Atkins vs Keto Diet

Answer – No, they’re not. While there are some similarities between Atkins and Keto, there are several important differences.

First, let me briefly explain a bit about Atkins:

The Atkins Diet actually has four phases – the Induction, Balancing, Fine-Tuning and Maintenance phases.

Followers of Atkins start with the Induction phase and gradually progress, over the course of several weeks, through the various phases until they reach the Maintenance phase.

The initial Induction phase typically lasts two weeks and is very low carbohydrate – usually less-than 20 carbs per day.

Then, as the Atkins Diet progresses, more carbohydrates are gradually added to the diet as the dieter nears their weight-loss goal. Once they achieve their target weight, Atkins allows the consumption of as many carbohydrates as the dieter wishes on the Maintenance phase (while still maintaining their weight).


Now, here are the main differences between Atkins and keto:

This Induction phase is when Atkins is most similar to keto. The low amount of carbohydrate consumption during that first phase is designed to cause the Atkins dieter to enter ketosis, which is also what the Keto Diet is designed to achieve.

However, Atkins allows, even encourages, the consumption of large amounts of protein during the Induction phase. (You’ve probably heard stories of Atkins dieters gorging themselves on massive amounts of steak and bacon.)

This difference in the amount of recommended protein consumption is one of the main differences between Atkins and keto.

The standard ketogenic diet is not a high-protein diet. It’s actually a high-fat, moderate-protein diet.

It’s recommended the keto dieter get about 75% of their calories from healthy fats, 5% from carbohydrates, leaving the remaining 20% for protein consumption.

So, while both groups – Atkins and keto – may be in ketosis, the balance of macro-nutrients they eat to get there are usually very, very different.

(Many who follow the keto diet believe that getting most of the day’s calories from healthy fats is one of the reasons for the diets claimed health benefits.)

Also, for those who are vegetarians or vegans, following a ketogenic diet should be much easier than Atkins. Getting a large number of calories from protein is generally much tougher when following a vegetarian/vegan diet. However, non-animal sources of healthy fats are easy to find.

The other main difference between Atkins and keto is that there is no progression on keto to include more carbohydrates in the diet.

Keto gets its name from “ketosis.” Ketosis is what the ketogenic diet is all about – getting the individual into ketosis and keeping them there.

Once sufficient carbs are consumed to “knock” the keto dieter out of ketosis, they are no longer following the keto diet.

The ketogenic diet is designed to be followed for as long as desired – weeks, months, years or even for life – while the Atkins diets aims to only keep a person in ketosis for part of the diet (until additional carbohydrates are added at the latter stages).




(Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)