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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.

PRO
  • 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
CON
  • 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
DIET and NUTRITION

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

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.

CONCLUSION

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 4 of 5, 85 total comments)

Anonymous

I have been following the atkins diet now for 8 days and have only lost 2 lbs(that's in the morning before I eat or drink) My urine shows ketones, I am confused why I'm not losing more weight. Any suggestions??


JoAnne

Well, I'm one of those always on a diet people. I did Atkins and lost weight but made the mistake of going off before I was done losing weight. My weight went up and so did all my numbers. I had a stroke last year at 52. My bllod pressure was extremely high and I had no symptoms. Because of my age my recovery was fast but my numbers are still high and I take meds. I am the type person that IS carb sensitive and I have gone back on Atkins. I am anxious to see the numbers go down. Please everyone know your numbers such as blood pressure, cholesterol & sugar. I had to have a stroke to open my eyes!


Vikki

It is quite clear to me, that those people who believe this way of eating lacks nutrients have not done their research. We actually eat a much more balanced diet than low fat dieters. We get all our nutrients from veggies, dairy and real food. We don't eat all that processed junk. I don't know what kind of wonder nutrients that bread and potatoes are suppose to have, but believe me I can live without it. I have the blood work to prove it.


Donny

I have been on the Atkins diet for 5 days, I have already lost 11 pounds, i'm amazed, I plan to stick with it as i have a further 20 pounds to loose, Atkins is great, I'm never hungry.


Jordan

I think this diet is BOGUS. Who would follow a diet that lacks so much nutrients?


Michael

In 2002 I was wheeled out of work by paramedics having suffered a heart attack due to obesity and high blood pressure. In one year the Atkins diet changed my life. I am healthy exersizing on a regular basis and eating great. There are so many books and shows with great Idea's and Recipe's to help and inspire your choices and variety. I reccomend "The Low Carb Comfort Food Cookbook" by Dr's Michael and Mary Eades I also record their cooking show. Trust me you will not run out of variety as some people think. Think of a favarite food like lasagna and google low carb lasagna recipe, or any favorite food.


Amanda

This diet helped me lose 60 lbs in 6 months after having my baby. I did not exercise either. Though I do reccomend it for toning. I reccomend this diet to anyone who is looking to lose a lot of weight fast. The down-side is if you go off the diet after you have lost the weigth, you will gain it back and more. If you think of it as a lifestyle, not a diet, you will do fine.


Rae

I have never done a diet that worked so well or made me feel better than Atkins does. After my first son was born I lost all 60 pounds in 5 months. During my second pregnancy, I had severe diabetes and packed on 85 pounds. After my second son's birth I went on Weight Watcher's, LA Weight Loss, and Jenny Craig, looking for results as good as Atkins. I wound up with awful clinical hypoglycemia, which my doctor told me to get off those diets, and get back to eating proteins and 5 meals a day, or I was headed for a stroke with my blood sugar problems. I am down 18 pounds since getting back on track. I will never, EVER choose another way of eating again. My blood sugar is under EXCELLENT control now (unless I forget to eat), and I have energy again. I can't believe I bothered trying anything else after knowing full well how great I have felt on Atkins. And to those who think I can't have nutritious food daily: I eat probably more salads and veggies and nutrient dense foods than 99% of the people who tell me how deficient my eating plan is. I've entered all ,my data into fitday.com. I am NOT deficient in ANYTHING. Atkins rocks.


Grace

At 44 years of age, I was headed for the nursing home or cemetery, I'm not sure which. All doctors could do was give me more and more pills, and still my weight ballooned and my health declined. In answer to prayer, the Atkins diet changed my life. I am now 53 years old and continue to be in the best health of my life. Instead of debilitating migraines, chronic fatigue and obesity, my weight is good and I feel great every day. Mine and my husband's bloodwork have been declared "phenomenal" and "amazing" by doctors. I thank God for Dr. Atkins and his lifetime of trying to get the truth out to a world that is desperate for truth. I no longer beat a path to the doctor. Doctors can do great things, but they can't make you HEALTHTY. We restrict carbs and take supplements and ride horses and hike and go to the doctor once a year for checkups! Hooray! What a blessing the Atkins diet has been--God, through it, gave me my life back.


Anonymous

Dying of a heart attack is nothing to joke about or judge someone about. My dad was fit and beautiful and died while jogging. Besides, Atkins did not die from a heart attack. Saying this is like when people perpetuated the rumor that Mama Cass died from choking.


Frank

If you follow this plan correctly it is not unhealthy. Eat lower fat meats, eat salad and allowed veggies and eat the correct fats and you will lose weight and feel great. I sleep better (and less), have more energy and think clearer on this diet. I also have had several checkups while on the program and my numbers were great. It works, it was the way man was designed to eat.


Victoria

I lost 65 pounds and love this way of eating. I'll never go back to the food that made me fat.


Tammy

I tried this diet, but it's too hard follow, plus it's extremely unhealthy, after one day of dieting I couldn't even watch TV cause my brain wasn't working at all. Also, I was constipating for 3 days. Do research before you go on this diet! It might cost you health.


Tracy

It's a good lifestyle change. When I think of it as a restricting diet, I don't stay faithful. I got a clean bill of health last year from my doc. She said that I had the best #s clear across the board she'd ever seen.


Anonymous

I lost 40 lbs in less than 6 months and I've followed this diet for over 5 years now. Just had a full physical with blood work - all perfect - blood pressure, cholesterol... and I am 50 years old.


Laura

This diet works, is great, but you can get sick of the same foods. You don't miss carbs, but at the same time you get bored.


Holly

This diet is so hard to keep up with! I just started it, and I love how you can eat steak, chicken, eggs, etc. The only downfall is the lack of nutrients, potatoes, bread, pasta...! Anyways I have heard from many people that it works great so I encourage all to try this diet with me!


Anonymous

Just to correct some misinformation given out in previous comments, Dr. Atkins did suffer a non-fatal heart attack at the age of 72 which was caused by an infection that spread to his heart. The cardiologist who treated himsaid there was no connection to his diet. He died a year later due to a brain injurycaused by a fall on an Icy sidewalk. This information is readily available if anyone had bothered to check their facts before passing on incorrect information. And by the way, the Atkins diet does work.


Anonymous

haha. thats right jd!


Anonymous

I met Dr Atkins he was not over weight , & looked great 4 his age. This diet definetly works once u get over ur carb withdrawl U feel great, lots of energy. u loose about .5 to 1 lb per day. He didn't die of heart attack. stick to chicken, turkey and fish.



 

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