is atkins or keto better for weight loss

Atkins vs. Keto: What Works Better in 2019?

When it comes to weight loss, the Atkins and Ketogenic diets [1] are two of the biggest names in the industry. Atkins rose to popularity back in the late 90s, while keto is the current flavor of the month.

Either way, both diets work great for weight loss, but which one is going to work best for you?

In this keto vs Atkins breakdown, we’ll give you a full breakdown of both diet plans, so you can decide which one you want to try.

I’ve personally tried both diets, and each one brings its own set of pros and cons, but know this – if you’re looking for a way to lose weight fast, you honestly can’t go wrong with either. They both work great!

It’s important to note, that both programs may require some pretty dramatic changes to your diet, so you should check with your doctor before starting either plan, to make sure you’re healthy enough for it.

With that said, let’s dig in to the Atkins and keto diet plans.

1. Atkins

atkins meal kit and guides

The Atkins Diet has evolved over the years, and now includes several different options and plans to choose from.

While it was considered by many to be a fad diet at one point, I respectively disagree with this classification.

It’s actually a plan that can be followed for life, and I use the Atkins shakes and bars almost every day either as a snack, or meal replacement.

While I don’t strictly adhere to the Atkins program, it’s still a big part of my low-carb approach to eating, and the snacks and shakes they offer, are a great way to help manage your weight.

On top of that, it would be easy to stick to their full plan, if you really wanted to, so I’d say Atkins is a plan that can be used for life, for those who want to.

How Atkins Works

atkins diet shakes

When you adopt the Atkins diet, you’ll have three main plans to choose from:

  • Atkins 20
  • Atkins 40
  • Atkins 100

We go into much more detail about the full diet plan in our Atkins review, so check that out if you’re looking for a longer read about the diet.

Here’s a very quick overview, though:

Each number represents your net carbs for the days. So, if you’re on Atkins 20, you’ll stick to 20 net carbs per day. Atkins 40, and you’ll be eating 40 net carbs for the day. Pretty simple, right?

Atkins 20 is going to be the closest plan to the ketogenic diet, as most keto plans call for 20 to 30 net carbs per day.

According to Atkins, here’s who should consider each of their programs:

Atkins 20

  • Best for Folks with More than 40 LBS to Lose
  • Waist is Larger Than 35 inches for women, and 40 inches for men
  • You’re considered pre-diabetic or diabetic (obviously consult your doctor here)
  • Their Closest Plan to the Keto Diet

Atkins 40

  • Less Than 40 LBS to Lose
  • Want a Wider Variety of Foods
  • You’re Currently Breastfeeding, and Want to Lose Weight Slowly
  • You’re considered pre-diabetic or diabetic (obviously consult your doctor here)

Atkins 100

  • Want to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
  • Want to Maintain Current Weight
  • Want an Even Larger Variety of Foods
  • You’re Currently Breastfeeding, and Want to Lose Weight Slowly
  • You’re Pregnant

Again, it goes without saying, but if you’re pregnant and/or nursing, are diabetic or pre-diabetic, you definitely want to consult with your doctor before trying any of the Atkins plans or keto.

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What Makes Atkins Different Than Keto?

the atkins process

Atkins offers a very easy, clear-cut plan to follow.

Here’s the thing about the Atkins diet and keto: They’re very similar in many ways.

their meal replacement bars

This is especially true if you go with the Atkins 20 diet plan. In fact, in a lot of ways Atkins 20 could be considered to be a keto clone.

Both diet options are going to be low-carb, high-fat approaches to weight loss.

I guess the big difference here, would be that you could easily fit the Atkins shakes, snacks, and foods into your diet, while following a very clearcut, easy-to-follow plan.

If you go keto, you’re often forced to comb forums like Reddit for recipe ideas, tips, and information about the plan.

Of course, there are plenty of keto books and programs out there, though, so if you’re looking for something to guide on your ketogenic journey, you can go with one of those options, or just use the Atkins approach to achieve pretty similar results.

According to the official Atkins website [2], though, here’s what makes Atkins and keto different:

  • On Keto 75 to 90% of Daily Calories Come from Fat
  • 5 to 20% Come from Protein
  • 5% Come from Carbs
  • This Large Swing in Percentages Can Make Keto Confusing to Follow
  • Atkins Offers a Structured, Clear-Cut Diet That Can Still Help You Get into Ketosis
  • You Eventually Get More Food Flexibility on Atkins as You Enter Maintenance Mode

Can You Get into Ketosis on Atkins?

The short answer is YES [3]. If you’re following the Atkins 20 diet, ketosis is more than doable, and they even say you can hit ketosis on Atkins 40.

2. Ketogenic Diet

an example of a keto meal

We’ve sort of detailed how keto works, above, but this it in a nutshell:

  • Around 20 Grams of Net Carbs per Day
  • 5 to 10% Carbs
  • 20 to 30% Proteins
  • 65-80% Fats

This ratio is a high-fat, moderate protein, low carb approach to weight loss. In addition the pounds you should drop, followers of the ketogenic diet also report a number of other benefits, including:

  • Better Mental Focus
  • More Energy
  • Can Help Manage Diabetes
  • Reduces Hunger Cravings
  • Can Help People with Seizures

Again, Atkins offers all of this as well, just in a program that is easier to follow, and offers a very clear blueprint to follow.

Which One Should You Pick?

When it comes time to decide between the ketogenic and Atkins diet, there are some things that will make your decision a bit easier.

Who Should Try Keto?

a woman thinking about which diet to try

If you’re the type of person, who can read about a program, is good at calculating net carbs, fats, protein, etc., then you may want to give keto a go.

It can be a pretty easy system to follow once you get the hang of it, and the keto community on Reddit and other places is super supportive, and a great way to get tips, find recipes, and connect with other dieters.

There are also some books you buy that will guide you on your keto journey, if you want a clearer plan to follow.

Who Should Try Atkins

Atkins 20 is pretty much just another version of the ketogenic diet, so this is a great option for folks who want to get into ketosis, want a very clear and proven plan to follow, and thing they’d enjoy the Atkins shakes, bars, and snacks.

Atkins also offers plans that allow you to add more foods to your diet, and can set you up for life after ketosis.

This was huge for me – I have tried keto and Atkins, and while I’m not officially on either diet right now, I still use the Atkins shakes and bars everyday to help me maintain my current weight.’

So, if you want to lose weight fast through ketosis by using an easy-to-follow plan, want less strict options eventually, and want to keep the weight for good, then I recommend checking out the Atkins diet plan!

They even offer meal delivery, which is a great way to get started on Atkins 20!

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Bottom Line

Both the Atkins and Keto Diet plans work great for folks who want to lose weight fast, want to control their hunger, and like the idea of a high-fat, low-carb approach to weight loss.

Each diet offers its own set of pros and cons, but since Atkins is basically an easier-t0-follow version of the ketogenic diet, we recommend starting with it if you’re the type of person who could use more guidance and help with their weight loss journey.

Either way, pick a program that is going to fit your needs and lifestyle, and get started!


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