Atkins Diet Review – Outdated Science?

Atkins Diet Review

Table of Contents

“Atkins” Diet Claims

Atkins created the Atkins diet back in 1972, and its overall message of low carbohydrates on a daily basis will most definitely lead to weight loss. There are no calorie restrictions when going through this diet, and you can eat as much protein as you want as long as you do not incorporate any carbs into the mix. The idea behind eating as much protein as you want comes from protein’s ability to fill you up faster and for longer amounts of time. Atkins diet sells many different snack options such as protein bars, shakes, and frozen meals that can be found in most grocery stores around the country but are not required while following this program. When going through this diet there are four main phases:

Phase 1:

You are only allowed to eat 20 grams of carbs per day for two solid weeks during this phase. You are encouraged to eat high fats, and proteins along with many vegetables, as this is said to start the weight loss process.

Phase 2:

This is the balancing phase where you can add in more nuts, fruits, and low carb vegetables back into your diet. The goal still remains the same however; eating as much dense protein as you can.

Phase 3:

This stage is the maintenance or fine-tuning phase where you are near your goal weight and need to maintain it. While still focusing on more protein consumption than carbs, you can slowly add in a few carbs here and there. Be mindful.

Phase 4:

The final phase is the long-term maintenance phase. After incorporating more proteins and less carbs into your diet throughout the program, this phase allows you to eat more carbs as long as the lost weight does not come back on.

While taking carbohydrates and some fruits away from your diet are said to be healthy, this can also leave you feeling sluggish at best. This diet goes to the extreme to take away anything but meat and veggies for extended periods of time. Users have reported that their bodies do not smell good (breath, sweat, and skin) due to the large amounts of meat they have to consume. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, there are two programs to choose from. The Atkins 20 (Aimed at people who need to lose over 40 pounds) and the Atkins 40 (Aimed at people needing to lose 20 pounds or less) each program’s eating restrictions are pretty much the same, but the portion sizes are different. The cost of the program is purchasing the book for roughly $20.00, and buying the groceries each week for yourself.

Is “Atkins” Diet Effective?

Because a large amount of processed foods and carbs are cut completely out of your diet, the Atkins Diet has seen success. The question is, does the weight lost stays off once other foods are incorporated back into the diet? Most of the time, lost weight has been said to come back on once those carbs and sugars make their way back into the body. There is scientific evidence that backs up the idea that sugars and carbs will turn into fat in your body, so the overall idea of the diet has legs to stand on. What remains unclear is how healthy the long-term consumption of animal fat in large numbers is to your body overtime. Dr. Atkins himself died of a heart attack back in 2003, which left many second-guessing the validity of the program. People with heart problems, kidney disease, and high cholesterol are cautioned to consult a doctor before jumping into the Atkins Diet.

Anytime you are drastically changing your diet, it will be tough to follow initially. To start out, you are only allowed to consume 20-40 grams of carbs at the most, which can send some people’s systems into a shock. There have been side effects of sluggishness, irritability, headaches, and foul odors such as bad breath when participating in the Atkins Diet. In total the programs can take a person a couple of months to finish, but everyone will lose weight at their own rate. The first initial phase lasts for two weeks, and then the other phases are on a personal time basis that are dependent on your weight loss goals. It does promote physical activity of up to 30 minutes a day, but does not focus on this as a main contributor in losing weight. If you are a vegetarian, you are able to follow the diet, but it will be much more challenging as your only source of nutrients will come in the form of vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

What Are “Atkins” Diet Side Effects?

As with any low-carb diet possible side effects can be:



Bad Breath


Muscle Cramps


Skin Rash

Constipation and Diarrhea

“Atkins” Diet Support

Atkins Diet has been and still is one of the easily recognized diets in United States. It would most likely be difficult to find someone who has not heard or tried this diet or a very similar way of eating. Because this diet has been around for many years there are plenty of online support websites, forums posts and even private Facebook groups. You will not however find a personalized coach support nor will you have anyone specific to turn to for questions and please be wary of the advice you get from random strangers. Anyone who has done any diet feels like the all of the sudden can offer advice. What works for one person might not be as effective for another and unless they have any officially measured knowledge in nutrition, their advice should not be taken seriously.

Bottom Line

When looking into the Atkins Diet support systems and social media, they have a large following of people with little user engagement on their social media accounts. The support systems are most definitely present with forums, support lines, and chat groups, which was nice to see. There are many positives to eliminating refined sugars, and carbs from your diet and one of them happens to be weight loss. This diet program is not for everyone, as many people have noticed their cholesterol levels rising, bad smells coming from their bodies, and an overall lack of nutrients when trying to complete this diet. You can purchase extra diet snack products almost anywhere you look, as well as the Atkins Diet book from the website directly or major distribution channels such as Amazon and Ebay. The diet takes a lot of time and energy, as many life changes will need to be made in order to be successful.

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*Individual results will vary.

Information on this website is not to replace the advise of the doctor, but rather for general education purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult your doctor before starting any diet or taking any dietary supplements.

Articles, reviews and investigations are our own opinion, and written based on the information publicly available or simply contacting the companies. We try our best to stay up to date with constantly changing information. If you find any information inaccurate, please email us, we’ll verify for accuracy and update it.


  1. “Low-carb diet: Can it help you lose weight?” Mayo Clinic Staff
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An award-wining investigative journalist for more 30 years, one of the things I never really wrote about was health, wellness, and fitness. Ironically, I've been overweight my whole life so I know diets. Intimately. And, having been a​n editor and writer for a​ fitness magazine ​recently, I learned a thing or 10. Now, I'm committed to exploring the many weight loss options out there to try to help folks make good choices.