Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet is a low-carbohydrate diet. Wondering just what a diet is? Then visit to learn the ins and outs. Since eating many processed carbs leads the body to gain weight, Dr. Atkin’s recommendation is that carbohydrates be limited in your diet. This means taking out carbohydrate-rich foods, such as breads, pasta, fruits and vegetables.

Because there’s not much choice after taking out these foods, individuals must rely on protein-rich foods, such as meats. As you leave the early stages of the diet program, you should keep excluding processed and refined sugars from your diet.

There are four phases to the Atkin’s Diet. Here’s a quick look at what foods should be limited or excluded during the phases.

Phase 1 : induction
Stay away from starchy, carbohydrate-rich foods including fruits, vegetables and grains. Supplement your diet with high-protein foods, such as meats. You should only be ingesting 20 grams of carbs a day. This is a one week induction.

Phase 2 : ongoing weight loss (OWL)
Slowly re-introduce carbs in the form of nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods. Start with 25 grams the second week, 30 grams the next week and so on. Once you’ve achieved the weight loss you want, subtract 5 grams from your carb intake to sustain moderate weight loss.

Phase 3 : pre-maintenance
This is the phase where you add 10 grams of carbohydrates for each consecutive week until you achieve the desired weight loss.

Phase 4 : life-time maintenance
Once you’ve achieved the desired weight loss, there are some dietary changes you need to make to maintain that weight loss. Stay away from processed, refined carbohydrates such as high-sugar foods, breads, pasta and starchy vegetables.

Concern Over the Atkin’s Diet

Naturally, a high-protein diet has many critics. And for good reason. High-protein diets raise cholesterol levels. Here are some of the harmful effects of low-carb, high-protein diets:

  • osteoporosis : Atkin’s depletes calcium levels
  • possible contributions to heart diseases
  • kidney abnormalities

For more information on the negative effects of the Atkin’s diet, visit