About the Atkins diet

The Atkins diet used to be one of the trendiest diets around, thanks in part to the conceit that practitioners can roll up to the McDonalds’ drive-thru window and order a rake of burgers slathered with cheese and special sauce and eat as many as they like, as long as they throw the buns away.

In truth, Atkins is a high-protein, low-carb approach that does mean a green light to meat and a red light to bread, but doesn’t magically make Maccies healthy.

Typical daily menu

Breakfast: Beef with peppers, onions and cheese

Lunch: Chicken, bacon and avocado salad

Dinner: Steak with salad and asparagus

Pros

You get to eat loads of meat. Eating steak for breakfast takes some getting used to but mmm, meat.

Weight loss is quick. Switching to a fat-based diet after eating carbs for so long will give a big shock to the system.

Some research suggests Atkins can improve cholesterol.

Cons

It’s not really suitable for vegetarians. It is possible to do a vegetarian modification of Atkins, but it is difficult and you’ve got to be a fan of eggs, soy and tofu to make it work.

You have to keep track of every gram of carbs you consume. Sometimes this is hidden away on labels and you’ll have to take the time to read through the info on the back of everything you eat.

Diets high in protein can put a strain on your kidneys.

Restricting carbs can help but eat more calories than you need and you’ll still gain weight.

You will crave carbs.

Further Information

Discuss this diet or ask for help getting started.

Visit the official Atkins Diet website

Read about other popular diets in our guide to diet plans for men