Atkins is one of the few (low carb) diets that are available, including Paleo, Mediterranean and Keto diets. Although the foundation is the same, Atkins has a unique approach to the systemization of the diet.
Atkins was founded by Dr. Robert Atkins, a cardiologist who believed that restricting carbohydrates in your diet and focusing on fat and protein should result in weight loss.
He published his first book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution in 1972 and several books after that, turning Atkins Diet into a fad diet especially in the 90s and early 00s, causing Dr. Atkins to be named by Time as one of the most influential people in 2002.
Atkins diet has been popular all over the world for over 45 years, during which there have been plenty of conflicting studies on its effectiveness and nutritional value. However, recently, evidence is accumulating that low carb diets, although rich in fat, are actually better for health and short term weight loss, especially because they reduce the appetite and improved levels of LDL.
Currently, more than 40 million people have benefited from the diet and it has been endorsed by plenty of famous people. To name a few : Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Aniston, Gerri Halliwell, and Robbie Williams.
Atkins has a massive online process whereby you can find anything you might need on their website.
Whether it is finding the plan that is best for you, selecting meal plans, looking for products or even reading up research about the basis of the diet. This makes it perfect if you are a working individual who does not have time to go to meetings.
You register to get a list of free tools which include:
Mobile app with carb tracker, low carb recipes, carb look-up, and a fitness tracker as well.
The online experience also includes discussion boards that gives you access to Atkins professionals and other members to share experiences, tips and recipes.
In terms of buying Atkins banded Low Carb products that include:
Low carb Meals Kits, Bars, Frozen Food & Meals, Shakes, and Treats
You can either buy the products online in their store or find a store near you that carries the brand in stock.
Atkins has collaborated with plenty of supermarket chains, including Walmart to sell their products.
If you choose to buy directly from their online stores, you will have several options for free shipping with or without subscription.
Atkins community is mainly online through the App or website. However, people have started their own meetup groups and created their own in-person network to support a low carb lifestyle based on the Atkins method.
You can find groups near you and attend the meetings if you need the support and have the time.
As we mentioned, Atkins is based on low carb intake which is not to be confused with low fat/low calorie diets.
According to Dr. Atkins, people get fuel from either carbs or fat. Reducing either of them should result in weight loss. However, Dr. Atkins claims that low carb diet will result in a faster, more stable and sustainable weight loss than Low Fat/Low Calorie diets, based on the assumption that with a low carb diet, the body will burn stored fat, even if the body is consuming more calories.
It is the type of calories you consume that makes all the difference in this process.
The number indicates the number of Net Carbs you ought to start your diet with Net carbs = Total Carbohydrates – Dietary Fiber – Sugar alcohol, You can find the info on the label of any product that you buy.
The diet is quite complicated with its 3 plans and 4 stages. However, it does make sense once you understand the type of foods that are considered good carbs, good fats vs bad ones. Although there are plenty of options that make it far from straight forward, it does not mean it is not flexible.
The diet, while complicated, gives out options based on your goals and your lifestyle.
Choosing the phase and the type of plan depends on your target weight loss, your dietary restrictions and even your health condition.
Although cutting out carbs sounds quite daunting, you are still left with plenty of foods to choose from. You can find more detailed info in the Atkins Carb Ladder The website provides access to a wide variety of recipes, branded meal plans, ingredients and great alternative snacks which you can find quite easily.
The app provides you with carb tracker and carb look-up for easy counting.
Foods to Eat:
Foods to Avoid
Suits various dietary needs and restrictions
The program takes into consideration your dietary restrictions when you choose your phase and plan.
Moreover, allowed foods include plenty of protein sources such as eggs, cheese, nuts, legumes etc that are suitable for vegetarians and/or vegans.
Gluten free diet is quite easy to maintain on Atkins because high carb foods are usually rich in gluten. By cutting them, we would be cutting a massive portion of gluten.
Atkins does not require any physical activity. In fact, it is recommended that you start with Phase 1 if you are not physically active and would like to jumpstart your metabolism.
However, the mobile app does include a fitness tracker to promote physical activity.
On Atkins website you can find community support with professionals and peers. You can also find Meetups for Atkins dieters in most US cities.
Considering how popular the diet is, you are certain to find an atkins dieter in your social circle.
Atkins is free. You can find all the resources, information, guidance and support on the website for free. The tool kits, app, structure of the program are completely free. Although, cutting out the carbs leaves you with proteins, fats and vegetables which are generally more expensive. The free resources on the website take that into consideration and provide you with plenty of solutions. You can read Atkins on a budget and choose the best protein sources that suit your budget and your dietary needs and preferences. You also have the option of ordering a weekly meal kit of your choice from as low as $74.99
14 frozen foods + 7 meal Bars + 7 Shakes.$ 97,99
14 frozen foods + 7 Snack Bars + 7 Shakes.$ 89,99
Minimum 14 entrees of frozen foods. Order more for an additional $4.99 per meal.$ 74,99
Free Shipping Weekly and Monthly Subscriptions possible
The amount of time to follow the program is dependent upon the phase you start with, your target weight and whether you decide to adopt it as a lifestyle.
The most and fastest weight loss happens in first/second phase when you introduce a drastic change to the source of your caloric input.
Although this loss may be accompanied with symptoms of hunger and mood changes, as happens in any other diet or weight loss program. Studies have shown that these symptoms improve faster and to a greater degree for people on a Low Carb diet such as Atkins.
Additionally, Atkins program is promoted as a way of life. That’s why they call Phase 4 : Lifetime Maintenance.
ِA phase reached by slowly and gradually increasing your intake of daily net carbs until you find a balance that will allow you to maintain the weight you lost and be comfortable with the diet at the same time. Once you reach that stage, it is advisable to try to maintain it as long as possible, taking into consideration your age, metabolism and activity levels.
Average net carb Intake is usually around 40 to 120 per day.
You can find plenty of testimonials and success stories related to weight loss on Atkins.
However, and even though scientific studies have been inconsistent in their review of low carb diets in the early days. More recent studies have shown a great advantage to low carb diets in terms of weight loss and also certain diseases such as cardiovascular, diabetes, and obesity and its morbidities.
Are Low carb diets safe?
A study published in 2018 by Healthcare Journal, comparing diets such as hypocaloric diets, low fat diets, low carb diets, high protein diets, formula diets, mediterranean Diet and intermittent diets confirmed that low carb diets based on Atkins are “effective and metabolically beneficial on the short term”. The study mentions long term adherence as a problem with LC diets.
However, Atkins is designed to help adopt LC as a way of life.
How fast is the weight loss on Atkins diet?
A study published in HHS Public Access in 2010 and reviewed in 2011 confirmed that adults on High Protein/Low Carb diets showed significantly greater reduction in BMI and weight within the first 6 months than low fat diets.
Another study also confirmed that very low carb diets are favourable in short term weight and fat loss, especially in men, over low fat diets.
Why does the Atkins diet work?
A study published by the Department of Medicine @ Duke University confirmed that changing the energy sources from carbs to fat would lead to appetite reduction and consequently weight loss.
What are other health benefits to Atkins diet?
Type 2 Diabetes:
Low carb diets have been proved crucial for glycemic control and in medicine reduction for people with Type 2 Diabetes.
While the effects on LDL cholesterol level caused by LC diet remain not clear. LC diets have been linked to improvement in metabolic markers related to Cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, recent studies have shown that acne, cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease may improve with ketogenic diets.
What about nutrition value of Atkins Diet?
A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association comparing the nutritional quality of various popular weight loss plans including Weight Watchers, Atkins, South Beach, Zone, Ornish and the 2005 Food Guide,found that Atkins in all its versions have high intake of beneficial n-3 fatty acids and a great intake of fiber as well.