Slim Down for Summer





Introduction: Slim Down for Summer

About: I study engineering at Virginia Tech. Long time instructables fan.

Did you know that over 60% of US adults are overweight or obese in some manner? If you are among them, or you just want to drop a few pounds to fit into that new bikini that you bought, then the Atkins diet is right for you. This diet has been proved successful by Dr. Atkins himself. Over ten-thousand people have been successfully treated using the methods that I will explain later in the Instructible.

According to Wikipedia:
The Atkins Nutritional Approach, popularly known as the Atkins Diet or just Atkins, is the most marketed and well-known low-carbohydrate diet. It was adapted by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1960s from a diet he read in the Journal of the American Medical Association and utilized to resolve his own overweight condition following medical school and graduate medical training. After successfully treating over ten thousand patients, he popularized the Atkins diet in a series of books, starting with Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution in 1972. In his revised book, Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, Atkins updated some of his ideas, but remained faithful to the original concepts.

I personally have lost over twenty pounds from this amazing program (Went from 185 to 163), and I can testify that everything explained from here is extremely effective, and will work wonders if you use it correctly. If you are still interested in losing weight, read on.

Step 1: How the Atkins Diet Works

Right now you are probably like most other consumers following the standard food pyramid, consisting of some variation of the five basic food groups.

Chances are you do not follow the USDA recommendation to the letter, but you get by eating 2-3 servings of dairy, 2-4 servings of fruit, and 6-11 servings of grains

The key to the Atkins diet is this: if you cut off carbohydrate intake (from flour, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup), then the body will alter its metabolism to burn stored fat instead of the fast-burning quick-energy from carbs.

This is achieved by halting your intake of bread, sugar, juice, anything with carbohydrates in it. This causes your body to enter a state of ketosis. when your body is in ketosis, it burns the fat that it has stored for energy in the past. By continuing to restrict carbs, your body keeps burning fat, and you lose weight until you gradually add carbs back in to your diet to stabilize the effect. The carbohydrate content of a food can be found on its nutrition facts.

Before anyone asks, it is not dangerous to live without consuming carbohydrates. This is explained very well in an article that I have linked to previously in this step, and in Dr. Atkins' book. I highly suggest it, it is a really good read.

Step 2: Your Diet: the Do's and Dont's

VITAMINS, VITAMINS, VITAMINS!!! If you go on this diet a daily vitamin supplement is absolutely necessary If you cut out certain foods from your diet you lose the nutrients that keep you healthy. To all the haters who feel the need to post nasty comments about loss of key nutrients, this is a very important aspect of the diet.

Let me get this out of the way now. No sugar. You must stop consuming all foods (with the exception of some - see later) that contain sugar.

This means that all candy, sweets, cookies, anything that is made of bread and/or sugar has to go - at least for a while. There is no restriction on the approved foods that you can eat (again - see later), however it is important that you don't cheat during the first initial weeks of the diet.

Now would be a good time to mention that I lost all my weight (22 pounds) in about a month and a week, so don't fret! You will be back eating what you love soon! (hopefully after summer)

Prohibited Foods

In addition to the above, you may not consume:

Any other manifestation of flour
All processed liquids with the exception of diet anything: soda, iced tea, etc. (I personally took a liking to diet green tea during my stay at the Atkins hotel)
Orange juice included
Chocolate (Sorry women!)
Beer, wine, and booze in general
Starch - Starch is the enemy!! No French fries!!!! Also, no carrots, radishes, beets, or other root veggies!!

Yummy Approved Foods

This is where the Atkins diet really shines! You can eat virtually as much of anything below as you can eat! Om nom nom!!

Eggs - Two every morning with sausage and bacon--That's a feast!!
Breakfast meats
Nuts - Eat sparingly, but use them as an alternative to chips, snacks, whatever.
MEAT - Lots and lots of it! Eat all you can! You never go hungry on this diet!!
Fish - Almost as good as meat
Other sea critters - Mussels, clams, you name it
Cheese - Your new best friend
Veggies - A salad works well with meals, fruit in the morning if you can stomach it after the whopping breakfast you've eaten (No carrots, radishes, or root veggies)
Fruits - These have sugar, so don't eat a whopping ton, but enjoy one once or twice a week.

Step 3: Managing Your Diet: How to Eat

As I said before, you are allowed as much of these approved foods as you can eat. You must be careful with how you eat over time, however.

The First Week

So you've decided to give it a try. Good job, you're on your way to being as slim as you want! The first week of the diet is always the hardest though. Just stick with the approved foods and you should be fine. Side affects may include mild headaches, cravings for carbs, and being completely full of foods that are great for you.

There is something I've left out however: The Atkins diet does leave for some carb intake daily. The first week you are allowed 10 net carbs per day. This amounts to a small chocolate or a really small cookie or some bread (one piece). Don't go overboard, I completely ignored this little fact the first week I dieted and lost about 10 pounds (in one week! I thought it was impossible!).

Once you get into a routine, it goes much quicker than you might think. My meals consisted of eggs and bacon for breakfast, cheese, sausages, nuts and hard boiled eggs for lunch, and one of Atkins' recipes for dinner.

Additional Weeks

All right, if you're through your first week, the storm has passed! Simply continue doing what you are doing until you are comfortable with your weight. For each additional week you may add 10 carbohydrates to your daily diet until you reach the level you were at previously, or a level you were comfortable with.

Be sure to lower your carb intake if you experience any more weight gain. Weigh yourself every day to keep you eating healthy and from returning to your previous weight.

I hope you have enjoyed this Instructible, please give me a +1 of you felt that this was well thought out. Cheers everyone, and good luck with losing your weight!!

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    I'm really curious to try an atkins (like) diet, the food side wouldn't be that much of a problem, it's not a million miles away away from what I eat now anyway, my problem would be drinks, when I'm working, or around the house I *LOVE* milk, and when I'm out with friends I *LOVE* Beer/cyder GRRRrrrrr, there's always a catch!

    2 replies

    Regarding beer and cider, how much carbs in in a bowl of pasta or a plate of french fries, compared to the carbs in a beer? Clearly the beer has less carbs. Heck a full bottle of vodka probably has less carbs then a spaghetti dinner. Anyway while I was losing weight I didn't stop having a few beers with pals in the evenings. I just stopped eating bread during the day and stopped eating potatochips or fries with the beer. Sure you'll lose weight quicker if you stop drinking beer or if you drink low carb beers. But no, you don't have to stop having a few beers to do atkins. You can, but you don't have to. In my opinion, most of what keeps you from losing weight is what you eat during the day, not so much some beer you have with friends in the evening. So as far as I know, atkins diets doesn't mean you have to eat zero carbs, just cutting way back on the carbs.

    I've been on the Atkins (or my version of it LOL) for about five months or so now. I completely dropped cows milk (I now drink protein shakes made with almond milk around the house), and I did drop beer totally for a while, but missed it too much so I'm back to boozing it up again ;^> It depends on the beer obviously, but around four pints takes me right up to my daily carb limit (I just don't count the beer after that LOL), Interesting you brought up vodka though, it's actually one of the lowest carb drinks out there, if only the same was true of beer.

    So far I've lost about half the weight I want to, so I can't be doing anything that wrong LOL

    I have to say that I really don't agree with Atkins. Not only has it been proven to be unhealthy and dangerous, it's also a diet that will cause large amounts of yo-yo-ing. And, YES, it is very dangerous to live without consuming carbs. Carbs are so very important, and starving yourself of them isn't helping anything. Not to mention that the amount of unhealthy fat consumed with this diet can lead to several other health problems. It just makes me very upset that people will use faux-science diets like this to lose weight without researching the consequences. :(

    3 replies

    Atkins is NOT about "NO carbs" is about limiting carbs in an appropriate way. Anyone who thinks it is unhealthful because it means "0 carbs" hasn't read the book...

    Exactly, anyone who has the book knows it's not no carbs, just cutting that way back. And she is sorta right that people can yo-yo, it's absolutely true, if someone got fat from eating lots of bread and they go back to eating lots of bread, sure they will get fat again. They will have to stop doing whatever caused their problem, but every diet has that problem.

    I don't believe this is healthy. All the fat and cholesterol. I believe in simply not eating grain, but enjoying lots of fruits and vegetables. Fish is good too.

    I've done atkins for a couple years, it's great and about as simple as just not eating bread, pie and french fries. You can be more granular, but really it's very hard. I lost 50 pounds over a year just eating wings, bacon, meats, veggies, nuts and salads. All kinds of Japanese foods, though I cut back on the rice. I lost the weight I wanted, but I still don't eat much carbs. And the benefits are great. Low cholesterol so my doctor isn't complaining. My bicycle got 50 pounds lighter. And I'm not getting cavities. So just win win win!

    I think the atkins diet does work, but by the simple reason of you end up consuming less calories.
    Don't forget Dr Atkins died overweight with heart failure....

    1 reply

    It appears you've been doubly misinformed on both counts: 

    "... consuming less calories."? You clearly aren't familiar with the Atkins program.

    Snopes account of Atkins death does not support your speculation.

    I am on the Atkins diet , I lost 50 pounds but it took me two years. For me it has been very slow. For some people it goes fast. I am Type 2 diabetic. It lowered my sugar reading from 400 to 125 in 4 weeks. And it has been that since. Yes, I mess up sometimes but I get back on the program. I enjoy the diet. The things I miss is bread. But I do Make a great low carb waffle.

    I would like to add to the skeptics, that four people in my family have benefited from this diet. My aunt is the only one who really sticks to it because she is like the rest of the world outside the united states and is lactose intolerant so she never craves ice cream or anything like that. Her cholesterol bad choloesterol has gone down and good up. She takes her vitamins everyday and is really peppy for a (sorry aunty) older woman of 64.

    My cousin was pretty big during his wedding and he started eating right and he is back to his high school size, and me and my brother we bounce around eating right and splurging every now and then, but for the most part for us it works.  

    I did the Atkins diet and now I NEVER want to see, let alone eat, another stinking egg.......... 

    wow that steak in step one is the size of my head

    Aren't you supposed stay extra hydrated too? I think part of the fat substitute for carbs involves a murdering of your kidneys or something...unless you stay well hydrated (harder than some would think). Oh actually I think Imnop's comment covered or rather properly addressed that issue... Ketones or something I guess...

    I thought this was a well-thought out, visually appealing, and fair assessment of the Atkins Diet -- without being too MarComm about it. For the record: everyone who commented is about 80% right. YES: aboriginal people foraged for food so they expended energy, but they also went through bouts of starvation so the prehistoric premise of a primarily protein-based diet makes you BOTH correct. NO: there are no absolutes. That would just go against common sense to cut out all proteins or all carbohydrates; this isn't competitive eating here. YES: Fats and Proteins make you feel full. YES: Japan and South Korea have the lowest obesity rates and they also eat rice -- but technically, it's the Okinawan diet that is the basis of the "Japanese" reference, and they subsist largely on seaweeds with less than 25% of their meals composed of BROWN rice, not white. Also, check your diabetes statistics. YES, DIETS DO WORK ... and they normally work best for people who need to lose weight for health-related reasons, i.e. personal health or morbid obesity. But always make long-term goals, and eat sensibly and exercise. Personally, I love the Atkins Diet. It's what I grew up with, without even knowing it. We never really ate beef, but ate a lot of poultry and fish and lean pork -- and we warned to never eat more than one bowl of rice! *(contrary to what everyone else seems to believe: Asians don't eat rice the way American snack on potato chips)* I love the energy a high lean protein/high fiber diet gives me, and I love snacking on carrot sticks and raisins and dried fruit as a treat because I'm so sensitive to the sugar now. Eating candy and drinking juices and sodas make me feel sick to my stomach, as well as most hard liquors -- but that's not a huge loss when you consider that this is where most people slip up in terms of mystery calories! Great Job! Definitely deserved the WINNER label :)

    I have had extraordinary results with High Protien Diets over many years. My only regret is that I never sustained this diet as a life style. I find that Americans in general treat their bodies like amusement parks, myself included. We entertain ourselves with food. If we are bored, what do we do? Eat! We usually eat starchy, sugary junk. Not Mom's Wholesome Cooking but, Preprocessed Fast Food Trash. When I used to go on a protien binge I benefitted from getting away from sugar and starch. The increased fats and oils were readily handled by my accelerated metabolism. I would have mental clarity, Amazing focus on what ever task was at hand. My mood was bouyant and positive. My stamina was boundless. I had the need to do something all the time, there was never a feeling of fatigue or sluggishness. With all that said I give WARNING: We lost an important ability to make our own ascorbic acid a long time ago, and because of this we MUST consume fruits and vegetables to obtain essential nutrients and it is difficult to obtain them eating COOKED meat. I'm not trying to suggest that we might eat raw meat but, many of the essential nutrients can be found in the raw flesh and blood of animals in great concentrations. More than enough to offset the lack of fruits and vegetables in an all meat diet. Regrettably, our digestive tracks have become weak over the thousands of years we have practiced the cooking of food. It might take thousands of years more to be able to return to that type of diet. What would we look like if we did? Why, we would be Vicious, Lean, Muscular, Sexy Killing Machines!


    low carb is the only diet ive ever tried that worked, its just we are so junk food oriented in our culture its hard to stick to it

    I thought this diet fad fizzled after all the scientific research proved it to be terribly unhealthy and dangerous. Apparently not.

    The Atkins diet is proven to help you lose weight, yes, only it is shed drastically due to the body's metabolism being pushed into ketosis, which is the physiological state the body typically enters during chronic starvation. What about the bad breath, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, insomnia, constipation, nausea, and other side effects of the body in a state of ketosis? Or the serious nutritional deficiencies when following this diet?

    • "[The] poor intakes of bone-building calcium (found in dairy products) may increase the risk of osteoporosis, while poor intakes of antioxidant nutrients (found in fruit and veg) have been linked with a host of health problems ranging from heart disease and cancer to premature ageing and cataracts. Some experts are also worried that high intakes of protein may cause kidney problems or weaken bones." (

    Increasing your intake of fatty foods can lead to heart disease (doesn't anyone remember Dr. Atkins himself dying of supposedly unrelated cardiomyopathy?).

    If carbohydrates are such a threat to losing weight, how is it that Japan and South Korea have the lowest international obesity rate, yet their diets consist primarily of rice?

    And what about the more interesting psychological aspects of this diet? Restricting intake of carbohydrates stops the production of seratonin in your brain, the chemical that controls your emotions, thereby putting you in a bad mood. (article)

    It's unfortunate that this instructable is promoting a large and insatiable corporation that can ignore the health risks to their customers and shamelessly bulldoze their way to the front of a 2.4 billion dollar industry.
    1 reply

    Dr. Atkins died from slipping on the ice & hitting his head... Sorry to burst your bubble, but I lost 50 lbs on this plan, improved my BP, Cholesterol, blood sugar, etc...and it IS much closer to what we evolved to eat.