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Keto vs Atkins Diet: What’s the Difference? Which one is better?


Are you cutting back on your much-loved cookies, donuts and/or bread to shed those unwanted extra pounds to look sexier and healthier?

Whether you are a health-conscious female or just want to have an attractive figure, a low-carb diet e.g., Atkins diet or Ketogenic can be result-yielding. Wondering how?

I remember how I had to struggle to lose those extra pounds. Isn’t it irritating to feel less confident or to be judged for an imperfect figure? Yes, a misfit I was.

Going to the gym only helped me lose weight for a week; then I was back to the fatty me. What was the turning point for me afterward? Keto-diet and Atkins diet! Let’s compare it to figure out which one would suit you best.

The Effectiveness of Low-Carb Diets:

Mainly, the reason behind the effectiveness of carb-restricted diets for losing weight is the appetite reduction due to the consumption of fewer carbs and higher protein. In this way, there occurs fewer calories consumption without even your realization.

However, when it comes to considering a low-carb diet for weight loss, there can be upsides and downsides of both the Atkins and Keto diet.

Thinking about which low-carb diet should you go for? Which one is easier, safer and more effective?

Here is everything you need to know about both these carb-restricting diets.

What is Atkins Diet?

Isn’t it fascinating to eat just as much protein and fat as you want and still lose weight? This is what a restricted or modified-carbs Atkins diet suggests.

Date back to the early 1970s, Dr. Robert Atkins originated this fat-trimming dietary solution. Usually, it is suggested to overweight and obese individuals that they should get back in shape as soon as possible.

In fact, it restricts the consumption of total carbohydrates while allowing higher-fat and protein consumption. So, the body could burn fat instead of glucose to accomplish its fuel requirement.

What are the Phases of the Atkins Diet?

It has four phases including:

  1. Induction Phase: It is the strictest phase of restricting carbs so your body could adapt to the burning of the fat instead of sugars.
  2. Balancing Phase: It allows increased intake of net carbs to nearly 5 grams per day for 1 to 2 weeks.
  3. Pre-Maintenance Phase: Increase intake of net carbs to nearly 10 grams per day for 1 to 2 weeks for monitoring regain in weight.
  4. Lifetime Maintenance Phase: You begin to understand how much you should consume without putting on weight.

Now if you are pondering over how does this diet work? Have a look here:

How does Atkins Diet Work?

Usually, our body burns glucose to fulfill its energy requirements and is unable to produce glucose on its own. So, the only way to supply it with glucose is through nutrition.

However, when you limit or eliminate carbs from your diet, your body tends to burn fat instead of glucose. This is how the burning of fat takes place even when you consume a high-calorie diet.

What’s more, this approach leads to steady fueling of the body through fat which means you could feel increased levels of constant energy throughout the day. At the same time, you crave less and feel a reduced craving for food as well. Also, the feeling of fullness for a long time leads to losing weight.

Atkins Diet Benefits:

  • Weight Loss: To your delight, the Atkins diet does what it is supposed to do. In view of researches, individuals who shed pounds while on the Atkins diet is because of the fewer intakes of net carbs and probably due to getting into ketosis. Also, it is due to a feeling of satiation because of high fat, protein, and fiber content when they are consumed in a proper way.
  • Diabetes Management: Similar to other low-carb diets, it can be helpful in reducing insulin and blood sugar levels, thus, helpful in treating or preventing diabetes.
  • LDL Reduction: It may help in reducing LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) levels.
  • Mental Functioning: Consuming a high amount of omega-3 fats can enhance mental functioning and prevent you from developing dementia.

What to Eat on The Atkins Diet?

Notably, you can get glucose by consuming any carb-based food e.g., whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. For that reason, there is a cap on the overall consumption of carbohydrate in the Atkin’s diet.

Nonetheless, you do not need to completely eliminate them from your diet and can still enjoy some low-carbs food when on an Atkin’s diet.

Here is what Atkins allows you to eat and not to eat (or eat in limited amounts) on the Atkins diet:

Foods to Eat Foods to Limit or Avoid
Fish and Seafood e.g.,

  • Tuna
  • Sardines
  • Trout
  • Salmon
  • Prawns
  • Crabs
Whole grains e.g.,

  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Wheat and the products made with them for instance
  • Bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Cakes
  • Cupcakes
  • Muffins
  • Cereals
Meat and Poultry Most fruits and their juices.

Note: It’s Ok to consume lime or lemon juice

Eggs Artificial sweeteners, sugar, and sugary products.
Full-Fat Dairy Foods e.g., Cheese, Yogurt, Butter etc. Ready-made sauces and condiments having high-sugar content
Seeds and Nuts Junk food, fried and fast food
Good Fats e.g., Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and avocado. Hydrogenated or Saturated fat such as Ghee.
Low-carb/non-starchy veggies e.g.,

  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Zucchini
Starchy vegetables including

  • Potatoes
  • Winter Squash
  • Parsnips
  • Carrots
Healthy beverages, for example, coffee and green tea. Soda, alcohol and sweetened beverages.

Atkins Diet Rules:

Want to achieve maximum possible benefits from the Atkins diet?
To accomplish this purpose, the induction phase asks you to observe the following rules religiously:

  • Never skip meals
  • Consume less than 25% of carbs per day.
  • Befriend more fat.
  • Take the nutrition labeling into consideration to know the actual number of carbs in a certain product.
  • Consume sugar substitute in moderation.
  • Stay well-hydrated.
  • Limit excess caffeine consumption.
  • Incorporate a multivitamin daily.
  • Eat more satisfying meals in combination with low-carb snacks for the adjustment of your appetite.
  • Consume at least 3 servings of protein from various high-quality proteinaceous foods e.g., poultry, egg, fish, red meat etc. Each serving should be of 4 to 6 ounces.
  • Keep up with the Acceptable Food List.

What Is A Keto Diet?

Basically, a low-carb and high-fat diet is referred to as a Ketogenic or Keto diet. Being a low-carb diet in nature, it is somewhat similar to the Atkins diet.

But did you know why keto diet came into existence? It is interesting to know that John Hopkins introduced this diet in the 1920s as a treatment for epileptic patients.

What Are the Keto Diet Phases?

There are three phases of a ketogenic diet including:

  1. Getting into ketosis: Your body starts to learn to use ketones for energy purposes in place of glucose.
  2. Keto-Adaptation: Your body gets acclimatized to the new switch i.e., from burning glucose to burning fats. However, you may develop fatigue, and weakness or keto flu due to the new shift.
  3. Metabolic Flexibility: Your body is capable of efficiently utilizing different sources for fuel and that too with a properly-functioning metabolism.

How Does Keto Diet Work?

On a keto diet, you have to substantially reduce carbohydrate consumption while substituting it with fat. By doing so, your body switches to a new metabolic condition named as ketosis.

More interestingly, when your body is in a ketosis state, it efficiently burns fat to fulfill its energy requirement instead of glucose-burning.

What To Eat On A Keto Diet?

Here is what you can or cannot eat (or can eat in reduced amounts) on a ketogenic diet:

Foods to Eat Foods to Limit or Avoid
Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Seafood. Whole grains and their products.
Strawberries and Berries. Most fruits and their juices.
Unprocessed Cheese e.g., mozzarella, cheddar, goat, blue cheese.
Eggs, Cream, and Butter Sugary foods.
Seeds and Nuts Legumes and Beans.
Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil and avocado. Mayonnaise, processed vegetable oil
Low-carb/non-starchy vegetables. Tubers and starchy vegetables.
Healthy beverages, for example, coffee and green tea. Soda, alcohol and sweetened beverages.

Keto Diet Benefits:

  • Helpful in Diabetes: Diabetic may find keto diet helpful due to its possibly positive impact on diabetes as well as insulin resistance.
  • Hunger Suppression: Similar to another low-carb diet, keto diet can suppress hunger. In this way, it can lead to losing weight. Rendering to some other studies, cutting carbs and consuming more fat and protein leads to the consumption of fewer calories. So, it is the way to go ladies.
  • Reduction in Triglyceride Levels: Cutting carbs can dramatically drop the levels of triglycerides.
  • Rapid Weight Loss: It may help in rapid loss of weight by eliminating additional water from your body and decreasing levels of insulin as per some other studies.

Other than these, the keto diet may also be helpful in lowering blood pressure and improving cognitive performance similar to other low-carb diets.

Keto Diet Rules:

You have to pay heed to the following rules for getting into ketosis as well as to get the most out of your weight loss goals:

  • Limit carbs intake to less than 25% per day.
  • Consume protein in moderation as the daily intake should be 1.5g/kg body weight. For instance, if you are 40, your moderate daily protein intake is 60 grams.
  • Consume enough fats for satiation.
  • Incorporate intermittent fasting.
  • Incorporate physical activity to accelerate weight loss.
  • Avoid too much snacking but if you are unable to do so, go for keto snacks.
  • Take enough rest.

Similarities Between the Ketogenic Diet and the Atkins Diet:

Undoubtedly, both these low-carb diets share some similarities such as:

  • You are free to consume as much as food as you want since these diets allow no calorie restriction.
  • You have to monitor the number of carbs you consume while being on a keto or Atkins diet.
  • The dangers of keto diets and dangers of the Atkins diet are quite similar. You will have to experience nutritional deficiencies, electrolyte imbalance, physical and mental fatigue as well as dizziness in both cases. However, the keto diet can cause keto flu also.
  • Both of them are inadvisable for people with kidney disease, cardiovascular disease as well as diabetes.

Differences Between the Ketogenic Diet and The Atkins Diet:

Although both these diets are low-carb, they help in losing weight and share some other similarities too; yet, there are some differences between them.

Atkins Diet Keto Diet
Protein intake is not limited. You can consume as much as you want. Protein intake is limited. In fact, daily protein intake should be no more than twenty percent.
It involves eventual reintroduction of carbs. Carbs are always restricted.
Ketosis only partakes in phase one and phase two. Your body remains in ketosis all through the period of the keto diet.

So, Is Keto Diet Safe? Or, Is Atkins Diet Safe?

As far as the safety of these diets is concerned, both types of diets are inadvisable if you are having certain chronic diseases as mentioned earlier. However, if you are a healthy female without any chronic disease, you can opt for any of these diets for short-term.

With this respect, a Canadian Registered Dietitian, Michelle Jaelin, claims only short-term safety of these diets. On the other hand, this area requires more research for finding out long-term health impacts.

More importantly, you are required to consult your physician prior to starting any of the low-carb diets.

Wrapping it Up

Keto diet can be much trickier to maintain whereas the Atkins diet is easier to sustain in the long run. You may feel it hard to restrict carbs for a longer period. On the other hand, the inconsistency of carbs in the Atkins diet makes it a problematic one than the keto diet. Adding to it, you start regaining weight as you reintroduce carbs in the Atkins diet whereas no such thing happens during a keto diet.

So, the choice is totally yours to which way to go to become healthier and slimmer. Keep in mind that being a female, you need to pay heed to your health. You have to take care of your whole family, your little ones, your husband in particular if you are an at-home mommy. Also, the working women have to outshine at their workplace too. Hence, it is required to take care of your own health first.

All things considered, you need to switch between both diets to get to know what works well for you. Let me know if this was helpful?

Images Credit: pexels.com


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