Losing weight is so hard for so many, but Atkins 40 helps make the process a little easier! I followed the Atkins meal plan for 7 days and discovered that low carb does mean a lower number on the scale. Here’s everything you need to know about the Atkins Phase 1 meal plan including an Atkins Phase 1 food list pdf! Affiliate links included and this post was originally sponsored by Atkins.
Printable Atkins Phase 1 Meal Plan Included!
(Also- I’m not a doctor or a nutritionist; just a mom who needs to lose weight & searching for the balance her body needs. Talk to your MD before following any diet plan.)
You guys know me. I’m all about being honest with my product reviews. If I find a flaw or a problem with something I won’t hesitate to share that information.
So here’s my honest review of the Atkins meal plan for 7 days as part of the Atkins 40 plan.
It was GREAT.
Except for that pesky Day 1.
Day 1 was HARD y’all. Like stupid come-on-Shenanigans-get-some-willpower hard.
I had cravings and I wanted to eat all the sweet (ie, carb-loaded crappy food) things in the house.
The Atkins 40 plan doesn’t want you to do that. It makes sense, really, even though it was hard to convince my taste buds of this plan initially!
How Does Atkins 40 Work?
Atkins encourages you to up your protein intake, take in adequate healthy fats, and lower your carbohydrates in order to “flip” your metabolic switch and burn more fat.
And boy, do I have fat to burn.
You’ll start the Atkins 40 program by following the Atkins Phase 1 meal plan. You’ll eat 40 grams of net carbs, 4 to 6-ounce servings of protein and 2 to 4 servings of fat per day.
What’s the Difference Between Atkins 40 and Keto?
Atkins 40 is not the Ketogenic Diet (Keto for short) but there are some similarities.
The biggest connection between the two is counting net carbs and restricting your carbs to under a specific amount.
Keto diets tend to be more restrictive in this aspect and ask users to restrict to under 20 net carbs a day; under 10 is even better in Keto terms.
There’s a whole science to this and I have tips for starting the keto diet for beginners here, but for now, let’s focus on Atkins 40 which is asking you to keep under 40 grams of net carbs a day.
How Do You Count Net Carbs On Atkins 40?
A net carb is a cool way to count the total carbohydrate content of the food. You find your net carb count by subtracting the fiber and sugar alcohols in your food.
It’s pretty basic math, but there are apps out there that help with the calculations.
After subtracting fiber & sugar alcohols, you are left with the net carbs which are the grams of carbohydrate that most impact your blood sugar. Atkins 40 encourages you to eat these net carbs over three meals and two snacks in a day.
Atkins offers a fantastic collection of pre-packaged foods to help you out. I tried bars and shakes that were on the Atkins Phase 1 meal plan and give them both thumbs up.
I couldn’t tell I was eating “diet” food at all.
What Do You Eat on Atkins 40?
From the Atkins website you will eat on Atkins 40:
- More vegetables than the USDA recommends
- Proteins including meats, fish, poultry and plant-based proteins
- Healthy fats including olive oil, avocado and nuts
- Dairy including whole Greek yogurt, as well as hard and soft cheeses
- Variety of fruits and whole grains
Another significant difference between Atkins 40 and Keto is the dairy aspect.
You can eat dairy on both, but you will more likely restrict your dairy intake due to stricter net carb counts on Keto.
For example: when I eat Keto, I do eat cheese but I skip the milk. Almond milk is ok (much fewer carbs there!).
My Atkins 40 Review and Experience
I started the Atkins Phase 1 meal plan on Saturday and was eager to hit the ground running.
Like I said, Day 1 was hard. I struggled.
I wanted candy (candy = tons of sugar = carbs!) since Halloween had just passed.
My habit of grabbing a piece or two (or three) as I walked by the stash on the counter was coming back to haunt me.
So that had to stop because Atkins 40 was not having it. And neither was I.
Out of sight, out of mind. All the candy went into the guest room closet.
I can’t reach it easily and as Martha says, that’s a good thing.
After the temptation was handled, I was able to focus more on the goals of the program.
I followed 4 of 5 days of the Atkins phase 1 food list pdf perfectly without deviation. I am pretty proud of that fact because I turned down a lot of good stuff this weekend!
This is the plan that I followed for 5 days. I picked my favorite 5 days and stuck with them.
Almost all these foods were found in my fridge.
The problem before I tried Atkins 40?
I wasn’t eating those good foods on the Atkins meal plan! Weight loss FAIL.
The truth of it is, I need a written plan: thank you, Atkins phase 1 food list pdf.
Plans work for me. They just do.
I’m better when my focus is going from A to B to C.
I know the goal is for it all to become second nature, but I find higher success when I keep up with a written plan.
Apparently, I need someone to tell me what to do. Geesh… I thought I was the mom!
Running and Atkins 40
And as far as running and not having enough carbs on board? Not a problem for me.
I ran 12 miles on this plan and felt good.
Pre-run I ate the oatmeal, strawberries, and bacon. Mid-run I ate a Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bar.
No bonking allowed.
Image courtesy of Atkins.
The myth that you can’t have carbs is flat out wrong. You get to eat plenty of them.
They are just the right carbs.
My biggest challenge was being prepared with fruits and vegetables on hand. I had to go back to my prepping days and make sure I had enough to get me through.
You know what happened? I actually ran out!
Apparently, if you put a bowl of cut-up fruit in the fridge, the kids will eat it. Who knew?
Atkins 40 Conclusion
I’m giving Atkins a big thumbs up this week. I felt better, I had more energy, I knew I was doing something good for my body AND I was able to stick to it without too much struggle.
Hey- I even ate OUT and stuck to the plan. Huzzah!
End result: lost 3.5 pounds in 5 days. Considering the last time I actually lost weight was over 2 months ago, this is a major confidence booster.
You may also want to check out:
This diet isn’t Atkins, but does include some low carb cycling days! Check out the Ultimate Guide to the FASTer Way to Fat Loss.
What appeals to you most about following an Atkins diet?
Don’t forget to download your Printable Atkins Phase 1 Food List pdf here!
Patty Holliday is a Marvel loving, Disney obsessed wife, and mother of four. She’s a travel agent specializing in Disney & Universal vacations- and loves a candid confession. Find her in Virginia (or anywhere frequent flyer miles or her trusty minivan takes her.)