What is Atkins Diet? Is it Mother of Keto Diet?

Atkins Diet is one of the most prominent and well-known low carbohydrate diet or weight loss program, which helps in the restriction of carbs and emphasizing of nutrients like proteins and fats. The thrust of the Atkins diet is none other than having a balanced amount of nutrients, which includes carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the body. This is so as to provide a healthy life for the human being.

Atkins Diet

Robert C. Atkins, a cardiologist in the 1960s, developed the Atkins diet. During his research on weight loss, he had performed various experiments on the patients in which he provided them with low-calorie diets, but the experiments proved to be unsuccessful and futile. Thus, in an attempt to find out the solution to his problem, he limited the intake of sugar and carbohydrates in the patients. He found the desired result. From there itself, he gathered the idea of low carbohydrates diet, which was named after him. Atkins diet is also referred to as the Atkins nutritional approach.

Principles of Atkins Diet

The four main principles of the Atkins diet are as follows:

  • The dieter loses weight,
  • The dieter maintains weight loss,
  • The dieter achieves good health,
  • The dieter lays the permanent groundwork for disease prevention.

Functioning of Atkins Diet

The two very important terminologies- carbohydrates and weight loss are intimately related to each other. The body of an individual consists of two different types of fuels for energy. The first one being sugar and the other fat. These fuels make a difference when it comes to burning any of the two of them. The diet, which is normally taken by individuals, reduces the calories, but in no way reduces the carbohydrate content in the body.  However, the Atkins diet differs from the normal diet in the sense that it limits the carbohydrate content in the body and burns fat. Even though the calorie might not be reduced, but the body remains fueled and weight gets the loss. Moreover, it provides a constant energy level to the individuals and thus the individual lives a healthy life.

Phases of Atkins Diet

The intake of Atkins diet is divided into four different phases:

Phase 1: Induction

In this phase, the consumption of calories from carbohydrates is limited to less than 20 grams each day.  This is achieved by consuming high fat, high-protein with low content of carbohydrates. Vegetables such as leafy greens are most suitable for this purpose

Phase 2: Balancing

The diet is supplemented with nutrient dense and fiber-rich foods like nuts, low carb vegetables, fruits etc. During the first week of this phase, 25 grams is to be added. This is to be enhanced by 30 grams in further weeks. The process is to be carried on in subsequent weeks until the person stops losing weight. When this stage is reached, the daily intake of carbohydrates is to be reduced by 5 grams until the time the person starts to lose weight again.

Phase 3: Fine tuning/ Pre-maintenance-

When the individual comes near to his weight goal, approximately 10 grams add his carbohydrate content until he starts to lose weight again.

Phase 4: Maintenance

At this final stage, the individual can consume as much amount of carbohydrate as he wishes, as his body does not fluctuate and no weight gain is possible. However, proper monitoring is to be done at this stage.

These phases being a bit complicated are a bit difficult to follow, but if followed strictly gives the desired results.

What to Eat & What to Avoid…?

What To Eat-

Meats (Beef, pork, chicken etc.); Fatty fish and seafood (Salmon, trout, sardines etc.); Eggs; Low-carb vegetables (Kale, spinach, broccoli etc.); Full fat dairy (Butter, cheese, cream etc.); Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds etc.); Healthy fats (Coconut oil, avocado oil etc.); Water; Coffee; Green tea.

What Not To Eat-

Foods and beverages rich in sugar (soft drinks, cakes, candy etc.); Grains (wheat, rice etc.); low-fat foods; legumes (lentils, beans, chickpeas etc.); Vegetable oils (Soybean oil, corn oil etc.); Starches (potato, sweet potato etc.)

Suitable Patients for Atkins Diet

All those people who wish to lose weight can adopt the Atkins diet. There is no age restriction as such for the older and the younger. However, care is to be taken to avoid the Atkins diet in people suffering from diseases, which demands a proper amount of carbohydrate in their diet. Not only this, the people on medications should always consult the doctor before following the Atkins diet. For details regarding this, any Atkins book can be referred to.

Is Atkins Diet The Mother of Keto Diet?

Whenever the discussion relating to low carb diet arises, the Atkins diet and Keto diet come into play. Both these diets are related to low carbohydrate content, but their method and may vary significantly. It is hard to say as which one is superior because the competition between the two is neck to neck. If we say Atkins diet to be the mother of Keto diet, then it is in a way rendering injustice to the Keto diet as the circumstances in which the two concepts were developed and the reasons for their development completely differ. Both of them have their own importance and it is not justified to provide an upper hand to one over the other. (See also, how keto diet can reduce your weight?)

Similarities between Atkins Diet and Keto Diet

  • Both the Atkins diet and Keto diet are low carb, high-fat diets (How Keto Diet can control cholesterol level?).
  • Both of them significantly help in weight loss.
  • The induction phase of both the Atkins diet and the Keto diet are the same.
  • The approach of both the diet plans is clean eating, i.e. eating real, clean foods.
  • Both the diets focus on the absence of sugar and honey as they might cause spikes in blood glucose.


Hence, we can say that the intake of the Atkins diet is beneficial on many accounts, especially weight loss. If this diet is followed regularly in the manner prescribed above then it is surely going to benefit the individual. For more information on the Atkins diet, the various books on Atkins Diet can be referred to.

Learn more about Keto and Dukan Diet

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