Dr. Robert Atkins created the Atkins Diet back in 1972, and its overall message of low carbohydrates on a daily basis will most definitely lead to weight loss. There are no calorie restrictions when going through this diet, and you can eat as much protein as you want, as long as you do not incorporate any carbs into the mix. The idea behind eating as much protein as you want comes from protein’s ability to fill you up faster and for longer amounts of time.* The Atkins Diet sells many different snack options such as protein bars, shakes, and frozen meals that can be found in most grocery stores around the country, but are not required while following this program. When going through this diet there are four main phases:
You are only allowed to eat 20 grams of carbs per day for two solid weeks during this phase. You are encouraged to eat high fats and proteins, along with many vegetables, as this is said to start the weight loss process.*
This is the balancing phase where you can add more nuts, fruits, and low-carb vegetables back into your diet. The goal still remains the same however – eating as much dense protein as you can.*
This stage is the maintenance or fine-tuning phase where you are near your goal weight and need to maintain it. While still focusing on more protein consumption than carbs, you can slowly add in a few carbs here and there. Be mindful.*
The final phase is the long-term maintenance phase. After incorporating more proteins and less carbs into your diet throughout the program, this phase allows you to eat more carbs, as long as the lost weight does not come back on.*
While taking carbohydrates and some fruits away from your diet are said to be healthy, this can also leave you feeling sluggish at best. This diet goes to the extreme to take away anything but meat and veggies for extended periods of time. Users have reported that their bodies do not smell good (breath, sweat, and skin) due to the large amounts of meat they have to consume. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, there are two programs to choose from: The Atkins 40 (aimed at people who need to lose over 40 pounds) and the Atkins 20 (aimed at people needing to lose 20 pounds or less). Each program’s eating restrictions are pretty much the same, but the portion sizes are different.* The cost of the program is purchasing the book for roughly $20.00, and buying the groceries each week for yourself.
Do Dieters Lose Weight On The Atkins Diet?
Because a large amount of processed foods and carbs is completely cut out of your diet, the Atkins Diet has seen success. The question is, does the weight lost stays off once other foods are incorporated back into the diet? Most of the time, lost weight has been said to come back on once those carbs and sugars make their way back into the body. There is scientific evidence that backs up the idea that sugars and carbs will turn into fat in your body, so the overall idea of the diet has legs to stand on. What remains unclear is how healthy the long-term consumption of animal fat in large numbers is to your body over time.* There were faulty rumors going around that Dr. Atkins himself died of a heart attack back in 2003, which left many second-guessing the validity of the program. This was however not the case, as he died from traumatic brain injuries. People with heart problems, kidney disease, and high cholesterol are cautioned to consult a doctor before jumping into the Atkins Diet.
Is The Atkins Diet Easy To Follow?
No. Any time you are drastically changing your diet, it will be tough to follow initially. To start out, you are only allowed to consume 20-40 grams of carbs at the most, which can send some people’s systems into shock. There have been side effects of sluggishness, irritability, headaches, and foul odors such as bad breath when participating in the Atkins Diet. In total, the programs can take a person a couple of months to finish, but everyone will lose weight at their own rate. The first phase lasts for two weeks, and then the other phases are on a personal time basis that is dependent on your weight loss goals.
The original protocol allowed for extremely high amounts of saturated fats which can directly impair the body’s ability to react to insulin, so implementing low-carb, high fat diet might help you shock your body into releasing weight short term, but it may also speed up the development of insulin resistance. Eventually, that can lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. New revised program recommends healthier options but still allows high amounts of fat and the effects of that are still not known.
It does promote physical activity of up to 30 minutes a day, but does not focus on this as a main contributor to losing weight. If you are a vegetarian, you are able to follow the diet, but it will be much more challenging as your only source of nutrients will come in the form of vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
When looking into the Atkins Diet support systems and social media, they have a large following of people with little user engagement on their social media accounts. The support systems are most definitely present with forums, support lines, and chat groups, which was nice to see. There are many positives to eliminating refined sugars and carbs from your diet, and one of them happens to be weight loss. This diet program is not for everyone, as many people have noticed their cholesterol levels rising, bad smells coming from their bodies, and an overall lack of nutrients when trying to complete this diet. You can purchase extra diet snack products almost anywhere you look, as well as the Atkins Diet book from the website directly or major distribution channels such as Amazon or Ebay. The diet takes a lot of time and energy, as many life changes will need to be made in order to be successful.*
*Please keep in mind that with any diet or weight loss program, individual results will vary.
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My name is Megan Smith, senior contributor at ConsumersCompare.org and several other reputable, health and nutrition publications. I have been in the health industry for over a decade and have gained a lot of information on health and physical conditioning as an athlete who competed at a professional level. In this review I’ve conducted thorough research to verify the validity of product claims, read all the feedback from trusted online sources. If contact information was provided, I called the company and asked important questions to help me write this review. I’m eager to hear your feedback about the this review, so please call 208-375-7482, email [email protected] or use this form to contact.
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*Individual results will vary.
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