The Key Differences Between Keto and Atkins Diets

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You’ve likely heard about both ketogenic and Atkins diets. Each revolves around a low-carb approach with a goal to lose weight. But while these diets share some tactics, it’s essential to explore their differences if you’re stuck between them. One may be a better fit for your lifestyle.

Here’s a look at the difference between keto and Atkins diets.

What Similarities Do They Share?

Both keto and Atkins focus on a low-carb strategy that helps participants lose weight. Atkins follows a plan with four phases. The first phase aligns closely with keto overall. It retains carb intake to less than 20 grams so that your body can enter ketosis. This process burns fat over carbs so that you can experience quick weight loss.

These diets limit calorie consumption as well. Foods like pastries contain both carbs and calories, so it’s essential to cut those out if you’re concerned with your weight. Because these diets focus on a low-carb approach, it’s easy to avoid calorie-laden foods, too.

Though you won’t have to track your calories on either diet, it’s essential to record your carbs.

The Keto Diet, Explained

Keto focuses on a low-carb, high-fat take on weight loss. There are four versions that you can try. These include the standard ketogenic diet, cyclical ketogenic diet, targeted ketogenic diet and high-protein ketogenic diet. Each allows for varied flexibility. The first option tends to be the most popular and studied.

A keto meal plan should include around 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. While it’s important to eat mostly fats, it’s even more important to do so wisely. Those on keto should avoid processed foods with unhealthy fats. You’ll also want to eliminate some saturated fats so that you don’t put yourself at risk for heart disease.

Because keto aims to fuel your body on fats rather than carbs, it’s necessary to limit your protein intake. Too much protein can interfere with ketosis. Most keto participants opt for meat and dairy products with low-carb vegetables to round out their diets.

The Atkins Diet, Explained

Atkins takes a different approach. This diet offers four separate phases that aim to achieve balance as you lose weight. Not everyone sticks to these phases, as it’s up for debate whether they’re necessary to see results. Some skip to phase two, and others remain at phase one. It’s all up to your preferences.

This diet offers branded meals and snacks that you can purchase to make your experience easier. Like with Weight Watchers, it’s easier to adapt to a diet that provides pre-made foods as an option. It’s still possible to cook for yourself, but there’s a way to grab and go if you please.

Eventually, you’ll be able to incorporate healthy carbs back into your diet. This process shouldn’t cause you to regain any weight. While you’ll need to remain low-carb, it’s possible to enjoy some carbs without worry. That point remains true for all diets like Atkins.

How Do Keto and Atkins Diets Differ?

The differences between keto and Atkins diets vary.

In a nutshell, Atkins provides more freedom. Keto asks participants to eat less protein so that it’s easier to incorporate more fats. This approach allows ketosis to remain possible. You can eat slightly more protein on Atkins — which helps individuals diversify their meal plans.

There’s also another reason why Atkins proves to be less restrictive. You can eventually eat more carb-heavy foods because this diet allows you to work your way back to them. Keto keeps ketosis consistent for its entirety. That element makes it harder to manage.

Low-carb diets lead to significant health benefits beyond weight loss. That said, it’s common for them to have health risks, too. Ketosis can create nausea and headaches that mimic flu-like symptoms. These traits often go away as your body adjusts to a new diet.

In general, it’s smart to eat meals with fruits, vegetables, protein and whole grains. A low-carb, high-fat diet may provide quick results, but it’s unknown whether they’re sustainable. A well-rounded and diverse diet will always be best.

Keto and Atkins Diets Offer Various Highs and Lows

Both keto and Atkins offer a way to lose weight through less carb consumption. The difference between keto and Atkins diets centers on how they restrict certain foods. Consider these aspects before you pick either option. This way, you’ll be able to make a more informed choice.

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