Keto vs. Atkins: What’s The Difference?

Diets are all the rage these days and most people can recall a type of diet that has either worked successfully on their body or failed miserably. Some of the most popular diets that people go back and forth on are the keto and Atkins diets due to their similarities and miniscule yet important differences.

Both diets comprise high fat and low carbohydrates, while the only main differences lie in the proportion of nutritional content. The keto diet is based on deriving energy from fat foods while the Atkins diet is about adding carbohydrates to the diet in a phased manner so as to remain consistent toward the weight loss goal.

Majority of Americans derive 50 percent of their calories from carbs, making them unhealthy and at risk of various diseases, so opting for either of the two diets achieves the same end result. Sweets, sugary beverages, fast food, grains, chips, burgers and potatoes are big no-nos for the two diets, since these high-calorie foods lead to weight gain.

There are, however, subtle differentiators that can lead to choosing one over the other and according to Healthline they are as follows:


The Atkins diet is followed in four phases, bit by bit. The first two phases allow 20-25 grams of net carbs daily, it is gradually increased to 50-80 grams and finally 80-100 grams of net carbs are eaten, though the amount is still lower than the average person.

On the contrary, the keto diet can be introduced all at once as it allows only 20-25 grams of net carbs per day and does not change, except for people with type 1 diabetes who should test out whether the body is able to adapt easily. Otherwise, even pregnant women are allowed to go on the keto diet and restrict themselves to 20-25 grams of carbs without phased implementation.

Diet plan The keto and Atkins diets are low-carb and high-fat diets that are similar to each other, except for certain restrictions and ketosis that is part of the keto diet. Enotovyj/Pixabay


While doing the keto diet, a state of ketosis has to be reached in which the body is using energy from fats consumed. Diabetic people monitor ketone levels to see if the blood glucose levels are under control.

When doing the Atkins diet there are no macronutrient targets and there is no need to stay in a healthy state of nutritional ketosis. On the other hand, the Atkins diet puts the body in ketosis for phase 1 and 2, then slowly brings the body out of ketosis, so as to initiate reverse dieting and maintain a consistent pace of weight loss.  


Restriction of carbohydrates in the Atkins diet is lesser than the keto diet, but it produces the same weight loss goals. The Atkins diet allows the intake of about 100 grams of carbs, hence more grains can be consumed. Eating more fruits and vegetables can also prevent nutritional deficiencies since high carb diets consisting of plant-based foods or whole foods are not bad for the health at all.   

The ketogenic diet limits the intake of protein to only 20 percent of daily calories, with high fat and low carb consumption together, it poses a challenge to consistency and commitment. As evidence of the keto diet with extremely low carb intake is not enough to conclude its superiority to other diets, any diet with less carbs and the lack of compulsion to enter ketosis can work equally well.