Atkins diet: everything you need to know
Atkins diet: everything you need to know

The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate diet that is generally recommended for weight loss.

Those who support this diet claim that by avoiding high-carbohydrate foods, you can lose weight while eating the required amount of protein and fat.

In the past 12 years or so, more than 20 studies have shown that a low-carbohydrate diet that does not require calorie counting can effectively reduce weight and improve various health conditions.

The Atkins diet was originally advocated by a physician, Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who wrote a best-selling book about the book in 1972.

Since then, the Atkins diet has become popular around the world, and more books have been written.

This diet was initially considered unhealthy and was demonized by mainstream health authorities, mainly due to its high saturated fat content. However, new research shows that saturated fats are harmless (1 trusted source, 2 trusted sources).

Since then, the diet has been thoroughly studied and has been shown to cause more weight loss and blood sugar, "good" HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and other health indicators than a low-fat diet (larger improvement3,4).

Despite the high fat content, it does not increase "bad" LDL cholesterol on average, although this does occur in some people (5 trusted sources).

The main reason low-carbohydrate diets are so effective for weight loss is that reducing carbohydrates and increasing protein intake will lead to a decrease in appetite, which allows you to reduce your calorie intake without thinking about it (6 trusted sources, 7 trusted sources).

The Atkins diet plan is a four-phase plan

The Atkins diet is divided into four different stages:

  • Phase 1 (Induction): Less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day for 2 weeks. Eat more high-fat, high-protein low-carbon vegetables, such as green leafy vegetables. This starts to lose weight.
  • Phase 2 (Balance): Slowly add more nuts, low-carbohydrate vegetables and a small amount of fruit to your diet.
  • Stage 3 (fine-tuning): When you are very close to your target weight, add more carbohydrates to your diet until you slow down your weight.
  • Stage 4 (Maintenance): Here, you can consume as many healthy carbohydrates as possible without gaining weight.

However, these stages are a bit complicated and may not be necessary. As long as you stick to the meal plan below, you should be able to lose weight and maintain it.

Some people choose to skip the introductory stage entirely and include a lot of vegetables and fruits from the beginning. This method can also be very effective.

Others like to stay in the introductory stage indefinitely. This is also called a low-carb ketogenic diet (Keto).

Foods to avoid

You should avoid these foods in the Atkins diet:

  • Sugar: soft drinks, juices, cakes, candies, ice cream, etc.
  • Cereals: wheat, spelt, rye, barley, rice.
  • Vegetable oil: soybean oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, canola oil, etc.
  • Trans fats: usually have the word "hydrogenated" in the ingredient list of processed foods.
  • "Diet" and "low-fat" foods: These foods are usually high in sugar.
  • High-carbohydrate vegetables: carrots, radishes, etc. (only induction).
  • High-carbohydrate fruits: bananas, apples, oranges, pears, grapes (only induction).
  • Starch: potatoes, sweet potatoes (only induction).
  • Beans: lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc. (induction only).
You should eat these as a basis.
  • Meat: beef, pork, lamb, chicken, bacon, etc.
  • Fatty fish and seafood: salmon, trout, sardines, etc.
  • Eggs: The healthiest eggs are omega-3 enriched or grazing.
  • Low-carb vegetables: kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc.
  • Full-fat dairy products: butter, cheese, cream, full-fat yogurt.
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado and avocado oil.

As long as your diet is based on fatty proteins containing vegetables or nuts and some healthy fats, you will lose weight. It's that simple.


These are some of the acceptable beverages in the Atkins diet.

  • Water: As always, water should be your drink of choice.
  • Coffee: Many studies have shown that coffee is rich in antioxidants and very healthy.
  • Green tea: a very healthy drink.

You can drink in small amounts. Stick to unsweetened dry wine and avoid high-carbohydrate beverages, such as beer.

Maybe eat

You can eat many delicious foods in the Atkins diet.

This includes foods such as bacon, heavy cream, cheese and dark chocolate.

Due to their high fat and calorie content, many of them are generally considered fattening.

However, when you adopt a low-carbohydrate diet, your body will use more fat as an energy source and suppress appetite, thereby reducing the risk of overeating and weight gain.

After the induction, you can slowly add healthier carbohydrates

Although you may have heard of it, Atkins' diet is flexible.

Only during the two-week induction phase do you need to minimize your intake of carbohydrate sources.

After the induction, you can slowly add healthier carbohydrates, such as high-carbohydrate vegetables, fruits, berries, potatoes, beans, and healthier grains such as oats and rice.

However, even if you reach your weight loss goal, you may need to maintain a moderate low-carbohydrate diet throughout your life.

If you start eating the same old food again in the same amount as before, your weight will increase. This is true of any weight loss diet.

What about vegetarians?

It is possible to follow the dietary habits of vegetarians (or even vegetarians) to the Atkins diet, but it is very difficult.

You can use the protein in soy foods and eat plenty of nuts and seeds. Olive oil and coconut oil are excellent sources of plant fats.

Lacto-ovo vegetarians can also eat eggs, cheese, butter, heavy cream and other high-fat dairy products.

Sample Atkins menu for a week

This is a sample menu of the week about the Atkins diet.

It is suitable for the induction phase, but during other phases, you should add more high-carbohydrate vegetables and some fruits.


  • Breakfast: eggs and vegetables, deep-fried with coconut.
  • Lunch: chicken salad with olive oil and a small amount of nuts.
  • Dinner: steak and vegetables.


  • Breakfast: bacon and eggs.
  • Lunch: leftover chicken and vegetables the night before.
  • Dinner: headless burger, vegetables and butter.


  • Breakfast: Omelet with vegetables, fried with butter.
  • Lunch: shrimp salad and some olive oil.
  • Dinner: Stir-fried beef with vegetables.


  • Breakfast: eggs and vegetables, deep-fried in coconut oil.
  • Lunch: Leftovers leftovers from dinner the day before.
  • Dinner: salmon with butter and vegetables.


  • Breakfast: bacon and eggs.
  • Lunch: chicken salad with olive oil and a small amount of nuts.
  • Dinner: meatballs and vegetables.

on Saturday

  • Breakfast: Omelet, with various vegetables, fried with butter.
  • Lunch: leftover meatballs the night before.
  • Dinner: pork chop with vegetables.

on Sunday

  • Breakfast: bacon and eggs.
  • Lunch: leftover pork chops the night before.
  • Dinner: grilled chicken wings, some salsa and vegetables.

Make sure to include a variety of vegetables in your diet.

Healthy low-carb snacks

Most people think that their appetite for the Atkins diet has decreased.

They are often dissatisfied with three meals a day (sometimes only two meals).

However, if you feel hungry between meals, here are some healthy fast foods:

  • Leftovers leftovers.
  • One or two hard-boiled eggs.
  • A piece of cheese.
  • a piece of meat.
  • Few nuts.
  • Some Greek yogurt.
  • Berries and cream.
  • Baby carrots (be careful when inducing).
  • Fruit (after induction).
How to follow the Atkins diet when dining out

In most restaurants, following Atkins eating habits is actually very easy.

  1. Get more vegetables instead of bread, potatoes or rice.
  2. Order meals based on fatty meat or fatty fish.
  3. Add some seasonings, butter or olive oil to the meal.
Simple shopping list for Atkins diet

Shopping around the store is a good rule. Usually all the food can be found here.

It is not necessary to eat organic food, but always choose the least processed food that fits your budget.

  • Meat: beef, chicken, lamb, pork, bacon.
  • Fatty fish: salmon, trout, etc.
  • Shrimp and shellfish .
  • Eggs .
  • Dairy products: Greek yogurt, heavy cream, butter, cheese.
  • Vegetables: spinach, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, onions, etc.
  • Berries: blueberries, strawberries, etc.
  • Nuts: almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc.
  • Seeds: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Fruits: apples, pears, oranges.
  • Coconut oil .
  • Olives .
  • Extra virgin olive oil .
  • Dark chocolate .
  • Avocado .
  • Seasoning: sea ​​salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, coriander, etc.

It is strongly recommended that you clear the pantry of all unhealthy foods and ingredients. This includes ice cream, soda, breakfast cereals, bread, fruit juice and baking ingredients such as sugar and wheat flour.

Bottom line

If you are serious about the Atkins diet, please consider buying or borrowing an Atkins book.

In the final analysis, the Atkins diet is a healthy and effective way to lose weight. You will not be disappointed.



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