What is the Atkins Diet? Guide for Beginners

The Atkins diet requires you to reduce your carbohydrate intake and eat non-starchy vegetables like asparagus and high-fat foods like meat. Its predecessor, the Atkins diet, is the original version of this restrictive approach to eating. Atkins and keto are low-carb diets that may benefit weight loss, diabetes control, and heart health.

There 3 versions of the Atkins diet:

1. Atkins 20
is for people who:

– want to lose more than 40 pounds (lbs),

-have a waist measurement of more than 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men),

-have prediabetes or type 2 diabetes

To boost your weight loss with Atkins 20, you can eat some of the following foods: core vegetables like broccoli, spinach, pak choi, and cucumber. Proteins like eggs, chicken, and beef, all fish, including salmon, cod, flounder, and herring butter and olive oil some cheeses like cheddar, goat, and parmesan.

2. Atkins 40 is for people who:

-want to lose less than 40 pounds, are pregnant or breastfeeding, and want to lose weight.
If you’re following the Atkins 40 plan, you can eat all of the above foods, plus the following foods (as long as you keep net carbs under 40g per day):

Nuts and seeds, Legumes (beans), Fruits, Vegetables like squash, potatoes, and beets whole- grain cereals, such as barley, brown rice, and whole-wheat.

3. Atkins 100 is for people who want to maintain their current weight. Atkins 100 devotees can eat virtually any food as long as they don’t exceed 100g of net carbs per day. Carbs can add up quickly when you eat sugar or refined carbs, so it’s best to limit or avoid them.

What are the 4 phases of the Atkins diet?

The Atkins 20 and Atkins 40 versions of the diet are divided into distinct phases.

The first phase, induction, can last from as little as two weeks to several months, depending on your goals.

The next phase focused on continued weight loss, allows you to gradually increase your daily carbohydrate intake. Atkins 20 During Phase 2 of Atkins 20, you add more net carbs in 5g increments and diversify your diet with antioxidant-rich berries, some nuts and seeds, and more vegetables.

Phase 3 begins once you are within 10 pounds of your goal weight. Both phases focus on adding carbs back into your diet while you continue to lose weight Atkins 40 In Phase 2 of this plan, you’ll add more carbs in 10g increments, primarily by increasing the portion size. The diet recommends entering this phase when you are within 10 pounds of your goal weight. You can continue to increase carbs on either plan until you find the weight loss slows or stops. At this point, depending on how close you are to your goal weight, you can either continue to maintain your weight or cut carbs if the weight loss has slowed too much.

The final phase, which begins when you’ve reached your goal weight and maintained it for at least a month, is a lifetime weight-maintenance plan where you maintain your daily net carbs between 80 and 100g.

Top Foods to Eat and Avoid on the Atkins Diet

All plans recommend avoiding sugar and refined carbohydrates.

Here are some of the top foods to eat and avoid:

Atkins 20 Food List (Eat): Basic vegetables like spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and more; healthy fats like olive oil and butter; nuts and seeds; and most cheeses

Avoid fruits such as pineapples and mangoes, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, and grains.

Atkins 40 and Atkins 100 Food List Food: All foods recommended for Atkins 20, along with fruits such as cherries, berries, and melons, vegetables, some starchy vegetables like squash and potatoes, and whole grains.

Avoid white or processed carbohydrates like white bread or pretzels and hidden sources of sugar.
As low-carb diets become more popular, researchers have conducted several studies to evaluate the diets’ effectiveness and additional health effects.

The Harvard School of Public Health notes that some research shows that low-carb diets can help people lose weight faster and keep it off. better than low-fat diets, moderate-carb diets can be heart-healthy as long as the protein and fat choices are from healthy sources.

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What Is the DASH Diet?

The DASH diet is primarily touted for its positive effects on blood pressure, but the science-backed plan can also lead to weight loss in some people because of its focus on eating fresh, whole foods. The dietary approach to stop hypertension or the DASH diet has been consistently ranked by US News and World Report as one of the best diets for heart health and weight loss. It’s no wonder why those with extreme calorie or food group restrictions have no scientific evidence to back it up effectiveness and involve manageable dietary changes that are flexible and based on proven nutritional advice.

Who exactly is the DASH diet good for and what types are there?

According to the American Heart Association, blood pressure levels above 130 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) for systolic blood pressure and above 80 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure are considered high. The DASH diet specifically meets low sodium (salt) requirements. which can give people an edge over high blood pressure. This means it’s a great diet for people with high blood pressure or a personal or family history of heart disease, as well as those who may be at risk for type 2 diabetes or are currently managing the condition.
Types of the DASH Diet Depending on your health needs, you can choose from 2 forms :

The Standard DASH Diet

This plan limits sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day.

The Low Sodium DASH Diet

This version requires you to limit your sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day. Depending on your weight loss or weight maintenance needs, you can choose a plan that provides 1,200, 1,400, 1,600, 1,800, 2,000, 2,600, or 3,100 calories per day.

How does help reduce blood pressure?

The DASH diet works by not only limiting salt but also limiting saturated fat, which can be detrimental to heart health, says Kimberley RoseFrancis, RDN, CDE, a nutritionist based in Sebring, Fla. High-sodium salt can increase blood pressure, which puts unnecessary pressure on the heart muscle. Saturated fat, on the other hand, can raise cholesterol levels.

The DASH diet also works by increasing foods that provide fiber, lean protein, and other nutrients thought to help lower blood pressure. It’s also important to note that people looking to lower their blood pressure should combine their diet with other healthy lifestyle approaches to help control high blood pressure. , such as exercising more, losing weight, and reducing alcohol.

Quitting smoking is also crucial for lowering blood pressure and maintaining good heart health.
The possible short- and long-term effects.

Research shows that the DASH diet can help lower blood pressure, at least in the short term. Longer studies are needed to determine whether the DASH diet results in lower rates of heart disease for those who adhere to it long-term. Still, for many, the DASH diet is the perfect double whammy: a sensible diet to keep blood pressure in check and shed pounds or maintain a healthy weight.


Long-Term Potential The diet offers variety and is easy to follow as a lifelong dietary decision. Lower Blood Pressure and Improve Healthy Cholesterol Levels Studies have shown that people who follow this diet can lower their blood pressure, and reduce the risk of certain diseases.

A stronger heart can improve other aspects of your health, such as B. kidney function, blood sugar control, and eye health. A study published in Clinical Nutrition in October 2019 found that the DASH diet reduced the risk of developing leaky chronic kidney disease.

The DASH diet requires eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, but only a moderate amount of whole grains, as well as lean sources of protein and healthy fats like fish and nuts. This sets it apart from other popular plans, like the Atkins diet, the ketogenic diet, or the high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.

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What is a Plant-Based Diet?

“Plant-based” is a broad term used to describe any diet that consists primarily, but not necessarily exclusively, of plant-based foods. There is also some flexibility to ingest a certain amount of animal products. This diet emphasizes vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts. The foods that are grown or bred are intended to be the centerpiece of every meal, with the option of including meat, dairy, eggs, poultry, fish, shellfish, and animal ingredients as a side dish. Animal products are therefore not necessarily prohibited but should be restricted.

With a plant-based diet in general, there are no strict definitions or exclusions. Of course, there are specific, more restrictive forms of nutrition under the umbrella of plant nutrition, such as the vegan diet, which completely excludes all animal products. At the other end of the spectrum.

The Mediterranean diet can also be called the plant-based diet, as the emphasis is on plant-based foods, although fish and poultry are consumed. When following this type of diet, your goal is to simply focus on eating mostly plant-based foods. Plant-based nutrition is often one of the healthiest ways of eating because the nutritional quality and nutrient intake tend to be higher than with vegans, for example, because there are no absolute restrictions that can lead to deficiency symptoms. Again, the focus is on eating whole, natural, and plant-based foods and restricting processed foods.


The benefits of a plant-based diet mimic those of a vegan or vegetarian diet – many people experience significant weight loss on a plant-based diet because foods like vegetables, legumes, and fruits are fairly filling but not particularly high in calories. Therefore, the calorie density of food is low, so you can eat a large amount of food without consuming many calories.
Plant-based diets are also rich in micronutrients and antioxidants, which can reduce your risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. The diet is also better for the environment and uses fewer natural resources.

Which foods can you eat on a plant-based diet?

Plant-based foods are the focus of your meal. Technically, you can still eat meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products (as long as you don’t follow a certain, stricter iteration of a plant-based diet like a vegetarian diet), although the frequency or amount of these foods pales in comparison to the plant-based foods, that you eat.

These are the most important foods that should be emphasized in a plant-based diet:

Vegetables: spinach, kale, carrots, Swiss chard, broccoli, zucchini, cucumber, onions, cauliflower, asparagus, sweet potatoes, beets, pumpkin, onions, etc., figs, etc.

Whole grain products: oats, whole grains, barley, brown rice, quinoa, teff, farro, etc.

Legumes: soybeans, beans, lentils, peas, peanuts, etc.

Nuts and seeds: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, etc.

Healthy fats and oils: Olive oil, avocado, linseed oil, coconut oil Herbs, and spices: basil, thyme, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, salt, rosemary, cumin, chili powder, etc.

Healthy drinks: water, tea (herbal tea, green tea, black tea, etc. ), Red wine, coffee.

Meal Plans

Example of a plant-based nutrition plan Curious about what the diet would look like on a feeding day? Here is an example of a plant-based meal plan:

Breakfast: Oatmeal overnight with almond milk, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp protein powder, blueberries, cinnamon, and unsweetened coconut flakes.

Lunch: hummus & whole-grain crackers, carrots, pepper strips, celery, and cucumber

Snack: Greek yogurt with low-sugar muesli

Dinner: grilled tofu over cauliflower rice, baked sweet potato, spinach salad

Snack: banana with almond butter

Plant-Based Cookbook

Plant-Based Diet Risks

Is beneficial for everyone, but experts warn that it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients that are most commonly found in animal products, such as protein, vitamin D, and vitamin B12.

With these discrepancies, people on a plant-based diet should incorporate fortified foods such as almond milk or speak to their doctor about the possibility of taking a multivitamin. Even people recovering from eating disorders should not follow a plant-based diet during their recovery.

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