More people are turning to low carb diets to reach their weight loss and healthy living goals. Keto and Atkins are two of the most popular diets that restrict carbohydrates.
They’ve been shown to be more effective at promoting weight loss and good health than low fat and high carb diets, so you’re making a great decision by considering them.
While these two are great diets, it can be a bit challenging to decide which one to go with. After all, they’re both low carb, so what difference does it make if you choose one and not the other?
This article will help you distinguish between the two, enabling you to decide which is the better one for you. Read on to find out where they differ, despite the fact that they’re both low carb.
Defining Keto and Atkins Diets
The keto diet consists of lots of high-fat foods, moderate proteins, and less carbohydrates. 200-300g is the recommended daily carbohydrate intake for adults. On the keto diet, you’ll have to lower this amount down to 20-50g.
A ketogenic diet aims to put your body into ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state whereby your liver turns fats into ketone bodies. Ketones are then used as sources of energy in the absence of glucose.
Ketosis can only occur when there are inadequate carbohydrates in the body to provide energy, and that’s why you need to drastically reduce your carb intake. As your body keeps breaking down fats into ketone bodies, your body weight and body mass index (BMI) will reduce.
Atkins diet also involves a high amount of fats, moderate proteins, and limited carbohydrates.
It consists of four phases, namely:
It is the first phase of Atkins, and which is most similar to keto. During this phase, you’ll need to eat less than 20g of carbohydrates per day. Eat more high fat and protein foods with little low carb foods, preferably vegetables that are not starchy.
During this phase, your body will enter ketosis, just like on a keto diet. Keep this phase up until you’ve lost a lot of weight and are close to your weight loss goals. When you’re about 15 pounds from your goal, you can move on to the next phase.
In the second phase, you should add a little more carbohydrates to your diet. Add more low carb foods so that your daily carb intake stands at 25-50g.
This is the phase where you should slow down your weight loss when you’re very close to your goal. Increase your daily carb intake to 80g per day and maintain this until you achieve your goal.
The maintenance phase allows you to eat as many carbs – healthy ones! – as you can. At this point, you’ll have attained your goal weight, so your concern should be maintaining it.
Beware not to get back to your old unhealthy and excessive carbohydrate consumption, as it can lead to weight gain.
What are the Differences Between Keto and Atkins Diet?
What sets these two low carb diets apart? Here are some of the main differences:
The Keto diet restricts your carbohydrate intake to a very low amount as long as you maintain it. Atkins, on the other hand, strictly limits carbs for a short while during the induction phase, after which you can increase your daily intake.
It means that while you have to keep your carb intake on keto at 20g-50g forever, you can increase your intake on Atkins to 100g.
Atkins is, therefore, less restrictive than keto. It’s versatile, allowing you to add more of your favorite healthy carbohydrates back to your diet as you achieve your weight loss goals.
You’ll be able to eat more proteins on the Atkins diet compared to a ketogenic diet. This is because, on keto, you have to restrict your protein intake to very moderate amounts to avoid glucose production in the body. It keeps your body from leaving ketosis.
With Atkins, there’s no fear of leaving ketosis, other than for the induction phase. But, once you’re done with that, you can have more proteins than what’s allowed on a keto diet.
Both diets involve ketosis but in different manners. With keto, ketosis is a state that you should maintain for as long as you’re on the diet.
The sole purpose of keto is to keep you in this metabolic state, making ketones your only source of energy in the body. It leads to the accelerated use of fats in your body, which is why keto is one of the most preferred diets for people who wish to lose a lot of weight.
With Atkins, ketosis is not as important. It’s only included in the first phase when you kick start your weight loss. After that, you’re allowed to eat more carbs, which naturally kicks you out of ketosis.
Considering carbohydrate restriction, protein intake, and how long you need to be on ketosis, it’s clear that Atkins is easier to sustain compared to keto.
However, this doesn’t mean that everybody should opt for Atkins. Whether a diet is sustainable for you is up to you. If you have no qualms about watching your carb and protein intake for the entire duration that you’re on a diet, then keto is great for you.
But if you’d like some more freedom, Atkins is good for you. At the end of the day, both diets will help you attain and maintain your weight loss goals.
Foods to Eat and Avoid on Keto and Atkins Diet
Since both diets follow the same model – low carb, high fat, moderate proteins – the foods that you should eat and avoid are similar.
Foods that you should take on either diet include:
- Meats, including beef, pork, and chicken.
- Healthy fats.
- Seafood, such as fatty fish.
- Nuts and seeds.
- Low-carb vegetables.
- Full-fat dairy.
The following are foods that you should avoid or take in very small portions:
- High starch foods such as potatoes.
- Low-fat foods.
- Vegetable oils.
- Legumes such as beans and lentils.
- High-carb fruits.
Note that while you may need to avoid these foods continuously on a keto diet, you’ll only need to strictly restrict them on the first phase of the Atkins diet.
Products for Keto and Atkins Diet
Once you decide which diet to go with, it’s a great idea to look for products that support your new lifestyle. That’ll make it easier for you to stick to your new routine and get better results.
Here are products that you can find on Amazon for both diets;
Perfect Keto Test Strips
These are ketone test strips from Perfect Keto, one of the most popular keto product manufacturers. A bottle contains 100 professional-grade urine test strips that you can use to measure your ketone levels.
To use, pee on the strip or dip it in a container with your urine. Shake off excess urine and observe the color change. Within 40-60 seconds, the strip will change color to indicate your ketone levels.
Compare the resulting color with the color chart provided by Perfect Keto to see how high or low your ketone levels are. This strip can be used for both keto and the Atkins diet.
Besides letting you know when your body has reached ketosis, you can also use these test strips to identify the foods that disrupt ketosis in your body.
Atkins Protein Meal Bar
This Atkins Protein Meal Bar is a crunchy and delicious snack that you can have while on the Atkins diet. It contains 13g of proteins, 4g net carbs, and 8g fiber. It only has around 1g of sugar.
This high protein and fiber snack can help boost your energy levels and suppress your appetite. It’s a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without giving in to sugar or carbohydrate cravings.
Due to its low sugar and carb content, it’s also keto-friendly, so you can buy it whether you’re on Atkins or keto. It’s available in a variety of flavors, including blueberry, chocolate chip granola, peanut butter, and cookies n’ cream.
Atkins Protein-Rich Shake
This protein shake is also keto and Atkin friendly, with only 2g net carbs and 5g fiber. It’s a great drink to curb hunger cravings fast and boost your energy levels.
It contains essential vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, several B vitamins, vitamin D3, and vitamin E. These boost your health in a variety of ways, including by promoting healthy bones and skin.
One box contains 4 bottles or ready-to-drink protein shake that does not require refrigeration. Flavors available include chocolate banana, strawberry, creamy vanilla, mocha latte, and milk chocolate.
Both Atkins and Keto are great low carb diets that can improve your health and advance your weight loss goals. It’s up to you to decide which of these is most convenient for you.
Look at the similarities and differences to pick the best one for you. And, if you ever stop following them, remember to maintain healthy eating habits, especially involving carbohydrates, so that you can hold on to your new weight and better health.