The Atkins Diet doesn't require calorie counting or portion control. It does require you to track your carbs, though. It uses a system called net carbs, which is the total carbohydrate content of an item minus its fiber content. For example, a half-cup (4 ounces) of raw broccoli has 2.3 grams of total carbs and 1.3 grams of fiber, putting its net carb value at 1 gram.
Browse our collection of low carb recipes and no carb recipes for some inspiration on those days, weeks or months you find yourself looking to cut down. While we might not want to admit it to ourselves, it is possible to live without bread, potatoes and pasta – or, at least, enjoy a rich and varied diet with considerably less of them included in it.
Healthy fats & oils are back in too: Eating fat does not automatically clog the blood vessels in the way that poring oil down the drain will eventually block the drain. You make your own cholesterol and lipids and are more likely to increase your levels of the more damaging Very Low Density Lipoprotein (VLD), which is made in the liver when you eat a high carbohydrate diet.
And most weight-loss diets — not just low-carb diets — may improve blood cholesterol or blood sugar levels, at least temporarily. One study showed that people who followed the Atkins Diet had improved triglycerides, suggesting better heart health. But there have been no major studies to show whether such benefits hold up for the long term or increase how long you live.
Phase 2: Balancing. In this phase, you continue to eat a minimum of 12 to 15 grams of net carbs as foundation vegetables. You also continue to avoid foods with added sugar. You can slowly add back in some nutrient-rich carbs, such as more vegetables and berries, nuts, and seeds, as you continue to lose weight. You stay in this phase until you're about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) from your goal weight.
You should eat protein, such as fish and shellfish, poultry, meat, eggs, and cheese, at every meal. You don't need to restrict oils and fats, but you can't have most fruits, sugary baked goods, breads, pastas, grains, nuts or alcohol. You should drink eight glasses of water a day. You stay in this phase for at least two weeks, depending on your weight loss.
If you're a fan of Food for Life's Ezekiel bread, the Ezekiel 4:9 Flax Sprouted Whole Grain Bread is their lowest carb option, providing 14 grams of carbs and 4 grams of dietary fiber per slice (net carbs = 10 grams). Made from freshly sprouted organically grown grains, Ezekiel 4:9 is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and natural fiber with no added fat or sugar.
That said, you don’t have to jump in with both feet. Schmidt recommends trying to eat under 200 g of carbs a day initially (a moderate-carb diet) and then adjust lower based on how you feel. “If you start paying attention to the carbs in your diet, you’ll eat fewer processed foods,” she says. And it’s those whole foods that are the basis of good health.
Some keto recipes also ask for xanthan gum as it works perfectly in gluten-free bread recipes. It will make the dough more elastic, just like gluten does. However, beware that xanthan gum ma cause digestive issues so keep that in mind if you are considering it. If you want to use xanthan gum, simply skip the protein powder and use a teaspoon of xanthan gum instead.