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Atkins Diet

The classic low-carb diet.

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More than 30 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 that took place some years ago. Although the buzz about low-carb diets has fizzled some, the Atkins Diet is still around and there are several people that still follow it.

The Atkins Diet has recently received a much needed update, now being called the New Atkins for a New You. The updated Atkins program is a research-supported eating plan that features the low-carb, high-protein principles of the Atkins Diet but with more leniency, simplicity and variety. The New Atkins for a New You is about eating delicious and healthy food, like a variety of 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.

The newest Atkins book includes all-new recipes, 24 weeks’ worth of meal plans and makes maintenance a priority starting from the beginning of the weight loss program.

Most of your diet will be comprised of non-starchy vegetables, greens, avocados, seafood, eggs, butter, bacon, cream, meat, cheese, olives and olive oil. Just like with the original Atkins, foods to avoid on the New Atkins for a New You diet are most grains, dried fruits, foods with added sugar, refined carbs, juices, most snacks and sweets.

The new updated plan still includes the basic four Atkins phases: Induction, Ongoing Weight Loss, Pre-maintenance, and Lifetime Maintenance. The Induction phase is the most restrictive as it’s used for at least two weeks depending upon your weight loss goal.

For success, this plan must be embraced as a lifestyle change rather than just a temporary fix to lose weight. You can lose up to 15 pounds in the first two weeks that you are on the program. There are ways to customize the program, but basically you eat the right foods and are able to make your metabolism more efficient at burning fat.

You will be eating fewer high carbohydrate foods and more high fiber vegetables. By reducing the amount of carbs you consume, you will begin burning stored fat for energy which will help you lose weight.

For even more help and support, those participating in the Atkins Diet can sign up for free membership with the all new Atkins Community web site. This site is free to access and you can even receive the book New Atkins for a New You for free. Once you sign up on the site, you will set your goals, calculate your current BMI, select the proper phase to start off on and review your personalized plan. The web site offers a way for everyone to start at the phase needed based on their personal goals, rather than starting everyone at stage one. The Atkins Community offers you a blog, a community of other Atkins dieters, several featured groups to join, a net carb balance tracker and a weight loss tracker.

  • Encourages eating a proper combination of foods
  • Large weight loss the first couple of weeks
  • Program is thoroughly covered on the web site
  • Includes 4 different phases
  • Encourages eating more vegetables
  • Allows frequent eating to reduce hunger
  • You decide when to start your fitness program
  • Recommends a calorie range for both men and women along with carb counting
  • Named #8 in the Best Commercial Diets by US News, 2011
  • Program has been updated to be more focused on keeping the weight off
  • New plan offers more leniency than previous Atkins plan
  • Atkins Community web site available for free
  • Some may find it difficult to cut out breads and other high-carb foods
  • Some may overeat or include too much of the wrong type of protein
  • Can be high in cholesterol and saturated fat

The Atkins Diet involves four different phases. It’s important to realize that this diet is one that ideally would be followed for a lifetime rather than just until unwanted weight is lost. The Atkins Diet teaches you how to eat the right types of carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar levels from spiking and encourages eating several meals throughout the day to avoid hunger. You can take the program at your own pace and move through the phases as you feel ready, or you can use the recommendations given by the diet. Below is a breakdown of each phase of the program.

  • Phase 1: This phase is called Induction. This phase will allow you to lose up to 15 pounds in the first two weeks. This phase is designed to jump start your weight loss and switch your body from burning carbohydrates to burning stored fat for energy. You can either eat three regular sized meals or break them up into four to six smaller meals throughout the day. You should never go more than six waking hours without eating. Each meal should have four to six ounces of protein. You should eat no more than 20 grams of net carbs per day with 12 to 15 grams coming from foundation vegetables. Oils, butter and up to four ounces of cheese are allowed each day. You should stay on phase 1 until your cravings for carbohydrates have dissipated and you’ve lost more than two pounds.
  • Phase 2: You get to eat more foods during this phase. You lose weight more slowly than in phase 1 and you will gradually increase your net carb count. You will still eat sufficient protein and fat at your meals. Nuts and seeds are slowly introduced back into your diet on this phase. Phase two is also known as ongoing weight loss and is the first step in discovering your tolerance for carbohydrates. Most of the eating choices remain the same as in phase 1 with the exception of the nuts and seeds.
  • Phase 3: This phase is called pre-maintenance. You should not move to this phase until you are 10 pounds from your goal weight. You will continue adding carbs back into your diet during this phase while still losing weight. This phase will reveal what foods you can and cannot handle in order to maintain your new weight. Your objectives are to lose the last 10 pounds slowly, and to test your carb tolerance. You will also be finding your Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE) and maintain control of your weight loss. This phase is like a question and answer period for your body before you reach maintenance. During this stage it is very important that you pay attention to your body. As you raise your number of carbs, do it slowly and lower it if you notice cravings and weight coming back.
  • Phase 4: This phase is known as lifetime maintenance. This phase comes when you’ve reached your goal weight and will be continued for the rest of your life. Once this phase is reached, you will commit to remaining at your goal weight permanently and make adjustments as needed. As long as you stick to your ACE, you should find it easy to stay within five pounds of your goal weight.

Through the Atkins Community, you can customize your own meal plan. You simply select your phase and the proper level of carbs is populated for you. After that you can select any food group that you want to exclude and then view your meal plan. Based on your choices, you will receive one week of meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks each day. You don’t have to count any calories or carbs because all of that 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 one day of meal suggestions during phase one of the program without any food groups excluded.

  • 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 partner 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

With the Atkins Community you can set your exercise goals and track your daily exercise. Your initial goal will be based on your weight loss goals as well as which phase you are starting out in. You are not restricted to only doing certain types of exercises either. You are free to engage in whatever activity you like, as long as you are getting the movement in. Your exercise goal is displayed as a target number of minutes per week. At the start, your target may be as simple as 200 minutes, which breaks down to 30 minutes of activity each day. There is no set number of minutes required each day provided you reach your weekly target. You can also change your weekly goal very easily.


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 calorie restrictions involved. You are reducing your calories as well as changing the way you eat. 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 fat, cholesterol or saturated fat. 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 addition of free access to the Atkins Community web site might help you along on your journey. The recipes, charts, meal plans and other benefits will allow you a higher level of support while on the diet. Atkins is working to be a more flexible program that focuses more on healthy weight loss and maintenance. Their newly added tools offer a better level of support to increase your chances of success.

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

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

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(Page 2 of 5, 86 total comments)


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



posted Mar 22nd, 2009 2:11 pm


This diet is very nice. It works and still lets yo eat a good amount of food. I wanted to lose weight for school and i did! But i gained it all back and more because i didn't stick with it long. But in 2 weeks i lost 20pounds and it flt good!!! Some may say their starving and not getting enough food but its not entirely true. 1. it could be that your not used to eating a healthy amount of food and 2. you brain is making you more likely to want something you know you can't have. I also recommend going on this diet with family or friends, its easier to stick with if you have others encouraging you.

posted Mar 6th, 2009 12:04 pm


one more thing to say.... well a couple... you must have no life if you are sitting here critizing how people lose weight... atleast they are losing it... and there are such things as multivitamins..that can be taken.. and besides... in the begining atkins does limit alot of things.. but people are more likly to exercise once they lose the weight...also all these people that need to lose weight probly were not getting what they needed to begin with.... so whats the difference in the current life style and the life style just minus cakes and candy... i dont get the bashing.... most americans fat or skinny do not get the reccomended amounts of anything..

posted Feb 4th, 2009 12:06 pm


Over 2 years ago I lost 50 lbs on the Atkins diet, it look me 5 months, with in those 5 months i had nights where i overindulged in alchol, had a girls night and ate pizza...went on vacation...haha enough said. But anyways this diet just like any other if you stick to it it works... in fact about 35 of it was in the first 3 months. Everyone hits plateus... so be prepared, just work though them. Some other good tips are to not get on the scale everyday.. in fact what im doing now is once a month.. it really has lots of perks for example ( you dont know when you plateau, it keeps you going pushing toward the end of the month, you see weight come off in bigger amounts, and WE ALL CHEAT...and sometimes it causes us to put on a lb or two and when u weight a month to weigh you dont notice these things as much...not to mention water weight fluctuates... also sometimes its helpful to take measure ments... because lets face it...who cares about numbers when your clothes are getting looser by the day... so did i loose the weight and keep it off after 5 months of hard work? did i exercise? NOPE.... i put it all back on plus 20... exercise? for like the first 2 weeks... so do you need exercise to see the numbers fall? no so much... but I promise you... you will be much happier with the results as fal as you look... there is a big difference in the body of a fit 170 person and a flabby one.... we all know that size 4 or 6 that is very flabby and looks fat.... and we know that same size 4 or 6 that is fit and looks like a model..... just think about this.. and if you try to over do it... i.e 1 hour 5-7 days a week you will get burnt out and quit... so take it easy... work up to it...nothing worse than doing something you hate.. and if you hate it your not going to keep it up for your entire life..... now speaking of your entire life the overall goal to atkins is to make a life time change, and to keep off the weight... now here was my problem... i lost 50 i was happy with myself i felt better .... did i ever find out the big scret of how many carbs i can consume a day and maintain? nope... sure didnt... and now i look back...was this realistic? nope, maybe for you not for me... i know myself and i know im not going to go the rest of my life watching my carbs... this is why i dont think this was the best diet for me... did it work? better than anything i have ever tried... was it great to drop weight fast? of yes... did it feel good to go from 16/18 to a 10 and if i was lucky maybe an 8 there at the end? oh yes..... would I do this again? nope... im not advising anyone against this...but make sure its something you can keep up for entire life because other wise the weight comes I am currently back losing weight...but not on atkins.. if anyone wants to know more about my experience email me.. i can share with you the things i ate.. and how it effected me..positive and negative..

posted Feb 4th, 2009 11:50 am


i did the diet for 2 months straight and i lost 60 lbs. i followed it to a T and got the best results.

posted Nov 11th, 2008 4:15 pm


loved it, lost 33 lbs and have kept it off for 6mo.s so far. I have had sinful birthday week-ends and gained 4 lbs and gone right back on phase one for 5 days and got it off immediatelly. Easy to live by, I eat apples, bread, some potatoes and even chocolate just in small amounts. Gor me it is for life and I feel greate knowing I never have to be fat again!

posted Oct 25th, 2008 11:52 am


Doing atkins as a vegan - I did atkins with exercise and lost 50lbs in 6 mos. Not bad. Then I fell "off the wagon" and gained half of it back (it's 5 years later). This isn't for everyone. Not everyone's body will respond to low carb diets (this among others). You need to know what will work for you. I also did Jenny Craig many years ago. It's just like Nutrisystem where you're going to have problems once you start eating "real food" again.

posted Sep 26th, 2008 4:40 am


I really want to try the atkins diet but Im a vegetarian and every version Ive seen for veggies have been very heavily relied on beans which eww. If anyone knows a good site that has a ton of recipies for vegetarians, I will be sooo happy ^_^

posted Sep 24th, 2008 8:45 am


Carbs are not a necessity in the human diet. Humans are carnivorous beings in nature. 0 carbs is actually the healthier way to eat. Fiber WILL kill you slowly. I know a lot of people do not believe it as the media is loaded with brainwashing the population into believing that fruits, veggies and grains are healthy food choices. They actually do the opposite of what everyone thinks. Those who do eat them and stay healthy are those who eat ENOUGH protein and fat. Fruits are loaded with sugar and sorry but all sugar is the same. Seasonal foods are just that-seasonal and should only be eaten in moderation when fresh and ripe-in season-not frozen and eaten all year round. To think that eating carbs provides more nutrition is just false. Why does everyone forget about the nutrition in meat and only think you can get nutrients form carbs. Todays foods do not contain anywhere near what is needed for optimum health. The RDA is not what you should be following for health. Usually much more is needed hence the need for additional support from a good supplement program. Food alone IS NOT ENOUGH. Believing in the common media and/or government ideas about health and nutrition is to be brainwashed and controlled. Those who refuse to believe carbs are unhealthy are addicted to them and won't give them up.

posted Sep 15th, 2008 9:00 am


I did atkins 2 years ago and lost 17 lbs. I was an athlete all my life and work out all the time. As i have gotten older, it doesnt matter how much i go to the gym and how much i run, I just wasnt losing any weight and my self confidence slid. I decided to go back on Atkins 2.5 weeks ago, at first I wanted to kill myself but all it was was my addiction to food ( as i am sure most people have ). After 1.5 weeks, I was at ease, I ate sashima with no carb soy sauce, ate a lot fo salads with great tasting 1 gram of carb dressings. I am down 15 lbs again. I am 38 and back to my college playing weight. The whole time i was on it I worked out and took protein shakes ( 2 grams of carbs per serving ). It is the only diet that has ever worked. Now there are down falls, I do feel light headed from time to time and my sex drive has gone down a little but after 3 weeks I am just going to add carbs again but correct carbs during the week and on the weekend i will splurge a bit. I take plenty of supplements and feel great. Just learn to fit the diet into your life style, make sure you are hard core for 3 weeks though, stick with induction for 3 weeks then try some things.

posted Aug 27th, 2008 10:44 am


I dido Mukta. I went on Akins and got back to my ideal weight...but then I became over confident and ate horrible things because "I was small now." I have always struggled with my weight and Akins was the first and only diet that I tried and saw amazing results. I have been even more encouraged to join this LIFESTYLE once more...and live it forever.

posted Jul 25th, 2008 10:49 am


I am re-energized by your comments here. I was on Atkins and lost 25 pounds but slipped and got 15 of them back. Reading your reviews have encouraged me to start back on my plan. I love it because it WORKS WONDERFULLY. Thank you all for putting me back on track. Love you!!!

posted Jul 16th, 2008 2:24 pm


Atkins- or low carb has put in fantastic shape. I feel better than when I ran 11 miles a day & worked at the gym for 3 hours. I could not keep that pace, just to maintain my weight. When my knee gave out I gained 25 pounds. With low carb I have lost 35 pounds in 4 months. Little did I know that pasta, chips, bread, torrtillas were making me physically ill. My stomach is flatter that when I was an exercise freak. Processed carbs make be bloated, my blood sugar rides a roller coaster that takes my mood go up and down. I was sleepy every day at 4:00. I have not feld deprived or suffered in any way on this diet. Due to my job, I eat at Chili's, Bj's, Black Angus, etc almost 3 x per week. I have broccoli almost every day, celery, salad and non starchy carbs everyday-instead of my daily bag of chips and chocolate bar. Why must I eat processed carbs to please people who think Atkins is just steak and cheese. I have a new lease on life. Before this way of life, my eyes twitched and I felt my vision was going when I was over exercising and eating white flour or corn products. Sugar free is my new way of life. I do not think pasta, bread, corn or corn syrup makes other ways of eating superior to Atkins. This plan saved my life!

posted Jul 12th, 2008 2:36 pm


first of all i havent eaten sugar in a long time when ever i did cheat and i did eat sugar my body let me know i had messed up...i was sluggish and felt like crap..

posted Jul 11th, 2008 3:26 pm


first of all Dr Atkins wasn't that young he was in his 72 for hell sakes and this is for the guy that said he had head aches the first day ,,,your body is adjusting to having little to no sugar ,which we do not need .you have to stay with it ..

posted Jul 11th, 2008 3:26 pm


I am just started induction phase and looking forward to it. weightwatchers and lowfat diets have failed me miserably.

posted Jul 1st, 2008 7:54 am


Just started Atkins 5 days ago, already down 6 pounds. I PRAY Induction phase shows me at least a 10-12 pound loss. It is VERY difficult to find no carb things and variety. Im reeady to add back in some carbs! Guess we'll see.

posted Jun 21st, 2008 7:55 am


I have tried this diet. It does make you feel full. It does take some weight off. But there is a severe disadvantage. The Atkins Diet gives you an overwhelming craving for cookies, cakes, fruits, and other sweet carbohydrates! Where as many other diets drive you insane with hunger because of portion control, the Atkins Diet torments you with a tremendous craving for sweet carbohydrates you never had before going on it!

posted Jun 19th, 2008 9:38 am


I have read the book and I have lost the weight soooo easily. I understand now, my consciouness has been raised...FAT METABOLISM ROCKS! A diet of sugar and flour will undoubtedly shorten your life as will a low calorie/high exercise diet. If you can't get the ketosis happening then check your carbs are no more than 10 grams and eat a bit more fat/protein. This should kickstart fat mobilisation as recommended by Dr Atkins, may he rest in peace. If the good doctor can restrict 10 obese individuals to a high fat diet over a six week period which caused every one of them to LOSE weight, then you can to. DO IT.

posted Jun 5th, 2008 10:25 am


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