The Atkins dietary approach recommends eating foods high in protein, limiting foods high in carbohydrates and consuming nutritious, flavorful foods to induce a feeling of fullness and thereby reduce the craving for more food.
An Atkins diet plan is basically a low carbohydrate diet. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels and increase insulin levels. High insulin levels convert food into triglycerides and body fat. Lower intake of carbohydrates causes the body to produce lesser insulin, which in turn leads to less production of body fat. This prompts the body to use stored fat and thereby lose weight.
The Atkins diet restricts processed and refined carbohydrates and limits intake to 15 to 60 grams per day depending on the stage of the diet, as opposed to the 300 plus grams of carbohydrates a normal person consumes in a day.
The Atkins diet plan has four phases, with each stage incorporating more carbohydrates than the previous stage. The first and the most critical phase lasts for 14 days. Apart from restricting carbohydrate intake to 20 grams a day, this phase excludes fruit, bread, grains, starchy vegetables or dairy products other than cheese, cream or butter from the menu.
Some Atkins diet meal plan samples for breakfast include the following options:
- Three scrambled eggs with cream, four to six strips of bacon and coffee or tea with Splenda and cream.
- Three soft or hard boiled eggs chopped and mixed with a teaspoon of fresh herbs, a teaspoon of butter, and a tablespoon of cream, four turkey sausage links and decaf coffee or tea.
- Three scrambled eggs with a quarter cup cream, filled with two tablespoons spinach and decaf coffee or tea.
- Two boiled eggs with four Atkins mini muffins and decaf coffee or tea.
- A double serving of Atkins Hot Cereal with a tablespoon of cream, four sausage patties and decaf cinnamon coffee with Splenda and cream.
Sample lunch options in the Atkins meal plan are as follows:
- Six ounces grilled chicken, one tablespoon of Romano cheese, two cups of dark salad greens, two tablespoons ranch dressing and one chopped hard-boiled egg.
- Salami and cream cheese roll-ups, two cups salad greens and two tablespoons of a dressing of your choice.
- Eight ounces thin sliced grilled steak, a cup of salad greens, one thin slice of red onion, ¼ small tomato, and two tablespoons of any dressing.
- Slices of turkey, ham, chicken, salami, pastrami or beef wrapped around sticks of hard or cream cheese cut into bite-size pieces, with two cups green salad and two tablespoons ranch dressing.
- A can of drained tuna mixed with four sugar-free gherkins, a teaspoon of lemon juice, salt, pepper to taste, pork rinds, a cup of green salad and a tablespoon of any dressing.
Atkins diet meal plan samples for dinner include:
- Fried fish fillets dipped in egg and coated in whey protein, a cup of green salad, ¼ medium tomato, a thin slice of red onion and one cup broccoli with butter.
- Steak grilled with garlic butter, two thin slices of onion, a half cup of mushrooms, a cup of green salad with bacon bits, a tablespoon of Romano cheese, one tablespoon of any dressing and a cup of asparagus.
- Lamb roasted in mint and rosemary sprigs, a cup of green salad, a tablespoon of any dressing and a cup of cauliflower with butter and cream.
- Pork chops, a cup of cauliflower mashed with two tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon of cream, two cups of green salad and two tablespoons of a dressing of your choice.
- Taco salad including one-and-a-half-cup of taco meat, two cups of green salad, two slices of chopped onion, five black olives, a tablespoon of sour cream, a tablespoon of grated cheese and two tablespoons of sugar-free salsa or taco sauce.
The Atkin’s diet also has some recommendations for snacks.
The Atkins Diet does not condemn one to a strict menu, and any combination of food options is possible as long as it meets the basic requirements including carb intake limitations.
- “Atkins Diet Menu Plan.” Retrieved from https://www.the-atkins-diet.info/atkins-diet-plan.htm on 15 March 2011
- Kennedy, Sophie. “Atkins Diet.” retrieved from https://www.vanderbilt.edu/ans/psychology/health_psychology/TheAtkinsDiet.htm on 15 March 2011