The Atkins diet and the Keto diet are two very famous eating plans that are effective in weight loss. They encourage weight loss by reducing starch intake. They limit the use of high-carb foods such as bread, fruits, potatoes, and legumes.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of carbohydrates for adults is approximately 300g per day. Both, the Atkins and Keto diets are based on decreasing the carbohydrate intake. However, the basic difference lies in the eating plans. Their timing and values of consumption greatly differ from one another.

This article discusses the functioning and differences of both these diets. It will help you decide which one would be the best fit for you.

Also Read: Can you eat hot dogs on keto

What is the Atkins Diet?

This is one of the best-known diets in the world and it consist of low carbohydrates, moderate proteins and high-fat content. Although, the Atkins plan has been modified numerous times, the original plan called the Atkins 20 remains the most popular.

This plan has four different phases. Each phase discusses the daily carb requirement. All the phases are described in detail below.

  • Phase 1

The first section of the Atkins diet recommends 20 to 25 grams of carbohydrates on a daily basis. You will continue this consumption until you are only 7kg away from your desired weight.

  • Phase 2

The next segment of this popular diet includes consuming 25 to 50 grams of starches per day. Continue this till you are only 5kg away from the weight you want.

  • Phase 3

Now you can increase your daily carb intake by 50 to 80 grams per day. Do this till you reach your goal weight and sustain it for an entire month.

  • Phase 4

In the last phase of this diet you will take 80 to 100 grams of carbs on a daily basis. You can consume these calories as long as you maintain your weight. As you near your desired weight, you can increase your starch intake. This allows you to include a wider variety of foods into your diet.

Majority of the Americans consume approximately 50% of their daily calories from carbs. This amounts to be 250 grams if you eat 2000 calories.

atkins-diet-vs-ketoWhat is the Keto Diet?

The Keto diet has taken the world by storm! It basically originated to treat children experiencing seizures. It was later discovered how other people could benefit from it as well.

Carbs are the main source of energy for the body. The diet includes reducing the levels of starch in your body so that it is no longer the key source of fuel for the body. This causes our body to go into the state of ketosis.

The keto diet works on ketosis and it gets its name from this term as well. Ketosis is the metabolic process that uses fat instead of starches and sugar as the basic source of energy.

The ketosis process makes your body run on ketones. Ketones are compounds that form due to the breakdown of fat. This fat could either be the one that is stored in your body or it could come from your food as well.

This state of ketosis can be achieved and maintained by limiting the daily consumption of carbs up to 20 to 50 grams per day. The daily macronutrient content in the keto diet consists of the following:

  • 75% fats
  • 20% proteins
  • 5% carbohydrates.

Once your body goes into the state of ketosis, you can test the ketone production by a simple test. The test includes monitoring the ketone production using breath, urine or blood tests. Keto diet recommends attaining starches from only from specific foods. They include keto-friendly vegetables, such as leafy greens and some fruits, mostly berries. The diet eliminates legumes and grains.

atkins-diet-vs-ketoDifferences Between the Keto and Atkins Diet

Following are the differences between the Keto diet and Atkins diet:

  • The major difference between these famous diets is the recommended amount of protein intake. There is no specific limitation when it comes to proteins in the Atkins diet. But the Keto diet reduces them to around 20 percent of your daily consumption.
  • Another important difference is that keto depends on the body being in the metabolic state of ketosis throughout the diet. Ketosis also happens to play a role in Atkins but it only lasts till the phase 1 or 2 of the diet. It doesn’t last throughout the entire duration of Atkins.
  • In Atkins, carbs are ultimately introduced back into the diet but in keto the starches will always be restricted.
  • The Keto diet emphasizes more on eating healthful fats as compared to the Atkins diet.
  • When it comes to sustainability, Atkins stands out to be the more convenient diet out of them both. That is because it is less restrictive as compared to the Keto diet.

Which Diet is Safer and more Convenient?

Both these diets encourage weight loss and promote healthy weight standards by restricting the carbohydrate intake. Both of them have benefits and some drawbacks.

Although the ketogenic diet is famous for giving quick results, it can be difficult to commit to. It is highly limiting as it reduces the carb content to 5% and greatly increases the fat content.

This variation is also necessary as it maintains the ketosis state in the body which is essential throughout the diet. The keto diet does not work without ketosis and the conditions for ketosis are very tough to meet and maintain.

People also need to keep a regular check on their ketone levels in the keto diet to ensure the presence of ketosis. These tests are costly and the macronutrient restriction could eventually lead to nutrient deficiencies. It could also pose a health risk.

However, most people can get the benefits of a low-carb diet without bearing the burden of ketosis. A moderate carb restriction diet is just as effective as an extremely restrictive diet.

It is very important to choose healthy foods that have good nutritional value for your good health. The ratio of proteins, fats, and carbs is secondary. Though low-carb diets are healthy and safe for most people, it’s important to see that higher-carb diets that consist of whole foods are just as beneficial as the restrictive diets.


Atkins is less binding than keto. Apart from that, the long-term effects of keto are unknown. But since it is an extreme diet, it does have some adverse effects. One of them is people gaining more weight after discontinuing the keto diet.

Choosing healthy foods and limiting refined carbs is a great way to improve health, regardless of your carb intake. That means Atkins is more sustainable in the long run because it’s not as strict as diet like keto.

It also doesn’t require you to make sure your body remains in ketosis. Plus, on Atkins, you can eventually add back nutritious foods like quinoa, oatmeal, and fruits. Your weight overall health, weight goals, and dietary preferences should all be taken into account when choosing the best eating pattern for yourself.

Having said that, it is best to consult a dietitian or a nutritionist before starting any diet as they can recommend the best eating plan for you.


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