Difference Between Keto and Atkins Diet

Both the Keto and Atkins diets focus on promoting weight loss and improving overall health by limiting the intake of carbohydrates. These diets are considered one of the best carb diets as well. However, people have always remained skeptical about the two. The decision two choose either is both difficult and complicated for many. While both share several similarities, they have differences as well. This article will compare Atkins and Keto diets to help you decide, which will be the perfect fit.

The Keto Diet


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A person following the Keto diet will consume very little carbohydrates, lots of proteins, and fat. Experts recommend that you should consume meals that consist of 70-80% fat, 20-25% protein, and 5-10% carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are used by the body as a source of fuel. The Keto diet aims to reduce the intake of carbohydrates so that the body can no longer use them as fuel. When this happens, the body goes into a state known as “Ketosis”, which involves burning fat and producing Ketones. These molecules now serve as a new energy source. Due to this reason alone, many people prefer to follow the Keto diet as it burns body fat.

The Atkins Diet

Grilled chicken meat and fresh vegetable salad of tomato, avocado, lettuce and spinach
Grilled chicken meat and fresh vegetable salad of tomato, avocado, lettuce and spinach. Healthy and detox food concept. Ketogenic diet. Buddha bowl in hands on white background, top view

The Atkins diet shares more or less the same characteristics as it allows a few carbs, moderate protein amounts, and high amounts of fat. With time, the Atkins diet has evolved to include various eating plans. Currently, the original version of the diet is called “Atkins 20”. If you were to visit the official Atkins website, you will see that the diet has been categorized into four phases distinguished by the number of carbohydrates a person intakes daily.

  • Phase 1 happens to be the most restrictive phase since it is the beginning. This allows an individual only 20-25 g of carbohydrates daily. People are required to stay in this phase until they are at least 15 pounds from their ideal weight.
  • Phase 2 ups the level of carbohydrate intake by increasing it to 20-25 g of carbs each day.
  • Phase 3 allows individuals to consume 80 g of carbohydrate per day until they achieve their ideal weight and maintain it for 1 month.
  • Phase 4 is the last and is known as the maintenance phase. It allows 80-100 g of carbs per day.

The last phase is the easiest as it lowers the restriction of carbohydrates. The purpose is to help a person become conscious of his/her carb intake and maintain a healthy weight.

Differences between the Keto and Atkins diets


In general, the Keto diet as compared to the Atkins diet is more restrictive. The keto diet eliminates the consumption of carbohydrates and restricts protein sources. As a result, the body will break down the proteins into glucose for energy. Moreover, the majority of calories in the Keto diet come from fat.

The Atkins diet on the other hand puts a strong restriction on carbohydrate intake in the first phase but allows for a moderate protein intake. As an individual moves through the stages, the restrictions become easier and relaxed, allowing for more carbs and a greater variety of foods.


Both Atkins and Keto diets can lead your body into Ketosis. However, in the Atkins diet, only the first or sometimes the second phase involves carb restriction required to maintain ketosis. On the other hand, if a person were to follow the Keto diet strictly, the ketosis process will remain continuous.

Long-term benefits

At the moment, there are no thorough or strong studies suggesting that restrictive low-carb diets are healthy for the body. In fact, the opposite of it might be true. A study conducted in 2018 found that people who follow low carbohydrate diets that are rich in animal protein and fat are likely to have an increased risk of mortality.

At the same time, the researchers also found that those who followed diets rich in plant sources of protein and fat have a lower mortality risk. Overall, while some people believe that the Atkins diet is an option that is achievable in the long run but it is extremely restrictive during the first phase particularly. However, things become easier once the individual progresses through the phases and gets close to the ideal weight.

Furthermore, the last stage of the Atkins diet becomes more manageable as compared to keeping up with the Keto diet, which is perpetually restrictive. Lastly, it is also dangerous for your body to remain in ketosis for extended periods.

Similarities between the Keto and Atkins diets

Weight Loss

People who wish to lose weight mostly prefer either Keto or Atkins diet. Studies have shown that both Keto and Atkins diets burn the body fat very well but force the body to enter the state of ketosis. Moreover, several studies also suggest the fact that a low-carb diet helps with more weight loss than a low-fat diet in the short term. However, in the long-term both these diets produce similar weight loss results.

Potential Health Benefits

A study following the potential benefits of both the Keto and Atkins diet suggested that Ketogenic diets help protect the body against certain illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. These types of diseases are prevented due to a reduction in the intake of highly processed, high carb, and sugar meals.

Recommended Cookbooks:

Whenever you switch to a new diet, it is often confusing what you are allowed to eat and what you aren’t. Additionally, making changes to your diet yourself can be very daunting and it helps when you have some aid.

Cookbooks are a great way to kickstart your health journey as they provide you with a slew of new recipes for you to try out. Best of all, you don’t have to google every single recipe and ingredient to see whether or not it sticks to your new diet. 

Check out these cookbooks so that you can get your health journey started as soon as possible.

  1. Keto Diet: Your 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Balance Hormones, Boost Brain Health, and Reverse Disease
  2. The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: Your Essential Guide to Living the Keto Lifestyle
  3. The Complete Guide to the Ketogenic Diet for Women After 50: Useful Tips and 90 Delectable Recipes| 30-Day Keto Meal Plan to Shed Weight, Heal Your Body, and Regain Confidence
  4. New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great
  5. Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution
  6. Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle (5)

Let’s go into more detail about these cookbooks listed below and see what each of these have to offer. 

FAQ: Difference Between Keto and Atkins Diet

omelet with tomatoes and bacon, baked eggs with spinach and broccoli, closeup, keto, ketogenic diet
omelet with tomatoes and bacon, baked eggs with spinach and broccoli, closeup, keto, ketogenic diet

1. What can you eat on a Keto Diet?

When you are on a Keto Diet, it is advised to keep your carbohydrate intake very low and to increase your fat intake. Additionally, your protein intake should be moderate. When you take these factors into account, it can be quite difficult to know which foods should be avoided and which should be consumed so that the diet works as it should.

No one wants to break their diet because of a silly mistake. Hence, you must be aware of what you can and cannot eat. Some foods that are a big no when it comes to Keto diets are listed below.

  • Grains.
  • All kinds of pasta.
  • High-sugar fruits.
  • Honey, syrup, or sugar in any form.
  • Soda and fruit juices.
  • Starchy vegetables.
  • Sweetened yogurt.
  • Chips and crackers.
  • Pumpernickel
  • Wheat bread
  • Flour and corn tortillas
  • White bread
  • Sourdough bread
  • Rye bread
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn

2. Why is the Keto diet not the best for you?

When you first hear about the Keto diet, it often sounds too good to be true. This is often because it encourages you to eat fatty foods that most people are afraid of. However, it also restricts carbs. By doing so, the body is forced to change the source of its energy.

Our body is normally programmed to use carbohydrates as its main source of energy. When you reduce the number of carbs, it turns to fats and protein to get its daily energy. 

Due to this change in function, some unwanted conditions may pop up. Those who go on a Keto diet often face issues such as low blood pressure, constipation, kidney stones, and nutrient deficiencies. There is also an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The Keto diet is a strict diet and other than physical ailments, it can also cause social isolation and disordered eating due to the many food rules imposed. 

It is also important to note that the Keto diet is not safe for everyone. Those who suffer from conditions that involve their gallbladder, thyroid, or liver should avoid this diet altogether.

3. Is the Atkins diet good for losing weight?

The Atkins diet is designed to be a diet that restricts one’s carbs and instead encourages them to consume more protein and fat. This is another one of the many diets that work on helping people lose weight by consuming fewer carbohydrates.

However, like other low-carb diets, the Atkins Diet does not show any long-term weight loss. This inability to keep off the weight lies in the fact that this diet is not sustainable.

Most people are able to follow an Atkin or any other low carb diet for some period of time but eventually, they revert back to their original way of eating. The consumption of carbs once again leads to weight gain and all the progress is eventually lost. 

4. Are salads okay to eat on an Atkins diet?

Yes, salads are completely okay to have if you are on an Atkins diet. You just have to ensure that the vegetables you use are rich in fiber and nutrients. They must also be low in sugar. Some vegetables that come under this category include broccoli, asparagus, salad greens, citrus fruits, berries, legumes, apples, and whole grains. 

Final Word

When it comes to choosing between Keto and the Atkins diet, you must consider the similarities and differences. While the Keto diet puts a greater restriction on calorie sources, the Atkins diet on the other hand starts very intense and becomes less so over time. Make sure that you are committed and dedicated enough to follow a strict diet program in both cases. If you are not, you might want to steer clear.

However, if you plan on following a keto diet, we suggest that you opt for Keto Diet: Your 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight that is going to gradually elevate the quality of your life while helping you reach your ideal weight within a month.

On the other hand, if the Atkins diet is something you prefer, then we will suggest Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution for balancing a healthy weight and life by consuming simple and delicious meals.