What is the distinction between the keto and Atkins diets?

The ketogenic, or keto, and Atkins diets are two well-liked consuming plans that limit carbohydrate consumption with the goal of selling weight reduction and enhancing general well being.

The really useful day by day consumption of carbohydrates for adults is about 200–300 grams (g) per day. The keto and Atkins diets each contain a major discount in carbohydrate consumption, and the 2 can produce comparable results on the physique.

There are, nonetheless, variations in these consuming plans. The variations contain the timing and extent of carb consumption and particular results on the physique.

This text seems on the similarities and variations between the keto and Atkins diets, together with their potential advantages and hostile results and the meals concerned.

What are the keto and Atkins diets?

Grains, most fruits, and sugars are all excluded from each the keto and Atkins diets.

The keto and Atkins diets each goal to advertise weight reduction and enhance well being by limiting carb consumption.

Meals excluded from each diets are grains, most fruits, and sugars.

The keto weight loss plan places extra emphasis on consuming healthful fat than the Atkins weight loss plan.

Understanding how these diets work can assist an individual resolve whether or not both is an efficient alternative.

The keto weight loss plan

An individual following the keto weight loss plan will eat only a few carbohydrates, plenty of fats, and a few protein.

Beneath are the proportions of an individual’s whole day by day macronutrient consumption on the keto weight loss plan:

  • 70–80% fats
  • 20–25% protein
  • 5–10% carbohydrates

Carbs are the physique’s go-to supply of gasoline. The keto weight loss plan entails considerably lowering ranges of carbs in order that the physique can not use them for gasoline.

When this occurs, the physique enters a state known as ketosis, by which it begins to burn fats and produce ketones — molecules that function a brand new vitality supply. Because of this, many individuals comply with the keto weight loss plan as a technique to burn physique fats.

Keto weight loss plan proponents advocate getting the carbs allowed from particular meals, together with keto-friendly greens, resembling leafy greens, and sure fruits, primarily berries. The weight loss plan excludes grains and legumes.

The Atkins weight loss plan

Just like the keto weight loss plan, the Atkins weight loss plan permits for few carbs, reasonable quantities of protein, and excessive quantities of fats.

Through the years, the Atkins weight loss plan has advanced to incorporate numerous consuming plans. The present identify for the unique model of the weight loss plan is “Atkins 20.”

In keeping with the Atkins web site, this weight loss plan consists of Four phases distinguished by the quantity of carbs that an individual eats every day:

  • Section 1 â€“ That is essentially the most restrictive part, permitting for simply 20–25 g of carbohydrates per day. Individuals keep on this part till they’re 15 kilos from their very best weight.
  • Section 2 â€“ Throughout this part, folks eat 25–50 g of carbs every day.
  • Section 3 â€“ This enables folks to eat as much as 80 g of carbs per day till they meet their objective weight and keep it for no less than 1 month.
  • Section 4 â€“ Section Four is the upkeep part, permitting for 80–100 g of carbs per day.

The ultimate part is the least restrictive. The goal is to assist an individual take heed to their carb consumption and keep a healthful weight.

Through the first part, the physique enters ketosis, as within the keto weight loss plan. Because the individual strikes by means of the totally different phases, they start to eat extra carbs and extra different meals.

What are the variations between the keto and Atkins diets?

The keto and Atkins diets each contain proscribing carb consumption, even within the closing part of the Atkins weight loss plan. Nevertheless, there are key variations.


a woman about to eat chicken.
The Atkins weight loss plan permits reasonable protein consumption.

Usually, the keto weight loss plan is way more restrictive than the Atkins weight loss plan.

The keto weight loss plan locations extra emphasis on carb elimination, and it restricts protein sources, because the physique might break down proteins into glucose for vitality. The overwhelming majority of energy within the keto weight loss plan come from fats.

The Atkins weight loss plan locations robust restrictions on carbohydrate consumption at first, however it permits for reasonable protein consumption. Because the individual strikes by means of the phases, the Atkins weight loss plan turns into extra relaxed, permitting for extra carbs and a higher number of meals.


The keto and Atkins diets can each result in a state of ketosis.

Nevertheless, within the Atkins weight loss plan, solely the primary — and typically second — phases contain the carb restriction required to take care of ketosis.

If an individual follows it strictly, the keto weight loss plan entails steady ketosis.

Long run viability

No robust, long run research point out that restrictive, low carb diets are healthful for prolonged durations. In truth, the alternative could also be true.

Analysis printed in The Lancet Public Well being in 2018 discovered an elevated danger of mortality amongst folks following low carbohydrate diets wealthy in animal protein and fats.

The researchers additionally discovered that individuals following diets wealthy in plant sources of fats and protein had a decrease danger of mortality.

Many of those plant sources, resembling nut butters, entire grains, and legumes, additionally include carbohydrates. Consequently, they’re extremely restricted in low carb diets.

Some folks discover that the Atkins weight loss plan is an achievable long run possibility. Although it begins restrictive, an individual introduces extra meals and carbs as they get near their objective weight.

The final stage, or upkeep stage, of the Atkins weight loss plan can really feel extra manageable than maintaining with the perpetually restrictive keto weight loss plan.

Nevertheless, it’s harmful to stay in ketosis for prolonged durations. Additionally, most individuals are unable to take care of a really excessive fats consumption or excessive carb restriction for a very long time.


Docs developed the keto weight loss plan to assist deal with epilepsy within the 1920s. Researchers famous that it could produce other advantages, and for the reason that mid-1990s, the weight loss plan has change into extra well-liked.

Dr. Robert Atkins developed the Atkins weight loss plan as a easy, low carbohydrate strategy to diet. The weight loss plan has modified over time to tackle its 4 stage construction.

Similarities between the keto and Atkins diets

Each the Atkins and keto diets contain carb restriction, and the results may be comparable.

Weight reduction

Many individuals comply with the keto or Atkins diets for weight reduction.

Quite a few research have proven that these diets may end up in weight reduction, because the physique burns fats very properly when it enters ketosis. Most related research point out {that a} low carb weight loss plan produces extra weight reduction than a low fats weight loss plan within the brief time period, however in the long run, these diets produce comparable weight reduction outcomes.

As a small scale examine printed in Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Scientific Analysis & Evaluations notes that ketosis might assist handle weight problems and metabolic danger elements which are precursors to kind 2 diabetes. Nevertheless, confirming these findings would require extra analysis.

Potential well being advantages

A evaluation printed within the European Journal of Scientific Diet means that ketogenic diets shield the physique from sure diseases, resembling heart problems and sort 2 diabetes.

These advantages might end result from a discount in extremely processed, excessive carb meals and extra sugar within the weight loss plan.

There may be rising proof these diets might assist with different points, resembling zits and neurological problems, though confirming it will require extra analysis.

Give attention to pure meals

Each diets encourage an individual to eat unprocessed meals. Extremely processed meals are linked with weight problems, heart problems, and different well being situations.

Negative effects and dangers

woman having a cold

Keto flu can develop when an individual begins the keto weight loss plan.

Any weight loss plan that entails ketosis may cause hostile results, resembling keto breath, keto pores and skin rashes, and keto flu. Staying in a state of ketosis for lengthy durations may be dangerous.

Additionally, folks following both weight loss plan can develop nutrient deficiencies as a result of meals restrictions. For many individuals, carbohydrate sources are additionally key sources of fiber. When lowering carbohydrates, folks ought to be sure you get sufficient day by day fiber from different sources, resembling greens.

As well as, these diets might enhance the chance of deficiencies in electrolytes and plenty of water-soluble vitamins that come from vegatables and fruits.

Lastly, ketosis might assist burn fats, however it could additionally burn muscle to make use of for vitality. Following a really low carb weight loss plan may end up in a lack of muscle mass.


There are various similarities to the keto and Atkins diets. Each require a major discount in energy from carbohydrates and encourage an individual to get their energy from fat.

The keto weight loss plan places higher restrictions on the supply of energy. The Atkins weight loss plan begins very restrictive however turns into much less so over time, permitting an individual to eat a higher number of meals.

Restrictive diets might assist with brief time period weight reduction or health objectives, however they will not be as healthful in the long run as different choices.

Seek the advice of a healthcare supplier earlier than making any main dietary change. That is particularly essential for folks with persistent well being situations, resembling coronary heart illness, diabetes, or hypertension.

When following any weight loss plan that eliminates meals teams, make sure that to keep away from deficiencies by assembly day by day nutrient wants in different methods.

As soon as an individual reaches their goal weight objectives, it could be a good suggestion to modify to a much less restrictive weight loss plan that includes quite a lot of nutrient-rich meals. Getting the correct amount of day by day bodily exercise also can assist with sustaining a healthful weight.