Atkins The myths and facts

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    Atkins: The myths and facts

    There have been many myths expounded about
    the Atkins diet plan. Find out the truth here.

    Published 25/03/2010

    Visit to find out the myths and facts about the Atkins diet plan, the lower-carbohydrate diet that can help you lose or maintain weight

    #1 Myth: The Atkins Diet is unhealthy

    Answer:   The Atkins Diet encourages consumption of a healthy balance of nutrient dense foods: lean protein, a full array of fibrous vegetables and fruits and good fats while limiting refined carbohydrates, refined sugar and trans fats. Choosing foods in this manner allows the body to burn fat and work efficiently while helping individuals to feel less hungry, satisfied and energetic.

    An ever-growing body of research demonstrates the health benefits of a controlled-carbohydrate approach Simply put, the Atkins Diet Plan is a healthy, balanced way of eating and living.

    #2 Myth: The Atkins Diet is unbalanced and means only eating rich foods like steak, eggs and bacon and no fruits or vegetables

    Answer:   Actually, the Atkins Diet allows you to eat ample portions of vegetables, and in the later phases, more nutrient-dense carbohydrates like fruits and whole grains.

    It's only during the first of the four phases of the Atkins plan, called Induction, that more lean protein is encouraged as a way to boost the body's fat burning process and jump-start weight loss. But not everyone needs to start at Induction to see positive results with Atkins.

    After the typical two-week Induction phase, the Atkins programme allows you to gradually expand your food choices so you can ultimately enjoy a healthy balance of the nutrient-dense foods from a variety of food groups including lean protein, a full array of colourful, fibrous vegetables and fruits, nuts, pulses, and if your metabolism allows, whole grains and good fats. Good fats are allowed in the induction phase. This is all while reducing levels of refined carbohydrates, refined sugars. When it comes to the four food groups, the Atkins Diet includes a variety of foods from each one. The plan provides helpful guidelines to help select the best options, steering you away from the starchier varieties.

    #3 Myth: The Atkins Diet doesn't allow you to eat any carbohydrates

    Answer:   People frequently mistake the Induction phase for the entire Atkins diet plan. During this initial phase, the plan allows you to eat an allowance of carbohydrates, some of which come from a full array of nutrient-dense vegetables. After the Induction phase is completed, you increase your carbohydrate count gradually until you reach your own carbohydrate tolerance level and your goal weight.

    With the Atkins diet plan you can choose your starting point. Depending upon your weight and overall health, you can personalise the diet to suit your individual needs, perhaps starting at a later phase or moving from one phase of the programme to another as your needs change. So if you're not looking to lose a significant amount of weight, but just maintain your current weight or reduce your reliance on carbs in your diet, you can begin with Phase 2, called Ongoing Weight Loss, where the net carbohydrate level is higher and more foods are included.

    In summary, Atkins is more than a diet, it is a helpful eating tool that not only leads to weight loss and weight maintenance, but also helps you develop strong eating habits that can contribute to overall health and well being.

    #4 Myth: The Atkins Diet allows you to eat all the meat and protein you want

    Answer:   Just because protein is encouraged, following the Atkins plan is not a license to gorge. When following the plan, each of the food groups should be enjoyed in moderation. Following Atkins doesn't mean you can eat whatever you want as long as it is low- carb.

    #5 Myth: The Atkins Diet is too restrictive

    Answer:   The Atkins Diet plan allows you to consume a wide variety of foods, all framed within a context of eating fewer refined carbohydrates and refined sugars, and eating more of the right foods.

    One of the keys to success with the Atkins approach is learning to eat nutrient-dense carbohydrates as part of a balanced diet for the rest of your life. Once you reach your goal weight and determine how many carbohydrates you can consume each day to maintain that weight, most people can enjoy a wide variety of food choices that include protein choices, vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, pulses, and whole grains.

    #6 Myth: Atkins is a fad diet

    Answer:   Atkins is not a fad diet. It is a diet with four distinct phases, to help you lose weight, maintain weight and ultimately adopt a new healthy balanced diet for the rest of your life.

    The thinking behind the plan began in the 1960s and there are millions of men and women who have found and continue to find success with the Atkins Nutritional Approach. A growing body of peer-reviewed research also continues to support the fact that the Atkins Diet works and leads to successful weight loss along with a variety of other health benefits.

    #7 Myth: Dr. Atkins died of a heart attack

    Answer:   Dr. Atkins died as a result of a serious head injury from a fall that occurred April 8th, 2003. Near the end of his life, Dr. Atkins was struggling with the effects of cardiomyopathy, and he did not hide that fact. Cardiomyopathy is a serious and progressive condition caused by a viral infection. Though this condition weakened his heart, its cause was clearly related to an infection and not his diet.

    #8 Myth: People following the Atkins Nutritional Approach suffer from lack of energy due to the lack of carbohydrates

    Answer:   The body is equipped to use two sources of energy; carbohydrate and fat. When carbs are low enough, the body will switch to fat-burning, which is our back up energy system.

    Lack of energy may occur in the first few days of undertaking the Atkins diet plan, while the body adapts to switching metabolic pathways. It typically takes about four to five days for the body to switch from sugar metabolism to fat metabolism. When your body becomes accustomed to burning fat for fuel, these symptoms should stop.

    #9 Myth: The Atkins Diet promotes a liberal intake of high-fat meats and dairy products that raise cholesterol levels, ultimately leading to heart disease

    Answer:   The Atkins Diet Plan recommends the inclusion of all types of fats, balancing food choices so that a healthy ratio of fats is obtained. Despite the common belief that Atkins is about steak, eggs and bacon primarily, it encourages individuals to consume healthy protein choices consisting of fish, poultry, meats, and eggs/egg whites along with dairy products. In addition, consumption of olive oil, nuts and seeds along with other plant-based food choices provide additional healthy fat intake for well-balanced meal selections.

    #10 Myth: Because it excludes fruits, vegetables and grains, Atkins is deficient in nutrients

    Answer:   The Atkins Diet Plan does not exclude fruits, vegetables and grains. The initial Induction phase of Atkins, which people often mistake for the entire programme, is the strictest phase, limiting the amount of carbohydrates you can eat. However, the majority of those come in the form of vegetables including green leafy salad, as well as nutrient-dense, high fibre, vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, aubergine and spinach.People following any diet plan may like to consider regularly taking a multivitamin supplement.

    Click here to read about the 4 phases of the Atkins diet plan.

    Read more like this:
    Is the Atkins diet plan right for you?
    Q & A
    How it works
    The 4 Phases
    Tips for Success

    Click here to view the Atkins 14 day sample meal planner

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