Atkins diet
Atkins Diet

Atkins Diet: Definition, 4 Phases, Benefits, and Foods To Eat / Avoid

Various types of diets with the promise of being able to lose weight quickly, should not necessarily be followed. You are advised to consider in advance the possible benefits and risks, including the Atkins diet.

The Atkins diet was introduced by a cardiologist named Robert Atkins in 1972. This diet seeks to control carbohydrate intake, and consumes more protein and fat instead. This diet is similar to other types of diets, namely the Dukan Diet. However, Dukan’s diet emphasizes a diet high in protein as well as low in carbohydrates and fats.

It’s just that, the effectiveness of the Atkins diet to lose and maintain weight is still not supported by strong research results.

Atkins Diet Definition

The Atkins diet has several phases to lose and maintain weight, starting with a very low-carb diet.

The Atkins Diet, or so-called Atkins Nutritional Approach, has been detailed in many books and is credited with launching a low-carb diet trend. 

The focus of the Atkins diet is to consume carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in the right balance to lose weight and health optimally.

According to the Atkins diet, obesity and related health problems, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, are the fault of low-fat and high-carb diets.

The way of the Atkins diet also do not need to avoid cutting fatty meats or reducing excess fat.

Instead, the focus is on controlling carbohydrates. Therefore, people who go on the Atkins diet usually like to consume high amounts of protein foods.

Those who do not manage to go on a low-fat and high-carb diet are often successful in losing weight through the Atkins diet.

Actually, this diet is easy to follow. Because, there is no complicated points system, calorie counting, or meal plan involved.

Atkins Diet Phases

Going on an Atkins diet means you have to go through four important phases. Here’s the explanation:

Phase 1 (Induction)

This phase is the period when the body switches energy sources of carbohydrates to fats. The process is called ketosis. During this phase, you are not allowed to consume more than 20 grams of carbohydrates in two weeks.

Phase 2 (balancing)

As phase one progresses, you can slowly add low-carb vegetables, nuts, and a little fruit to your daily menu. You can eat all three foods approximately 15-20 grams per serving.

Phase 3 (fine-tuning / Pre-maintenance)

When you are close to reaching your desired weight, you can then add a little carbohydrate to the daily menu. The dose is approximately 10 grams to your body weight drops slowly.

Phase 4 (maintenance)

Well, when you go on the Atkins diet until the last phase, you are allowed to consume a variety of healthy carbohydrates, because the body can tolerate it without weight gain.

Atkins Diet Benefits

Referencing Atkins’ official website, low-carb diets such as Atkins have a number of benefits in addition to losing weight, including:

#1. Overcoming GERD

Generally, GERD occurs due to the accumulation of fat in the abdominal area that puts excessive pressure to push the stomach acid up. Studies show GERD sufferers who go on a low-carb diet, can reduce acid reflux.

#2. Reduce the risk of heart disease

The results of a study conducted in 2002 -2014 on the role of carbohydrate diets such as Atkins showed that this diet reduces the risk of heart disease.

Atkins diet consumes a lot of healthy fat intake and reduce saturated fats and sugars that are the triggers of heart disease.

#3. Reduce PCOS symptoms

People with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) are more able to control blood sugar and reduce insulin levels while on a low-carb diet.

Atkins diet foods to eat and avoid

During these four Atkins stages, there are several foods that can be included in your daily menu, namely:

  • Meat: beef, goat, chicken, and others.
  • Fish: salmon, sardines and others.
  • Low-carb vegetables: spinach, asparagus, broccoli and others.
  • Processed products are high in fat: cheese, butter, high-fat yogurt, and others.
  • Eggs: eggs containing omega 3.
  • Nuts: walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, and others.
  • Coconut oil, olive oil (extra virgin olive oil), and others.

As for the foods you should avoid when going on an Atkins diet:

  • Vegetables high in carbohydrates: radish, carrots (only at the induction stage), and others.
  • Vegetable oils: soybean oil, oil, canola, corn oil, cotton seed oil, and others.
  • Sugar: fizzy drinks, fruit juices, sweets, cakes, ice creams, and others.
  • Wheat: wheat, rice, and others.
  • Trans fatty acids: avoid any foods that contain trans fatty acids.
  • Fruits high in carbohydrates: apples, bananas, oranges, grapes and others (only at the induction stage).
  • Nuts and potatoes (only at the induction stage).

When it comes to drinks, in the Atkins diet, there are also limits. Drinks that can be drunk without damaging your diet program are water, coffee, and green tea, all without sugar.

Such is the information about the Atkins diet, when finding the type of diet you feel is suitable, such as the Atkins diet, look for complete information about the diet before trying it. It would be better if you consult a nutritionist first.


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Last Updated on July 6, 2021 Reviewed by Market Health Beauty Team


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