The Atkins diet first gained popularity in 1972, after Dr. Robert C. Atkins published his book Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution. Dr. Atkins’ theory was that effective weight loss is not about eating less, and rather is about eating more of the right thing.
With this in mind, the Atkins diet is well-known for being much less restrictive than many other popular weight loss plans, but it’s still worth familiarizing yourself with what foods you can and can’t eat – as well as foods you can eat, but in moderation – to make sure that you’re on the right track! Here are the answers to just a few of the questions you may have if you’re considering trying the Atkins diet for yourself.
What foods can I eat on the Atkins diet?
During your first weeks following the Atkins plan, meats, fish, leafy greens, full-fat dairy, nuts and eggs are your best friends. Foods to be avoided are high-carb fruits and vegetables (bananas, potatoes, etc.), pastas, cereals, ice cream and candy. You should also avoid anything which is traditionally marketed as ‘diet’ food and drink, as these are generally high in sugar.
In its simplest definition, the Atkins diet is based around consuming more fats and foods which are rich in protein, while avoiding foods which have typically high carbohydrate and sugar content. However, the Atkins diet is also split into four separate phases, meaning that those who follow the plan for a long time are able to slowly re-introduce these foods into their diet in moderation, so that you can maintain your results without sacrificing your enjoyment of carbs and sugar in the long run!
Can I eat Chinese food on Atkins?
Yes! You can enjoy a Chinese meal – as long as you pick the right thing from the menu. Everybody loves take-out, and Chinese food is a firm favorite for many!
For starters, try switching out spring rolls or prawn toast for a soup option, though be sure to go for one that is clear and is not thickened with corn starch. For your main meal, avoid noodles and rice. Instead, go for a seafood platter or an egg foo yung. If your dish comes with sauce, ask for this to be served on the side – Chinese sauces are traditionally very sweet, so you may want to avoid them altogether or add them to your dish in a smaller amount.
Can I eat mayonnaise on Atkins?
Yes, you can! Mayonnaise is a fat, and fats are important to succeed on the Atkins diet – it’s just about moderation. Atkins followers can enjoy three tablespoons a day of a natural fat, which includes mayonnaise, but also covers butter and a range of cold-pressed oils.
Some love it and some hate it, but mayonnaise is a staple condiment for millions of us! Luckily, mayonnaise fans following the Atkins diet don’t have to say goodbye to it completely to lose weight effectively
Can I drink diet soda on Atkins?
You can enjoy a wide range of diet soda drinks, including Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi and 7Up Zero. Just be sure to double check before enjoying a diet soda that they contain no carbohydrates, as many still do and be sure that the sweetener used in the drink is not one of the sweeteners that Atkins recommends avoiding.
Many diets encourage followers to ditch the full-sugar soda and Atkins is no different. Did you know that a single 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 38 grams of carbohydrate?
Can I eat as much as I want on Atkins?
While following Atkins means you are naturally already eating less of the foods that commonly cause weight gain and more of the foods that promote weight loss, you can still have too much of a good thing.
Unfortunately, you do still need to watch the amount that you are eating. Don’t over face yourself with huge portions at mealtimes, instead try to stick to the size of meal you would eat normally. Additionally, try to keep your snacks to no more than two low-sugar, low-carb snacks each day – fruit is always the most ideal thing to reach for if you feel a pang of hunger coming on a few hours before it’s time for dinner.
How long will it take for me to start losing weight?
Some Atkins followers have been known to lose up to fifteen pounds in the first two weeks of the diet! Unfortunately, these aren’t common results, but that’s because everyone’s body works differently, especially when reacting to a change in the way that you eat.
What you can expect within the first two weeks of the diet is to experience a loss of water weight – generally a couple of pounds – before seeing some fat pounds drop off in the following few days. However, don’t get hung up on it if your results aren’t as dramatic as you hoped at first, and remember that our weight fluctuates from day-to-day. The Atkins website recommends keeping your weigh-ins to once a week, and instead measuring yourself to keep track of your progress and check that you are on the right track.
Can I have a cheat day on Atkins?
The official Atkins plan does not recommend taking full ‘cheat days’, but that isn’t to say that a day off for a special occasion will ruin your hard work completely. As long as you have in mind that you’re going to get straight back to it afterwards, then you should be able to recover from a minor setback without causing any significant issues in your weight loss!
It’s unrealistic to expect yourself to diet on a permanent basis, especially during vacations or at functions such as weddings and birthday parties where the food is provided for you. The best thing to do is to do it in a controlled way, and not fall into the trap of giving yourself ‘a week off’ unnecessarily.
After all, successfully maintaining weight loss is all about moderation, and that’s one of the reasons that the Atkins plan re-introduces small amounts of previously restricted food into your diet after you’ve been following the plan for a number of weeks. So, enjoy that slice of wedding cake… but make sure it’s just the one!