Atkins vs Keto: Which One Is Right For You?


Atkins vs Keto - Low Carb Lifestyle

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Atkins. The opinions and text are all mine. This is a HOT topic and one I’ve been wanting to address publicly (and more specifically) for awhile now…

Atkins vs Keto – My Experience (and Confusion!)

There is so much confusion about what Atkins is and is not, as well as what Keto is – and is not. As someone “straddling the line” with a foot in both camps I volunteered to work with Atkins to clear up the confusion.

I’m the ideal person to host this open discussion because I’m pretty neutral on the topic and don’t lean strong one way or the other (Atkins vs Keto).

While I am an Atkins Influencer, I am also an enthusiastic Keto supporter and am living a ketogenic low carb lifestyle long-term myself.

Let me explain…

Over and over I hear people say things like, “I did great on Atkins years ago, but I’m really struggling with Keto.” That has always perplexed me because I actually started on Atkins Phase One (now called Atkins 20) which IS a ketogenic low carb lifestyle.

They’ve always been one and the same in my mind.

I started with Atkins, but have stayed in ketosis, so I’ve never fully understood the distinction others seemed to see between these two “diets” or lifestyle types.

Until more recently, that is…

I’ve mentioned before that I started with the original Atkins book, 1972 version.

First Atkins Book by Dr. Atkins in 1972

And yes, I use Atkins Bars and Atkins Frozen Dinners from time to time as part of my active low carb lifestyle, along with other keto friendly low carb convenience foods. I explained that in detail in my recent post about staying on track on the go.

While Atkins offers a variety of convenience products to make it easier to stay on track, those are completely optional and not required.

They also offer detailed lists of low carb whole foods and over 1,600 recipes and menu plans, as well as shopping lists.

The Atkins bars and other convenience foods don’t knock me out of ketosis or affect my weight loss. I actually test any products I try with a blood glucose & ketone meter to see if they spike my blood sugar or affect my ketone levels – because maintaining nutritional ketosis is key for me in managing chronic back pain and inflammatory arthritis, even after reaching my goal weight.

So, if you’re wondering if an Atkins bar is keto friendly, the answer is YES – they are for me. The only REAL way to know is to test for yourself.

As you can see from this excerpt of the Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution book (originally printed in 1972) he was very much an advocate for achieving a state of nutritional ketosis by limiting carbohydrates.

Is Atkins Keto
(click to view it larger)

Dr. Atkins was enthusiastic about the power of ketones and ketosis. His book and diet program focused on reducing carbs to achieve a state of ketosis for easier fat burning and weight loss.

This is where MY confusion about the differentiation has always stemmed from.

More recently though, the “keto” concept has gone mainstream and (in my personal opinion) has grown way out of control.

What used to be simply a term for a metabolic state is now a fast-growing and turbulent community with strong characteristics of elitism.

There are more and more keto fanatics and extremists emerging every day with hard and fast (new) rules and ZERO flexibility, with a somewhat hostile attitude toward anyone or anything else.

I personally find that exhausting, but more importantly: it’s scary. There are people out there recommending things I WOULD NOT and with no real credentials or long-term experience. It concerns me to see people blindly following health advice that may or may not be right for them – or right at all.

There is also a lot of new science emerging and some amazing clinical studies going on right now, all of which are of great interest to me!

I attended the Metabolic Health Summit and KetoCon events this year and am definitely keeping my eye on those who are immersed in the science of health and sharing real results from in-depth research & studies.

That said, I’m seeing some of the most respected leaders in the keto community share more and more extreme views lately. And some of those are VERY extreme.

There’s also talk of electrolytes (as a product) which I’ve never taken in over 8 years of being in ketosis, or as part of my healthy low carb lifestyle. I do get plenty of sodium, and might sip on chicken broth to increase my sodium & electrolytes if I’m feeling bad, but anymore… electrolytes is all you hear about! 🤷‍♀️

Another term you’ve likely heard lately is “antinutrients.” Many people are all of a sudden claiming all “plant matter” (i.e. vegetables) WILL KILL YOU (in the more extremist views) or in other cases, that vegetables simply are not good for you.

It’s not a new term by the way.

At one time (over 100 years ago), scientists thought fiber was an antinutrient and created technology to remove it from foods. It is now considered beneficial, playing an important role in human health.

My point is not about what is right or what is wrong, it’s simply that:

Science is not necessarily about hard facts. New evidence is constantly emerging, new studies are being performed, views change as more things are learned or as things are studied for longer periods of time.

As for antinutrients, yes – it’s a buzz word right now. The research behind it seems very thin to me. It’s something I’m watching with interest, but not something I’m at all concerned about.

Unless my doctor runs tests and tells me I have a specific mineral deficiency, or an allergy perhaps, I’m not going to eliminate entire food groups out of some unfounded fear.

Worse than that is the “food guilt” being dished out in keto communities.

There are certain ingredients that are bad for me, but are fine for you – or someone else.

Chicory Root Fiber is a good example, found in many keto products and claiming lots of health benefits. Unfortunately, it makes me incredibly ill. Immediately after eating it I experience bloating and feel incredibly lethargic, to the point of needing to lie down. Others can eat it without any side effects.

Let’s take a more common food though, such as a carrot. If you post a picture of your dinner with a shred of carrot on your plate, people in keto groups will shout, “that’s not keto!”

Is that true, though?

Low Carb Restaurant Meal - Delmonico Ribeye w/Roasted Vegetables

One half cup of raw carrots (64 grams) is 4.33 net carbs. A cup of raw broccoli (91 grams) is 3.64 net carbs. (*source) Yes, carrots are a starchy vegetable and contain more natural sugar than broccoli. Both are also whole foods with great nutrients.

If you can eat a reasonable serving of carrots and maintain nutritional ketosis without any adverse side effects (i.e. bloating, inflammation, cravings) that’s totally fine in my book.

I didn’t reintroduce things like carrots or berries into my food list until I was in ketosis, and in control of my eating habits. Now I find I can enjoy them in moderation, which I love!

That’s also what I love about Atkins and their system of phases, which allows you to expand your options with healthy whole foods, in line with your individual carb tolerance and overall bio-individuality.

My advice: don’t jump on any bandwagons or “keto fads” just because someone you follow is shouting from the rooftops about it. And don’t start or stop something out of guilt or shame.

Learn your body, your bio-individuality, do your own testing & tweaking, and find what works best for you.

Unlike the current state of the keto community, or the more extremist facets of that group, that has always been the consistent message behind Atkins.

They teach you to “flip your body’s metabolic switch” to burn fat instead of carbs, change your eating habits in a way that controls your cravings, and improve your overall health – while enjoying the widest range of healthy, whole foods in an easily sustainable low carb lifestyle.

My Atkins/Keto Success Story: How I Got Started

I started more than 8 years ago in the same way that I recommend to anyone else just getting started: eat 20 net carbs max per day (Total Carbohydrates – Fiber – Sugar Alcohols = Net Carbs) and enjoy plenty of healthy fats.

I used the Atkins Phase One Food List to figure out what I could eat to stay within that range, and also started reading labels to add to that list.

I didn’t do a super strict Induction Phase, I simply scaled down to 20 net carbs max and ate anytime I was hungry, and did not eat when I wasn’t hungry.

That became very easy within a few days as my body got into ketosis, which is a natural appetite suppressant.

This is why I always recommend to just commit to five days when you first start. Simply limit your carbs to 20 net carbs max for five straight days. After that, it becomes EASY!

My Ongoing Weight Loss Story: What I’m Doing Now…

Eating this way for more than 8 years allowed me to break bad food habits, overcome eating disorders and form a much healthier relationship with food – and with myself.

That took time of course, but I put in that time and saw it through.

For most of those years I continued to keep it that simple: 20 net carbs max, and about 70% fat. I saw great results. Not only did I lose almost 70 pounds, and get motivated to start exercising and building lean muscle, I also got out of chronic pain from a back injury and started enjoying a more FUN and active lifestyle.

Most important to me personally though was what I learned about the nutrition value of various foods, and what I learned about my body. The little things I noticed piqued my interest – and my curiosity. It made me more aware, and better able to listen to my body for cues and signals.

That was incredibly helpful while dealing with my recent gut health issues, because I was able to strategically test potential solutions and FEEL the results as I worked toward recovery.

I’m currently using MCT oil and collagen powder, and frequently test my blood glucose and ketone levels. Those are all new things for me though, and not something I did starting out – or recommend to someone when they first start.

The key is to simply change your way of eating in the beginning, and work on making better choices and overall health improvement. As you get further along in your own journey, you can start testing & experimenting with confidence.

But in the beginning I highly recommend you JUST focus on making good choices and sticking to 20 net carbs consistently as you retrain your body and brain.

I’m currently experimenting with “phasing up” by testing higher carb vegetables from the Atkins40 Food List. I’m at a point in my journey where I can safely test higher carb whole foods like sweet potatoes, carrots and even corn in moderation.

I’m testing and monitoring of course, and find it interesting (and exciting!) that a serving of those foods on occasion doesn’t knock me out of ketosis or spike my blood sugar.

After more than 8 years of eating 20 net carbs per day, it’s nice to expand my food choices to include even more whole food variety. Being able to add in things like root vegetables, or even low glycemic fruits is VERY exciting!

The goal is to enjoy the widest variety of delicious, healthy foods while still maintaining nutritional ketosis to manage my chronic pain.

I was inspired to test this after my discussion with Mr. Mojo on the topic of bio-individuality, and my knowledge of Atkins method of “phasing up” to find your own personal limits.

This is one of the things I personally like about the Atkins program. It allows you to customize a lifestyle plan that suits you specifically. You will not find much tolerance for a carrot or a sweet potato in most keto communities. 😉

And that’s okay. Just don’t show a picture of it or talk about it!

Even in my own low carb challenge group I don’t discuss or encourage starchy vegetables, simply because most people are newer to eating low carb and it causes a lot of confusion.

My group is a challenge, specifically designed to help people transition into a healthier lifestyle with a 90 day commitment to “Phase One” (Atkins20) or a VERY low carb diet.

Atkins vs Keto: The Main Differences

Like I said earlier, I never saw much of a difference personally because I used the Atkins food lists to get started, read the articles in the Atkins Science Library to learn more, and have also consistently stayed in ketosis.

But lately there is more “keto chatter” and some of it is causing a lot of confusion and serious conflict, and it’s only getting more and more extreme.

A lot of that REALLY concerns me. Especially when I see people fasting for extended periods (going without food) without medical supervision, feeding their eating disorders with opposite extremes, showing early symptoms of water intoxication, using certain supplements/products, and bordering on obsessive compulsive eating habits.

The main differences between Keto and Atkins (from my perspective) are:

  • Keto feels confusing.
  • Atkins is a simple, proven plan.
  • Keto is disjointed with a variety of definitions and personal preferences.
  • Atkins is a simple, proven plan.
  • People tend to “preach keto” as being very strict and very restrictive, regardless of your individual needs or goals.
  • Atkins encourages flexibility and gradually expands your range of whole foods based on your bio-individuality.

Note: On Atkins you start out with an Induction Phase which will put you in ketosis, and retrain your mind and body to crave less sugar and adopt healthier eating habits. The goal is a long-term healthy lifestyle though, so they encourage you to add foods back in and find your own personal carb tolerance level. In contrast, with “keto” you’ll find many people eliminating more and more food groups as they go.

  • Keto has become more restrictive over time in some circles, going from very low carb, to fasting and zero carb.
  • Atkins trains you to burn fat and lose weight, and becomes less restrictive over time as you gain control over your habits and your health.
  • Keto is a free-for-all with no real “getting started plan.”
  • Atkins is a free structured program with food lists, meal plans and community support.
  • Most of the keto information around the web is based on personal preferences and short-term experiences.
  • Atkins information is based on an extensive body of scientific research spanning decades.
  • Keto communities generally have a low to zero tolerance mindset when it comes to adding in new foods or testing new things that might work for you.
  • Atkins encourages you to explore your carb limits and expand your range of whole foods, and listen to your body to discover the best maintenance program for you to enjoy a healthy long-term low carb lifestyle.
  • Keto people can be adamant, mean, harsh, condescending and intolerant of any ideology other than their own – regardless of your unique needs or circumstances. 😳
  • Atkins allows you to choose your starting point, and encourages you to test and try things for yourself with an if/then approach so you can see success based on what your body responds to best.
  • The science behind low carb has been proven by over 80 clinical studies.
  • Most “keto plans” floating around the web have zero clinical studies to back them up.
  • Atkins history of success dates back to 1963.
  • The history of success with any one “keto” update you read might date back three days or three months.
  • Keto enthusiasts are quick to say, “that’s not keto!” and ban foods and ingredients – and people that discuss them.
  • Atkins encourages you to test for yourself, and find a balance that includes the widest variety of healthy foods you can enjoy while maintaining your weight loss.

These points may or may not be your experience, but that has been my perspective from reading updates daily around the web in various keto and low carb communities. Even more so in the last year or so with “keto” going mainstream like it has.

One other point I’d really like to stress is this…

I see people jumping all over something like a “beef & butter fast” when one person posts how much weight they lost, such as “8.7 pounds lost in 5 days!” Dozens, or even hundreds, of people comment and start doing the same without noting the fact that the original poster went on a carb binge prior to that restricted diet, and may or may not have lost the same amount of weight in that time just eating 20 carbs max/day with a wider variety of foods.

That’s just one example, but I’m sure you’ve experienced substantial weight loss after being off plan or carb-loading, then getting back into ketosis.

There’s no magic to a special kind of fast or food-restriction diet.

It’s simply the power of ketosis, which you can achieve without doing anything extreme.

It’s not ideal (in my opinion) to “punish yourself” with mono-meals or strict restrictions in order to get back on track. Simply… get back on track.

Atkins or Keto? Finding What Works Best For YOU

At this point you’re either mad at me or annoyed with me, putting some thoughtful consideration into things, or you’re downright confused. 🙂

My advice is to learn as much as you can, but more importantly: learn as much as you can about your own body. This is exactly what Atkins encourages, and why I like their outline for creating a healthier lifestyle.

You can easily take away wonderful life-improving ideas and inspiration from both the Atkins community and keto communities, and simply apply what you please and ignore the rest. Essentially creating your own plan through trial and error.

If you’re new to a low carb lifestyle, or just now want to start losing weight on a ketogenic low carb diet, the Atkins program provides a lot of resources and structure that you may find very beneficial.

If you have been living low carb for a long time, you may benefit from exploring the phases of Atkins to expand your whole food choices and enjoy a wider variety of low carb foods while still maintaining ketosis and/or weight loss.

That’s exactly what I’m doing myself.

Does the way you eat (or your diet) even NEED a label?

Your diet does not need a label. You don’t need to be classified in a “social food group” such as strict keto, just low carb, lazy keto, dirty keto, paleo, carnivore, etc.

You simply need to find what works for you, for your specific health needs and desired results, and eat in a way that provides you with the widest range of nutrition and health benefits.

If you want a structured program with food lists and a history of long-term success, Atkins provides exactly that. They also help you choose a maintenance plan where you find that “sweet spot” to easily sustain a low carb lifestyle long term while maintaining your weight loss and improved health.

You are unique, and you don’t need to pigeonhole yourself into a rigid or exclusive class or definition.

My own body has changed over time. Especially after overcoming eating disorders, improving my health and changing so many facets of my lifestyle as a result.

You may discover that too, and over time you may need or want more flexibility in your way of eating or in your food choices. Atkins encourages that flexibility and personal testing, where keto does not.

I’m personally ENJOYING the ability to incorporate a wider range of whole foods, and testing to discover my own personal carb tolerance – and the limits within which I can maintain optimal health as well as my weight loss.

It’s so liberating! Total DIET FREEDOM. 🙂

Keto vs Ketosis

The concept of “keto” can be very restrictive, to the point of giving people anxiety if they go over their carb limit by eating green vegetables.

Keto is simply short for ketosis, which is a metabolic state – not to be confused with “a diet” or any certain macros someone else calculates for you. Achieving ketosis may look different for different people, in terms of macros.

When you’re just starting out, it’s best to restrict your carbohydrates to 20 net carbs per day with plenty of healthy fats. As you go, you can experiment yourself to find your carb tolerance and pinpoint the macros that allow you to stay in ketosis, based on your bio-individuality.

The bottom line is: a little extra raw baby spinach or another serving of broccoli is probably NOT going to knock you out of ketosis or affect your weight loss. 😉

Find what’s both sustainable AND enjoyable for you, that allows you to stay in ketosis without feeling deprived.

That’s the key, listening to and learning your own body. 😉

Even if you don’t need to stay in nutritional ketosis for health reasons, you can simply test and explore your limits to maintain your weight loss long term.

If your weight loss stalls, then you just scale back or tweak & adjust until you find your sweet spot.

My hope is that this post helps you figure out what’s best for you personally, or at least opens your mind to fresh options.

For the most part I find our keto community to be supportive, uplifting, positive and encouraging.

But there’s also a lot of dogmatic preaching, sensationalism, extremist and elitist views… and food guilt being dished out. Unnecessarily in my opinion.

You always have a safe place here with me for open discussions with no judgements…

But if you’re looking for a program you can follow, backed by science, with food lists and menu plans and structure, Atkins may be exactly what you’re looking for to achieve your weight loss goals – and a healthy low carb lifestyle you can sustain long-term like I have.

Like I said, I started with Atkins myself. I am also very enthusiastic about the ketogenic low carb diet, and what “keto” has meant for my life specifically, plus all the ways people can benefit from it.

To me they are still one and the same.

Atkins introduced me to the keto life I live, and gave me the tools to turn what started as a “diet” into an easily sustainable lifestyle.

I personally think it would help to remove labels altogether, and simply use all the resources you have available to create a healthier YOU.

Thoughts or Questions?

I would love to hear your experience, thoughts, and any questions you have about Atkins or Keto – or about starting or maintaining a ketogenic and/or low carb lifestyle.

Lynn Terry,
aka @LowCarbTraveler

p.s. Atkins offers a free online community and resource center at with more than 1,600 recipes and menu plans, as well as shopping lists for each phase of the plan.

Community Members get all the resources and support to complete the diet online for FREE. Other diets can cost upwards of $30 per month. Once you register, a quick-start kit is available for FREE at to give you all the information you need to get started.

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About Lynn Terry

I love making the low carb diet EASY for people with a busy lifestyle (like me!) with my KISS / Keep It Simple method. :) About Lynn Terry: Host of the Low Carb Challenge
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35 Responses to Atkins vs Keto: Which One Is Right For You?

  1. Cheryl says:

    Hey Lynn …. I started with Atkins as well. What I found was that I stalled at a certain point on Atkins every time. I finally realized that uping my fat consumption helped. Hence … Keto!!! I am “lazy” keto … don’t track my fat % but have definitely increased it and decreased my protein intake. I find Atkins to be the best starting point for everyone. It seems that when people hear the word “Atkins” or “Keto” they think we spend every day eating bacon and red meat for all 3 meals. So untrue!!! Really loved this topic and I think that it really needed to be said. Thanks!!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Cheryl!

      I had the same experience the first year I went low carb. I wasn’t tracking macros at the time, just doing 20 net carbs max and plenty of healthy fats.

      The first summer though my weight totally stalled out and I couldn’t figure out why – – until I realized I was (accidentally) eating too lean! That’s where tracking can really come in handy, because the increased fats are important for both energy AND weight loss.

      Atkins has always been about eating plenty of fats by the way. Dr. Atkins was big on the power of ketones and ketosis, and how eating healthy fats made your body burn fat – in ketosis.

      As for protein, I find the key is keeping it at around 25% max of my total daily calories. Lately I’ve increased my daily protein (in grams) by double, while still keeping it at 25% or less. Just playing with different macros, specifically upping protein to help after some issues with my hair. 😉

  2. Lin says:

    Lynn – This was a great read. I too started with Atkins. It seemed far less complicated than all the other things I would come across when researching keto. Counting 20 net carbs a day was far simpler than trying to figure out my daily macros. I still don’t do macros, as it causes me far too much stress figuring it out. Thank you for writing and sharing this!!!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Lin! I didn’t track the first year or so either, not until I started experiencing some issues (weight loss stalls, etc) and wanted to figure out the culprit. That’s where tracking can really come in handy!

      That said I keep my macro tracking VERY simple: 20 net carbs max, 70% fat minimum – and ignore everything else. 😉 It’s worked out great for me, and it’s easy!

  3. Anita says:

    I really enjoyed reading this! I’ve been Atkins/Keto since 2002! I don’t like diet labels. It was so much easier just eating “low carb” and real foods than it is now to eat “keto” and you’re right it’s a metabolic state and shouldn’t be co soldered a diet. Wish it was simple again for people.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Diet Labels are totally out of control lately. 😛 It’s become such a point of division among people, which is sad and unfortunate.

      It’s still easy to just eat low carb and be/stay in ketosis. It’s the TALK about it all that’s gotten complicated… VERY complicated, lol.

  4. Shelia says:

    Hi Lynn. I totally agree. Lo carb 2 years but never felt good. Went keto 2 years ago and love it. I don’t deviate much but don’t track macros either. Works for me. But I do worry when people see all these “keto” products but never read the ingredients. Then blame keto when it doesn’t work.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Ingredients are important. 😉 So what were the main differences for you between low carb and keto? Like I said in my post, I’ve seen them as one and the same – I eat low carb enough to maintain nutritional ketosis though.

  5. Shannan says:

    Thank you for your honest opinions. I’ve read this whole article and agree with you completely. There’s crazy people out there confusing everyone about what to do and what not to do. I admit I have followed some of these crazy ideas. Desperate I suppose. But you make a lot of sense and I thank you for that. I thank you for taking the time to write this.


    • Lynn Terry says:

      I think that’s the allure – quick results, preying on people desperate for fast solutions. When in reality it’s a lifestyle change. So it’s unhealthy in my opinion to jump on some of these crazy fads just to see results… when all you really have to do is work towards a healthier lifestyle and also a healthier mindset.

      The latter being SO important, and I feel the current “keto culture” doesn’t advocate a healthy mindset, but rather one of obsessive compulsive desperation. As a generalization of course, because there are some great health advocates out there as well!

      But that’s the thing that concerns me the most. It’s definitely a lifestyle, and easily sustainable – no expensive products or crazy gimmicks required. 😉

  6. Birdie Rinella says:

    Thank you for writing this. I have had the Keto extremes preached at me and kept thinking “this can’t be right.” It was very depressing. I absolutely could not stay with Keto in the way it was being presented. I was wondering where those super humans were. You have made me feel like I’m ok again!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      You ARE okay! 🙂

      That really bothers me because I see that as well. It’s all very discouraging, and makes people feel defeated.

      When I first got started and people came at me with all that… it would send me off in a tailspin of a binge, totally off the rails.

      You just DO NOT treat people that way that already have emotional eating disorders or an unhealthy mindset – that are actively TRYING to get on the right track. It’s like provoking an alcoholic. 😛

      Nothing about being healthier and happier should be so extreme, or require such extreme measures. It’s a daily practice of love and kindness and forgiveness. I do wish the keto community (as a whole) practiced those things as well.

  7. Lorraine T. Carr says:

    Lynn, I was glad to hear you say they are one and the same. I feel that way too. I started out with Atkins. It taught me low carb. I use Atkins bars and protein drinks. I also followe keto because I still don’t see much difference. I try to keep to under 20 carbs. I eat lots of lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and green beans. No starchy veggies. I enjoy all your posts, especially when you try new products. I enjoy your breakfast of cottage cheese, berries and nuts. Thanks for all your inspiration

  8. Holly says:

    Thanks for the interesting article! My biggest confusion with Keto…is what to eat to achieve such a high fat percentage without overeating protein…I do get low carb but I don’t get high fat…have to admit I’m not an avocado fan! Could you please shed some light on my dilemma? Would greatly appreciate it if you could advise me!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Hi Holly! Fat is the hard macro for a lot of people, so you’re not alone. 😉 And I didn’t like or eat avocado in the beginning either.

      Simply incorporate more fatty proteins into your diet, and less lean proteins. So salmon instead of whitefish, chicken wings or thighs instead of chicken breast, fatty ribeye instead of leaner steak cuts, hamburger is good – meatballs, hamburger steak, bunless burgers, etc.

      Other healthy fats eat often are cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, pecans, almond butter, macadamia nuts, butter, olive oil & avocado oil to cook with too, low carb salad dressings (ranch or caesar are my favorites), cream cheese, etc.

      I find it doesn’t matter if I eat “high protein” in number of grams, but I do keep it at 25% max of my total daily calories. So I don’t actually eat LOW protein by any means.

  9. Kittie says:

    Hi Lynn,
    I started Atkins in 1972 (yes I’ve been at this a long time). When it first started people were sure you would die without pop tarts and candy bars. To me Atkins is the starting place, more information. I guess I do keto now. There is very little difference. Dr Atkins was a heart specialist. He knew what helped his patients. The OMAD or eating 1 meal a day is the buzz now. But, actually it’s just forgetting to eat breakfast. The long fasts can be good if you have studied and know what you’re doing. I follow you because you are honest and open.
    Thank you for that.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you, Kittie. 🙂 I do love our open discussions here! I had to “lol” at: people were sure you would die without pop tarts and candy bars – haha. It’s FUNNY how people worry about cholesterol and such on Atkins/Keto… but never say a word about eating burgers & fries or fried catfish plates every other meal. 😛 lol

      I’m big on being mindful and listening to my body now, so I eat when I’m hungry and don’t when I’m not. Sometimes that is ONE meal a day, but I refuse to make eating something strict or restricted in my life.

  10. Kit says:

    Great post! Been a fan of Atkins for years and it’s what has always worked for me. As I have gotten older I have been lazy and need to jump back in. One of my favorite new bars is by the Rewind Company. They have 2 delicious low carb healthy bars – a chocolate coconut and a strawberry almond butter. Coffee and a breakfast bar work for me many mornings.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I’ll have to look those up, I haven’t heard of them. I just recently tried the new wafer bars by Atkins and I really like the peanut butter wafer bar with coffee for an easy morning. 🙂

  11. Marrla Moor says:

    Love, love love your post. How right you are about the keto community at large with the myriad of opinions. I am down 36 pounds and eat all the “healthy” greens but have carrot now and then. Atkins frozen breakfast meals are truly great when a morning is rushed and I don’t have time to wash pans. Thank you for all you do. Warm regards, Marrla

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Congrats on your weight los, Marrla – and for taking control of your health & goals! I do love the Atkins frozen meal options, those are SO great to keep in the freezer anytime you don’t have anything else prepared and just need a quick meal. 😉 The crustless chicken pot pie is on of my favorites to keep on hand.

  12. Wendy Barlow says:

    Great topic, lots of questions by folk and myself wanting to know the difference and you have answered perfectly. I have been doing the Keto diet for 6days I picked up the New Atkins book and have used both to adapt my eating habits. I jumped on the scales this morning half expecting to have lost a lb or two, to my utter surprise I’ve lost 8lb. I have been so focused but didn’t expect to loose that amount am sure it’s not just fat, but hey i’m so happy with that. I find your page so inspiring and helpful I am following your advice of 20 carbs a day and it looks like it’s working.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      That’s great, Wendy! You definitely lose a lot of water and inflammation in the first week or so, because it’s a diuretic process of detoxing and getting into ketosis. But your body is also in fat burning mode.

      You’ll notice a brief “hold” during the second and/or third week. This is just your body adjusting to losing so much weight so fast – it’s totally normal. The key is to just ignore that, and continue doing what’s obviously working so well. 😉

  13. Brenda says:

    Lynn, I loved your article on Keto vs Atkins. I also started low carb with the Atkins diet. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with fasting and don’t get it. If you don’t eat, you will lose weight on any diet. I have not been very successful and was beating myself up because of it. Glad I came across your article. I am going back to listen to my body more and enjoy eating low carb again. I LOVE EATING. Thanks.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I love eating too. 🙂 I also do NOT like going hungry, because that feels like punishment or deprivation… which feeds into my old eating disorders and makes me want to binge eat in retaliation. :p

      Fasting also feels like a point of control, and being obsessive or controlling about food is also something I don’t want. It feeds into those feelings of defeat or punishment/reward too, which is just not a healthy mindset – for me.

      Eating a ketogenic low carb diet works SO well that there’s really no need to ever go hungry or ever do anything extreme. 😉

  14. wendy g says:

    Wow Lynn that was great, I can’t even address every single point that resonates with me. I had that Atkins book in 1972 and I never felt much restriction, but instead became a sensible eater even though we had to stop our Italian Sunday Pasta and gravy suppers! Thank goodness we did it all together, my sisters and I were in high school and my mom was a great example for us, plus she did all the shopping and cooking.. it wasn’t very much like today when kids go into the cabinets and eat whatever, whenever they like. Our house wasn’t that way so sticking to my mom’s regimen was easy and after the first week of the cabbage and cloud breads, we did great! Weight loss WAS dramatic, simple, and we never bought products or felt weird, we just ate food! Anyway, the keto community IS kinda snarky and elitist, everyone thinks they will lose 100 lbs in 2 months, and honestly.. the thing that turns me right off is when people join the list without doing any research on their own, or even attempting to understand what they’re signing on to commit to, and their first comment is usually “me and my husband are starting keto on monday, tell me what we can eat! OH my gosh.. that they ASK that and then the things people TELL THEM. Thank you for this Lynn, I wish YOU had a rooftop high enough that people could all hear your sense. I for one began have reaped awesome health benefits re inflammation/Lupus flares and have lost 65 lbs in 4 years. Most likely not enough for those in a rush or a bandwagon. People don’t like to be told that it’s commitment and effort (cook easy food), they’re looking for an easy way out of their pain and suffering. I have compassion and am sorry for them because they just need to know THIS. I send people to your facebook first whenever they say they’re thinking about “going keto” UGH It’s friendly and easy and the best way to start, it’s what I did!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      Thank you so much, Wendy. 🙂 And congrats on your healthy lifestyle change and amazing results!!

      That’s definitely what it’s all about… a healthy lifestyle shift. And in the end I can say, the weight loss was the EASY part, and also: it was originally the goal, but ultimately it was just a really great perk to all the other wonderful ways my life changed. 🙂

  15. GAYE MILLER says:

    I started with Atkins 3years ago. I usually tell people I eat Low Carb, if they ask. It’s the best way of eating for me. I don’t worry with the macros. I tried for a while, but It was too stressful for me. As for all the LC/Keto/Atkins bloggers, I only follow you, Lynn. You have been a huge influence and inspiration on my LC way of eating. I truly appreciate all you do.

    • Lynn Terry says:

      I didn’t track macronutrients in the beginning either, not for the first year or two at least, and not until I started experiencing problems and wanted to figure out the culprit(s).

      Now it’s second nature for me, I track as I go. And I found it really makes me mindful of what I eat… and helps me make healthier choices. Something about logging it holds me to a higher standard. 😉 I like that.

  16. Amber Faustino says:

    I LOVE everything you have said! I have been following you for about 3 years now (doing keto strict FINALLY since february 2019), and I always recommend your webpage to people wanting to start keto. You keep it REAL, SIMPLE, and aren’t pushing products on people. Thank you for this!! I wish more people would read this and stick to it. I am so tired of seeing these people pushing unnecessary keto products or things just to make a buck. It’s scary!!

    • Lynn Terry says:

      It IS scary, and some of it truly concerns me. Especially the exogenous ketones… eek!

      Thank you so much for your feedback, Amber – and for recommending my work to others. 🙂 xo

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