The new Atkins Diet is one of the most popular low-carb diets on the market today. It consists of a diet composed mainly of proteins and fats. The goal is to encourage the body to use other energy production pathways to lose weight quickly. Even if it is used to treat certain pathologies, its use remains very controversial in the world of slimming.

Atkins diet

Characteristics of the Atkins diet new version :

  • Low-carbohydrate diet
  • Frequent weight regain
  • Little dietary diversity
  • Difficult to follow over the long term
  • Not recommended for kidney failure and diabetes.

Atkins Diet new version: understand it .

The main principles of the plan

It was in the 1970s that Dr. Atkins published his book Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution in which he described the key steps in his diet. He stated that carbohydrates are responsible for weight gain and that by limiting carbohydrates severely, one can achieve 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 proposes a completely new way of living the principles of the Atkins Method, which is 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 roughly equivalent to an apple or a slice of bread per day.
  • Second phase: to continue losing weight, but at a slower rate, carbohydrate-containing foods such as fruits (berries), grain products, dairy products and legumes are gradually reintroduced. The amount of added carbohydrates should not exceed 5g per day (in addition to the 20g of carbohydrates in the first phase). This phase lasts up to 5 kg of the final target weight. As an example, 5 g of carbohydrates corresponds 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. As the person approaches the target weight, they should test how much carbohydrate they can consume without regaining weight (Atkins Carbohydrate Balance Threshold). When the desired weight is stable for four weeks, it is time to move on to the final phase.
  • Fourth phase: this is the way to eat, according to Atkins. People consume a quantity of carbohydrates that depends on their metabolism and physical activity, ranging from 45 g to 100 g. For example, 100 grams of carbohydrates is about two servings of fruit, plus two servings of grain products and two servings of milk or yogurt.

How does the Atkins diet help you lose weight?

By removing carbohydrates from the diet, the body has to tap into its fat reserves to produce energy. This leads to the production of ketones, which can cause bad breath for those on the diet. The small variety of "permitted" foods and the fairly long duration of each phase often implies a decrease in the pleasure of eating and therefore a decrease in appetite which contributes to weight loss. Weight usually regained when the diet is stopped.

How long does the Atkins diet last?

When the desired weight is stable for 4 consecutive weeks, the Atkins Diet should still be continued for the fourth phase. In order not to regain weight, the diet must be continued without a time limit.

Atkins Diet: List of Permitted Foods

In the Atkins diet, a distinction is made between foods that are allowed at will and those that should be eaten in moderation:

All-you-can-eat food                                               In moderation      

Poultry                                                                   Hard cheese                                                                                                                                                       Medium carbohydrate vegetables              
Lemon juice
Low carbohydrate vegetables
Atkins Products
Sugar successors

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

  • Sugar
  • Sweet products
  • Starch
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Bread and derivatives
  • Pulses
  • Yoghurt
  • Fresh and soft cheese
  • Soft drinks
  • Frozen desserts
  • Fruit and vegetable juices
  • Seeds
  • Oilseed
  • Fruits
  • Milk
  • Red meat
  • Delicatessen
  • Light" foods
Typical day and menus to follow the new Atkins Diet

2 scrambled eggs
1 slice of defatted rindless ham                                               
100g of rhubarb compote


Roast beef
Green salad and grated red cabbage
5 black olives


Cucumber and Gouda


Salmon steak
Steamed asparagus
Green salad
1 lawyer
Blue cheese with cow's milk (40g)

Advantages and Disadvantages
The positive points of the Atkins diet
  • Allows to become aware of and reduce sugar in the diet
  • Adequate protein consumption
  • Good intake of quality fats
  • Rapid weight loss
The negative points of the new Atkins diet
  • Dangerous in case of diabetes
  • Fiber and micro-nutrient intake much too low
  • High consumption of meat and animal fats dangerous for the heart and kidneys.
  • Frequent weight regain
  • Difficult to follow and hold
  • Not very compatible with a fulfilling social life
  • Does not allow for 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 lack of fiber, micronutrients and carbohydrates make this diet relatively hazardous to long-term health. The main risks are: kidney fatigue, degradation 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 special cases that have been medically recommended for a carbohydrate-free diet (epilepsy for example, certain cancers, etc.).

Is this diet compatible with sports?
Yes, physical activity is entirely possible during the Atkins diet. It supports weight loss and prevents the melting of muscle tissue often favoured by rapid weight loss. Physical activity also makes you feel better and helps to maintain the results obtained.

How can I keep the weight off?
Since the Atkins diet is 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 been stabilized, it is recommended that you maintain an Atkins diet for life.

Dietitian's opinion on the new Atkins diet
This very restrictive diet is, in my opinion, not suitable for lasting weight loss or for the development of good eating habits. It can lead to a deterioration of the state of health due to the excess of animal fats and proteins that can lead to cardiovascular diseases and premature wear and tear of the kidneys. It is also important to supplement with vitamins (especially B1, B9, iron, calcium and magnesium) in order not to be deficient when following this diet. Indeed, the absence of cereals and fruits and vegetables makes this diet quite limited in essential nutrients for the body.
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