How does the Atkin Diet Work?

Human body has two primary sources of energy. These are fats and carbohydrates. These sources of fuel are contained in the foods you eat. If you do not eat enough of these nutrients to produce the needed energy in the body, then there are certain forms of weaknesses that your body will experience. 

When you eat more carbohydrates than your body can utilize the excess fuels are stored as fat. It reaches a point in life that your body needs to burn the stored fat instead of storing some more. You can achieve this by eating foods with low amounts of carbohydrates so that your body will burn the stored fats to get body fuels.

Atkin Diet is a popular low carbohydrate diet. This diet is, therefore, recommended to the individuals who need to lose weight.

Proponents of Atkin Diet argue that you can achieve your body weight loss goals while consuming as much fats and proteins as you want, provided that you keep off foods rich in carbohydrates. The Atkin Diet is a brainchild of Dr. Robert C. Atkins. The physician discovered and promoted the Atkin Diet in 1972.


The physician promoted this diet through the bestselling book that he wrote in the same year. The diet has since received some significant popularity among individuals who are out to reduce weight. Many authors have written books and articles about the diet, and it continues to grow more and more popular.

Phases of the Atkin Diet

The Atkin Diet is divided into four main phases, as indicated below.

1.    Induction (phase 1). In this phase, you are advised to consume less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day. This schedule should be observed for two full weeks. Also, ensure that you eat high protein and fats with low-carbohydrates vegetables such as leafy greens. This phase is your kick-start for weight loss.

2.    Balancing (phase 2). In the balancing phase, you need to slowly put some more nuts and fruits while feeding on low-carbohydrate vegetables. You need to ensure that this balancing is observed keenly.

3.    Fine-tuning (phase 3). You should be seeing signs of achieving your weight loss goals by the time you reach this phase. Eat foods with more carbohydrates until when you realize that your body has stopped losing weight.

4.    Maintenance (phase 4). Consume as many carbs as you can without gaining any more weight. This is the phase that gives your desired results.

The above phases may seem to be complicated, especially if you want to lose weight quickly. You do not have to necessarily follow the four phases to the letter. You can choose to ignore the induction phase. Without observing the first phase, you can choose to start by reducing the amount of carbs and eat more fruits and vegetables.

This methodology of the Atkin Diet also works effectively. You can also decide to stay at the induction phase for as long as you want and still achieve your desired results.


Foods to avoid while on the Atkin Diet

You should always be keen not to feed on the following foods while on the Atkin Diet.

  • Whole grains: barley, rice, spelt, wheat, and rye.
  •  Starches: sweet and other potatoes.
  • Sugar: ice cream, yogurt, fruit juices, soft drinks, candy, and cakes.
  • Trans fats: processed hydrogenized foods.
  •  Legumes: chickpeas, beans, and lentils.
  • High-carbohydrates fruits: oranges, bananas, grapes, pears, and apples.
  • Vegetable oils: corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, and soybean oil.
  • High-carbohydrates vegetables: turnips and carrots.

Foods to eat while on the Atkins Diet

The Atkin Diet works best when you eat the particular foods that contain a low concentration of carbohydrates. These foods are fatty proteins, vegetables, low-carbohydrates, nuts, and seeds. They include:

  • Eggs: eat pastured or omega-3 enriched.
  • Healthy fats: avocado oil, avocadoes, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Meats: chicken, beef, lamb, pork, and bacon.
  • Nuts and seeds: sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, almonds, and walnuts.
  • Seafood and fatty fish: sardines, trout, and Salmon.
  • Full-fat Dairy products:  full-fat yogurt, cheese, butter, and cream.
  • Low-carb vegetables: spinach, asparagus, kale, and broccoli.

The Atkin Diet is also keen on the beverages that you consume. The following are some of the tested and proven beverages that you need to use when on the Atkin Diet.

  • Green tea: This is a very healthy drink.
  • Water: As it is in every other diet, water should be your regular beverage all through.
  • Coffee: Coffee is also very sturdy and is rich in antioxidants.
  • Alcohol: Some small amounts of alcohol are recommended in the Atkin Diet. Ensure that you stick to sugarless wines.

Some people dismiss the Atkin Diet saying that it is complicated and against the consumption of carbohydrates. The fact is that this diet only restricts you to the use of low-carbs foods for only two weeks during the induction phase. Two weeks are not a decade, and almost everyone can reduce consumption of carbs for two weeks.

After the two weeks of the induction phase, the Atkin Diet allows you to introduce more carbohydrates in your diet slowly. Therefore, the Atkin Diet is flexible. But, you will also need to restrict yourself to consuming foods with low carbohydrates for the entire life even after achieving your weight loss desires. If you go back to your old eating habits and diets, then you will end up regaining weight and get back to your past life.

Vegetarians in the Atkin Diet

Vegetarians can effectively lose weight by adopting the Atkin Diet. If you are a vegetarian and want to use the Atkin Diet to lose weight, there’s is a working option for you. You can depend on proteins from soy-based foods. You can also consume seeds and nuts for fats. Also, you can consider using coconut oil and olive oil for fats.

In a nutshell, the Atkin Diet is a simple diet to follow that enables you to achieve your weight loss desires without having to strain your budget. It allows you to gain your weight loss goals while saving a lot of money.  

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