How Does a Low Carb Diet Work | Atkins
how it works

The Atkins® Diet: How It Works

If you’re trying to figure out if a low carb diet is right for you, we’re here to help you every step of the way! Let’s break down how the diet works, the different plans you can choose from, and everything you need to make your decision.

How to Get Started


1. Pick an Atkins Plan

Take the quiz to find which plan is the best fit for your goals.


2. Learn what to eat and what to avoid

Get rid of high starch veggies and high sugar fruits, and stock up on fiber rich, nutrient dense foods.


3. Plan out your first weeks of meals and snacks

Download an example meal plan to get you started.


4. Track your progress

Use our free tools to set goals, log meals and track net carbs. Download the app or sign in online.

Atkins diet video

How a Low Carb Diet Works

A low carb diet focuses on limited carbohydrates to help the body burn fat instead of sugar for fuel. This contributes to higher, consistent energy levels throughout the day, allowing you to reach weight loss and weight maintenance goals.

Get Started

Find the Right Plan

Not everyone’s body responds the same to every method, so we’ve broken out the Atkins diet into three easy-to-follow plans that fit your personal needs.


Find out where to get started with our classic diet, which is right for you if you have more than 40 pounds to lose or are pre-diabetic or diabetic.

Learn More

This is the original Keto diet!


If you have less than 40 pounds to lose, need a greater variety of foods right from the beginning, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, Atkins 40 is for you.

Get started

A more flexible Keto diet.


If you want to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain your current weight, want the widest variety of food choices, are breastfeeding with a goal to maintain weight* or are pregnant,* Atkins 100 is for you.

Get Started

Live a low carb lifestyle.

not sure where you fit not sure where you fit

Not Sure Where You Fit?

Choosing the right plan will depend on your weight loss goals, your current weight, and lifestyle. Learn more about the plans, or take a quiz to find out which one is right for you.


Starting the Atkins Diet is easy when you have over 1,600 delicious and filling recipes to choose from! We’ve got you covered with fresh low carb inspiration for any time of day.

Inspiring Weight Loss Stories

Atkins is not only about your health, it’s about community. Get inspired and stay motivated with these incredible low carb weight loss stories.

See Stories»
stories how stories how


Have more low carb questions? We’ve got the answers!

Learn More »

Free Tools

Free Tools

Access meal plans, carb counters, discussion boards, and more.

Learn More »

Read More About Atkins

Get the latest in lifestyle tips, professional research, and the benefits of following a low carb diet.

6 Tips on How To Sleep Better At Night

Follow these tips to get your best night’s sleep and learn why sleep is an essential component of any healthy lifestyle.

Read More»

Post Pregnancy Weight Loss Tips & Meal Ideas

Lose weight the healthy way without depriving yourself of delicious and satisfying food with these post pregnancy tips and meal ideas.

Read More»

Road Trip Low Carb Snack Ideas

Use these snack suggestions and tips for living low carb on-the-go and making your road trip enjoyable for everyone.

Read More»