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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 3 of 5, 86 total comments)


I did Atkins about 6 years ago and dropped 30 lbs right away. I'm on my 5th day of induction and haven't lost any weight. I went into ketosis within a couple of days. A bit this time I'm exercising. What is going on?

posted Jun 4th, 2008 9:01 pm


Actually, it's 130g of GLUCOSE a day that is needed, not carbs. The body is quite capable of making enough carbs to keep everything running through a process called gluconeogenesis. If not, everyone who is doing low carb would be chronically hypoglycemic and that's not the case.

posted May 30th, 2008 8:40 am

Judy Sheppard

I am back to Atkins - This time I am sticking to it - for life probably. I have always had good results but you are right - the minute you eat what you are not supposed to eat anyway, sugar, anything white, you gain it right back. You have to be soooo careful.

posted May 21st, 2008 11:41 am


I felt like crap for the whole 6 months I was on Atkins!! I lost weight, but what good is losing weight, if you are a wreck? My hair started falling out, at first I had no energy and then out of nowhere, I couldn't sleep at all. After about 5 months, I had no desire to eat anything. 6 months on Atkins, made me a vegetarian for two years. The sight or thought of meat, made me want to puke.

posted May 21st, 2008 9:56 am


At first, I loved this diet. You can eat a lot and still lose weight. After 3 months, I had lost 30 pounds. However, by this time I was so sick of meat and chicken that I actually would look at my plate and get sick. it got to where I didn't want to eat at all which is not healthy. Great diet if you can stick to it.

posted May 16th, 2008 5:22 pm


Well i started on the Atkins Diet on March 6, 06. I have done really well I was at a whopping 238.5 and now its 08 and I'm at 180 and its been a long road but if had not been for Atkins i couldn't have done it and i want to see 150.

posted May 11th, 2008 7:15 am


I did Atkins and it has been the diet for me and i was a a whopping 238.5 and on Mar 06.06 i started it and now I'm at the lowest I've been in a long time yea 180 and i feel great and i will get to see that 150 weight I'm after soon and yes its with Atkins........

posted May 11th, 2008 7:15 am


please i dont think you heve read the program correctly, you can have fruits and grains, just no in the first two stages, what is so hard to understand about that. you can use the diet as a start you add in the little things in portion control, that is all it takes

posted May 6th, 2008 10:37 am


Andy has a point. A very undiplomatic one that is rather insulting to anyone in America, but still a valid point. The problem with the Atkins diet is that carbs are in a lot of things, including fruits, vegetables, Pulses, etc. The amount of carbs that you are allowed means your intake of all these good things is really limited. Our brains need a minimum of 130g of carbs a day to function correctly, and that?s JUST our brains, not our body. I?m not talking about processed junk like White bread, White Pasta, Cakes, Chips etc. I?m talking about Complex carbs like pulses, whole grains, vegetables etc. Everyone likes to argue that they are cutting out all this processed stuff and their Atkins diet is healthy, but we all have a certain amount of common sense, and does a diet that says ?you can have as much butter as you like, hell sit on your butt and eat it out of the tub with a spoon, but you have to watch those fruits and vegetables, they have too many carbs, they?ll kill you in the long run? seem like a good idea? I hate to say it people, but grandma was right when she sat you down and said you had to finish all your greens before you got up from the table, not that half a dead cow on your plate. And before anyone says I?m wrong and I haven?t ready the books or I?m stupid, I would just like to say?I?ve been studying and researching my PHD on this diet for the last 3 years, IT?S DANGEROUS!!! Please don?t do it. A thin body is no measure for a healthy one.

posted May 2nd, 2008 10:16 am


Andy, it sounds like you have A LOT of problems if you come onto a diet review website to bash dieters and Americans. You don't gain the weight back if you follow the Atkins diet properly. I'm happy for you that you are so perfect, physically. Obviously, there is much to be desired in other departments if you have nothing better to do!

posted Apr 28th, 2008 8:31 am


Uhmm, once you start eating carbs again you are going to gain the weight back extremely fast. And you all have energy? Its kind of sad to see all of you uneducated Amercians cutting vital nutrients and energy like carbohydrates out of your diet to lose some weight that you'll gain back unless you never consume carbohydrates again. And all you women who are on it.. noticed your periods slowing down, are you missing them? You need carbohydrates to maintain a normal menstrual cycle. You are also going to age prematurely.. and lose your sex drive.. This diet is actually increasing your risk of heart attack... and not excercising even? You all disgust me, how could you do this to your body? The american diet is a disgusting one. I excercise regularly, I eat properly, I'm at a perfect weight with a BMI of 19, I have perfect blood work, and best of all.. I EAT CARBOHYDRATES WITH EVERY SINGLE MEAL. Lazy fat Americans think they know everything..

posted Apr 24th, 2008 9:21 am


I've been on atkins for over a month now and have so far lost near 15 pounds without exercising! the diet is amazing although i find it hard sometimes to eat things with no carbs. The trick to feeling good with this diet is not eating greasy fattening foods that are carb free. You may loose weight eating a pound of baccon a day but it wont make you feel any good. Lean proteins and lots of veggies is the only way to go!!

posted Apr 15th, 2008 11:52 am


Two things that most people miss. First, Atkins is not a diet per se as much as a lifestyle change. In essence, think of it as being allergic to carbs - you're limited for life. Second, the biggest problem with the diet is other people- "You CANT eat that - have some nice canned fruit!" etc. Traditional diets have been hammered into everyone's mind, so they think they're helping - ah, well. It had worked wonders for me, no lie! Good luck, all

posted Apr 6th, 2008 9:13 pm


I did the Atkins diet to go into the military, I needed to lose 11 pounds in 2 weeks. I thought it was impossible. I lost 16! I was so excited, I kept doing it until I lost 36 pounds in 3 months. I gain a little when I stop, but I just go right back on, and stick to the induction phase, I don't go forward in the phases. The cravings for bread potatoes, and all the other carbs stop after the first 2 weeks. So, stay strong! ..(by the way) you CAN have bread, pasta, and other carb foods, in moderation of course, in phase 3. I strongly recommend this diet. I have been using it on and off for 2 yrs, now, and my health is in great condition....add in diet green tea..(no carbs) to help with those health numbers you are concerned with....

posted Apr 2nd, 2008 6:48 pm


I have been on the Atkins Diet before..loved it. I lost over 50lbs in three months by sticking to the Induction Phase and adding a little more carbs. It was wonderful and I still eat that way now. Seriously people how can processed flour, sugary items and a bunch of starchy foods make you healthy. I stay away from red meat..have it about once a monthy and I stick mainly to chicken, fish and turkey. Every lunch I have a salad with roasted turkey breast slices and cheese, etc. I'm satisfied all afternoon. Love this way of eating.

posted Apr 1st, 2008 4:35 pm


Dr. Atkins did not die as a result of a heart attack but rather from a head injury in a fall on a slippery, icy sidewalk.

posted Mar 18th, 2008 9:01 am


No matter how much I increased my cardio and no matter how much I decreased my caloric intake, I couldn't seem to lose any weight. I am on day 7 of the Atkins diet and have lost 7 pounds! It is amazing!

posted Mar 2nd, 2008 8:30 am


I had always struggled with weight and at my biggest was over 320 pounds. I read a lot about Atkins and his diet and did the diet for two years. I lost 150 pounds and I'm the best looking I've ever been and the healthiest. My blood pressure and Cholesterol are in good check and I feel great. For the critics out there, the diet does include lots of veggies... but fruits were not aloud... especially fruit juice and I missed that as well as bread and pasta because I'm Italian! Now I'm back to eating pasta occasionally but a balanced, small portion meal and exercise keeps me in check. The diet really is not intended for someone with a few pounds to lose. I think its bad for some people because ketosis can deplete calcium, fat, and muscle and its important to realize that if you've only got a handful of pounds to lose, that you can send your body the wrong message and gain it all back. Even if you're really over weight, you can gain it all back and more....just like any diet. Be smart, love yourself, do good things. Think of food as nutrition and not yummy, tasty stuff that feels good to check and swallow. Think about how much our world has way too much appeal and foods decorate our lives, if you will, and tempt us. Pretend you live on a farm and what you eat is what you can grow from the earth and the animals that we eat to sustain our lives Shop on the outside lanes of the grocery store... everything in the middle lanes are processed and sweet foods and food with chemicals and preserves. The outside lanes of the store have veggies, meats, cheese.... the stuff you'd have available to you if you lived on a farm. THE MIDDLE LANES ARE EVIL...LOL. Anyway, just thought I would share my process of shopping. Again.... love yourself. Don't stop trying and love yourself more and more. Feel great and know you are beautiful.


I helped my Son do Atkins for 3 mos. and he lost 60 lbs. Never felt better, and was eating all the time, A young guy like him had a hardy appitite (19) and no the meals were not at all boring, one just needs to be a little creative. Induction is very important people, the first 2 days are the roughest, (worst) but after that it is totally tolerable for the other 2 weeks. Then smooth sailing, you certainly get a boost of new confidense and extreme energy....A+A+A+A+ RECOMENDED!


To both the "ano" people. Two pounds a week is good! That's what I lost this week, be thankful. It will take a while to get your body in ketosis, be patient. If we can all stick to it we'll lose together.


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