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If you compare the popularity of keto and Atkins diet, a keto diet is way more popular and steadily rising.
An Atkins diet plan was super popular in the 1990s and early 2000s, but people are slowly starting to lose interest in its appeal.
People tended to eat anything high in protein disregarding the long-term harmful effects of eating processed foods. Also, those who lost weight gained the weight back over the years.
However, many people still look for info on the Atkins and LCHF diets. Sometimes even thinking they are the same thing or a similar method of eating. Of course, they are not!
Here we will discuss the differences between Atkins vs. Keto.
The Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is often known as a high protein high-fat diet. You basically eat as much protein, fat, and vegetables as you want while avoiding high-carb foods.
It works for many people for the main reason of keeping people full for longer. The Atkins diet consists of 4 different phases including:
An Induction Phase
Induction proceeds for 2 weeks. Its beginning period is where rapid weight loss happens and is mostly water weight. You drastically limit carbs to help get you into ketosis as quick as possible.
Balancing Your Diet
The second phase is the balancing phase, and it’s all about finding the correct amount of carbs to eat while still losing weight. There are plenty of options when reintroducing carbs with snack bars and meal replacement drinks.
Eating More Carbs
The third phase is gradually increasing net carbs and fine-tuning your diet while maintaining weight loss. It allows you to reintroduce your favorite high carb fruits, veggies, whole grains, etc.
Staying the Same Weight
The final phase is maintenance where complex carbs and high-carb foods are allowed providing weight does not increase.
Pros and Cons of an Atkins Diet
The mainly positive of an Atkins Diet is the ability to lose weight quickly.
Sometimes you just need to lose a few pounds in the short-term for a special occasion or making weight for a competition.
The foods you can eat on a low carb diet are plentiful, and the options can sometimes overwhelm people. You can enjoy the foods you love the most and burn fat at the same time. It’s a pretty good deal.
It can help reduce bad cholesterol, blood pressure and other symptoms provided the foods you eat come from healthy natural sources.
Some cons following this diet is it can certainly cause constipation. By eating so much protein, meat, poultry and not enough veggies, the body cannot flush the food out.
To reduce the risk of constipation, make sure water intake is sky high. Eat as many fibrous vegetables as you can eat along with main meals.
Additionally, an Atkins nutrition plan restricts healthy fruits and vegetables denying dieters of required fiber for digestion. Not consuming sufficient fiber may lead to colon cancer.(2)
The Ketogenic Diet
Keto dieting is different to other types of low carb diets for several reasons.
The primary goal is to get your body into ketosis and burn switch fuel sources to ketones. The ketones are stored triglyceride and broken down into fatty acids used for energy.
Shifting into ketosis helps mental clarity, keep you satiated, lose weight, clear up brain fog and have prolonged energy.
The ketogenic diet allows you to eat a specific portion of macronutrients as follows. Healthy fats consisting of 75% of daily calories, moderate protein 20%, and low carbs 5%. Eating high-fat foods forces the body to burn ketone bodies for energy.
Your body, all its organs, and cells can handle ketones for energy. When short on glucose your body has no problem switching to ketones for required fuel to save muscle wasting.
Pros and Cons of a Ketogenic Diet
There are numerous ways a ketogenic diet can support health, nutrition and the lifestyle of anyone following it.
Here are some of the significant benefits.
Following a high-fat nutrition plan can help you decrease insulin resistance and insulin levels which is essential for successful long-term weight loss.
Increase satiety due to healthy fats and proteins taking longer to digest than carbohydrates.(5)
Improve mental clarity and brain function through the cleaner fuel sources of ketones.
A very low-carb ketogenic diet increases fat burning potential compared to a very low-fat diet.(6)
Some cons of a ketogenic diet are as follows:
To become keto-adapted, it requires an adaptation period lasting up to a few weeks.
Depending on the nutrition plan you have followed, going full keto may be challenging and ultimately fail.
It may take some getting used to by slowly cutting carbs over a period while increasing healthy fats.
It is a limited way of eating, and some people may not enjoy the idea of living on fats. Therefore, building up fat intake allows the body to get accustomed to a new fuel source and way of eating.
Dining in restaurants or social get-togethers requires control and discipline. It’s best to have a meal plan in place and build knowledge of acceptable foods to eat on keto.
Compared to glucose, ketones are an excellent and cleaner source of energy. However, ketones become harmful when too many are produced by people who have type 1 diabetes.
It’s known as diabetic ketoacidosis and is a potentially life-threatening condition if you have insulin-dependent diabetes.
Which is Better – Keto or Atkins?
I followed an Atkins Diet many years ago and had considerable short-term success eating high protein meals such as chicken breast, broccoli, and protein shakes daily.
I currently follow a keto diet, and although I’m not looking to lose weight, being in ketosis benefits my health in more ways than one.
Both Atkins and keto diet use the same metabolic pathways, so following Atkins undoubtedly a steers you on the ketosis route.
Due to the diuretic effect of restricting carbs, both diet plans will kickstart your fat loss goals. With the attention purely on protein and fats, satiety shouldn’t be any problem considering carbs digest faster.
The Atkins diet, however, carries some possible setback with all the different phases getting in the way of each other.
Dieting is hard enough without thinking about what you can eat, is it too many carbs or what phase am I in.
It is, of course, easy to grasp for the experienced dieter but those new to a low carb lifestyle may find it daunting.
A keto diet requires you to make notable nutritional changes and combine those changes into your lifestyle permanently.
The other would be a less strict approach such as a targeted ketogenic diet. You would consume high-carb foods or drink prior to exercise. It works well if you struggle to workout at a high intensity such as running or weightlifting.
As far as which is the better diet, Atkins or Keto, everyone has there preferred choice.
High-fat keto diet appears to be preferred way of eating a low carb diet. Losing weight by being in ketosis is more comfortable to manage once you get over the hurdle of massive amounts of fats.
With its many other noted health benefits, it is my opinion keto is the better and preferred lifestyle to follow.
Whichever nutrition plan you choose, be sure to eat the healthiest and most natural food you can. Limit processed junk foods, eat smart and you will be on the journey to the best version of yourself.
What is your preferred type of diet plan and what works best for your lifestyle?