Atkins Diet: What’s behind the claims?


The Atkins Food plan is a preferred reduced-carbohydrate ingesting program formulated in the sixties by cardiologist Robert C. Atkins. The Atkins Food plan restricts carbs (carbs) while emphasizing protein and fats.

The Atkins Food plan has quite a few phases for excess weight reduction and servicing, starting off out with a extremely reduced carbohydrate ingesting program. The Atkins Food plan, formally identified as the Atkins Nutritional Solution, has been in depth in a lot of books and is credited with launching the reduced-carb food plan pattern.


The reason of the Atkins Food plan is to improve your ingesting patterns to assistance you lose excess weight and keep it off. The Atkins Food plan also states it is really a wholesome lifelong approach to ingesting, irrespective of whether you want to lose excess weight, strengthen your energy or assistance boost specified health and fitness complications, such as significant blood force or metabolic syndrome.

Why you might follow the Atkins Food plan

You might pick to follow the Atkins Food plan due to the fact you:

  • Love the styles and quantities of food highlighted in the food plan
  • Want a food plan that restricts specified carbs to assistance you lose excess weight
  • Want to improve your all round ingesting patterns
  • Have medical fears you think the food plan can assistance boost
  • Like the related Atkins Food plan items, such as cookbooks, shakes and bars

Check out with your health practitioner or health and fitness care supplier ahead of starting off any excess weight-reduction food plan, in particular if you have any health and fitness ailments, such as diabetic issues.

Food plan facts

The major nutritional aim of the Atkins Food plan is ingesting the suitable stability of carbs, protein and fats for ideal excess weight reduction and health and fitness. According to the Atkins Food plan, obesity and related health and fitness complications, such as type 2 diabetic issues and coronary heart condition, are the fault of the typical reduced-fats, significant-carbohydrate American food plan. The Atkins Food plan states that you you should not want to avoid fatty cuts of meat or trim off excessive fats. Rather, managing carbs is what’s vital.

The Atkins Food plan retains that ingesting also a lot of carbs — in particular sugar, white flour and other refined carbs — potential customers to blood sugar imbalances, excess weight get and cardiovascular complications. To that stop, the Atkins Food plan restricts carbs and encourages ingesting a lot more protein and fats. Nevertheless, the Atkins Food plan states it is not a significant-protein food plan.

Like a lot of food plan designs, the Atkins Food plan continues to evolve. Now, it encourages ingesting a lot more significant-fiber vegetables, accommodates vegetarian and vegan requirements, and addresses health and fitness complications that could crop up when commencing a reduced-carb food plan.


The Atkins Food plan does not involve calorie counting or part handle. It does involve you to observe your carbs, though. It takes advantage of a program identified as net carbs, which is the overall carbohydrate written content of an product minus its fiber written content. For example, a 50 percent-cup (4 ounces) of uncooked broccoli has 2.3 grams of overall carbs and 1.3 grams of fiber, putting its net carb value at 1 gram.

The Atkins Food plan states its approach to carbs will burn off off your body’s fats merchants, regulate your blood sugar and assistance you accomplish ideal health and fitness, while not leaving you experience hungry or deprived. The moment you are at your goal excess weight, the Atkins Food plan also states it will assistance you identify your private carbohydrate tolerance — the variety of grams of net carbs you can take in each working day with out getting or getting rid of excess weight.


The Atkins Food plan statements exercise isn’t vital for excess weight reduction. Nevertheless, it acknowledges that exercise can assistance retain your excess weight, as effectively as offer you other health and fitness benefits.

Phases of the Atkins Food plan

The Atkins Food plan has four phases. Based on your excess weight-reduction plans, you can start off at any of the initially a few phases.

  • Section 1: Induction. In this stringent section, you cut out practically all carbs from your food plan, ingesting just twenty grams of net carbs a working day, predominantly from vegetables. Alternatively of obtaining 45 to sixty five p.c of your everyday energy from carbs, as suggested by most nutrition recommendations, you get only about 10 p.c. “Basis” vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, celery, cucumber, green beans and peppers, should really account for twelve to fifteen grams of your everyday net carbs.

    You should really take in protein, such as fish and shellfish, poultry, meat, eggs, and cheese, at every single food. You you should not want to prohibit oils and fats, but you are unable to have most fruits, sugary baked items, breads, pastas, grains, nuts or alcohol. You should really consume 8 glasses of h2o a working day. You stay in this section for at minimum two months, depending on your excess weight reduction.

  • Section 2: Balancing. In this section, you proceed to take in a minimum of twelve to fifteen grams of net carbs as foundation vegetables. You also proceed to avoid food items with extra sugar. You can little by little increase again in some nutrient-loaded carbs, such as a lot more vegetables and berries, nuts, and seeds, as you proceed to lose excess weight. You stay in this section until you are about 10 kilos (4.5 kilograms) from your goal excess weight.
  • Section 3: Pre-servicing. In this section, you proceed to step by step improve the array of food items you can take in, which includes fruits, starchy vegetables and total grains. You can increase about 10 grams of carbs to your food plan each week, but you need to cut again if your excess weight reduction stops. You stay in this section until you access your goal excess weight.
  • Section 4: Lifetime servicing. You transfer into this section when you access your goal excess weight, and then you proceed this way of ingesting for daily life.

A typical day’s menu on the Atkins Food plan

This is a seem at what you might take in in the course of a typical working day on section 1 of the Atkins Food plan:

  • Breakfast. Scrambled eggs with sauteed onions and cheddar cheese. Satisfactory drinks incorporate espresso, tea, h2o, food plan soda and natural tea.
  • Lunch. Chef salad with hen, bacon and avocado dressing, alongside with an allowable beverage.
  • Dinner. Baked salmon steak, asparagus, and arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers, alongside with an allowable beverage.
  • Snacks. You commonly can have two snacks a working day. Snacks could incorporate an Atkins Food plan merchandise, such as a chocolate shake or granola bar, or a simple snack such as celery and cheddar cheese.


Fat reduction

The Atkins Food plan states that you can lose fifteen kilos (6.8 kilograms) in the initially two months of section 1 — but it also acknowledges that people are not typical effects. The Atkins Food plan also acknowledges that you could to begin with lose h2o excess weight. It states that you can expect to proceed to lose excess weight in phases 2 and 3 as extended as you you should not take in a lot more carbs than your overall body can tolerate.

Most persons can lose excess weight on practically any food plan program that restricts energy — at minimum in the quick time period. In excess of the extended time period, though, scientific tests display that reduced-carb diet programs like the Atkins Food plan are no a lot more helpful for excess weight reduction than are conventional excess weight-reduction diet programs and that most persons regain the excess weight they missing no matter of food plan program.

Mainly because carbs usually give over 50 percent of energy consumed, the major motive for excess weight reduction on the Atkins Food plan is decreased all round calorie ingestion from ingesting much less carbs. Some scientific tests suggest that there are other reasons for excess weight reduction with the Atkins Food plan. You could get rid of kilos due to the fact your food selections are constrained, and you take in much less considering the fact that the additional protein and fats keep you experience complete lengthier. The two of these outcomes also add to decreased all round calorie ingestion.

Health benefits

The Atkins Food plan states that its ingesting program can protect against or boost serious health and fitness ailments, such as metabolic syndrome, diabetic issues, significant blood force and cardiovascular condition. In truth, practically any food plan that helps you get rid of excessive excess weight can lessen or even reverse possibility aspects for cardiovascular condition and diabetic issues.

And most excess weight-reduction diet programs — not just reduced-carb diet programs — could boost blood cholesterol or blood sugar ranges, at minimum briefly. 1 research showed that persons who followed the Atkins Food plan experienced improved triglycerides, suggesting superior coronary heart health and fitness. But there have been no major scientific tests to display irrespective of whether such benefits keep up for the extended time period or improve how extended you stay.

Some health and fitness authorities imagine that ingesting a huge sum of fats and protein from animal resources, as permitted on the Atkins Food plan, can improve your possibility of coronary heart condition or some cancers. Nevertheless, it is really not regarded what hazards, if any, the Atkins Food plan could pose over the extended time period due to the fact most of the scientific tests about it have lasted for two a long time or much less.


The Atkins Food plan acknowledges that drastically cutting carbs in the early section of the system can result in some aspect outcomes, which includes:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weak point
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation

In addition, some extremely reduced carb diet programs prohibit carbs so a lot that they result in nutritional deficiencies or insufficient fiber, which can bring about such health and fitness complications as constipation, diarrhea and nausea.

Taking in carbs that are significant fiber, total grain and nutrient dense can boost the health and fitness profile of applications like the Atkins Food plan, though. In addition, the Atkins Food plan has modified over time to assistance protect against health and fitness complications, and it now endorses taking a modest sum of additional salt, alongside with vitamins or dietary supplements.

It can be also attainable that restricting carbs to much less than twenty grams a working day — the stage suggested for section 1 of the food plan — can result in ketosis. Ketosis takes place when you you should not have enough sugar (glucose) for energy, so your overall body breaks down stored fats, producing ketones to make up in your overall body. Side outcomes from ketosis can incorporate nausea, headache, mental exhaustion and poor breath.

In addition, the Atkins Food plan isn’t appropriate for anyone. For example, the Atkins Food plan endorses that you seek the advice of your health practitioner ahead of starting off the food plan if you acquire diuretics, insulin or oral diabetic issues medicines. In addition, persons with severe kidney condition should really not follow the food plan, and the excess weight-reduction phases of the food plan are not ideal for women who are expecting or breast-feeding.