Last Updated on 2 October 2022 by Ray Plumlee

Dr. Robert C. Atkins founder of the Atkins diet philosophy.
Dr. Robert C. Atkins founder of the Atkins diet philosophy.

Atkins’ diet is a nutrition tampering program that works for anybody who looks for an idea of lowering body weight based on the basic idea of metabolism. Atkins produces an idea of reducing body weight by reducing the intake of carbohydrates which induces a reaction of fat burning. The diet name is taken from the name of its inventor, Robert Atkins who gets the idea of this fat-burning method from  The Journal of the American Medical Association which is where he read a research paper about “Weight Reduction” by Alfred W. Pennington who published in the journal in 1958 and later inspires a method that is used and adopted around the world.

Initially, the inspiration wasn’t used to be a method of making money. As most inventors would do, Atkins expands the idea and used it to control his own weight. Being overweight and wanting to be slimmer is the basic intention of every research he has done. From this research he concluded that:

  • The body makes energy by metabolizing sugar or fat.
  • Sugar becomes the most favorite intake for your body because it is easier to change into energy.
  • Stuffed and hungry is a cycle that is caused by carbohydrates or sugar intake.
  • The body would automatically burn fat if you don’t take in enough sugar.

And thus the idea of taking in more calories from less sugar is applied.

The result of this method worked quite well for Atkins. He eventually loses a few pounds during the first month. Based on this idea he then starts to consume lesser calories from carbohydrates and stuff himself with more calories from protein and fat. The idea is simple, which is he should eat something without carbohydrates but have other combinations of everything else including fat. He keeps doing this until a few weeks later when he finds his progress has gone quite well. On some occasions he had to eat carbs but it doesn’t give any effect to his weight. He also didn’t gain weight even if he actually consumes a considerable amount of fat on his diet.

In 1972 he brought up his great invention to the world by writing a book called Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution. This first revolution causes some attention from the public and researchers. Some rejections start to appear but some try this idea and achieve great success. Through this book, Atkins achieves acknowledgment from his colleagues and the public. Being a researcher he feels obliged to answer criticism with better conclusions which he then published, after decades of research, the book called Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution which was published in 2002.

In his new books Atkins refines his method and explains things that he missed explaining in his first book. He doesn’t stop here. He continues the research and publishes another book eight years later and a related book of recipes released a year later by Colette Heimowitz. His book in 2010 is related to an idea that makes his weight reduction method better since it is explained in methods and food choices. The cooking recipe book is based on his suggestion thus it gives advantages for everybody who wants tasty nutritious food without risking gaining weight.

Some research has shown that the Atkins method actually gives more advantages than harm. Various health markers are increased which would make people healthier. Some of this research doesn’t really explain that the diet method really gives good advantages to health but a conclusion can be easily drawn if you read the conclusion.

  • A study publishes a finding that says this diet method would reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Other studies have stated the possibility of the diet giving some benefit for people with type 2 diabetes, cancer, and epilepsy.
  • Studies have concluded that the Atkins diet is capable of preventing heart disease.
  • You can consume more cholesterol, and increase your good HDL in the blood.
  • Methylglyoxal is another substance that is increased by the Atkins diet which is rumored to prevent or even reduce cancer.

Most of these advantages are not really concluded by the studies. The conclusion is drawn from the results that are presented for the public. Since those subjects are still debatable the possibilities still go both ways. Therefore, it would be much better if you spend a month trying the method and another month trying an alternative if the Atkins method doesn’t work for you.

Once researchers doubted the long term effect of Atkins diets. Such obviously caused by the amount of time that Atkins uses for researching. Thus, in order to make a perfect method he designs a method that consists of the first phase which you should perform with discipline and caution. The method is based on his previous idea of weight loss but it gives a better explanation for what to do.

In phase 1 you would need to perform a dramatic change which reduces your carb intake until reaches 20 grams or lower. In this situation it is much better if you don’t eat carbs at all. You will evade rice, bread, potatoes, nuts, seeds, and any other food materials that contain carbs. You can eat any other food material including cheese and milk for your daily food. This first method is called “induction”. After 2 weeks you would add some carbs from nuts or seeds into your food. At his point you have lost some of your weight and you are about to lose more.

The third phase is an important phase since the acceleration of your weight loss would be increased especially if you have lots of physical activity every day. Weigh your body often thus you would know that you are close to your target weight. At this point intake of carbs would be increased and your weight loss would be slower. Now you are at your weight target and you would need to maintain your weight by evading excessive carb intake. Your appetite would seem to be lower and easy to control. Your weight would stay in a certain range. You don’t have to worry if you have to take some carbs into your body since it would still give little or no effect to your body.

Although a little dry this video is a very comprehensive explanation of the Atkins diet.

Dr Robert C Atkins Lecturing At The USDA Great Nutrition Debate, 2000

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Retired USN "Mustang"(Enlisted to Officer) Officer. World traveler, been to 38 countries.

After retiring in 1994, I kept myself busy traveling as an online web programmer. Maybe you heard of me, Have Web Sites Will Travel? I then retired for a second time in 2010. Recently to keep busy I started a 3rd career, a career dedicated to me. My full time dedication is to my health and fitness. My job is to research everything to do with health and fitness (Yes, sexual health) and everything else related. I workout 6 times a week, closely monitor my diet and nutrition. I have started an online blog dedicated to the health and fitness of men over 60. So you can see I keep myself very busy, a very necessary component of the life extension goal.

Tagged on: blood sugar    carbohydrate    cardio exercise    cholesterol    diet    Dr. Atkins    Exercise    low carb foods    Low-carb    protein
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I’ve heard a lot of mixed results about Atkins. One thing I’ve heard is that, with both Atkins and Keto, reaching a state of ketosis is sort of the goal. But I’ve also heard that ketosis isn’t actually good for your body. Thoughts?

Wayne Watkins

Low carbs diet plan is considered most suitable for heart patients. Modern hospitals utilize atkins diet to revive cardiovascular related issues and for those patients who have already been treated. To minimize heart attack and other related complications, trust atkins diet.

Brandon Johnson

It is hard to argue with results. When a diet is working, you might as well stick with it and if you can do that you are going to see some results. I just do not think that a diet is a good, LONG term solution. Use it as a tool for eating right and move on from there, right?

Mike Sweet

An interesting article. I had no idea that Atkins Diet has been around so long. I remember hearing about it years ago, but not as far back as the 70s.


The Dr Atkins diet has been around for as long as I can remember. Maybe I should give it a shot, your articles have provided me with a lot of information and it seems like something that can work.

Gerardo Dirk

I read both your great articles about the Atkins Diet and started my diet today. Hoping for good things.

Janet C.

I have to diet. An inescapable fact.Which diet to try is the only variable. I think I will give the Atkins Diet a try because it has been around as long as I can remember so if the negative aspects I hear about are so bad I doubt it would have lasted. This information was useful, but the proof will be in the doing I guess.

Len James

Janet C. I think you will find the Atkins Diet works well. I had a weight issue I dealt with a couple of years back. I tried a lot of fad diets before I got around to the Atkins Diet. It worked and so far the weight has not come back. The only thing I can think of as a negative is that eating out while on the Atkins Diet is a pain. I ended up ordering steak dinners and leaving the potatoes or hamburgers and not eating the bun.

Keith P.

A friend who is a bit younger than my 63 years never exercises but appears buff as if he worked out regularly. I asked him what he does to keep fit and he said he has been on the Atkins diet for over 12 years. He eats all he wants, but avoids carbs. That’s it. So I am researching he Atikins diet before I give it a try. Doesn’t seem to be harmful, but I just started checking it out.

Ryan Anthony

I’ve seen people use the Atkins Diet and achieve fantastic results. The key to a diet like Atkins is you have to stick to it on a regular basis (although an occasional cheat is okay). I don’t want to call it a stunt diet, but anything like “low carbs” or “low fat” usually work, but you have to stick with them for life. I’ve seen people go on Nutri System and lose a lot of weight. If they stop eating the Nutri System food, they usually gain the weight back. The aging process makes weight loss tougher for people over… Read more »


I’m not a fan of Dr.Atkins idea.. however I have heard that it works and when explained properly it does make sense.

Has anyone here tried it recently?

Justin Reynolds

I have a family member that has done the diet and lost a lot of weight. However, I do not think the diet is healthy and only 1 year later and ALL of that lost weight is back.

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