Atkins Diet: The Complete 10 Step Beginners Guide.

Meat and Veg on a plate atkins diet

Robert Coleman Atkins with his diet the Atkins diet

Who is Robert Coleman Atkins?

Robert Coleman Atkins was an American cardiologist who died in 2003 at the age of 72. He was named by Time Magazine as the top 10 most influential person in 2002. Robert developed the now-famous Atkins diet which is one of the fads diets of the century. (1,2,3,4)

What is a fad diet?

Fad diets are diets that are very popular for the time. Similar to fashion these are non-standard diets and usually promise big weight-loss results, but there’s no scientific evidence for the diet and can be dangerous advice for some. Fads are a trend followed on impulse within a culture or generation. This just means it’s a short-term trend that’s everybody is doing at that time.

What is the Atkins diet

The Atkins diet is a low carbohydrate diet. Robert Atkins claims you can lose weight by eating high protein and fat as long as the carbohydrates are kept at a minimum. There have been about 20 studies showing that low-carb eating can improve your health. The Atkins diet was considered to be unhealthy by health authorities and mainstream organizations because of the consumption of high saturated fats. New studies suggested that saturated fats are harmless.(5,6,7,8)

The Four Phases of the Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet has four phases namely

  • Phase 1: Induction: kickstart your weight loss.
  • Phase 2: Ongoing weight loss
  • Phase 3:  Pre-maintenance
  • Phase 4: Maintenance

Phase 1 Induction

Phase 1 is all about transforming your body. We know by now that your body uses the carbs turns it into energy. When you lower the intake of carbs two 20 grams a day your body changes from burning carbs to burning fat this is the induction phase.

Phase 2 Ongoing weight loss

Phase 2 is about finding your carb tolerance. Eating a certain amount of carbs and still lose weight when you find the equilibrium between carb intake and losing weight this is called Phase 2.

Phase 3 Pre-maintenance

Phase 3 provides the details on how to stay happy and healthy in the long term when you are in phase 3 your healthopolitan goals should already be insight.

Phase 4 Maintenance

Phase 4 has let you to your goal weight you have achieved the desired weight and Phase 4 is all about enjoying the healthy you. Well done to your accomplishments. You know the ins and outs of the low-carb lifestyle by heart. If you keep the carb balance you would be fine staying on the Atkins diet for The Long Haul.

What is Atkins 20 vs Atkins 40

Atkins 20

ATKINS 20 – is the classic Atkins Diet that has been so successful for so many people over the past four decades. If you have more than 40 pounds to lose, have a waist of over 35″ (women) or 40″ (men), are diabetic or pre-diabetic, this is the plan for you. If you want to start with Atkins 20

Atkins 40

ATKINS 40 – was designed just for you if you have less than 40 pounds to lose. It is also the best option for people that are pregnant or breastfeeding. With Atkins 40, you can enjoy a full range of food options right from the beginning. You can eat foods from every food group—carbohydrates, protein, and fats—while still losing weight and feeling satisfied. If you want to start with Atkins 40.

What can you eat on the Atkins diet?

foods you can eat on the atkins diet

Okay so far phase 1 we know your intake should be 20 grams of carbs of this 12 – 15g should be vegetables here follows  a list of foods that you can enjoy. 


Eat at least 3 meals with 2 snack times a day

Do not go through 2-4 hours a day without eating

Never starve yourself

Foods you can enjoy in phase 1

Fish – Rich in protein great source of vitamins and B2, calcium and minerals like iron. potassium. Stick to a 4 to 6 oz serving. Contains a lot of healthy fats the following is also acceptable flounder, Herring, Salmon, sardines, sole, tuna, cod, trout

Chicken – There are no net carbs in poultry, eating from different protein categories is very important. Aim for 4 to 6 oz servings of protein each day the following is also acceptable

Turkey, are, cornish hen, fowl, duck goose, pheasants

Meat – In weight loss protein plays a big role meets protects against lean muscle mass, meat also has a low net carb source of protein. Take 4 to 6 ounces in one serving the following is also acceptable pork, bacon, hum, Venison, lamb, veal


Some processed foods and cured meats will have sugars and hidden carbs it’s better staying away from processed foods and avoid cold cut meats.

Shellfish – It’s a great source of proteins it contains Omega-3 fatty acids shellfish that don’t contain any net carbs. Four servings per day would be the max the following is also acceptable shrimp, lobster oysters, crab meat, muscles, squid 

What can I drink on the Atkins diet?

Berrys in milk the atkins diet

Beverages are a major source of hidden sugars and carbs it’s important to drink a lot of water approximately 64 ounces a day. The following is also acceptable green tea, herbal types of teas, club soda, flavor-infused water, mineral water, tap water, and coffee preferably decaffeinated try avoiding 100% fruit juices as these contain a lot of natural sweeteners and sugars that can the hidden. Avoid beverages such as soft drinks. 

Foundation vegetables

And for around 12 to 15 g of these vegetables daily this is equivalent to about 7 cups remember to measure it raw. The following is a list of vegetables you can eat radish, spinach, olive, lettuce, chicory greens, button mushrooms, avocado, red or white onions, cucumber, bell pepper, asparagus, eggplant, kale, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, green beans, garlic.

What not to eat on the Atkins diet

During phase 1 the induction phase high carb foods and fruits should be avoided at all costs. Here are some foods you have to avoid when you are on the Atkins diet.

  •  Legumes such as lentils beans and chickpeas
  •  Fruits such as bananas apples and grapes
  •  Grains include wheat spelt and rice
  •  Avoid sugars like soft drinks candy and cakes

Atkins diet Pros and Cons


The diet helps with the prevention of high blood pressure and cholesterol. Reduction in metabolic syndrome and diabetes although many diets have these healthy benefits in today’s era in the 1970s Atkins was the first of its kind.


Most people are not committed to the Atkins diet in the long-term and will probably be off this diet in the next two to three years. In the early stages of the Atkins diet people have experienced symptoms including headaches, dizziness, fatigue and constipation.

When you consider changing your diet always consult your nutritionist or medical practitioner do not take any of this article as sure ground advice.

Shopping List for the Atkins diet

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Following is the Atkins diet 7 Day meal plan

Monday (Day 01)

Breakfast – Yogurt and chocolate coffee granola 

Snack – 1 Boiled egg

Lunch – Frozen Crustless Chicken Pot-Pie 

Snack – 1 Pepperoni stick

Dinner – Frozen Meatloaf with Portobello Mushroom Gravy

Tuesday (Day 02)

Breakfast – 2 Egg omelette with 30g grated cheese & 50g sliced red pepper

Snack – Strawberry shake

Lunch – Chicken salad with olive oil, and a handful of nuts. 

Snack – 30g Cubed cheese

Dinner – Shrimp cauliflower fried rice

Wednesday (Day 03)

Breakfast -Baked eggs and greens with feta yogurt drizzle 

Snack – 1 Cooked chicken leg

Lunch – Meal Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar

Snack – Strawberries

Dinner – Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo

Thursday (Day 04)

Breakfast – Egg in a mug breakfast 

Snack – Blueberries

Lunch – Spaghetti squash mac and cheese

Snack – 1 Slice ham wrapped up with a cheese slice

Dinner – Mushroom Burgers

Friday (Day 05)

Breakfast – 1 Low carb sausage,1 poached egg & half grilled tomato

Snack – Roasted edamame

Lunch – Steak and veggies.

Snack – Macadamia nuts

Dinner – Sheet-pan fajitas

Saturday (Day 06)

Breakfast -Eggs and vegetables, fried in coconut oil.  

Snack – ½ sliced avocado

Lunch – chicken nuggets

Snack – roasted seaweed

Dinner – Leftover stir fry from dinner the night before.

Sunday (Day 07)

Breakfast – Bacon, and eggs.

Snack – Café Caramel Shake

Lunch – tofu, cauliflower, and broccoli

Snack – vegetable kabobs

Dinner – Pork chops with vegetables. 

Atkins Recipes

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Keto Diet vs Atkins Diet

What these 2 types of diets have in common is both of them restrict the intake of high-calorie foods, which causes the fat in your body to be used as an energy source. They are mostly small differences in these two diets include 20% of calories comes from protein in the keto diet. In Atkins 30% of calories come from protein with the Atkins diet. Gradually you will raise your calorie intake whereby with the keto diet it stays very low because of the carb limit you can consume more food products with the Atkins diet than that of the keto diet.

Does the Atkins diet affect blood sugar?

Recent studies show that low-carb diets have a big positive impact on blood sugar. Control patients with type 2 diabetes on a low-carb diet like Atkins diet have shown to need less medication and have better levels of hemoglobin. There has also been an improvement in type 2 diabetes patients on the Atkins diet these patients can control their insulin levels.

How much weight can I lose on this diet?

Mayoclinic state the Atkins diet says you can lose 15 lbs or 6.8 kg in phase one or the first two weeks of the Atkins diet but it also acknowledges that the results are not typical the weight that you lose in the first two weeks of May only be water Weight.

How long is phase 1 of the Atkins diet

The Atkins diet phase 1 is probably the most important phase of all four phases it cannot take more than two weeks to complete.

Vegetarians and the Atkins diet

vegeterians and vegans

Is it possible to follow a low-carb diet like the Atkins diet for vegetarians and vegans? You don’t need to be a meat-eater to follow a low-carb diet the meat can be replaced with soy products as well as low-carb high-fat plant foods. Find out more in this article a quick tip that works well in most cases is to replace a meat with cheese this works well in most dishes 

Are there any negative effects with the Atkins diet!

The Atkins diet is definitely not suitable for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Remember in this time it’s better to look after the unborn baby all is nutritional needs then your own during pregnancy, you will gain weight this is normal and all for the baby sake after you have had the baby you can look at different types of weight loss products. Have a look at this article for more information

If you take diuretics, insulin or oral diabetes medications. In addition, people with severe kidney disease should not follow the diet.

Some patients reported dizziness nausea constipation and headaches as a symptom of being on the Atkins diet.

Can I drink alcohol on the Atkins diet?

The best option would be rather stick with water. If you have to drink a few drinks get some red Wine or Spirits like Scotch or vodka is acceptable alcohol is not only dangerous to your health but the body uses alcohol for fuel if the body burns the alcohol it won’t burn the fat this would only postpone your weight loss goals rather leave alcohol.

Frequently asked questions Atkins diet

Will I be able to lose weight quickly?

100g Net Carbs has been scientifically validated as an acceptable level of carbohydrate restriction help prevent weight gain for healthy individuals. The young and healthy may be able to lose weight at this level, others will need a lower level of carb intake to achieve weight loss. It depends on an individual’s carbohydrate tolerance.

Can vegetarians or vegans follow the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins Diet allows individuals to consume a wide variety of foods, all framed within a context of eating fewer carbohydrates and sugars. The diet can be followed as a vegetarian or vegan. Atkins 100 is actually a great option for a vegetarian or vegan. Vegetarians will can get their protein from eggs, legumes, nuts, dairy, and soy products. Vegans can get sufficient protein from seeds, nuts, soy products, soy and rice cheeses, seitan, legumes and high protein grains like quinoa.

Is  Atkins criticized for having too much fat?

Atkins does focus on fat, but a balance of fats that are commonly agreed to be healthy, such as monounsaturated fats like olive oil and avocado as well as naturally occurring saturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. If they wish, although not necessary, individuals can easily avoid saturated fats while on Atkins by following the plan as a vegetarian. It is important to remember that if carbohydrate levels are low, fat intake needs to be higher.

Research from peer-reviewed independent studies has consistently demonstrated the diet’s safety and efficacy at the levels of fat intake recommended on a lower carb lifestyle.


 The Atkins diet was revolutionary when it was first invented in the 1970s. Its inventor Robert Coleman was awarded top 10 man of influence in 2002 he later died in 2003.

The Atkins diet was considered a fad diet which means it just follows a trend for a short time. but actually still continue today the Atkins diet is used.

There are a few other diets as well which is actually just low carb diets including the keto diet you get different types of Atkins diet including Atkins 20 Atkins 40 and Atkins 100 meaning different types of carbs a day depending on your weight loss goals.

Studies have found that there are more positive than negative.

Positives would be lowering blood pressure and cholesterol better findings in type 2 diabetes patients so if you are considering the Atkins diet please leave a comment below let me know what you thought about this article and is there any improvements or incorrect data that I can adjust

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Atkins Diet_ The Complete 10 Step Beginners Guide