Nutrition

Atkins Diet Vs Keto Diet: Differences & Similarities

atkins diet vs keto diet

Atkins and Keto are the most popular forms of low-carb diets. Both the diets propagate consuming low carbs, but then how are they different? Which one is better for weight loss? Which one is for me?

There must be several questions like these popping in your head!

Well, it depends on a lot of factors. You will have to understand both diets to make the right choice.

So, let’s get started. 

Atkins Diet: Pros and Cons

Atkins diet was formulated by Dr. Robert Atkin in 1972. However, it gained popularity in the 90s. This particular diet restricts carbs and emphasizes more on protein and fat intake.

The concept of the diet is to diminish carbs for the body to help break fat instead, for energy. 

The Atkins diet can be of two types, known as Atkins 20 and Atkins 40, depending on the allowed carbs during Phase1. You can opt for Atkins 40 if you need to lose less than 40 pounds.

The diet is divided into 4 phases and does work by introducing carbs in the later stages.

Phase 1 (Induction) – This phase is similar to the keto where you take the bare minimum of carbs and more of proteins and fat. The net carb intake should be 20 g and 12-15 g has to come from non-starchy vegetables. 

You might hit ketosis during this phase. You will continue this phase until almost 2 weeks.

Phase 2 (Balancing) – After completing phase 1, you begin to increase the carb intake. During this phase, you can take up to 25-50 g of carbs each day. Continue consuming non-starchy vegetables, protein, and fat. Introduce nutrient-dense carbs and stay within the zone of 25-50 g per day.

Continue with this phase until you are 10 pounds away from your goal weight.

Phase 3 (Pre-maintenance) – During this phase, you increase the carb intake up to 50-80g per day. You still will not dig into refined foods or sugars. Just keep on adding more quantity and variety of nutrient-dense carbs. 

Continue with this phase until you reach your goal weight and continue for one month after hitting the goal.

Phase 4 (Maintenance) – Now, once you reach your goal weight, you can increase the carb intake to 80-100g per day. This phase is to be followed and has to be adhered to as a lifestyle change.

 To maintain the lost weight, you will have to continue consuming these many carbs along with other sources of protein and fat.

Pros

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Helps in lowering blood sugar
  • Keeps lipid profile in check

Cons 

  • Restrictive diet
  • Leads to symptoms like dizziness and weakness due to insufficient carb intake.
  • Can lead to constipation due to decreased fiber intake
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Keto Diet: Pros and Cons

Keto diet is another low-carb and high-fat diet. But the guidelines of this diet do not ease with time, unlike the Atkins diet. Here you are supposed to stay in Ketosis throughout, which is the whole concept of the diet. 

The division of dietary intake is:

  • 5 – 10% carbs
  • 15 – 30% protein 
  • 70 – 80% fat

Ingesting a low amount of carbs signals the body to break fat instead of carbs to generate energy, thereby resulting in the desired weight loss.

Your body hits the stage of Ketosis and starts producing ketones. You can also check if you are in ketosis by a simple urine strip test. For accurate and precise results, consider taking a blood test. 

The diet has shown positive results in diabetic, obese, and epileptic patients. 

Pros

  • Rapid weight loss
  • A positive outcome in diabetic and epileptic patients.

Cons

  • Highly restrictive diet
  • Not suitable for patients with heart or liver ailments.
  • Leads to Keto flu- it is characterized by symptoms like a foggy brain, headache, fatigue, and nausea during the initial stage.
  • Can lead to constipation due to decreased fiber intake

Differences between Atkins Diet Vs Keto Diet

The basic difference Between Atkins and Keto diets remains in the allowed carb intake. The Atkins diet restricts carbs just like Keto, but just during the initial stage. The permissive limit of carb intake in the Atkins diet increases with each passing phase whereas that’s not the case with Ketosis. 

You will get into Ketosis in both the diets, but in the Atkins diet, it remains only during the initial phase. Later on, when the carbohydrate intake is increased, the body kicks out of ketosis. Whereas, during keto diet, you are always in Ketosis which is the whole concept of the diet.

The Atkins diet is more flexible and sustainable, allowing more variety of food, than the Keto diet. On the Atkins diet, you can have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables after the initial phase but that is not the case with the Keto diet. Here, you always will follow the restrictions carefully and will have to stay in the Ketosis mode.

The Atkins diet is divided into various phases, the carb intake keeps on increasing with every phase as you reach towards the goal weight. On the contrary, in the keto diet you always remain in one phase which is Ketosis.

Atkins and Keto provide rapid weight loss, but keto is faster and helps lose more weight in less time. 

Similarities between Atkins Diet Vs Keto Diet

As mentioned, both diets are forms of low-carb diets. Atkins and Keto diets have been proven successful in lowering blood sugar and aiding diabetics. 

The Atkins and Keto diets work on a similar concept, which is minimizing the carb intake and aiding the breakdown of fat.  

Both diets are highly successful if you desperately need to lose weight, and other diets have failed you.

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    Bottom line

    Now that you have understood the diet, pros, and cons. The final question is – Which one is better?

    As far as the dietary restrictions are concerned clearly, Atkins is more flexible as compared to the Keto diet. Being less restrictive on calories, the Atkins diet allows for more variety and quantity of carbs. This makes it more sustainable than the Keto diet.

    But if you want to manage chronic disease like epilepsy or cancer, or lose a heavy amount of weight, keto might be the right choice for you.

    Both diets can lead to nutritional deficiency, so it is equally important to take supplements along with the diets.

    Stick to a healthy lifestyle and include some physical activity every day to reap maximum benefits.

    This article is aimed at giving the difference b/w two diets. Kindly add more content in the difference section.

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