Proven Step-By-Step Guide (2020)
This is a complete guide to the Atkins Diet Plan 2020.
If you’ve been wondering about the meaning of Atkins Diet and how to execute the diet plan succesfully, you are in the right hands.
In this article you will learn everything you need to know before starting this diet plan. You will also learn about some of the most famous people who follow the Atkins Diet.
Let’s dive straight into the article!
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What Is Atkins Diet?
You may have heard about Atkins Diet but you are not sure whether its the perfect diet for you.
Don’t worry! We got you covered in this step-by-step guide where you will learn everything you need to know before getting on the plan.
Let’s start with the definition of this diet.
What Is Atkins Diet?
Atkins Diet is a low-carb diet, which is usually favored for weight loss. The Atkins diet was originally created by the physician Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who wrote a best-selling book about it in 1972.
Proponents of the diet claim that you can lose weight while eating as much protein and fat as you want, however, you have to avoid foods high in carbs.
This diet plan consists of 4 phases for losing weight and maintaining it. Atkins diet is considered the launching of all low-carbs diets trend.
But, high-protein, low-carb, and high-fat? That sounds familiar. Isn’t this a ketogenic diet? It sure sounds like a keto diet but there is a difference between the two.
So, what’s the difference between Keto and Atkins Diet?
It’s simple. When you are being on a keto you are cutting out most of the carbs and they stay low. The Atkins Diet, however, starts with reducing your carb intake to 20g/day. At least in Phase 1.
Then you are progressively increasing your carb intake and start consuming more of your favorite fruits, something restricted in keto.
On Atkins Diet, you are also consuming more protein – 30% of your daily calorie intake (on keto you are eating around 20%). Since you are increasing your carbs intake, the Atkins diet is more flexible when it comes down to eating favorite fruits and veggies.
To sum up, the Atkins diet is a less restrictive approach because you don’t have to stay in constant ketosis.
But what is ketosis?
In normal circumstances, the body’s cells use glucose as their main source of energy. People can usually attain glucose from dietary carbs, including sugars and starchy foods.
Overall, it should take you 2–4 days to enter ketosis. On the other hand, some people might need a week or longer. The time it takes depends on different factors, like your age, exercise level, and current carb, protein, metabolism and fat intake.
The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Eventually, it either uses glucose as fuel or stores it in the liver and muscles as glycogen.
In the case there isn’t enough glucose available to provide enough energy, the body will adopt an alternative strategy to meet those needs. In specific, it begins to break down fat stores and use glucose from triglycerides.
Can you lose muscle in a ketosis state?
It basically goes like this. Most experts admit that carbohydrates are a necessary nutrient for active individuals and for people, who try to build or maintain muscle mass. You should know that low-fat diets like keto and Atkins are better than entering starvation mode.
When clarifying the idea behind the high-protein, high-fat diets, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics acknowledges that a total fast or starvation (hunger) would usually lead to breaking down the lean muscle mass of the body for energy.
Yet, the Atkins diet still gives the body calories and is not a starvation diet, it doesn’t cause the same muscle loss.
Now, let’s get into details with the 4 Phases of Atkins.
What are the 4 Phases of the Atkins Diet?
Phase 1 (induction):
Under 20 grams of carbs in a day for 2 weeks. Eat high-fat, high-protein, with low-carb vegetables like spinach. This makes your weight loss journey faster.
When you limit the number of carbs you consume to around 20g a day, your body will change its main fuel source from carbs to fat.
Every part of the New Atkins plan is based on proven scientific principles. The Atkins diet is also a completely safe, natural way to lose weight.
Take a look into our 7 tips for starting Phase 1 of Atkins:
- Consume 20g of carbs per day.
- More than a half from this carbs should come from cooked vegetables and salad – you would be surprised that there are 26g of carbs in one medium banana (118g). Corn, for example, has 27g of carbs per cup. A general note here – the greener the better!
- Eat a minimum of 115-175 grams of protein-rich food for every meal (up to 225g for taller men)
- You can also take a daily iron-free multivitamin tablet and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement to make sure you are getting all the nutrients you need. However, keep in mind that if you eat whole unprocessed foods you won’t need any supplements.
- Drink 8 glasses of water or 2 liters minimum (or other acceptable drinks) per day.
- Eat 3 average-sized meals a day or 4-5 smaller meals.
- Try not to neglect and skip any meals and never go any longer than 6-7 hours without eating.
The induction phase is about helping you differentiate hunger from habit, and changing the amount of food you consume to make sure your appetite decreases.
Phase 2 (balancing):
If you don’t have that much fat to cut, you are a vegetarian or just want a greater food variety, you can skip the induction phase and start the Atkins Diet from here.
You’ll start Phase 2 by eating 25 grams of net carbs daily, and then begin to increase overall carb intake in 5-gram increase. By the end of this phase, you should find that your carb balance holds between 30 and 80 daily grams of net carbs.
Phase 2 usually lasts until you’re within 10 pounds of your goal weight. Yet, depending on your personal weight loss goals, you might choose to transition into Phase 3 sooner. Early transitioning is recommended for those of you who are vegetarian or looking to slow the rate of their weight loss.
Do that by simply add more nuts, low-carb vegetables, and small amounts of fruit back to your diet. In phase 2 of the Atkins diet you will discover your carb tolerance – that’s the level of carbs you can consume per day and still losing weight at a steady pace.
Here are 10 Tips For Phase 2 of Atkins Diet:
- Continue to take your multivitamin, multimineral, and omega-3 supplements.
- Monitor your daily carb intake – which you can do using “MyFitnessPal”.
- Remember, weight loss in this phase usually happens at a steadier pace than in Phase 1. Have patience! If you stick to a few rules, you will get to your goal.
- By escalating your carbs slowly, you’ll find out exactly how many carbs you can consume while still working towards your goal weight. It’ll form the foundation of your low carb lifestyle in the long term.
- You can now add a variety of foods to your diet like seeds, berries, nuts, and some cheeses.
- Vegetarians start at solid 30g of carbs per day
- You can add an extra 5g of carbs per week (up to 40g) to find your carb tolerance.
- You can now enjoy Atkins food products.
- Eat plenty of natural fats. – if you want to get more information about good and bad fats, check our low-fat diet guide.
- Drink eight glasses of water or other beverages like herbal teas per day.
Phase 3 (fine-tuning):
When you’re very near to your goal weight, add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down. Phase 3 is all about helping you establish and maintain a long-term way of eating so you can stay happy and healthy for good.
Phase 3 is also about building up your carb tolerance, so when you’re ready to move on to Phase 4, you know what works for you in the long-term.
There are 2 main things you have to remember for this phase.
- Listen to your body
During Phase 3, you should increase your carb intake by 10g per week. This is so you can find your carb balance – the ideal level that allows you to reach your goal weight and stay there. We are all different, so it is just trial and error. Take your time and listen to your body.
By the time you reach your goal weight and have kept it there for a month, you should have a pretty clear picture of what amount and type of carbs your body can handle, and what it can’t.
- Fine-tuning your carbs
If your cravings come back or your weight loss hits a plateau, drop your carb intake by 10g for a week, then add an extra 5g until you find your balance. In this final ‘fine-tuning’ stage of your plan, you’ll find the balance between what you can consume and maintain your ideal weight.
Here are 3 BONUS Tips for Phase 3 of the Atkins Diet:
- You can add an extra 10g of carbs per week (up to 100g) to find your carb balance
- You can now add a variety of foods like pulses, starchy veg, and more fruits.
- Monitor your daily carb intake – which you can do using a useful app called “MyFitnessPal”
Phase 4 (maintenance):
Congratulations! You’ve done the hard work. You have achieved your dream weight. Phase 4 is all about maintaining this weight for good. Here you can eat as many healthy carbs (fruits and veggies) as your body can tolerate without gaining back the weight. (yet, stay away from eating processed or packaged foods because they are high in calories)
Keep in mind, that daily activity plays a major role here. The carbs intake differentiate as per the amount of energy you burn. So, the best way to constantly make progress is by knowing your body and how it tolerates different carb intake. You can do that by simply maintaining a journal of the foods you eat.
Despite the fact you’ve achieved your goal weight, maintaining it can be a hard task. There will be times when you step outside the path. Don’t worry! Everybody has cravings and gains a little weight at some point. Let that don’t demotivate you.
If you happen to gain a couple of extra pounds, drop your carbs to 10-20g to stay in control of the situation.
If you go back and keep the carb balance that you’ve refined over the last weeks and months, there’s nothing in the world to stop you from staying at your goal weight for good.
In Phase 4, you can minimize your fat intake and increase your carbs consumption. Yet, having a daily activity is more important to stay healthy than any diet. So, if you haven’t started exercising yet, now would be the perfect time to do so!
Bottom Line: You learned the definition of the Atkins Diet and went through all 4 Phases of this meal plan. You have also learned how is the Atkins Diet different from Keto.
Stay tuned because in the next chapter, you will learn why is the diet healthy and why to choose it instead of other diets.
Why Choose Atkins Diet?
In this Chapter, we will break down all of the reasons why you should follow this diet.
The Atkins Diet is one of the most popular methods for losing weight and maintaining health.
However, losing weight is not everything that comes with the diet. Decreasing the risk of some cancers, disease prevention, and a positive impact on the treatment of acne are only a couple of benefits that come with Atkins.
Keep reading to find out more!
Why Choose Atkins Diet?
You have a basic understanding of what the Atkins Diet means. You almost certainly want to lose weight but did you know there are many more benefits to start with this diet today. Let’s find out why to choose the Atkins diet.
These are most of the health-related benefits that come with the Atkins Diet. If you are the type of person who doesn’t have any illnesses, go to chapter 4 and see all pros and cons of the diet. For those of you who are always curious, keep reading.
Preliminary discoveries on a study from 2006 show that a low-carb diet may help alleviate gastroesophageal reflux disease. If you want to know more about GERD and how a diet can alleviate it, check our Gerd Diet Guide.
Typically foods with caffeine or that are high in fat are shown to contribute to acid reflux, but this survey shows that a low-carb diet may help prevent symptoms usually brought on by those foods.
This initial study suggests more research must be done analyzing the effect of low-carbohydrate diets on GERD.
There has been growing research on the effect nutrition has on skin health. In a 2012 review published in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, the role of carbohydrates was examined on the expansion of acne, with the hypothesis that a extremely low carb diet may have a positive impact on the cure of acne.
The use of a low-carb diet just like Atkins has been shown to not only help with weight loss but also improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglycerides. The diet also decreases inflammation – all factors related to cardiovascular disease.
Obesity is one of the factors related to the increased risk for a few cancers, so naturally, if the Atkins diet is shown to make people lose weight and maintain their weight loss, the impact on decreasing the chance of getting some cancers is positive.
Examples include findings from a 2012 study within the Journal of National Cancer Institute that show that higher total carbohydrate intake and better dietary glycemic load were related to an increased risk of recurrence and mortality in stage III colon cancer.
That means that the Atkins diet (which is of course low glycemic) may help in improving the survival rates in colon cancer.
Another study in Nutrition and Cancer (2010) proved that a low-carb diet just like the Atkins helped overweight women breast cancer survivors lose weight – decreasing their risk for cardiovascular disease and other obesity-related diseases, moreover as a recurrence of breast cancer.
A high-calorie diet is related to an increased risk of cognitive impairment. During a 2012 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it had been shown that the danger of mild cognitive impairment or dementia was raised in people who ate a high-carb diet, which led to the conclusion that the Atkins diet has a role in lowering the chance of getting dementia.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most typical endocrine disorder affecting women of reproductive age and is related to obesity, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance.
Because low carbohydrate diets just like the Atkins and Keto are shown to decrease insulin resistance, a pilot study (Nutrition and Metabolism, 2005) examined the six-month metabolic and endocrine effects of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet (LCKD) on overweight and obese women with PCOS.
In this pilot study, an LCKD led to significant weight gain, percent free testosterone, LH/FSH ratio, and fasting insulin in women with obesity and PCOS over 24 weeks.
Another 2013 pilot study within the Journal of General Internal Medicine showed similar positive results – Diabetes/Metabolic Syndrome/Insulin Resistance
EPILEPSY AND RELATED DISEASES
More than thirty studies starting from 2004 to 2014 back up the use of a Modified Atkins Diet in helping ease the symptoms of epilepsy and related seizure disorders in adults and youngsters.
This was especially encouraging for kids diagnosed with childhood epilepsy who aren’t responding to the seizure control medications. The Modified Atkins Diet is created by Dr. Eric Kossoff at John Hopkins. Dr. Kossoff has also published a book titled:
“Ketogenic Diets Treatments for Epilepsy and Other Disorders” – Fifth Edition. You can find info for the book here.
Bottom Line: We covered some of the benefits of the diet. You know what is the diet and you learned why to choose it. However, you don’t know how to start.
Don’t worry! We got you covered in the next chapter where you will learn how to successfully make the transition and start with the Atkins Diet!
Making The Change
You have decided that you want to follow this plan. You don’t know how to make the switch.
In this Chapter, we are going to give you the basics of starting the change and adapting to it.
Be aware that every beginning is tough. However, with the essential knowledge in this chapter, you will be more ready than ever for making the change.
Making The Change
If you have decided that the Atkins Diet is the right diet for you, then congratulations! You have made the first step – the most important step of all. The motivation to change has made you take that decision.
Now you have to make the transition from your current eating habits to Phase 1 of the Atkins diet. In other guides like the candida diet or the intermittent fasting plan, we usually recommend taking baby steps with every diet.
Starting small and progressing every day may seem like a wise option for many but with this specific diet, the different phases do that for you.
With the Atkins diet, you just have to do it. Starting with the initial phase of the diet may seem tough, especially if you are used to eating all types of junk food with bad fats included (bad fats are all trans and saturated fats).
Our advice for you here is to stay consistent! Motivation is what makes you start at the beginning but dedication and consistency are what make you continue.
Remember that losing weight is only possible if you burn more calories than you consume – in other words, being in a calorie deficit
Okay, I will start the diet but what can I eat during the Atkins diet?
We have a detailed list of that too. In fact, we are going to cover every food that you can or cannot eat right now.
Foods To Eat
Full-fat dairy: cheese, butter, cream, full-fat yogurt.
Healthy fats: Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and avocado oil.
Fatty fish and seafood: Salmon, trout, sardines, etc.
Meats: Beef, pork, lamb, chicken, bacon, and others.
Eggs: The healthiest eggs are omega-3 fully or pastured.
Low-carb vegetables: Kale, spinach, broccoli, salad greens, asparagus, and others.
Low-fat Fruits: high fiber fruit like apples, citrus, and berries
Seeds and nuts: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
Complex carbs like legumes and whole-grains are good but it depends on the phase you are in.
Beverages like water, coffee, and green tea are good-to-go options.
Foods like bacon, chocolate, and different cheeses also can be eaten. However, keep in mind that they have more fat content, which automatically adds to the total calories consumed per day.
At the end of the day, calories in versus calories out are what makes the biggest difference between losing fat and gaining weight.
Foods To Avoid
High-carb vegetables: Carrots, turnips, etc (induction only).
High-carb fruits: Bananas, apples, oranges, pears, grapes (induction only).
Starches: Potatoes, sweet potatoes (induction only)
Legumes: Lentils, beans, chickpeas, etc. (induction only)
Fruits with high sugar content, such as pineapple, mango, papaya, and banana
Sweets & Sugars: Soft drinks, fruit juices, cakes, candy, ice cream…
Grains: Wheat, spelled, rye, barley, rice, white bread, pasta, and foods containing processed grains
Vegetable oils: Soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, and a few others.
Trans fats: Usually found in processed foods with the word “hydrogenated” on the ingredients list.
“Diet” and “low-fat” foods: These are usually very high in sugar.
If you’re motivated by quick weight loss and can hold on a structure and a minimum of choices, you might choose to stay in Phase 1 beyond two weeks. To go through this process easier, as well as set the stage for when you do decide to move on here are 2 things to remember:
- Continue to eat 20 grams of Net Carbs a day beyond the first two weeks.
- Try adding nuts and seeds to your list of suggested foods to eat above. Nuts are full of protein and healthy fats and are nearly low in Net Carbs, because of their high fiber content.
Bottom Line: Starting the diet immediately may seem like your best option. Staying dedicated and follow your goal will lead you to success.
So, you know how to start, however, we want to make sure you also know all positives and negatives of the diet. See you in chapter 4 where your whole picture of the Atkins diet will become clear.
Pros and Cons of the Atkins Diet
You are ready to make the switch but you are not sure whether this plan is the right for you.
In Chapter 4 you will learn all pros and cons of the diet and decide for yourself whether to start it or not.
Keep in mind that we want to make things crystal clear for you, so you won’t be having troubles making the choice.
Grab an apple and keep reading!
Pros and Cons of The Atkins Diet
When it comes down to something, it always comes with both positives and negatives. In chapter 2 you have learned some of the health-related benefits of the Atkins diet. Now, let’s take a look at the pros in general.
Pros Of The Atkins Diet
Drastically Improved Mood
Without the constant highs and lows in blood sugar which zap energy and drain your mood, you’ll find that you simply feel much brighter.
Food really does act like medicine when it involves the mind and when you might have previously eaten sugary foods once you felt low, this works against what you’re trying to realize and just leaves you feeling even unhappier.
With Atkins, you’ll be able to control your glucose, put a spring in your step, and avoid the sugary ‘highs’ and ‘lows’.
On the Atkins diet, after you’ve completed the initial phase to switch your body to ketosis (about 1-2 weeks) you should start to see a great lift in stamina levels.
Cardio will feel easier, you’ll be able to lift more weights or find you have more energy to keep up with the children. This is often due to your body adjusting to burning fat for energy.
Your body can even become a fat-burning machine now, however, as we are all different, it takes hours to days for that to happen, so be patient.
As we have a much greater supply of fat than carbs, energy levels soar. If however, you discover that you’re lacking in energy after 2 weeks on Atkins, try increasing salt intake.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt
Atkins is naturally diuretic. This means you need to recover the salt that’s lost when your water retention decreases.
Don’t worry though! On Atkins, you aren’t eating salty, processed foods so your intake will naturally be lower.
Give a kid a chunk of his favorite cake and see how it gets hyper right before your eyes. Children find it very hard to concentrate on one task as they bounce off the walls on a sugar high.
Well, the opposite happens once your body gets in ketosis. You find that mental focus improves dramatically.
This is a great positive of the Atkins diet that most people feel within a week or 2 of lowering their carbs.
You were probably wondering where did this pro has gone. Well, there it is. The Atkins diet has a long history of successful weight loss.
Many people have lost weight on this plan and also the diet has been studied in a great number of clinical trials. But if you’re considering Atkins for weight loss or weight maintenance, you will find that there’s a variety of studies with conflicting results.
Results from a big nutritional study were reported in 2019 at both the American Society of Nutrition and the American Diabetes Association conferences. The findings show that there’s not necessarily a single diet that meets the requirements of each individual, who tries to lose weight because each body is different.
Several of those studies have shown that there’s no difference between caloric restriction and carb restriction for long-term weight loss.
In addition, while there is some support for low-carb, higher-fat diets, there are still medical scientists who question if the diet is healthy or effective in the long-term.
No Calorie Counting
Even though I am a big fan of tracking calories and macronutrients, in the Atkins diet that isn’t necessary.
Now, that doesn’t mean you should go crazy about eating everything your eyes see. It is usually recommended to eat more green veggies due to their low carbs percentage.
Take a glance into some veggies and their calories on a 100g of a product:
Arugula – 25 calories
Lettuce – 15 calories
Cucumber – 15 calories
Celery – 16 calories
Radishes – 16 calories
Cabbage – 25 calories
Mushrooms – 26 calories
So, counting calories could be implemented initially because it creates valuable habits and knowledge of food nutrition. Track your macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fats) until you recognize how much you eat to maintain or decrease your body fat. Also the size of the portions and types of foods.
Yet, most nutrition experts acknowledge the importance of consuming the proper number of calories a day by day, they admit that trying to trace and monitor your intake daily may be tough for some people and may feel restrictive.
Those of you who prefer a structured approach to eating will enjoy Atkins. Each phase of the program features a specific time or weight goal that’s clearly explained in detail.
For example, Phase 1 lasts for 2 weeks (in most situations). Phase 2 lasts until you’re 10 pounds from your goal weight. Phase 3 should last until you have been comfortably at your goal weight for four weeks.
Extensive lists of acceptable foods are available for every stage and portion sizes for every food category are clearly defined.
No More Hunger
Yes, it is true. I don’t like to consider Atkins as a ‘diet’ as this conjures up images of endless plates of lettuce leaves, egg white omelets, or worse – nothing.
The low carb, high protein approach does leave you feeling satisfied. I’d say one among the top 3 commonly asked questions from Atkins followers is “I’ve been on Atkins for a week and I’m just not hungry, can I skip a meal or two?”, to which the answer is, of course, always a convincing “no”.
The fact is that people feel too full and still drop pounds and they also feel great. What’s the reason for this?
Every Atkins meal is rich in protein and dietary fat (fat that comes from food) so it’s very satisfying.
If you do not wish to prepare your food all the time, Atkins snack bars and other meal replacements are an easy choice in many markets and discount stores.
However, keep in mind the amount of added sugars on the foods you consume. Always read the labels as there are also hidden sugars!
This is a list of a couple of hidden sugars you should be aware of:
Cons Of The Atkins Diet
With so many benefits of the diet, you wonder what can go wrong? Well, here is a list of all cons of the diet.
Very low-carb diets like Atkins may be tough to follow due to their obligation for you to make too many changes from the start.
Many people follow a standard American diet before switching to Atkins. This traditional eating style is high in carbohydrates and foods or drinks with added sugars.
While the standard American diet is not 100% healthy, making large changes in a short period can backfire.
There are cases where a severe restriction can cause food binges, guilt, and weight gain. In addition, many nutrition experts suggest people to make small changes over an extended period of time, instead of undertaking an entire diet overhaul.
The Need To Count Net Carbs
On the Atkins plan, you are not counting calories, however, you do count net carbs. For some people, counting net carbs is as complicated and annoying as counting calories, in particular when you eat out with friends.
Calorie counts are appearing more and more on restaurant menus. However, those menus that list calories often don’t list macronutrients – a.k.a proteins, fats, and carbs, which makes it impossible to know your net carb intake.
Also, there’s disagreement within the nutrition community about whether or not the idea of counting net carbs is beneficial for losing weight. The influence of sugar alcohols on metabolism is not fully understood.
Also, the definition of “net carb” isn’t certainly defined by the FDA. So you’ll eat food that advertises a very low net carb amount and it’s going to have more of an impact on your metabolism than you realize.
Be aware that everything has high carbs except proteins like meat, chicken, and green veggies. Remember that when you are eating out.
The Atkins Diet concede that drastically cutting carbs in the early phase of the program may end up in some side effects, including:
On top of that, some very low carb diets restrict carbohydrates so much that they result in nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber, which may lead to health problems as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea.
Keep in mind that eating high fiber carbs, whole grain carbs, and nutrient-dense carbs may improve the health profile of programs just like the Atkins Diet.
Also, the Atkins Diet has changed over time to help prevent health problems, and it now suggests taking a small amount of extra sodium, together with vitamins or supplements.
It’s also possible that restricting carbohydrates to less than 20 grams daily – the level recommended for phase 1 of the diet – may put you in ketosis. Side effects from ketosis can include nausea, headache, mental fatigue, and bad breath.
In addition, the Atkins Diet isn’t appropriate for everybody. For example, if you take any medications like diuretics, oral diabetes pills, or insulin, you should always consult with your doctor before getting on the Atkins plan.
Additionally, people with severe kidney disease shouldn’t follow the diet, and the weight-loss phases of the diet aren’t recommended for pregnant women.
Reduces Fruits And Grains Consumption
If you are a fruit lover, you’ll find it hard to say goodbye to your favorite food. Whether or not you love fruits, the USDA recommends that you consume about two cups per day to get the important vitamins and nutrients that they bring.
Sooner or later, you’ll be able to add some fruit but in the early stages of the diet, you’ll need to stay away from healthy fruits like berries, bananas, apple, and citrus fruits to get into ketosis.
Once you are closer to your goal weight, you’ll be able to consume small amounts of low-carb fruits (raspberries for example) but be aware that many people aren’t able to stay in ketosis when they consume any fruit.
Consuming grains is another concern on the Atkins diet because grain-based foods are highly restricted – especially within the early phases.
Eating whole grains, however, may help you to meet the fiber guideline which varies from about 22 grams to 33 grams per day for adult men and women.
Reduced Fiber Intake (initial phase)
Fiber offers huge positives to your health, from controlling your appetite and regulating glucose to helping your digestion. Fiber is a carbohydrate, however, it doesn’t transform into glucose, it doesn’t raise your blood sugar like carbohydrates typically do.
Fiber slows the glucose entering into the bloodstream. This, in turn, reduces the blood-sugar spikes that lead to insulin production and supports the body to produce and store body fat. Fiber also helps you feel full longer, leading to fewer food cravings.
Pro Tip: According to the Institute of Medicine the recommended amount of fiber is 19-38 grams per day (depending on age and gender)
Here are 5 tips to make your fiber intake higher on Atkins:
1. Start Slow
If you want to extend the fiber in your diet, be sure to do it slowly. Increasing the amount of dietary fiber in your diet way too quickly may result in gas, bloating, and even cramps.
Try snacking some walnuts and do it progressively.
2. Don’t Peel Veggies and Fruits
Leave the skin on veggies like carrots and cucumbers, and eat fruits like apple whole. Eating the skin gives your body a fantastic source of fiber and is a convenient way to slowly introduce more fiber into your diet.
3. Rise and Shine with Fiber Rich Grains
Breakfast may be transformed into one of the most fiber-rich meals of the day by changing the refined grains you eat with whole grains.
When making oatmeal, use steel-cut oats rather than rolled oats, or bake something but use high fiber coconut flour instead of all-purpose flour.
4. Sneak in the Veggies
Find ways to incorporate vegetables into each meal. Make veggies a necessary part of the recipe just like the Atkins recipes you will learn in chapter 9.
5. Go Veg for a Meal or Two
If you are ready to take your fiber game to the next level you may go vegetarian for a meal or even a day or two. Typically, many vegetarian meals are high in fiber and also low in carbs.
Bottom Line: Everything, whether it will be a new business, changing your workplace or a simple diet has cons. However, that doesn’t have to stop you from starting and succeeding.
In Chapter 5 we will delve deeper into weight loss, so keep on reading!
Weight Loss with Atkins Diet
Weight Loss And Atkins
Losing weight can be a difficult process for many. In fact, people think they will go on a diet and start losing weight immediately.
That’s the tricky part right here. You can lose weight only if you are in a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume). Every diet’s purpose is to put you in a deficit.
When you are following the Atkins diet your scale is going to drop down immediately. However, keep in mind that this weight is “water weight”.
Weight loss isn’t a linear process. If you weigh yourself every day you will see that your weight goes up and down.
But how can I be sure if I am really losing weight?
Here are 5 tips that may help you lose weight.
Step on the scale EVERY DAY
You may find yourself in a situation where you are weighing yourself one day and see that your weight is down. However, after 2 days you decide to step on the scale again and see how many pounds more have you lost.
Bad news. You are heavier than before and you wonder what happened. You decide the diet doesn’t work and quit. Sounds familiar?
To prevent this put yourself on the scale every morning right after waking up and after bathroom on an empty stomach. Weigh yourself in the same conditions (fixed hour, no food for about 12 hours) for 7 days. (no clothes, empty stomach, after bathroom). Write your weight down on paper or your mobile phone.
Every Sunday combine your currencies and divide them by 7! That’s your weekly weight. Compare it to the next week and the next, and the next. This method of weekly comparison is more reliable than daily comparison.
Use a Measuring Tape.
Although, the previous tip works perfectly fine, keep in mind, that you can use other tools, not only the scale. Measure yourself with a measuring tape. Start with your waist, hips, shoulders, chest, and arms.
Write down your results!
Keep in mind that you have to measure yourself with fit clothing or no clothes at all, and always measure yourself at the same conditions.
Take a look into the basics of measuring yourself:
Bust: Measure around the chest right at the nipple line, but don’t pull the tape too tight.
Chest: Measure just under your bust.
Waist: Measure a half-inch above your belly button or at the smallest part of your waist.
Hips: Place the tape measure around the biggest part of your hips.
Thighs: Measure around the biggest part of each thigh.
Calves: Measure around the largest part of each calf.
Upper arm: Measure around the largest part of each arm above the elbow.
Forearm: Measure around the largest part of the arm below the elbow.
Take Pictures Weekly
Another useful tip to make sure you are progressing is to take pictures of yourself once a week in the same conditions. You are seeing your body every day and you can’t tell whether it is changing or not. This can lead to demotivation and quitting.
However, taking pictures every week is a powerful tool that you can use to motivate yourself and others.
Take your pictures right after waking up on an empty stomach at a fixed time. Every Sunday is a good place to start!
Manage Your Stress
If you are following a strict diet, exercising regularly but still can’t manage to lose these extra pounds, then this is because of the high stress your body is forced to.
You have to make sure that your body is functioning optimally and that your hormonal environment is in your favor.
Being stressed all the time keeps the body in a constant state of “fight or flight” — with increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol.
Having increased levels of cortisol may raise your hunger up and make you crave for junk food.
Pro Tip: Try to prevent stress with meditation or deep breathing. Every time you feel stressed, control your emotions. Take a deep breath and think for a little. This little trick can save your energy for something more optimal than a useless argument.
Exercising is also a great way to deal with stress. Exercising takes off stress because it releases the hormones of happiness like dopamine and endorphin.
Increase Sleep Quality
Something I always suggest people do is to invest in a nice and comfortable mattress. Think for a moment. You are spending ⅓ of your life in bed. Why not prepare to crush your day by having a deep, quality sleep?
Increasing the quality of your sleep may decrease your level of hunger the next day and increase your energy and productivity. When you are more focused and energetic, the chances you are removing the extra weight become higher
Bottom Line: Following the 5 tips mentioned above and combining them with the Atkins diet will make your weight loss journey easier.
On top of that, after the next chapter, you will wonder no more what to buy on your next trip to the supermarket because you will have a detailed Atkins Diet grocery list in your pocket.
Essential Shopping List
9 Food Groups To Fill Your Cart With
Meat, Seafood, Poultry, Eggs
A well-balanced low-carb meal usually has a rich protein source. Animal products contain vital nutrients, such as essential amino acids, vitamin B12, heme iron, and omega-3 fats.
For a low-carb breakfast, eggs are a cheap, quick, and easy option. They’re also a strong source of B vitamins and have choline, which boosts brain health. Try a hard-boiled egg, which has 6g of protein and 78 calories, as a snack or salad add-in.
For lunch and dinner protein, be careful with the meat options you consider. For example, red meat (especially when heavily processed) has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
The quality of the meat you eat will also be influenced by how the animals were raised: grass-fed, pasture-raised cows, chickens, and turkeys yield more healthy omega-3 fats than conventionally raised animals.
Having a steak or adding bacon to your breakfast are best as an occasional treat instead of a dietary staple.
For easy low-carb, protein-packed go-to-options, try:
Canned tuna and salmon
Tuna is a generally eaten species of fish. Yet, canned tuna is usually the most common source of mercury within the diet.
Mercury is a chemical often used in thermometers, thermostats, and automotive light switches. It is also put to use in industrial facilities like power plants, cement plants, and certain chemical manufacturers.
When released into the environment, mercury can become a public health issue when it settles into our oceans and waterways.
The FDA recommends that adults eat 3–5 ounces (85–140 grams) of fish 2–3 times a week to get enough omega-3 fatty acids and other beneficial nutrients.
However, research indicates that regularly eating fish with a mercury concentration greater than 0.3 ppm may increase blood levels of mercury and spur health issues. Most species of tuna exceed this amount.
The downside health effect of consuming too much mercury are:
nervousness or anxiety.
irritability or mood changes.
These recommendations are based on EPA guidance and estimates of mercury in the most popular canned tunas:
- Canned white, or albacore (0.32 parts per million of mercury). Children under six can eat up to one 3-ounce portion a month; children from 6-12, two 4.5-ounce portions a month. Adults, including pregnant women, can safely eat this kind of tuna up to three times a month (women, 6-ounce portions; men, 8-ounce portions)
- Canned light, the safer choice (0.12 parts per million of mercury). Children under six can eat up to three 3-ounce portions per month. Older children and adults can safely eat it once a week. But look out for “gourmet” or “tonno” labels. They are made with bigger yellowfin tuna and can contain mercury levels comparable to canned white
Grains and Legumes
Grains, such as rice, oats, quinoa, millet, burgels, and amaranth, as well as legumes such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas, are high in carbohydrates: one half-cup of cooked brown rice has 34 grams of carbs.
These foods won’t be a staple of your Atkins diet (especially in Phase 1), but when you do have them, stick to small portions (1/4 to a 1/3 cup).
Try these low-carb swaps instead, especially if you enjoy baking.
Flour made with flax
Almond flour and meal
Frozen Fruits And Veggies
Most of the foods you’d find in the produce aisle can also be purchased frozen. Having bags of frozen veggies on hand to toss in a quick stir fry or berries to add to a breakfast smoothie is convenient, tasty, and packed with nutrition.
The benefits of frozen fruits and veggies come with not having to shop too often.
Fats And Oils
Whether you’re eating low-carb or not, foods with partially hydrogenated oils are best enjoyed in moderation. These oils contain trans fats, which increase harmful LDL cholesterol and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol.
- Bad Fats are all trans fats (everything fried, junk food) and saturated fats (fat that comes from fatty meats). Good fats, on the other hand, are all monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. (fatty fish, oils, nuts, seeds)
If you want to learn more about different types of fats, check our Low-Fat Diet.
Sources of healthy, unsaturated fats to include on your Atkins grocery list, include:
Nut butter (almond, cashew)
Is butter a healthy fat?
Thank you for asking! Butter is saturated fat, its effects on health are highly questionable.
For many years, the consumption of saturated-fat-rich foods like full-fat dairy products (butter) was believed to be the reason for heart disease.
Yet, recent research proves that, although eating saturated-fat-rich foods like butter might increase some heart disease risk factors, including LDL (bad) cholesterol, it doesn’t seem to increase the risk of heart disease itself.
While butter consumption may increase heart disease risk factors, current research doesn’t show a significant connection between butter intake and heart disease or stroke. This area of research is complicated and it requires deeper research.
Milk and milk products are allowed on a low-carb diet such as the Atkins diet but some options will be healthier than others. Stay away from flavored milk because it is high in sugar; one cup has almost 12 grams of carbs.
When you’re at the grocery, look for these options instead:
Full-fat milk and cream
While water is essential, Atkins Phase 1 allows the following beverages for when you want to change things a little:
Flavored Zero-Calorie Seltzer Water
Water with lemon or lime
Iced or hot Teas
You can add these delicious cheeses on a salad or just use them as a snack because they are all Atkins Phase 1 approved.
Non-starch Vegetables and Fruits
Always keep your head up for fresh herbs like basil, parsley, cilantro, mint, and oregano, which you can use to add flavor to meals and drinks.
Fruits are quite tricky on the Atkins Diet. Some fruits can have 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving. My go-to option here is watermelon, which has only 7g of carbs per serving of 100g and is filling.
When you’re choosing “produce”, search for berries and melons which are the fruits lowest in sugar.
Other options that you can eat are:
Blueberries – 83 calories with 21g of carbs per 1 cup
Raspberries – 10 calories with 2.3g of carbs per 10 raspberries
Strawberries – 70 calories with 17g of carbs per 8 medium strawberries
Cantaloupe or honeydew melon – 50 calories with 12g of carbs per 130g
For example, sweet cherries, apples, and bananas range from 100-140 calories and 26 to 36 grams of carbs.
Here are some of the options you can rely on:
Bottom Line: This is a basic list of all fundamental foods that you need when following the Atkins Diet.
In Chapter 9 you will learn how to convert these products into delicious meals but now, let’s take a look into a chapter that workouts junkies will find interesting.
Atkins Diet And Workouts
Atkins Diet And Workouts
Increasing your daily activity and following the Atkins program is a win-win decision. And knowing what to eat before and after a workout is as important as it sounds.
Everyone knows that exercise is good. But let’s take a moment to analyze the pros of working out on the Atkins diet. Regular physical activity does a couple of things:
- Builds and maintains healthy muscles, bones, and joints
- Enhances work, recreation, and sport performance
- Improves psychological well-being
- Decreases depression and anxiety
- Decreases or maintains body weight or body fat (when coupled with a diet like the Atkins)
- Decreases the risk of developing heart disease
- Decreases high blood pressure or the risk of developing high blood pressure
- Decreases high cholesterol or the risk of developing high cholesterol
- Decreases the risk of developing diabetes
- Improves sleep quality
- Boosts your energy
To sum up, adding exercise to your program is awesome. While exercise in itself is good, it helps to learn how the different foods you eat on Atkins affect your physical performance.
Yet, on the downside, you won’t have much energy when you eat low carbs and are in ketosis.
In the first few days, you will feel like your energy levels are nowhere to be found but stick to that phase! Every beginning is tough. However, in later phases, you will feel more energetic when you start eating more carbs.
As far as we know typical physical activities like walking and jogging are good for our health but that’s not enough. Merging physical daily activity with strength training can be beneficial for a lot of people.
And if you are the typical workout junkie like me, you know these things. However, if you are the type of person that has never been to the gym, now would be the perfect time to make this step!
Your body reacts positively to physical activity in ways that have really important effects on cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory, and endocrine systems.
You already know that exercise has a positive impact on brain function and mood – I would even say that it is as effective against depression as some medications.
Systematic physical activity may reduce both depression and anxiety, improve mood, and increase the ability to perform daily tasks well into old age.
So, how exactly can lifting weights make me lose weight and maintain it for long?
Aerobics exercises like cycling and walking, swimming, and jogging alone aren’t enough. It certainly isn’t enough for weight loss, and it’s also not enough to produce optimal health and longevity. Here’s why:
Your body burns calories and fat in tiny structures in the cell called the mitochondria. And mitochondria are found primarily in your muscle cells.
These little power centers are your best friend in your fight against fat. They’re the “fireplaces” where the fuel in the form of food you eat (and the calories you store) get consumed.
If you want to speed up your metabolism, you have to raise the number of mitochondria. The best way to do this is by building some muscle tissue!
The general principle is simple – the more muscle mass your body has, the more calories you’ll burn while resting, sleeping, and doing whatever you like.
Men usually burn more calories when resting than women of the same weight because men genetically have higher muscle. Remember that muscle burns more calories at rest than fat does.
The number of calories burned increases according to body weight. So, a person who weighs 70 kgs may burn 48 calories an hour or between 322 and 414 calories a night.
And a person who weighs 84 kgs might burn around 56 calories or between 392 and 504 calories for a full night of sleep
But this is not the only benefit of weight training. Weight lifting is the single best lifestyle choice you can make if you want to prevent osteoporosis.
Weight training also shapes and forms your body and, from a functional perspective, can help you maintain autonomy.
When you keep your muscles strong and functional with weight training, you can significantly reduce the chance of being dependent on others when you get old.
What to eat before working out?
Your daily planned meals throughout the day should help you fuel your body to endure an intensive workout. Make sure to have at least an hour after your last meal before getting into the gym.
A balanced pre-workout snack includes a hard-boiled egg or two (or deviled eggs), a handful of almonds or olives, and a ham or turkey roll-up. In later phases, cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with some fruit can also help you be full during your workout.
Remember that your body requires some sort of carbs before working out because it has to have some sort of energy.
What to eat post-workout?
Plan on eating in 30-60 minutes of exercise – this is the metabolic window when your body is primed to replenish nutrients, restore fluids, and rebuild muscle.
An Atkins Advantage shake is a helpful option or any low-carb meal that features a combination of protein and carbohydrates like a salad, combined with your favorite choice of protein.
Something to Keep in mind:
Although your body’s improved use of fat and ketones on a low-carb diet(like Atkins), fat will never be your body’s first choice of fuels during moderate and intense workouts lasting more than a couple of minutes. Your body will always prefer carbs!
Are carbs better or not when exercising?
Most people who are training overdo the carbs, yet, given the limited amount and intensity of training that they do.
It’s a proven fact that it takes 24-48 hours to completely restore muscle glycogen if you deplete any during exercise, and that time frame presumes that you’re eating a nice amount of carbs.
If you’re indeed on a low-carb program such as the Atkins diet, it will surely take longer, and you might be trying to do your next workout session with less muscle and liver glycogen available.
Keep in mind that being glycogen depleted doesn’t necessarily increase your fat use due to the fact that fat burns in a carbohydrate flame, meaning that if your muscles are glycogen depleted, your fat use will be somewhat negotiated, and you’ll have to slow down your pace for that reason as well.
The conclusion is that if you want a good workout you have to eat carbs. It would be a hard task to generate enough energy to sustain a tough workout without carbs. How much do you need? It depends on many factors including your gender, age, how much you weigh, your daily physical activity, and so on…
Remember that if carbs are available, your body will use them over fats and muscles, particularly as your workout gets more intense.
If you want to exercise intensely and you eat an Atkins diet, you won’t be able to function at your best.
Bottom Line: Most of the people that start with Atkins probably want to lose weight. If you are that type of person then following the diet and combining it with lifting weights can lead to incredible results in the short and long-term.
However, if you want to gain weight or prepare for any competition, then merging Atkins with strength workouts won’t work optimally.
See you in the next chapter where you will learn what Celebrities say about Atkins.
What Do Celebrities Say
Celebrities Who Found Success With the Atkins Diet
Keep in mind that we don’t advise you to go on any diet just because someone famous has used it, it’s significant that the celebrities on the Atkins Diet here are all healthy and happy, and have been able to maintain their weight for long.
None of them have reported any health problems or look underweight.
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Jennifer Aniston is the definition of looking healthy, toned, and fit. After all, you will find it tough to work as hard as she does on television and films without plenty of energy!
She merged her Atkins diet program with exercise and plenty of water and continues with the Maintenance Phase today – if you closely look to her you will examined that this diet was successful.
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In 2016 Kim Kardashian lost 60 pounds after giving birth by being on the Atkins Diet. Kardashian followed the Atkins 40, which is a version of the Atkins diet, which includes 40 grams of carbohydrates per day.
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Being a working mom, a famous actress wants to live a healthy life. “I’m on a journey to become my best, healthiest self, and as a busy mother of two, that means finding a lifestyle that works for me and is easy”.
“I did my research and found the compelling science behind Atkins shows it not only helps you lose weight but improves health too,” she explained.
“Cutting carbs and sugar have already made me feel better, and I don’t have to give up my favorite foods because Atkins offers great low-carb options. I’m excited to share my story with people and learn from them too, in the hope that together we can find a better path to wellness with Atkins,” she adds.
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Lowe though this routine meant he could eat whatever he desired. As he approached 40, that started to change. He was aware of Robert Atkins, M.D., “from the beginning,” he says.
He became a fan of the high-protein, low-carb plan. He mocks at the thought that it’s a license to eat two In-N-Out burgers without bread, because as he says, Atkins is a program built to maintain, not a yo-yo.
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The actress combines the Atkins diet with exercising, in order to keep her body in a good shape.
“The gym is my therapy. I’ve got to get stuff out…The perk of going and spending time by myself and getting my head straight and thinking through what might be bothering me is that I get fit. That’s not the goal, but it’s a nice by-product.”
Bottom Line: As you see there are many people who follow the Atkins diet and have success.
See you in the next chapter where you will learn 5 quick & easy recipes for Atkins.
Atkins Diet Recipes
Have you ever experienced water coming out from your mouth just by looking at some meals?
Well, after this chapter you will definitely feel to need to jump to the closest supermarket and buy some products to start cooking.
Sit at your most comfortable pose and enjoy this delicious part of the article!
5 quick & easy recipes
In this chapter, we are covering 5 low-carb, Atkins friendly recipes that you can make today.
Baked Cod With Feta And Tomatoes – recipe by Myrecipes
A perfect option for your lunch-break!
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 3 cups chopped tomato
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, divided
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Dash of crushed red pepper
- 4 (6-ounce) cod fillets
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
Preparation: (10 min prep + 25 min cooking time)
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add oil swirl to coat.
- Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in tomato, wine, 1 teaspoon oregano, vinegar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper
- Bring to simmer.
- Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Sprinkle fish evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Nestle fish in the tomato mixture.
- Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
- Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon oregano, parsley, and feta.
- Calories 247
- Fat 7.5g (sat fat – 2.8g, monofat – 3.3g, polyfat – 0.8g)
- Protein 30g
- Carbohydrate 12g
- Fiber 3g
- Cholesterol 93mg
- Iron 1mg
- Sodium 470mg
- Calcium 117mg
Garlicky New York Strip Steak – recipe by Cookinglight
My all-time dinner choice! I suggest you try it.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 4 large garlic cloves, grated
- 2 (8-oz.) New York strip steaks (1 in. thick), trimmed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
- 3/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt
Preparation: (30 min prep + 10 min cooking)
- Rub garlic over steaks. Place juice and 2 tablespoons oil in a shallow dish.
- Add steaks; turn to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Remove the steaks from marinade and discard the marinade. Pat steaks dry with paper towels, leaving any bits of garlic that stick.
- Sprinkle tops of steaks with pepper and kosher salt.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high. Add steaks
- Cook until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 127°F to 130°F for medium-rare or to desired degree of doneness, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes per side. If you are not a fan of sticking thermometers in your food, just cook until you like the color.
- Place steaks on a cutting board; reserve pan drippings. Tent stakes loosely with foil. Let stand for 5 minutes. Discard foil.
- Cut steaks across the grain into slices. Arrange slices on a platter; drizzle with pan drippings. Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.
- Calories 213
- Fat 13g (saturated – 3g, unsaturated – 8g)
- Protein 22g
- Carbohydrate 1g
- Fiber 0.0g
- Sodium 493mg
- Calcium 2% DV
- Potassium 8% DV
- Sugars 0
- Added sugars 0g
- Romaine Salad with Avocado-Lime Vinaigrette – recipe by Myrecipes
This one’s for you salad lovers! Eat it either for lunch or dinner.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 8 cups shredded romaine lettuce (about 15 ounces)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup vertically sliced red onion
Preparation: (Prep time – 10 min)
- Combine the first 3 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- Combine lettuce, tomatoes, and onion in a large bowl, tossing gently.
- Drizzle juice mixture over lettuce mixture; toss gently to coat.
- Serve immediately.
- Calories 61
- Calories from Fat 58%
- Fat 3.9g (saturated – 0.5g, mono fat – 2.5g, poly fat – 0.7g)
- Protein 2.3g
- Carbohydrate 5.8g
- Fiber 2.6g
- Cholesterol 0.0mg
- Iron 1.5mg
- Sodium 160mg
- Calcium 45mg
4. Delicious Beef & Cauliflower pie
Eat it in your lunch-break or for dinner.
Ingredients for 1 serving:
- 7 oz cauliflower florets
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tbsp cream cheese
- salt and black pepper
- 1/4 medium red onion
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 medium carrot
- 1 garlic
- 4 oz ground lean beef
- 1 oz frozen peas
- 1 oz frozen corn
Preparation: (Prep Time – 10 min + 30 min cooking time)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Add cauliflower florets in boiled water and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Drain well, and mash with a potato masher until smooth.
- Stir in cream cheese and milk and season with salt and pepper and mash until completely combined and creamy. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrots, and garlic and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 5 minutes more.
- Stir in frozen peas and corn and cook until warmed through, 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the mixture to an oven glass dish and top with an even layer of mashed cauliflower and bake for 20 minutes or until it is golden.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
- Calories – 320
- Protein – 31
- Carbs – 21
- Dietary Fiber – 6g
- Sugars – 9g
- Total Fat – 13g (saturated – 4.5, trans – 0g)
5. Beef Egg Muffin
This last option you can eat either for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Ingredients for 4 servings:
- 1 lb ground lean beef
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and black pepper
- 3 egg white
- 3 eggs
- 1 tbsp parsley
- salt and black pepper
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 oz grated mozzarella
Preparation: (Prep time – 5 min + 35 min cooking)
- Preheat the oven to 390°.
- In a medium bowl, add the beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Use hands to combine. set aside.
- In a separate bowl, add the eggs, salt, and pepper and whisk until combined. Add the chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, and parsley. Set aside.
- Divide the meat among the muffin tin openings, pressing to form cups. Pour some egg mixture into each meat cup.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool before serving.
- Calories – 170
- Protein – 23
- Carbs – 1
- Dietary Fiber – 0g
- Sugars – 0.5g
- Total Fat – 7g (saturated – 3, trans – 0g)
Bottom Line: These mouthwatering recipes can make your Atkins journey way easier.
Atkind Diet During Pregnancy
If you are that woman who is waiting for her first child or you are already breastfeeding your baby you wonder whether the Atkins diet can benefit your lifestyle.
In this chapter you are getting the answers to all questions, you have in your mind.
Take a deep breath and keep on reading!
Atkins Diet During Pregnancy
Women shouldn’t go on a low-carb diet like the Atkins or follow any restrictive or weight-loss diet, while they’re pregnant. Nobody can be sure whether this diet is safe for the women or for the baby either.
Following the Atkins diet, while you’re pregnant, might affect your baby’s weight, and how it prospers. It might also stop you both from getting the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
Low-carb diets like Atkins or Keto are usually high in fat, and may also restrict the amount of fruit, vegetables, and fiber you eat. This means that you might not be getting important vitamins and minerals you and your baby need like folic acid and calcium.
Weight loss is also not favored when you are pregnant or breastfeeding, however, cutting out sugary/refined carbs may be beneficial for the health of your baby and yourself.
Refined carbohydrates give way too small nutritional benefit to you or your baby so there’s no harm in minimizing the consumption or totally remove it. Protein is an important macronutrient when being pregnant, so make sure to have some with every meal or snack.
So, we have two main questions that need to be answered.
Does a low-carb diet such as the Atkins during pregnancy restrict a woman from giving birth to a healthy baby?
I think the answer to this question is clear. Most women can give birth to a healthy baby when following a low-carbohydrate diet like the Atkins or Keto, however, they should be consuming adequate folate and other micronutrients.
Several women in the blogosphere report eating a low-carbohydrate or even ketogenic diet throughout their whole pregnancy and face no issues.
Does a low-carb diet pregnancy predispose children to disease later in life?
Yet, the answer is still a bit uncertain. There are only a few studies that have looked at carbohydrate restriction and how this affects the health of kids later in life, but in general, they don’t support low-carb diets.
One study in humans reported that the offspring of mothers who had consumed higher levels of protein and fat (likely resulting in lower carbohydrate intake) had greatly reduced insulin production in response to a glucose challenge 40 years later.
For mothers consuming enough protein, there was also an average 9.3 mm Hg increase in adult blood pressure for each 100-gram decrease in maternal carbohydrate intake.
A similar study shows that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet like the Atkins diet during pregnancy was correlated with increased cortisol levels in the kid 30 years later. (Keep in mind that these studies did not report micronutrient intakes.)
Animal studies found that a ketogenic diet during pregnancy can decrease the size of brain regions like the hippocampus in offspring, while developing the size of others like the hypothalamus.
Bottom Line: Following the Atkins diet during pregnancy may produce a baby free of birth defects, but it may also program the fetus for a world that contains few carbohydrates.
However, ALWAYS consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle, especially when you are pregnant!
Are you curious about the most frequently asked questions about Atkins? In the next chapter, we are making a quick summary of everything we learned so far and answering all of your questions.
Summary & Takeaways + FAQs
Tighten your belt! We are almost finished with this Step-By-Step Guide.
One thing left! We have to cover all the useful information that you’ve read so far.
There is also a BONUS waiting for you after the last lines. We’ve gathered a handful of FAQs about Atkins.
Summary & Takeaways + FAQs
You have learned that the diet plan has been promoted by the physician Dr. Robert C. Atkins and that the plan consists of 4 phases. You have also understood that there’s a difference between the keto and the Atkins diet.
Some of the main benefits of following the Atkins plan are the successful treatment of ACNE, alleviating some GERD symptoms, and prevention of many diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Next, you have learned that you have to simply start the diet and be consistent. You’ve also been through a detailed list of recommended foods and not recommended ones.
Let us remind you of some of the pros and cons of the diet.
Stamina Improves versus Restrictions
Improved Focus versus The Need To Counts Net Carbs
Clear Guidelines versus Side effects like constipation and halitosis
You have learned that the main thing to have in mind when losing weight is being in a calorie deficit. Following the tips in chapter 5 and sticking to the diet plan can lead to success.
You’ve been through our fundamental shopping list and won’t bother anymore about the food choices you make on your next way to the grocery.
You’ve learned that strength training is very helpful when it comes down to weight loss, and anaerobic activities like walking and jogging aren’t enough for improving general health.
You’ve learned about 5 of the most famous people on the planet that spoke about their Atkins journey.
You have learned 5 quick & easy recipes for your Atkins diet.
In the previous chapter, you learned that a low-carb diet like Atkins may not be the option when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep in mind, to check with your doctor before making any changes to your regular diet or lifestyle.
BONUS: 21 Atkins Diet Most Popular Questions - FAQs Section
Can I follow Atkins if I’m on medication?
Yes, however, some medications might slow your weight loss. Do not make any changes to your medication or dosage on your own! If you’re taking any of the following, please consult your doctor before starting the diet:
Diuretics (water pills)
Psychotropic drugs, including Prozac, Zoloft, lithium, etc.
Hormones and steroids, including estrogen (Premarin), prednisone and birth control pills
Arthritis drugs, especially NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)
All anti-diabetic medications, including insulin (with the exception of Glucophage)
Is ketosis dangerous?
Ketosis is a natural, biological process. When your body changes its primary source of energy from carbs to fat, your liver produces ketone bodies. This is the process – ketosis.
Yet, this should not be perplexed with ketoacidosis which is a serious blood condition that often affects Type 1 diabetics and alcoholics.
What happens if you start to gain the weight back?
Keep your head up if that happens! Sometimes even if you are following the “perfect diet”, exercise regularly and sleep well, you can still fall off the wagon. Don’t worry though, just go back to your low carb eating habits as soon as you can.
You can choose to start again from Phase 1 for a week or two if you want to lose weight and get rid of any sugar or carb cravings. You can also try dropping your daily carb intake by 5g-10g per day until you’re back where you want to be.
Can I drink alcohol?
Yes, but it is not recommended, especially Phase 1. Alcohol, even low carb drinks, can slow weight loss as alcohol is processed before the other macronutrients. It can also make you crave for high carb foods.
From Phase 2 however, you can have moderate amounts of low carb alcoholic beverages. Wine and spirits, such as gin, vodka, and whiskey are all acceptable, but make sure to use diet mixers.
Can I eat cheese and cream?
You surely cannot eat as much as you like because this will add up to your daily calorie consumption and you won’t be in a deficit. However, both cream and cheese are fine in all phases of our low carb diet, just make sure not to overeat with them!
What are the appropriate nutritional ratios for Phase 1?
Despite the fact there’s no need to count macronutrients in the Atkins diet, some people prefer to use a fitness tracker (like “MyFitnessPal”) and count their ratios for protein, fat, and carbs. During Phase 1, “the optimal” ratio is 25% protein, 70% fat, and 5% carbs.
Do I need to count calories?
It is not necessary to count calories on Atkins, however, make sure you eat enough at mealtimes to feel satisfied but not overeat. Calorie intake tends to settle once your blood sugar is stabilized and your sugar cravings are gone.
On top of that, meals on the Atkins diet are naturally satisfying, so you’re less likely to overeat. For a general guideline, we recommend 1500-1800 calories for women and 1800-2000 calories for men for weight loss. Keep in mind that these numbers can vary, according to your age, daily activity, sleep, and stress.
How much fat should I eat per day?
Again, it isn’t necessary to count grams of fat on Atkins, only carbs. Despite the fact that Atkins is higher in fat than other macronutrients, you shouldn’t consume big amounts of it.
Aim to add 1-2 servings of dietary fat to meals like 1 tbsp oil, butter or full-fat mayonnaise, ½ avocado or some olives, or try a serving of fattier meat or fish, such as chicken thigh or salmon.
How much protein should I eat per day?
Atkins isn’t a high protein diet and the amount of protein you should consume is moderate. Aim for 1.6 – 2 grams of protein per kg if you are not weight lifting. If so, bring up the protein to 1.8 – 2.2 grams/kg.
How can I get rid of sugar cravings?
When you start following Atkins for a few days your body will switch to burning fat for energy. This stabilizes blood sugar levels and cravings do go away.
By eating complex carbohydrates, from foods such as vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds, and pulses, your insulin levels don’t go up a couple of times a day as they would on a high sugar diet.
When you develop steady energy throughout the day, and a feeling of fullness from the protein and dietary fat your cravings would disappear.
Atkins is high in protein, can this lead to kidney problems?
As we already explained, Atkins isn’t a high protein diet. The amount of protein that is suggested by experts comes well within the healthy range set by nutritional guidelines.
Keep in mind that there is no scientific research that connects high protein with kidney disease, however, if you do have kidney problems, your best option is to discuss any change of diet first with your GP.
Is the majority of the weight lost on Atkins from water weight?
It’s inevitable not to lose water weight when you begin your weight loss journey. Any pounds you lose are initially from water, however, this doesn’t mean that you aren’t losing fat too.
Most people usually lose some water weight in the initial phase of Atkins. Carbs make the body retain water. For this reason, you feel bloated when you eat them.
Due to the higher fat percentage in Atkins, can this lead to increased cholesterol levels or heart disease?
No, as your fat intake should come from “good fats”, which are all saturated and unsaturated fats. They help your body to switch to burning fat instead of carbs but could have other health benefits too like reducing inflammation, improving metabolic factors, and reducing the risk of depression.
On a low carb diet like Atkins, you’re less likely to store body fat – even saturated fat is used by your body for energy. Recent research has also shown that the fat you consume has little significance on cholesterol levels.
Instead, it’s the mix of other nutrients – refined carbs in particular, which can increase ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.
Can I do Intermittent Fasting and also follow the Atkins Diet?
You have heard of the Intermittent Fasting diet (IF), which means cycling between periods of fasting and eating, with fasts varying from 14 hours to 24 hours or more.
Feel free to give a chance to the IF and see how it goes for you.
What’s the difference between Paleo and Atkins?
Many people around the world have lost weight on the Atkins Diet. With a regulated carb intake, promoters of the diet burn fat and achieve successful weight loss.
Initially holding off on higher-carb foods Atkins promoters consume more protein, olive oil, avocados, and other good fats, which give food flavor – while also enjoying leafy greens and other vegetables.
The Paleo Diet is a diet, established on what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. In the Paleo Diet, people should avoid dairy, refined sugars, processed foods, legumes, or cereal grains.
Similar to the Paleo Diet, Atkins requires people to forget about food high in sugary carbohydrates and other foods low in nutrients.
When comparing the two diets, the Atkins diet is easier and convenient because the more food choices you have.
The Atkins Diet may also be a better choice for new dieters. The Atkins Diet provides an easy entry into a low-carb lifestyle, while still advertising fruits, veggies, and good fats.
It is also cheaper than Paleo and you can eat approved Atkins bars, shakes, and frozen meals.
Atkins followers also have the freedom to learn their personal carb tolerance by counting net carbs and slowly can incorporate certain carbs back into their diets.
Which is better – Keto or Atkins?
Both Atkins and keto have cons and pros.
The ketogenic diet is highly restrictive and can be difficult to stick to. Limiting your protein intake to 20% of calories while maintaining a very low carb and a very high fat intake can be tough, in the long term in particular.
On top of that, some people might feel the need to monitor their ketone levels, which can be very costly. Also, following a restrictive diet like the keto diet can create nutrient deficiencies if you don’t pay careful attention to your diet quality.
In addition, evidence on the long-term safety or effectiveness of the keto diet is restricted, which means its long-term health risks are unknown.
Most people may still achieve some of the benefits of low-carb diets without being in ketosis. Because of that, moderate carb restriction on a low-carb diet like Atkins – as opposed to a strict keto approach – is usually acceptable.
To sum up, it’s more important to focus on choosing unprocessed, whole foods, regardless of the ratio of the macronutrients you eat.
As they’re both low-carb diets, Atkins and keto have similarities in some ways.
For example, the induction phase of the Atkins diet looks like the keto diet, as it restricts net carbs to 25 grams per day. This way your body likely enters ketosis and starts burning fat as its main source of fuel.
Last, both diets require you to cut down many high-calorie, carb-rich foods, which makes it easier to cut calories and lose weight.
What’s the difference between a Low-Carb Diet and the Atkins?
During the low carb diet, you should eat between 1 to 1.5 grams of carbs per kilogram body weight. This carbs intake is bigger than during the Atkins diet, so it is your decision to decide if you want to enter ketosis or not.
There is a difference between low carb and no carb at all. Unlike the Keto and Atkins diet, where ketosis is necessary, it is completely optional with the low carb diet.
Can an Atkins diet cause diarrhea?
If you happen to experience diarrhea in the induction phase of the Atkins diet, there are a couple of things you can do to stop it.
First, make sure to eliminate all dairy products from your diet, in order to get better.
Second, if that doesn’t work, it may be because of the high fat intake you are consuming. Your body usually needs more time to adjust to changes, so try cutting back on your fat intake and increase it slowly.
You should always stay hydrated as you experience diarrhea, so make sure you drink 8 glasses daily.
Can diabetes benefit from Atkins?
A number of studies in a variety of settings found dramatic improvements in blood sugar levels control and blood lipids in type 2 diabetics consuming a low-carb diet.
When these studies included a low-fat, high-carb comparison group, the low-carb diet regularly showed excellent effects on blood sugar levels control, medication reduction, blood lipids, and weight loss.
Weight loss is especially important because treatment goals for patients with type 2 diabetes usually give priority to weight loss if the individual is overweight, however, the drugs used to treat diabetics may enhance the risk of gaining weight.
Can Atkins Diet lower blood pressure?
High blood pressure is a serious health problem that people should keep under control.
If your blood pressure is in the high normal to Stage 1 hypertension range (131 to 159 over 85 to 99), weight loss and several important lifestyle changes may be just enough to reduce it to safer levels.
If your blood pressure is even higher than that, you might need antihypertensive medication – but weight loss and lifestyle improvements are always your best option. The Atkins diet can help you with all these things.
Will the Atkins diet lower my cholesterol?
Although the research to the contrary, the Atkins diet can be an effective solution to lowering cholesterol.
To start off, the mindset of a generation that grew up with the message that eating eggs, meat, and shellfish raises your cholesterol is wrong. People were arguing that margarine is a better dietary choice than butter.
Following a diet, which prioritizes nutrient-dense, whole foods, and maintaining a physically active lifestyle are the best things you can do to keep cholesterol levels under control.
PDF version contains all of the content and resources found in the web-based guide.