The Atkins diet is based on a minimum intake of carbohydrates, which is often recommended for quick weight loss.
The idea is based on the fact that you can eat protein and fat all you want, but you should avoid food that contain carbohydrates. In the past 12 years, more than 20 studies showed that low carbohydrate diets are effective in losing weight (without counting calories), and can improve your health.
In the following article you can learn more about the basic rules, the prohibited and permitted food that this diet recommends, which are the phases, how the menu looks like and the experiences of users with this extremely popular diet.
Atkins diet rules and basic guidelines
The Atkins diet was first promoted by Dr. Robert C. Atkins, who wrote a bestselling book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution: The High Calorie Way to Stay Thin Forever, wich was published in 1972.
Since then, this method of weight loss is popular around the world, and many other books have been written about it and have been translated into many languages.
This method was originally considered unhealthy and demonized by the health institutions, mainly due to the high content of saturated fat. However, new studies have shown that saturated fats are harmless.
Since then, Dr. Atkins method is thoroughly studied and have been shown to lose more weight with it, than by reducing fat intake, and also improves the level of good cholesterol in the body, regulates the level of triglycerides , and other values in the blood analysis.
The main reason for the success of the Atkins diet is that when you eat less carbohydrates and eat more protein, the appetite decreases, so the faster you finish the meal, the less calories you take.
Food that your Atkins diet should be based on – Allowed food:
- Meat: chicken, beef, pork, lamb, bacon …
- Fatty fish and seafood: sardines, salmon, trout …
- Eggs: the healthiest are those rich in Omega 3
- Full-fat dairy products: cheese, butter, yogurt.
- Vegetables low in carbohydrates: broccoli, kale, spinach, asparagus …
- Nuts: almonds, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, nuts, etc.
- Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, etc.
Food that you should avoid in your Atkins diet is:
- Sugar: soft drinks, juices, cakes, candy, ice cream, etc.
- Grains: rye, barley, rice and wheat,
- Vegetable oils: soybean oil, corn oil, linseed oil
- Diet foods and foods low in fat (these foods are usually high in sugar content,
- Vegetables high in carbohydrates: carrots, beets,
- Fruit with a high content of carbohydrates: bananas, apples, grapes, pears, oranges,
- Starch: potatoes, sweet potatoes,
- Legumes: lentils, beans.
Drinks that are allowed during the Atkins diet:
- Water: as always, the water should be your first choice of drinks,
- Coffee: in spite of all kinds of warnings that you have heard, coffee is a strong antioxidant, and is quite healthy,
- Green tea: a healthy drink, which we recommend to people who want to lose weight, and also to those who do not need to,
- Alcoholic beverages: We recommend dry wines, without high sugar content, but avoid drinks with carbohydrates, such as beer and others like it.
There are plenty of delicious food you can eat during the Atkins diet. This includes food such as cheese, bacon, dark chocolate – these are all permitted food.
These groceries are usually considered as one that will gain weight because of the high fat content and because they contain a lot of calories. But when you’re on this diet, fat becomes your main source of energy, so this kind of food is quite acceptable.
Dr. Atkins diet is divided into four phases
We will explain what this means:
First phase of Atkins diet
In the first phase, the goal is to change your metabolism.
This means that we want to speed up the metabolism, so the fat will burn faster, but we have to come to this gradually. Carbohydrates should be limited to 20g per day.
That looks hard at the beginning, but there are recipes and ways with which it can be easier to achieve.
The first phase lasts for 14 days, and if you endure it and perform it properly, you will be on your way to lose weight, with food that you have to admit sounds pretty tasty compared to many other diets that you could ever find.
At this stage you can eat vegetables at most.
The second phase of Atkins diet
At this second stage, it starts the consumption of fat that has been undesirably accumulated in the body.
During it you will start to notice, loss of weight. Now you can slowly return carbohydrates in use but still in limited quantities (15-40g a day), you can eat meat and vegetables.
For example, eat an two eggs omelet for breakfast with bacon or ham. Lunch can be grilled meat, dinner cooked or grilled fish, as suggested by the Atkins diet.
Тhe third phase of Atkins diet
Gradually increase your intake of healthy carbohydrates, but still try not to exceed the limit of 60g per day.
The third phase of the Atkins diet occurs when you are almost satisfied with the weight that you have achieved. Restoring certain foods in use will slowing the weight loss process.
The last fourth phase of Atkins diet
Here you should enter as much carbohydrates as your body can handle. Of course, no body is the same, but let’s say that those 60g per day you consume in the third stage is enough to maintain a healthy body weight.
Of course these stages are a bit complicated and not everyone can comply to them. That’s why some people decide not to follow the stages, but reduce the intake of carbohydrates and use the recipes that will be listed below and succeeds to regulate the body weight.
Certainly the Atkins diet helps to get rid of the fat from the body, whatever technique you apply.
How the weekly menu looks like with the Atkins diet
Let us give you an example of a day by day weekly menu that is appropriate for the first phase, but you can also use it for the others as well, if you’ll gradually add more food with higher carbohydrate content in your nutrition.
- Breakfast: eggs and vegetables, fried in coconut oil,
- Lunch: chicken salad with olive oil, and a handfull of walnuts,
- Dinner: grilled meat with vegetables for salad.
- Breakfast: bacon and eggs,
- Lunch: rest of the chicken salad from yesterday,
- Dinner: a cheeseburger (without the bread rolls) with butter and vegetables.
- Breakfast: Omelet with vegetables, fried with butter,
- Lunch: salad of sardines with olive oil,
- Dinner: minced beef fried with vegetables.
- Breakfast: eggs and vegetables fried in coconut oil,
- Lunch: rest of the beef with vegetables from yesterday,
- Dinner: Salmon prepared with butter and vegetables.
- Breakfast: fried bacon and eggs,
- Lunch: chicken salad with olive oil, and a handful of nuts,
- Dinner: meatballs and salad vegetables.
- Breakfast: Omelet with various vegetables fried in butter,
- Lunch: rest of the meatballs from yesterday,
- Dinner: pork chops and vegetables.
- Breakfast: bacon and eggs,
- Lunch: rest of the pork chops from yesterday,
- Dinner: grilled chicken wings, salsa and vegetables.
You need to combine various vegetables while dieting.
Most people lose appetite during the Atkins diet, so three meals a day is just enough for them . However, if you get hungry between meals, here’s what you can eat as a snack:
The remains of the previous meal,
- Boiled egg,
- A piece of cheese,
- Piece of meat,
- Nuts of your choice (a handful)
- Greek yogurt,
- Whipped cream with strawberries (or other fruit).
Atkins diet user experience and their results
Despite of what you have heard, the Atkins diet is actually very flexible.
Only during the 2 weeks of induction you need to reduce the intake of carbohydrates. After the induction has finished, you can slowly return to healthy sources of carbohydrates, such as most vegetables, fruits, berries, potatoes, legumes, grains and healthier cereals.
However, chances are that you will have to remain at a moderate level of carbohydrate intake throughout your life, even if you reach your desired weight loss goals. Because if you start taking the same amount of carbohydrates through food as well as before the starting of the diet, you will return the unwanted kilograms. This counts for any weight loss using diet.
Here are a few positive experiences with the diet, that we have selected for you, and we hope that it will further motivate you to hold on and achieve the desired result.
I’ve been fighting with my overweight for a long time and I never have felt comfortable in my own skin. I almost gave up when I found out about dr. Atkins way to lose weight. For nine months, I lost 30kg. My husband was my main motivation. Constantly telling me how proud he is of me. I am thrilled, and I manage to keep this weight. Earlier I use to have migraines almost every week, the Atkins diet has helped with that too. Now I rarely have a headache. It improved my mood, I have more confidence and I’m more active. This method offers many choices and it’s easiest one to hold on to, than any other. K.M. (27yrs)
I refused the invitation to the ten-year high school reunion because I was ashamed to show up, as I had gained a lot of weight. Thinking about how to solve this terrible problem with obesity, I remembered that my father held the Atkins diet and lost weight of about 30 kg. I started it too, and from June 2016 till now, I’ve lost 25kg of weight. I started to practice and I feel much healthier.The Atkins diet is something that I would recommend to everyone. B.H. (45 yrs.)