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COMPARE LOW CARB DIET PLANS: ATKINS 20®, ATKINS 40® & ATKINS 100™

calculatorWhat are Net Carbs?

Losing weight with Atkins has never been easier. The first step is choosing the right plan for your needs, so we’ve created this guide to help get you started. Choosing your diet will depend on your weight loss goals, your current weight, and how each plan fits with your lifestyle. Learn about our three low carb diet plans below:

With Atkins 20®, your starting point (Phase 1, Induction) is 20 grams of net carbs a day. This plan is typically best for those who have over 40 pounds to lose or are diabetic*.

With Atkins 40®, your starting point is 40 grams of net carbs a day. Atkins 40® is perfect for those who have less than 40 pounds to lose.

With Atkins 100™, your starting point is 100 grams of net carbs a day. Atkins 100™ is perfect for those who want to maintain their current weight and still get the benefits of a low carb lifestyle.

Starting Point

Net Carbs (grams) = total carbs minus fiber
20
40
100
Protein
3 servings of 4 – 6 oz per serving
3 servings of 4 – 6 oz per serving
3 servings of 4 - 6 oz per serving
Healthy Fats
3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
Carbohydrates
Limited
Most carbs should come from vegetables during first 2 weeks e.g. leafy greens and other low-carb vegetables.
You can also have dairy foods high in fat and low in carbs: cream, sour cream, and most hard cheeses.
All Food Groups
About 1/3 carbs from vegetables, remaining carbs from fruit, nuts and/or whole grains
A minimum of 1/5 carbs from vegetables, remaining carbs from fruit, nuts, and/or whole grains.

Net Carbs (grams) = total carbs minus fiber

20
Protein

3 servings of 4 – 6 oz per serving
Healthy Fats

3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
Carbohydrates

Limited
Most carbs should come from vegetables during first 2 weeks e.g. leafy greens and other low-carb vegetables.
You can also have dairy foods high in fat and low in carbs: cream, sour cream, and most hard cheeses.

Net Carbs (grams) = total carbs minus fiber

40
Protein

3 servings of 4 – 6 oz per serving
Healthy Fats

3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
Carbohydrates

All Food Groups
About 1/3 carbs from vegetables, remaining carbs from fruit, nuts and/or whole grains

Net Carbs (grams) = total carbs minus fiber

100
Protein

3 servings of 4 - 6 oz per serving
Healthy Fats

3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
Carbohydrates

A minimum of 1/5 carbs from vegetables, remaining carbs from fruit, nuts, and/or whole grains.

Maintaining Your Weight Loss

Adding foods back into your diet
Progressive
Add carbs back into your diet slowly – following the Atkins carb ladder
All Food Groups
The acceptable foods list remains the same until you reach your goal weight
All Food Groups
The acceptable foods list remains the same as long as you are maintaining your current weight.
Protein
3 servings of 4 – 6 oz per serving
3 servings of 4 – 6 oz per serving
3 servings of 4 - 6 oz per serving
Healthy Fats
3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
Adding carbs back into your diet
Continue to add carbs back in 5g net carb increments until your weight stabilizes. Maintain that carb intake to maintain your weight.
Continue to add carbs back in 10g net carb increments until your weight stabilizes. Maintain that carb intake to maintain your weight.
All Food Groups
You can eat virtually all foods. Keep in mind that you’ll want to continue to avoid / limit sugar, refined carbs and any “trigger” foods that cause you to consume too many carbs.
Adding foods back into your diet
There are five important points to understand as you begin to reintroduce foods.
  • Count your carbs. If you’ve been estimating grams of Net Carbs, now is the time to start counting them.

  • One at a time. Add only one new food each day. That way, if a food reawakens cravings, or stalls or reverses weight loss, you can easily identify it—and back off for the time being.

  • More variety, not more food. You’re increasing your range of foods but not the amount of food that you’re eating day to day.

  • Stay with foundation vegetables. As you add new foods, you’ll substitute some of them for other carb foods you’re already eating, but not your 12 to 15 grams of Net Carbs from foundation vegetables.

  • Write it down. The process of adding back foods doesn’t always happen smoothly, and you’ll want to know which food is causing which response, so, if necessary, you know which to back off from.

All Food Groups
You can now expand your acceptable food list to include virtually all foods. Keep in mind that you’ll want to continue to avoid / limit sugar, refined carbs and any “trigger” foods that cause you to consume too many carbs.
This is a lifestyle approach, so start at 100 grams of net carbs and continue as long as you are maintaining your current weight.

Adding foods back into your diet

Progressive
Add carbs back into your diet slowly – following the Atkins carb ladder
Protein

3 servings of 4 – 6 oz per serving
Healthy Fats

3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
Adding carbs back into your diet

Continue to add carbs back in 5g net carb increments until your weight stabilizes. Maintain that carb intake to maintain your weight.
Adding foods back into your diet

There are five important points to understand as you begin to reintroduce foods.
  • Count your carbs. If you’ve been estimating grams of Net Carbs, now is the time to start counting them.

  • One at a time. Add only one new food each day. That way, if a food reawakens cravings, or stalls or reverses weight loss, you can easily identify it—and back off for the time being.

  • More variety, not more food. You’re increasing your range of foods but not the amount of food that you’re eating day to day.

  • Stay with foundation vegetables. As you add new foods, you’ll substitute some of them for other carb foods you’re already eating, but not your 12 to 15 grams of Net Carbs from foundation vegetables.

  • Write it down. The process of adding back foods doesn’t always happen smoothly, and you’ll want to know which food is causing which response, so, if necessary, you know which to back off from.


Adding foods back into your diet

All Food Groups
The acceptable foods list remains the same until you reach your goal weight
Protein

3 servings of 4 – 6 oz per serving
Healthy Fats

3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
Adding carbs back into your diet

Continue to add carbs back in 10g net carb increments until your weight stabilizes. Maintain that carb intake to maintain your weight.
Adding foods back into your diet

All Food Groups
You can now expand your acceptable food list to include virtually all foods. Keep in mind that you’ll want to continue to avoid / limit sugar, refined carbs and any “trigger” foods that cause you to consume too many carbs.

Adding foods back into your diet

All Food Groups
The acceptable foods list remains the same as long as you are maintaining your current weight.
Protein

3 servings of 4 - 6 oz per serving
Healthy Fats

3 servings of added healthy fats per day e.g. butter, salad dressings, olive oil, etc.
Adding carbs back into your diet

All Food Groups
You can eat virtually all foods. Keep in mind that you’ll want to continue to avoid / limit sugar, refined carbs and any “trigger” foods that cause you to consume too many carbs.
Adding foods back into your diet

This is a lifestyle approach, so start at 100 grams of net carbs and continue as long as you are maintaining your current weight.

Example Meal Plans

Breakfast
Cheese and Spinach Omelet Topped with Avocado and Salsa
Cheese and Spinach Omelet Topped with Avocado and Salsa and 1 Piece of Whole Grain Toast
Red Bell Pepper Rings Filled with Egg and Mozzarella, 1/2 cup Cooked Oatmeal, 1/4 cup Blueberries
Snack
Atkins Advantage Vanilla Shake
Handful of Walnuts
4oz Greek Yogurt, 5 large Strawberries
Lunch
Roast Chicken Stir Fry
Roast Chicken Stir Fry
Beef Burger with Feta and Tomatoes, Whole Wheat bun, Mixed Greens & Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Chickpeas, Greek Vinaigrette
Snack
Mozzarella String Cheese
1/4 Cup of Blueberries
2tbsp Hummus, 1 Carrot
Dinner
Blackened Salmon with Cucumber Relish and Cauliflower, 1/2 cup wild rice, 1 cup mixed salad greens, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, garlic ranch dressing

Breakfast

Cheese and Spinach Omelet Topped with Avocado and Salsa
Snack

Atkins Advantage Vanilla Shake
Lunch

Roast Chicken Stir Fry
Snack

Mozzarella String Cheese
Dessert


Breakfast

Cheese and Spinach Omelet Topped with Avocado and Salsa and 1 Piece of Whole Grain Toast
Snack

Handful of Walnuts
Lunch

Roast Chicken Stir Fry
Snack

1/4 Cup of Blueberries
Dessert


Breakfast

Red Bell Pepper Rings Filled with Egg and Mozzarella, 1/2 cup Cooked Oatmeal, 1/4 cup Blueberries
Snack

4oz Greek Yogurt, 5 large Strawberries
Lunch

Beef Burger with Feta and Tomatoes, Whole Wheat bun, Mixed Greens & Celery, Cherry Tomatoes, Chickpeas, Greek Vinaigrette
Snack

2tbsp Hummus, 1 Carrot
Dinner

Blackened Salmon with Cucumber Relish and Cauliflower, 1/2 cup wild rice, 1 cup mixed salad greens, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, garlic ranch dressing

What are Net Carbs?

When you follow the Atkins Diet, you count grams of Net Carbs by looking at the information provided on the food label. Net Carbs = total carbohydrates, minus the fiber content and sugar alcohols (if in the product). The Net Carbs number reflects the grams of carbohydrate that significantly impact your blood sugar level and therefore are the only carbs you need to count when you do Atkins. Foods that are low in Net Carbs such as nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits don't have a significant impact on blood sugar and therefore are less likely to interfere with weight loss.

Calculate Net Carbs with the information provided on a food nutrition label (or you can use the Atkins Carb Counter):

Total Carbohydrates - Dietary Fiber - Sugar alcohol = Net carbs

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