The Atkins Diet Plan is considered by many to be the King of Low Carb diets. It was and still is the go to plan when your doctor tells you to cut the carbs.
Dr. Atkins created this diet in the sixties, but it really became part of the popular diet culture in 1972 when he published his first book Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution. Other Atkins books have come out since then, but this book with his original Atkins diet program has always remained my favorite and I still have it on my shelf.
It was revolutionary in that his protocol limited carbohydrates, while protein and fat were unlimited. The goal was to get into ketosis, which turned your body into a ‘fat burning machine’. This went against everything that doctors were recommending at the time and Dr. Atkins was maligned as a quack and even dangerous. Fast forward three and four decades later and we find out that the good doctor was right! From his original Dr Atkins food plan has sprung an enormous low carb industry.
Where do you begin on the Atkins Diet Program?
There are four phases depending on where you are in your weight loss journey. But everyone starts out on Atkins diet Induction, which limits you to 20 grams of carbs per day. It is not uncommon for people to rapidly lose up to 20 pounds in 2 weeks on the Induction phase. (I have done this myself!)
I used to tell people to start their journey by visiting the Atkins site. The only place you should stop on that site now is the Induction instructions. Why do I say that? Sadly, since Dr. Atkins passed away, the site has become overly commercial. They push low carb bars, shakes and snacks, which are basically replicating the very foods that made us overweight and unhealthy in the first place! We are not learning how to eat real foods and change our ways in the way that Dr. Atkins originally intended.
My recommendation is that you use the books that Dr. Atkins wrote in the early years as your guide. You won’t be spending a lot of money and you will learn to do Atkins they way it was intended.
Dr. Atkins’ Diet RevolutionAtkins for Life: The Complete Controlled Carb Program for Permanent Weight Loss and Good HealthDr. Atkins’ New Carbohydrate Gram Counter: More Than 1300 Brand-Name and Generic Foods Listed With
Pros and Cons of The Atkins Diet Progam
- Rapid weight loss on Induction to kick start your diet
- There are plenty of online support communities and recipe sites available, mostly free.
- No weighing and measuring required as long as you are diligent about limiting your carbs.
- Basically free, unless you choose to buy books and products
- Some people report bad breath, especially the first 2 weeks on Induction
- Induction is tough, you are eating basically meat, fat and vegetables, no fruits.
I think that the Atkins diet plan is worth a look and I personally know many people who have had success with a low carb protocol. More and more I am hearing of doctors putting their diabetic patients on an Atkins low carb diet.
One of the things that I have always appreciated about being on a low carb Atkins diet is how easy it is to follow when traveling or eating out. You can always get a steak or chicken breast and a salad wherever you go.
- The most important thing is a way to count carbs as keeping carbs below 20 per day is essential. I still have my old Atkins Carb Counter and still refer to it. I’m sure there are smart phone apps now but I’m kind of old school.
- Group Support is always a good thing. There are many Low Carb facebook groups out there and there is even once called Old School Atkins!
- Honestly, other than maybe picking up a couple of the older used Atkins diet books from Amazon, that is pretty much all you need!