List of Atkins Foods by Phase

Atkins New Diet Revolution
Atkins New Diet Revolution

If you're on the Atkins diet, foods to eat include lots of protein and limited carbs, especially in the first phase.

About the Atkins Diet

By now, most everyone knows that Atkins is a low carb diet which depends on ketosis for fat burning and weight loss. Many people mistakenly believe that it's also a high fat diet. That isn't necessarily the case. While the diet doesn't expressly limit fat consumption, you can do Atkins, or any low carb diet, without overdosing on butter, bacon, and fatty meats. Simply make healthier protein and fat choices, and your fat intake will remain low.

Atkins is divided into phases, with each phase being progressively less stringent on carbohydrate restriction. Please note that, in some cases, there are limits on certain food items. For example, only a certain number of olives and a set amount of sour cream should be eaten each day. For these and other specifics, you'll need to read the book by Dr. Atkins or visit the website.

Atkins Diet Foods to Eat: Induction


The first two weeks on the Atkins diet is known as Induction. This phase is the most restrictive, as your aim is to get your body into ketosis, the state where it burns its own fat instead of glucose for fuel.

Allowable Proteins on Induction

All protein from animal sources is allowed. This includes:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Catfish
  • Trout
  • Flounder
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Quail
  • Peasant
  • Oysters
  • Shrimp
  • Crabs
  • Clams
  • Eggs
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Ham
  • Bacon
  • Lamb
  • Venison

Try to avoid highly processed meats, such as cured ham or lunch meat, as these are high in sodium and often include sugar. You should also avoid meat, chicken, or fish with a breaded crust.

Fat on Induction

As mentioned, fat is not limited on Atkins. Your body and brain, in fact, need some fat for healthy function. However, this isn't a free pass on an all-the-fat-you-can-eat buffet! It's still best to make healthy fat choices, such as olive oil and avocados. Other allowable fats on induction include:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Butter
  • Safflower oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Sesame seed oil
  • Canola oil
  • Olives

Dairy on Induction

Milk and yogurt are not allowed on the Induction phase of Atkins, but you are allowed to eat full-fat cream, cheese, sour cream, and butter.

Carbs on Induction

You are limited to 20 grams of carbohydrates during Induction, and this should come from non-starchy vegetables. Potatoes, corn, carrots, pasta, and grains are not allowed during this restrictive time. Allowable veggies include:

  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Celery
  • Parsley
  • Peppers
  • Chives
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Bok Choy
  • Radicchio
  • Green beans
  • Spinach
  • Chicory
  • Broccoli
  • Artichoke
  • Asparagus
  • Leeks
  • Onion
  • Okra
  • Eggplant
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower

Ongoing Weight Loss

After Induction, dieters enter Ongoing Weight Loss. During this phase of the Atkins diet, foods to eat, especially in the carb category, gradually increase. Most dieters increase their carb consumption by 5 grams per week. All of the Induction foods are allowed in Ongoing Weight Loss. In addition, the following foods are added back into the diet on a schedule determined by Dr. Atkins:

  • More dairy products
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Alcohol
  • Legumes
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grains

Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance

In the final two phases of Atkins, dieters continue adding in carbs until they find a level that allows for a steady, healthy weight. This is a personalized process and will vary from individual to individual. All of the foods from the previous phases are allowed..

List of Atkins Foods by Phase