Keto vs Atkins – What Are The Differences & Which One Is Better?

Keto vs Atkins - What Are The Differences & Which One Is Better?
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Atkins and Keto constitute two of the most well-known low-carb diets.

Both require a drastic reduction in high carbohydrate foods – including sweets, beverages with sugar, grains, breads, fruits, and legumes.

Although these diets are very similar, they are also different in some ways.

This article will compare the Keto and Atkins diets to give you a clear idea which diet will fit your lifestyle better.

The Atkins Diet

The Atkins diet has been one of the world’s best-known diets. It is a low carbohydrate, moderate protein, and high fat diet.

Although Atkins has diverged into a range of diet plans, the original version is by far the most popular one (Atkins 20). It is divided into four different phases dependent on your daily net carbohydrate allowance:

Phase 1
This phase allows from 20-25 g of net carbohydrates a day until your target weight is within 15 lbs.

Phase 2
During this stage, you will eat 25-50 g of net carbohydrates a day until you are 10 lbs from your target weight.

Phase 3
Your net carbohydrate allocation is increased to 50-80 g per day until you have achieved and retained your target weight for 4 weeks.

Phase 4
During the last phase, 80-100 g of net carbohydrates are consumed per day to maintain your weight.

As you move closer to your target weight, your daily carbohydrate allowance increases, enabling you to integrate a wider range of foods.

But even during the last phase, which permits up to 100 g net carbohydrates each day, you will still consume substantially less carbohydrate than what most people usually eat.

Most people eat approximately 50 percent of their daily calories from carbohydrates, which is around 250 g of carbohydrates if you consume 2,000 calories a day.

The Keto Diet

The Keto diet is a diet extremely low in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and high in fat.

It was used first to treat people who had history of seizures, but the scientists found that this could benefit other people as well.

The objective of the Keto diet is to put your metabolism into ketosis, where fat instead of carbohydrate is used as a source of energy.

In the event of ketosis, your body uses ketones, compounds that form in your food when fat is broken down.

Most individuals must restrict their total intake of carbohydrate to 20-50 grams per day to achieve ketosis. The macronutrient targets for the Keto diet typically include 5% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 75% fat.

Some people track their ketone production by urine, breath, or blood testing.

Similarities & Differences

Atkins and Keto share some similarities, but in some respects also vary greatly.


Because both diets are low in carbohydrates, Keto and Atkins are in some sense the same.

Phase 1 of the Atkins diet is actually pretty close to the Keto diet, since it reduces net carbohydrates to 25 grams a day. This will likely lead to ketosis and begin to burn fat as the main source of fuel in your body.

In addition, both diets can lead to the loss of weight by reducing the amount of calories you consume. Most carbs, especially chips, sweets, and sugary beverages, are calorie-rich and can make you gain in weight.

Keto and Atkins both demand that you eliminate the calorie-rich, carbohydrate rich foods that make the reduction of calories and weight easier.


Although Keto is a moderate protein diet, with approximately 20% of calories are from protein, the Atkins diet permits up to 30% of protein depending on the stage.

In addition, in Keto, you would need to keep your metabolism in ketosis by significantly restricting your carbohydrate consumption.

In contrast, the Atkins diet increases your carb consumption gradually and will ultimately eliminate ketosis out of your body.

Because of this versatile carbohydrate limit, Atkins offers a wider range of foods such as certain fruits and grains.

Overall, Atkins is a less strict diet, as ketones or certain macro nutrient targets do not need to be tracked to remain in ketosis.

Which Diet Is Better?

We know that both diets are beneficial and have setbacks. In research, however, the Keto diet results in greater weight loss and overall health benefits. Studies have found that Keto is safe in long-term as well, but Atkins does not have such studies.

The problem with Atkins, researchers believe, is its inconsistency with carbohydrates. This is why most people lose weight only in the Phase 1 of this diet. It is when the levels of blood sugar stabilize and the appetite falls. But once you begin to increase carbohydrates, the dieter will have a high risk of gaining weight. This is not necessarily applied for everyone, but the risk lies on an individual’s metabolic flexibility.

In comparison, the Keto diet is consistent with the intake of macro nutrients. It leads to prolonged ketosis and eventually to keto-adaptation. You are more likely to transform your body from a carbohydrate burner into a fat burner using the Keto diet. However, the diet is far harder to maintain. Not everyone who tried Keto feels that this diet fits for them, so Atkins could be a good replacement. You just need to make sure that your body does not get overloaded with carbohydrates in the final three phases of Atkins.

One more reason why Keto is better option than Atkins is that it offers extra benefits over and above weight loss. This diet promotes mental function, reverses diabetes, and sometimes even prevents the growth of cancer cells. The Keto diet does not just lose fat – it also has a strong impact on the functioning of your body.


It is hard to answer the question of Keto vs. Atkins. Both diets have their advantages and their disadvantages. Research shows that Keto in terms of efficiency is superior to Atkins. However, Keto is hard to stick to as well, so that Atkins is a viable alternative.

The effectiveness of Atkins also relies on your metabolic flexibility. If you’re fairly flexible metabolically, Atkins will help you maintain weight long-term. Atkins also provides additional allowance of carbs and offers a more wide range of food options, making it easier to follow.

Finally, it depends on your willingness to stick to low carbohydrate eating and metabolic flexibility to see whether you are to go for Keto or Atkins. Keto is great for efficiency, but others find it intolerable to live without carbohydrates. We recommend that you switch between diets and see what works for you.


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