Atkins diet

Atkins diet

The new version of the Atkins diet is one of the most popular low-carbohydrate diets right now. It consists of a diet composed mainly of proteins and lipids. The goal is to encourage the body to use other energy production methods to lose weight quickly. Even if it is used to treat certain pathologies, its use remains very controversial in the slimming field.

Atkins diet new version: understand everything in 2 minutes

Features of the new version of the Atkins diet:

  • Hypoglucidic diet
  • Frequent weight gain
  • Little food diversity
  • Difficult to follow in the long term
  • Not recommended in cases of kidney failure and diabetes

The main principles of the regime

It was in the 1970s that Dr. Atkins published his book Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution in which he described the key stages of his weight loss diet. It indicates that carbohydrates are responsible for weight gain and that by limiting them strongly, we can obtain beneficial effects on weight loss as well as on the prevention of certain diseases. In 2010, three doctors, international experts in low-carbohydrate diets, published The New Atkins Diet for a New You, which offers a completely new way of living the principles of the Atkins method, both easier to follow and more effective than the models presented in previously published books.

How does the new Atkins diet work?

The Atkins diet consists of 4 phases in which you reduce your carbohydrate intake. It aims to trigger weight loss, reduce cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure and prevent type 2 diabetes. It is also sometimes recommended (subject to personalization by a health professional) for children with epilepsy.

  • First phase: in this phase, which lasts at least 2 weeks, the assimilable carbohydrates are limited to 20 g per day, which is equivalent to about an apple or a slice of bread per day.
  • Phase 2: To continue to lose weight, but at a slower rate, carbohydrate-containing foods such as fruit (berries), cereal products, dairy products and legumes are gradually reintroduced. The amount of added carbohydrates should not exceed 5 g per day (in addition to the 20 g of carbohydrates in the 1st phase). This phase lasts up to 5 kg of the final target weight. For example, 5 g of carbohydrates is equivalent to one-third of a slice of bread.
  • Third phase: the goal of this phase is to continue to slow down weight loss while adopting long-term sustainable eating habits. Each week, it is allowed to add 10 g of carbohydrates per day. If weight loss stops too abruptly, the total number of carbohydrates per day should be reduced from 5 g to 10 g. When the person approaches the target weight, he or she must test how much carbohydrate he or she can consume without gaining weight (Atkins carbohydrate balance threshold). When the desired weight is stable for four weeks, it is time to move on to the last phase.
  • Fourth phase: this is the way to eat, according to Atkins. People consume an amount of carbohydrates that depends on their metabolism and physical activity, ranging from 45 g to 100 g. For example, 100 g of carbohydrate corresponds to about two servings of fruit, plus two servings of cereal products and two servings of milk or yogurt.

How does the Atkins diet make you lose weight?

By removing carbohydrates from the diet, the body must use its fat reserves to produce energy. This induces the production of ketones, which can cause bad breath in people on this diet. The small variety of “authorized” foods and the relatively long duration of each phase often implies a decrease in the pleasure of eating and therefore a decrease in appetite that contributes to weight loss. Weight generally taken back when the engine stops.

How long does the Atkins diet last?

When the desired weight is stable for 4 consecutive weeks, it is still necessary to continue to keep the Atkins fourth phase diet. To avoid gaining weight again, the diet must be continued without time limit.

Atkins diet: list of approved foods

In the Atkins diet, we distinguish between foods that are allowed at will and those that should be eaten in moderation:

All-you-can-eat foodWith moderation















low in





Hard cheese

Medium carbohydrate vegetables

Prohibited foods

As in most diets, in the Atkins diet some foods are not allowed:

  • Sugar
  • Sweet products
  • Starchy people
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Bread and derivatives
  • Pulses
  • Yoghurt
  • Fresh and soft cheese
  • Soft drinks
  • Frozen desserts
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Seeds
  • Oilseeds
  • Fruits
  • Milk
  • Red meat
  • Deli meats
  • Light” foods

Typical day and menus to follow the new Atkins diet

Breakfast (breakfast)2 scrambled eggs 1
slice of derinded degreased ham100g
rhubarb compote
LunchRosbif Green
and grated red cabbage5
black olives
SnackCucumber and gouda
LunchSalmon steak

Steams paragus

Green salad avocado

Cow’s milk blue


Advantages and disadvantages

The positive points of the Atkins diet

  • Allows to become aware and reduce sugar in food
  • Adequate protein intake
  • Good supply of quality fats
  • Fast weight loss

The negative points of the Atkins diet new version

  • Dangerous in case of diabetes
  • Fibre and micronutrient intake far too low
  • High consumption of meat and animal fats dangerous to the heart and kidneys
  • Frequent weight gain
  • Difficult to follow and maintain
  • Not compatible with a fulfilling social life
  • Does not allow you to develop good eating habits

Recommendations and precautions to be taken

Are there any risks?

Under no circumstances should the Atkins diet be followed in people with diabetes, kidney or cardiovascular disease. Pregnant and lactating women and all vulnerable populations should also abstain. The absence of fibre, micro-nutrients and carbohydrates makes this diet relatively dangerous for long-term health. The main risks are: kidney fatigue, deterioration of the cardiovascular system, vitamin deficiencies, transit disorders, intense fatigue, etc.

Is this a diet for you?

This diet is not recommended, except in certain specific cases where medical recommendations have been made for a carbohydrate-free diet (e.g. epilepsy, certain cancers, etc.).

Is it a diet compatible with sport?

Yes, physical activity is quite possible during the Atkins diet. It helps to support weight loss and avoid the melting of muscle tissue often favoured by rapid weight loss. Physical activity also makes you feel better and perpetuates the results you achieve.

How can I not gain weight?

The Atkins diet being very restrictive, it seems difficult not to regain weight when the diet is stopped or at the slightest deviation. This is why, once the desired weight has stabilized, it is recommended to keep an Atkins diet for life.

Our opinion on the new Atkins diet

In my opinion, this very restrictive diet is not suitable for long-term weight loss or for establishing good eating habits. It can lead to a deterioration in health status due to excess animal fats and proteins that can lead to cardiovascular disease and premature kidney wear. It is also important to supplement with vitamins (including B1, B9, iron, calcium and magnesium) so that you are not deficient when following this diet. Indeed, the absence of cereals and fruits and vegetables makes this diet rather limited in essential nutrients for the body.