remain the same with a focus on high-protein, low-carb food choices.

Through the Atkins Community online, you can customize your own meal plan, with Atkins 40 allowing you to use the 40-net grams of carbs however you like. Based on your choices, Atkins will share a one-week meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks each day.

You don’t have to count any calories or carbs because all of that work is done for you. For exact measurements and recipes, simply click on the meal and you will be taken to the recipe for that meal.

You also have the chance to print out a grocery list for the week for your convenience. The total carb count for the day is shown at the bottom of each day’s meals. Below is an example meal plan:

  • Breakfast: Red Bell Pepper Rings Filled with Eggs and Mozzarella
  • Snack: Mushrooms Stuffed with Sausage and Mozzarella
  • Lunch: Spicy Meat Rolls
  • Snack: Atkins Day Break Creamy Chocolate Shake
  • Dinner: Grilled Salmon with Mixed Greens

Exercise is not a huge focus for the Atkins Diet. It is mentioned on the web site as a great way to maximize your chances of success. Exercise is a great complement for your nutrition plan and will help boost your energy. If you are not currently exercising, it is recommended that you wait a couple of weeks before starting an exercise regimen. Some of the exercises that are mentioned with the Atkins Diet include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Swimming
  • Water aerobics

Traditionally, Atkins was created for pre-diabetics or diabetics with over 40 pounds to lose, where it may have been impossible for them to start exercising right away. Atkins believes that diet and exercise go hand-in-hand, but that diet must come first and gentle exercise can be added later as a supplementary tool to build muscle and boost metabolism.


When you look at the Atkins Diet, there are some benefits as well as some drawbacks. It does help you lose weight quickly and it is important to notice that there are intense caloric restrictions involved, in addition to dramatic food choice changes. By reducing the amount of carbs you eat, you will be reducing blood sugar levels but you must also be careful that you don’t take in too much cholesterol or saturated fat, or an overabundance of processed snacks, dairy, sugar substitutes, and animal protein. Eliminating an entire food group such as carbohydrates may not work for everyone, but the diet does offer some benefits for those that can stick with it.

The online Atkins community may help to provide support when the guidelines seem too hard to maintain, and the addition of more on-the-go snack options may make it easier for those with a busy lifestyle looking to follow all Atkins principles. Hopefully the newer more lenient carbohydrate allowances will prevent excessive restriction and promote balance and sustainability for its followers.

Common Misspellings

Atkin Diet, AtkinsDiet, Aktins, Atkns, Atkins Deit, Akins Diet, Adkins Diet, Atkins Low Carb Diet, Dr. Atkins Diet, The Atkins Diet, Adkins Advantage, Atkins40, Atkins Forty

Related Diets: Atkins Advantage, South Beach Diet, South Beach Diet Supercharged, Low-Carb Diet, The Paleo Diet, The New Atkins for a New You, The Ketogenic Diet

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(Page 1 of 5, 85 total comments)

Sharon Kessner

i am so excitedto start this diet asap!!!

posted Jan 1st, 2013 2:58 am

Steph M

I really like this diet. The only problem is I have never treated it like a lifestyle change. When I got stuck losing weight and couldn't get past 160lbs, it got me to 146 in a month.

After having my daughter and gaining a lot of weight during pregnancy, the weight is even harder to get off. But I did manage to lose 23 lbs on Atkins again before taking a break. Now I need to commit for life, I shouldn't be eating gluten anyways and gluten free products are expensive. Eating gluten free without the extra products is pretty much the Atkins lifestyle with a few changes.

I've back on it and have lost 4 more lbs this week :) 32 and a half more to go to get back to my happy weight.

posted Nov 20th, 2012 12:39 am

Jessica Logan

I personally like the 90 day challenge, feel free to add me as a friend if you want more info

posted Jul 14th, 2012 4:09 am


Been doing Low carb (atkins) over 2 years now and never considered going back to my old eating habits.
I feel much more energetic eating low carb, I never get ill anymore and where i used to be hungry all the time i am now satisfied after a meal.
Being 22 year old sometimes it is a challenge staying low carb since all my friends eat loads of fast food, carbs etc and also going out a lot and on holidays it can be difficult to maintain my diet.
I do notice that I hit a stall once in a while because your body gets used to the lack of carbs. This is when I allow myself a cheat day and eat every carb/sugar that comes my way.

posted May 1st, 2012 1:55 pm


It's a lifestyle change and completely changes the way you approach food. it also confronts many misconceptions about weight loss out there - exercise is not necessary for weight loss. I lost 30kg without doing more than going for a 30 min walk 3 times a week.

posted Sep 24th, 2011 1:23 am


The best and the healthiest way of eating. This is not a diet, this is a lifestyle.

posted Jul 25th, 2011 8:59 pm


The best nutritional approach to eating.

You want to be healthy? Go Atkins!

posted Jul 25th, 2011 8:58 pm


I love this diet because you never deprive yourself of food. I do miss the fruit, but over all I love it. I have a long journey ahead so i will stay in induction for a while. One good thing is I already cut out the bad carbs before I started this diet so it wasn't hard to continue on this diet. I think weight loss is first, a mindset. Once you are determined to change, everything else will follow.

posted May 4th, 2011 12:16 pm


lost 40 pounds and kept it off for 2 years. Then I got pregnant and gained 80lbs.

posted Oct 4th, 2010 6:58 pm


Has any WOMAN done Atkins for the second time and succeeded? I did Atkins years ago, and I lost 30 pounds. Maintained it for 2 years, and then fell off the wagon. I tried doing the diet again and for the Induction stage, I LOST NOTHING. I have found that there are a lot of women in the same boat as me.

posted Jul 6th, 2010 3:51 pm


I've been following Atkins for 8 months now and lost 75 lbs. I eat a lot of fresh veggies, protein that is not high in saturated fats, as well as dairy, nuts, fish. My husband has lost 50 lbs so far as well. I feel healthier and more energetic than I have in years and I'm very satisfied with my progress. It is a misunderstood diet, mostly since the reviewers of the diet don't actually read the plan.

posted Jun 24th, 2010 11:36 pm


I have lost over 100 pounds on the Atkins diet and followed it for many, many years to maintain my weight.

I have blood work every year and my cholosterol is fine as well as all the rest. I am a dietbetic and it helps keep my blood sugars in control also.

I am 64 years old, feel great and eat healthy high fiber carbs at every meal. I got tired of red meat and rarely eat it anymore. Mostly fish and chicken. I eat berries and greens and all my servings of veggies a day.

Since I went on this diet and did not die from whatever they say will kill you if you eat it I highly swear by it. Much safer than bypass Just follow the phases correctly and by the end you will be eating, in moderation, most of the carbs you eat on many diets and remain at a healthy weight for life.

posted Apr 2nd, 2010 11:26 am

Natalie Embry

Sometimes it can be hard to follow, and other times its easier than other diets. But one things it excels at is fast weightloss. It's the only diet I've stuck with for longer than 2wks lately and I lost 3x more than other diets.

posted Mar 18th, 2010 8:57 pm



posted Oct 28th, 2009 3:59 am


tthis is great!!!

posted Sep 21st, 2009 3:17 pm


is the best of the best

posted Sep 20th, 2009 5:17 am


I've been on Atkins since Jan 3rd 09, and have lost 52 lbs. I'm 55 yrs old so I have my age against me. I have arthritis in both knees and 1 ankle, had 1 hip replaced in 07!
I LOVE this way of eating. I can lose weight, have plenty of energy and feel good. I have to watch my water intake in the cold weather. I tend to only want "hot" to warm me up. But I don't miss the sugar. It's hard to get used to what to have for snacks. I' ve never been a fruit person.. always the carbs. My whole grocery cart could be filled with junk food and I'd be happy.
So, the first few weeks were terrible for me just trying to figure out what to eat.
I'm sold on this way of eating. I've got a ways to go before I find out if I can maintian. Another 40 lbs!

posted Jun 2nd, 2009 11:37 am


can you use the atkins bars and shakes, products on the induction phase

posted Apr 14th, 2009 4:13 pm


Lost alot of weight fast. 4 kgs (8 pounds) in the first week. The next time I did it - about 5 years later the weight wouldnt budge. I was on it for 4 weeks and lost 5 kgs. Turned out I wasnt drinking enough water and I was also on a different pill which stopped the weight loss.

posted Apr 6th, 2009 5:48 pm


I was on the Atkins Diet for over a year and lost 27 pounds. It was amazing. Even when I had lost just a few pounds everyone noticed and my clothes fit great. Unfortunately, I gained all the weight back, plus a few more pounds for good measure, when I stopped eating low carb. I am starting back on Atkins now and plan to stay on it indefinitely.

posted Mar 27th, 2009 12:13 pm


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