What Is A Atkins Diet ? – Everything You Need To Know (Literally)

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The Atkins diet was promoted and brought into the mainstream public by Robert Atkins, where he came across a study in 1963 from the journal of the American medical association published by Alfred W. Pennington in 1958 called “Weight Reduction”. Since then the Atkins diet has become one of the most popular weight loss diets to go on amongst all the controversy. However, new studies have shown that low carb diets such as the Atkins/Ketogenic diet can improve blood sugar, HDL (good cholesterol) and other health markers.

robert atkins

The Atkins Diet

Similar to the ketogenic diet where you eat high amounts of fat and protein, but little to no carb. Being on a low carb diet is supposed to switch your body from burning carbohydrates for energy to burning fat. It is also known to reduce your appetite so you end up eating less calories without you having to even think about it, both of these effects are desirable for fat loss.

There Are 4 Phases In The Atkins Diet:

atkins phases

  1. Induction: Cut carbs down to only 20g per day for 2 weeks to kick start your weight loss and only eat high fat/protein foods.
  2. Balancing: After the 2 weeks you slowly reintroduce carbs back into your diet and your allowed between 25 – 45g of carbs per day.
  3. Pre Maintenance: Continue to reintroduce carbs back into your diet until weight loss slows down, but you can only do this when you’re very close to your goal weight (10 pounds or less from your goal weight).
  4. Lifelong: You have now reached your goal weight and you simply maintain this weight for as long as you want by eating a healthy and balanced diet from whole foods including carbs, fats and proteins.

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  • Promotes rapid weight/fat loss.
  • Has been proven to work.
  • Not as time consuming (IIFYM diet) or expensive as other popular diets (juice diet).
  • Can enjoy many high fat/protein foods such as sirloin steak, mature cheddar cheese, whole eggs, spam, corned beef, roast pork, bacon etc.


  • Low carb causes a lack of energy, fatigue and even dizziness.
  • Nutrient deficiencies due to lack of food choice.
  • Can cause headaches (especially women on their period) and bad breath.
  • Lack of fiber may cause constipation and bowel problems.

To sum up the Atkins diet could work for you, but as with anything to do with your diet you will need to experiment thoroughly to know how your body responds to certain foods/macronutrients. As some people lose weight faster on high carb – low fat diets and others high fat – low carb. If you have anymore questions regarding the Atkins diet or you would like to leave your personal opinion on it then leave a comment below.

10 thoughts on “What Is A Atkins Diet ? – Everything You Need To Know (Literally)

  1. Hello,

    I have been toying with the idea of actually going on the Atkins diet for a long long time now. The problem, to me at least, is the idea of giving up the carbs. I understand that bread has a lot of fiber in it, but do you think that can be supplemented through either raw almonds and veggies? I am a veggie fanatic, granted I am also a fanatic of meat, dairy and other foods, but veggies really do it for me.

    Would the Atkins diet be something that I could possibly do if I supplemented fiber ? Are there a lot of health risks involved ? I know that it’s a publicized diet, but I don’t currently know anyone that has ever tried it.

    Thanks for the information in advance !

    1. In the induction phase of the Atkins diet you won’t be able to eat raw almonds or nuts of any kind since they contain a moderate amount of carb. Veggies contain a good amount of fiber, but the problem is you won’t get enough for your body since many leafy greens only contain 1g of fiber per 3g of carbs.

      It will definitely help if you could find a way to supplement fiber into you Atkins diet, but all fiber supplements contains 1g of fiber per at least 1g of carbs. With the health risks it is always good to consult your doctor before trying to go on a new diet your unsure off.

      Hope that helps,


  2. Andrew – thanks for this.

    I had no idea the Atkins diet required such low carb intake in the first two weeks. 20g of carbs per day – that’s not very much. An apple has about 14g of carbs. If 1 1/2 apples is all the carbs you can eat, you’ve reallly got to get on the meat. Have you heard any reports of how people’s systems react to that kind of protein shock ? Are there go-to meals for the Atkins diet that you know of ?

    Sounds interesting. Don’t know if I could do it !



    1. You can eat as much protein as you want that’s why nearly all diets keep protein high and lower either the carb or fat macros, so there’s no such thing as protein shock haha. Furthermore, while on the Atkins diet you need to be quite creative with your meals since your on low carb at the start. You can eat anything that has high protein/fat, but pretty much only stick to leafy greens for the carbs.

  3. I think different diets can work for different people. I don’t think there is a one shoe fits all when it comes to food. I can see how it might be beneficial to cut down on carbs, but like you said it can cause low energy which would concern me because you need energy to stay motivated to stay on a new diet !

    But sometimes people need to go to extremes to get them started on a better path to health, so I think Atkins is worth a look in. There seems to be more and more research out these days about the wide ranging effects of insulin and carbs can certainly send the insulin surging to high levels.

  4. Great page !

    I have tried the atkins diet before and I do agree with most of the pros and cons you listed in the article. I did notice a very rapid weight loss, but also felt the effects of a lack of energy.

    I did find the atkins to be a little too hardcore for me, but I did reduce my carbs to help with the loss of weight, but did not fully eliminate them from my diet.

    1. Yes the Atkins diet could be too extreme for some people and it’s better for them just to try a normal weight loss diet like you.

  5. I have heard about the atkins diet before, but i have only tried out the ketogenic diet which did work for me. You say that its very similar to the ketogenic diet but to me it seems to be exactly the same. both are low carb high protein and high in fat diets. Do you think that there are major difference between the two diets or non at all ?

    1. The big difference is that in a ketogenic diet you won’t ever be allowed to eat more carbs. In the Atkins diet you keep increasing your carb intake as you are near your goal weight.

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