Both Keto and Atkins diet are low in carbs. But if we talk about keto vs Atkins, they aren’t really the same. Atkins is a high-protein diet whereas too much protein is discouraged in the ketogenic diet as it can affect the ketosis phase.
The keto and Atkins diet can be used to lose weight. But if we are to dig its original purpose, the differences are staggering.
Difference between Atkins and ketogenic
The ketogenic diet started way back in the 1920s. Surprisingly, this isn’t a weight loss diet but a method for doctors to control the seizures of their patients.
The idea is to use fat, instead of carbohydrates, as the source of energy. With the right amount of protein, the body will be forced to be in the ketosis stage, the brain then feeds to the two produced acids namely decanoic acid and ketones.
Such a process help reduce seizures among patients. According to a 2008 clinical trial at Great Ormond Street Hospital, the keto diet was able to reduce seizures to children by as much as 40%.
Meanwhile, the Atkins diet is founded with the principle of weight loss. It’s the brainchild of a cardiologist named Dr. Robert Atkins. The idea is to eat right, not less which is a revolutionary move in the weight loss industry during the 1963 to 1972 era.
By limiting the uptake of carbohydrates, the body burns fats instead which is similar to how the keto works. However, in this diet plan, there’s no mention of the keto stage or the idea of staying in ketosis.
The goal of Atkins is to keep your blood sugar steady so you will have less fat storage and fewer hunger pangs.
Here, Dr. David Jockers give us more points about Keto and Atkins diets:
The focus of the keto diet
The goal of the keto diet is to put your body in the so-called ketosis phase. Here, fats are used as energy while carbohydrates are taken in very limited amounts.
What happens is that fat travels to the liver which will then produce the by-product called ketones. This is a prized substance for people who are following the keto diet.
When the ketones reach your bloodstream, it will transform into a source of energy. Followers of this diet have to ensure that they are within the ketosis phase. They use home testing kits to check the level of ketones in their body through urine strips.
To achieve the ketosis phase, at least 75% of the calories you take should come from fat alone. The remaining 20% should be allotted for protein and the last 5% is for carbohydrates. Depending on how your body will respond, some will do well on a 10% carb intake to dodge the keto flu.
Still, the keto diet isn’t the green light so you can chomp on bacon, cream, and butter. Although it’s a high-fat diet, it’s ideal to consume healthy fats without the added substances usually found on bacon and butter. Some of the best fat sources for keto diet followers include avocado, egg, and seeds.
Here’s Dr. Oz discussing more about the Keto diet:
The focus of the Atkins diet
Meanwhile, the Atkins diet is all about limiting carbohydrates. Currently, there are three versions of the Atkins diet: the Atkins 20, Atkins 40, and Atkins 100.
The most restrictive of the three is Atkins 20. This is said to be ideal for people who need to lose more than 40 pounds. The whole process of Atkins 20 is divided into four phases
For each phase, there’s a list of ‘accepted foods’ which becomes more worthwhile as you progress into the program. The carb uptake also increases as you close to the last phase.
Meanwhile, Atkins 40 is formulated for pregnant and breastfeeding women. It has wider food options. Still, this starts by consuming only 40 grams of net carbs.
Lastly, the most worthwhile variant is Atkins 100. This is recommended for those people who only need to maintain their weight. It also has a list of acceptable food items that will keep extra weight at bay.
Want to know to more about the Atkins diet? Here’s a short video for you:
Pros and cons of keto diet
Pros of keto diet
The main benefit of the keto diet on the keto vs Atkins is that it prevents seizures. By depriving the brain with sugar, the person will have fewer seizure attacks. The sugar was said to fuel nerve impulses that result in uncontrolled reactions.
Like the Atkins diet, the keto plan is ideal if you want to control your blood sugar. With the same aim of reducing carb uptake, the person following this diet will have less complex sugars to ingest. This will prevent excessive energy storage which is the main culprit to weight gain.
It’s also found that people who are in the ketosis phase has lower levels of bad cholesterol. This is directly related to the reduction of your risk to heart diseases.
Since you’ll be consuming more veggies, you can swap the unhealthy sugars with healthy fats.
Cons of keto diet
Like any diet plan, not all people respond to keto very well. Some wouldn’t even reach ketosis. The biggest culprit to this is the fact that keto is more inclined to go cold turkey to carbohydrates. This is also the same reason why some people experience the keto flu, a withdrawal symptom to the drastic reduction of carb intake.
The keto diet is consistently a low-carb diet and not a progressive system which is the way Atkins work. Another problem here is the potential electrolyte imbalance due to the loss of potassium, sodium, and magnesium, which are commonly found on high-carb food items.
Pros and cons of the Atkins diet
The biggest advantage of practicing the Atkins diet is its progressive carb intake. Unlike keto, Atkins lays out a plan where the person increases his or her consumption of carbs per phase. This makes the Atkins diet easier to stick to than keto.
Also, the Atkins diet offers faster results than the keto diet. By reducing the carb intake of a person, the blood sugar levels will be in a steady phase. This will prevent the overproduction of insulin that can trigger cravings to sweets.
This nature of the Atkins diet makes it ideal for people with diabetes or those who are aiming to reverse their pre-diabetes condition.
Aside from reducing carbs, the Atkins diet also needs you to eat more protein and fat to balance your blood sugar and keep the muscles from breaking down.
Which is more restrictive?
Between the keto vs Atkins, the keto diet is more restrictive. This is because Atkins offers better flexibility when it comes to food choices. Although the first phase of Atkins is somewhat very limiting, it’s just a phase you have to get past to.
As you progress into the Atkins phases, more and more food items are allowed on the list. This is a bit different when it comes to the keto diet.
With the keto diet, you go cold turkey with carbs. Although you will still consume carbohydrates, you need to keep it in the bare minimum if you don’t want to disrupt your ketosis phase.
Also, one wrong food intake and you will be knocked out of your ketosis. This is the big difference between Atkins and ketogenic since you can choose between the three Atkins types based on your goal.
Which is easier to stick to?
Need we say more about how difficult it is to maintain the keto diet? Still, the keto diet is a good choice, especially if you’re looking for a program that will teach you utmost discipline.
Still, most keto diet followers find it hard to maintain their regimen. This diet is ideal for people who have the time to measure and prepare meals with extreme detail. Although Atkins will also require discipline, it’s a whole different level if you’re a fan of keto. That gives Atkins the edge over the keto vs Atkins argument.
As for Atkins, you will have a more flexible choice since the accepted foods are widened as you go on the program. Still, this is a matter of preference. Both are beneficial and will yield varying results.
Which is the healthier choice?
Knowing which one is healthier depends on how your body will react to the diet. There are some individuals that react negatively to the keto diet. And even if Atkins is more flexible, some individuals don’t do well on its format.
You should only take a little more caution if you are to venture into the keto diet. It’s not advisable for pregnant and lactating women as well as individuals with hormonal imbalances.
Also, you have to keep watch on your electrolyte levels aside from your ketones. This is to ensure that you’re not experiencing more harm than benefits under the keto diet.
Where will you lose weight more, keto vs Atkins?
When it comes to the weight you can lose, it’s a tie between the keto and Atkins diet. Both offer relatively fast results, but you have to follow the rules if you want to maintain the progress.
Both yield short-term results. If you stopped any of the two diets, fats may creep back in.
Since the idea is to reduce carbs, it directly cuts energy storage inside your body. Aside from eating right, you also have to factor in proper exercise. Any diet can be easier to maintain if paired with enough workout.
Which diet should you choose?
It’s important to remember that each person will have varying reactions to a certain diet. It’s important to check which one suit you best based on the food items allowed, the discipline, and the possible side effects.
The biggest edge of the keto diet is its precise guidelines. You can’t eat this, you can’t eat that. Although the Atkins diet also employs this, there isn’t a way to check if you’re actually in the ‘weight loss zone’. This is something that you can easily monitor in the keto diet by using ketone test strips.
Regardless if you opt for keto or Atkins, what matters is you consult a physician and have possible health conditions ruled out first. This way, you can minimize the possible harm that the diet may bring.
Our Top Pick for Atkins Diet
Product Name: Atkins Gluten-free Protein Powder
Product Description: If you’re looking for a protein powder to complement your Atkins diet, there’s no best choice than Atkins Gluten Free Protein Powder itself. This is formulated for weight loss and guaranteed to aid your diet.Each 29-gram serving of this protein powder contains 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of soluble fiber, 3 grams of fat, and 2 grams of net carbs. There’s only 1 gram of sugar which won’t sabotage your weight loss progress. This is also gluten-free and also keto-friendly should you choose the other diet plan.And since this is made for weight loss, it will only give you 100 calories per serving. This way, you can still eat more even if you’re adding this protein powder on your diet.
This Atkins formula contains whey isolate, soy isolate, and sodium caseinate together with the infusion of various vitamins and minerals. By seeing the ingredients list alone, you’ll realize how powerful this supplement is in boosting your overall wellness. But since it contains soy protein, we’d like to warn those who have allergies.
Another good thing about this Atkins protein powder is that it mixes well with water. This makes a perfect regimen for people on the go. You can also use this for baked goods, thanks to its delicious chocolate and vanilla flavors.
Each tub contains 10 servings and is very affordable for such a small price. You can actually purchase two tubs and still find it very inexpensive.
-Only 100 calories per serving
-Contains important nutrients like folate, Biotin, Zinc, iodine, and more
-Only 2 grams of carbs per serving
-Mixes easily with water or milk
-Contains soy protein which may cause allergy issues for some
If we are to decide about keto vs Atkins, we have to factor in various aspects included in the diet. It’s all about finding one that works for your lifestyle.