Keto vs Atkins
This article compares the Atkins and keto diets. Keto and Atkins are two of the best-known low-carb diets. The two popular diets drastically reduce carb intake. Though these diets are similar, they have differences as well. Find out in this article.
What’s the Difference Between Keto and Atkins?
The Atkins diet
It’s a low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet. The Atkins diet was introduced in 1972 by a cardiologist named Robert Atkins, and it’s been popular on and off since. The original version of the diet (now called Atkins 20) has four phases. The introductory phase of the diet kicks it off with by far the most restrictive rules.
- Phase 1 (Induction). This phase allows for 20–25 grams of net carbs per day until you are 15 pounds (7 kg) from your goal weight.
- Phase 2. During this phase, you consume 25–50 grams of net carbs per day until you are 10 pounds (5 kg) from your goal weight.
- Phase 3. Your net carb allowance is raised to 50–80 grams per day until you have met your goal weight and maintain it for 1 month.
- Phase 4. During the final phase, you consume 80–100 grams of net carbs per day for ongoing weight maintenance.
Protein and fat are fair game on Atkins, but carbs are strictly limited to between 20 and 25 grams (g) of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) during the introductory phase. Phase two increases the carb allotment to 25 to 50 g, adding in foods like blueberries, cottage cheese, and yogurt.
During the third phase, you’ll increase to between 50 and 80 g of net carbs as you try to find that perfect balance — how many carbs can you eat before the weight loss stalls?
Once you figure that out and maintain it for one month, it’s on to phase four: Lifetime Maintenance. This part of the diet focuses on continuing the habits developed during phase three. Carbs are allowed (up to 100 g per day), as long as the weight doesn’t creep back on.
As you approach your goal weight and advance through these phases, your daily carb allowance increases, allowing you to incorporate a greater variety of foods. However, even during Phase 4, which allows for up to 100 grams of net carbs per day, you consume significantly fewer carbs than most people normally eat.
Summary of the Atkins diet
Atkins is one of the most popular low-carb diets worldwide. It works in phases that allow you to gradually increase your carb intake as you progress toward your goal weight.
The Keto diet
The keto diet was first developed in the 1920s as a way to treat children with epilepsy. The keto, or ketogenic, diet is a very low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet plan. There are a lot of moving parts with Atkins and its four phases.
The ketogenic, or “keto” diet, on the other hand, promotes one way of eating for the entirety of the diet. You’ll cut your carbs down to about 5 percent of your daily intake. Seventy-five percent of your remaining calories will come from fat and 20 percent from protein.
The goal of the keto diet is to get your body into the metabolic state of ketosis, during which it uses fat rather than sugar from carbs as its main energy source. And to achieve and maintain ketosis, most people need to limit their total carb intake to 20–50 grams per day.
Macronutrient ranges for the keto diet are typically 5% of calories from carbs, 20% from protein, and 75% from fat.
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Summary of the keto diet
On the keto diet, you restrict your total carb intake to less than 50 grams per day. This causes your body to enter ketosis and burn fat for energy.
Similarities and differences keto vs Atkins diet
You don’t have to count your calories on Atkins or keto. But you do need to track the number of carbs you take in. On keto, you also need to make sure you’re hitting the right percentages of calories coming from fat and protein.
As they’re both low-carb diets, Atkins and keto are alike in some ways. In fact, Phase 1 (Induction) of the Atkins diet is similar to the keto diet, as it restricts net carbs to 25 grams per day. In doing so, your body likely enters ketosis and starts burning fat as its main source of fuel.
Differences - While keto is a moderate-protein approach, with about 20% of calories coming from protein, the Atkins diet allows for up to 30% of calories from protein, depending on the phase.
Additionally, on the keto diet, you want to keep your body in ketosis by extremely limiting your carb intake. On the other hand, the Atkins diet has you gradually increase your carb intake, which will eventually kick your body out of ketosis.
The key difference between keto and Atkins
One key difference between the keto diet and Atkins is the amount of protein you’re allowed to take in. There’s no cap on Atkins, while keto limits protein to about 20 percent of your daily calories.
The other big difference is that keto centers on the body being in ketosis during the entire period of the diet, while ketosis plays a role only during phase one and possibly two of Atkins.
On Atkins, you eventually reintroduce carbs, but on keto, carbs are always limited. Due to this flexible carb limit, Atkins allows for a wider variety of foods, such as more fruits and vegetables and even some grains.
So, What’s the Difference Between Keto and Atkins?
Keto and Atkins are both low-carb diets that may aid weight loss by burning fat and cutting your calorie intake. However, on Atkins, you gradually increase your carb intake, while it remains very low on the keto diet.