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Atkins Diet

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

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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 3 of 5, 85 total comments)


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.


To: anonymous- loss 2 lbs. - have you done the Atkins before? I've heard after trying it more than once the weight loss tends to slow down


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