Keto Diet VS Atkins Diet – Which Promotes Fast Weight Loss Best?

In this article, we're going to talk about Keto Diet VS Atkins Diet.

Honestly – both dietary regimens's features are almost identical.

But let's compare them and see their smallest differences in detail.

And most importantly – let's see which diet is better for a faster weight loss.

Note: This article includes references and studies on Keto Diet and Atkins Diet.

Keto Diet VS Atkins Diet (In A Nutshell)

As I said – there's not much of a difference between Keto and Atkins Diet.

But for the sake of this article, we put them side by side, in order to see which is better:

  • Keto Diet is only best for a faster weight loss
  • Atkins Diet is more comfortable to follow and more versatile
  • Their safety and cost are about the same

Now – Atkins Diet scored better in more aspects.

But since these 2 regimens are quite similar, the differences weren't huge.

Luckily, both diets have several modified plans available (depending on their goals).

Now – in the classic Keto Diet, you have a standard macronutrient ratio to follow:

  • you absolutely have to comply with this ratio
  • otherwise, you won't be following the diet correctly

On the other hand – in the Atkins Diet, you can choose a plan that you're comfortable with.

Also – you have an 2 weight options:

  1. You either want to lose some weight
  2. Or you just maintain your current fit.

All in all, you can lose weight faster with the Keto Diet.

But since both diets are quite restrictive, they are not free from side reactions.

That's why they might be dangerous to follow for certain categories of people.



#1 – Results – WINNER: Keto Diet

Firstly – the Atkins Diet is a sophisticated version of the Keto Diet.

However – which one has some faster results?

To give you a quick answer, the classic Keto Diet wins here.

1. Keto Diet

The classic or standard Keto Diet is more strict in terms of guidelines.

Here are the benefits it claims to give you:

  • induces weight loss [1]
  • reduces high blood sugar levels
  • improves lipid profiles and cholesterol levels
  • decreases seizure frequency [2]
  • helps with diabetes and metabolic syndrome
  • alleviates other chronic diseases

Again – the classic Keto Diet has more extreme restrictions.

This includes very low carbohydrate intake.

If you follow the regimen consistently, your body will rely on ketosis for weight loss.

So that's why the classic Keto Diet promotes a faster weight loss (up to 10 lbs in 2 weeks or less) [3].

That's simply because it has a standard requirement for daily net carbohydrates.

2. Atkins Diet

As I mentioned, the Atkins Diet is a version of the classic Keto Diet.

The only difference is that it offers several plans (depending on your weight loss goals).

In other words, it's a bit more versatile.

As you can guess, it offers some pretty similar benefits:

  • supports weight loss [4]
  • increases the feeling of satiety
  • reduces the frequency of seizures [5]
  • improves diabetes/prediabetes [6]
  • decreases carb-related inflammation
  • supports mental sharpness and high energy levels

Again – the Atkins Diet has a different approach than the more restrictive Keto version.

So the weight loss timeline depends on the diet design you choose.

For example, if you choose Atkins 20®, you only need a total of 20 grams of carbs daily.

Depending on that – you weight loss journey can be slower or faster.


Overall – both the classic Keto and Atkins Diet promote weight loss.

However, if you're wondering which one works faster, it's the classic Keto Diet.

That's because it has a standard guideline that supports losing weight (via ketosis).

But still, I'm not a huge fan of any of them, due to health risks they come with.



#2 – Safety – DRAW

As usual, the classic Keto Diet and the Atkins Diet are not free from drawbacks.

Between these 2 regimens, the Atkins Diet seems a bit more more forgiving.

But honestly, none of them is better simply because they're unsustainable.

1. Keto Diet

Firstly – the mechanism of action of Keto Diet is ketosis.

It uses up excess fats to produce energy for the body.

However – it can be dangerous to some extent.

So with that, there are the potential adverse reactions of this regimen:

  • keto flu (nausea, constipation, fatigue and vomiting) [7]
  • nutrient deficiencies [8]
  • digestive problems 
  • high risk of cardiovascular diseases [9]
  • kidney stones and fatty liver [10]
  • mental health issues (social isolation or disordered eating) [11]

Honestly – you should be informed that this diet is not sustainable in the long run.

Generally, carbohydrates are one of the nutrients essential for your body.

So not getting enough carbs can lead to disruption of bodily functions.

Sure – there are still protein and healthy fats in this dietary regimen.

But overall, your eating habits are far from balanced.

Not consuming all the essential nutrients is surely risky for your health.

2. Atkins Diet

Now – the Atkins Diet is a modified version of the classic Keto Diet.

Its personalized plans target a person's goal (whether that is weight loss or weight maintenance).

However – this dietary approach has some possible side effects as well:

  • cardiovascular problems [12]
  • kidney and liver damage
  • deficiencies in essential nutrients
  • high bad cholesterol levels [13]
  • keto flu
  • worsened diabetes

All of the points above are similar to the classic Keto Diet's side reactions.

Well – the reason is quite obvious and it's because of the restrictions on carbohydrate intake.

Also, another factor is the high consumption of saturated fat and protein.

Sure – there are more food options in this regimen.

But they can't change the fact that the Atkins Diet is not the best way to lose weight.


To sum it up, none of these dietary approaches is safer.

That's because the Atkins Diet is a newer version of the classic Keto Diet.

So even if it comes with several modifications, its carb intake is still restricted.

With that, these two regimens have a high chance of causing side reactions.



#3 – Ease of Use – WINNER: Atkins Diet

As usual, we're also going to compare which of the two diets is easier to follow:

  • guidelines or restrictions
  • permitted foods
  • eating schedule

Again, the Atkins Diet is a modified version, so it has a more comfortable approach.

But to set things straight, we're only comparing the two dietary regimens, not any other ones.

1. Keto Diet

With that, let's talk about the important details of the classic Keto Diet:

  • consists of moderate proteins, high fats and very low carbohydrates
  • the macronutrient ratio is 90% fat, 6% protein and 4% carbohydrates [14]
  • allowed foods are high-fat meats, full-fat dairy products
  • the list includes cheese, seeds, nuts, healthy oils/fats, eggs, poultry and fatty fish
  • non-starchy condiments and vegetables are also permitted

As you can see, the number of carbs per total daily calories is standard.

So it's either you follow this dietary regimen correctly or you don't.

If you change any of the percentages in the ratio above, the diet won't be effective anymore.

So if you're not very disciplined in general, this diet might not be for you.

In this case, you could check the modified versions of Keto Diet or find other special diets.

2. Atkins Diet

At this point, we already know that the Atkins Diet is a modified version.

But here are some vital info about following this regimen [15]:

  • the diet consists of low carbs, high fats and moderate protein
  • non-starchy vegetables, meats, poultry, healthy fats, cheeses, nuts and seeds are allowed
  • eggs, seafood, fish and whole-fat dairy products are also permitted
  • macronutrient distribution is around 60-70% fat, 20-30% protein and 5-10% carbohydrates 

As you know by now, there are several plans available.

Firstly, the difference between these plans is the number of carbs included in daily meals.

So you can increase your carb intake from 20 to 100 grams.

However – the maximum number of carb this diet allows is only 100 grams.

The reason is that this number maintains the state of fat burning (according to this diet).

Anything above will no longer help you lose or retain your desired weight.

Obviously – this diet allows a higher portion of carbs and protein than the classic Keto Diet.


Overall, if you want more food choices with higher carbs, choose the Atkins Diet.

It offers plans that target different weight loss goals, unlike the classic Keto Diet.

So the Atkins Diet is more comfortable to follow, just because it offers choices.



#4 – Versatility – WINNER: Atkins Diet

Now – let's talk about the versatility of Keto and Atkins Diet:

  • people who can follow it
  • limitations in certain health conditions

Honestly – since both diets are ketogenic, expect to find once again a lot of similarities.

But in terms of the variation of people who can try it, the Atkins Diet wins.

1. Keto Diet

As usual, we're going to list down the categories of people who are encouraged to try Keto Diet [16]:

  • those who have epilepsy (especially children)
  • metabolic disorder sufferers
  • people with high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes
  • healthy individuals who want to lose weight

However – when it comes to diabetes and weight loss, the effects are short-term only.

So it's safe to say that this diet shouldn't be followed in the long run.

But before trying it, it's highly recommended to consult a healthcare professional.

That's because all of the conditions above require medical supervision.

Meanwhile, here are the health conditions of people who shouldn't follow the diet:

  • patients with pancreatitis
  • those who experienced liver and kidney failure
  • fat metabolism disorder sufferers
  • users with primary carnitine deficiency and alike
  • people who have issues in the thyroid and gallbladder

Again – the health conditions above are considered dangerous.

So not getting enough/balanced nutrients can possibly worsen them.

The only exception would be if you were medically advised to limit or eliminate any type of food.

But if that's the case, trying any type of diet on your own is not a good approach.

So if the sole purpose of trying Keto Diet is to lose weight, there are safer alternatives.

2. Atkins Diet

In contrast, here are the types of people who can attempt the Atkins Diet:

  • healthy adults that are free from serious health conditions
  • people with diabetes/prediabetes, metabolic syndrome and epilepsy
  • breastfeeding/pregnant women, adolescents and children

Now – the list above is based on the claims of the diet's plans.

But in general, any type of Keto Diet is primarily applicable to epileptic people (at most).

The next ones are those with metabolic syndrome and diabetes/prediabetes.

On the other hand, certain health conditions that won't be allowed to follow the diet [17]:

  • kidney stones and liver problems
  • a history of pancreatitis
  • gallbladder and thyroid issues
  • cancer and cardiovascular problems

Again – even if you can control your carb intake, you're still consuming more fats and proteins.

This means that you're not really following a balanced diet.

With that, the Atkins Diet is still risky (even if it claims to offer plans that cater to people's needs).

Well – if you just want to lose your excess weight, you can find more sustainable ways.


To sum it up, the Atkins Diet offers more versatility than the classic Keto Diet.

The only main reason why it's better is because it has modifications for different health goals.

But to be honest, none of them are sustainable.

Plus, they're only safe to follow if your health status requires it.

Otherwise, it's still better to consult a healthcare professional if you want to give it a try.



#5 – Cost – DRAW

As expected, there's not much of a difference between these two regimens in terms of money:

  • allow almost the same food groups
  • differ only in terms of daily net carb intake
  • both require consultation from a healthcare provider (as much as possible)

All in all, their expenses will most likely be about the same.

1. Keto Diet

At this point, we can already identify the factors that can affect your spending if you choose Keto Diet:

  • requires high-quality animal products (proteins and fats)
  • not a lot of choices when it comes to plant-based foods
  • consultation fee from a healthcare provider

Generally – plant-based foods are more affordable compared to animal-based products.

But since the classic Keto Diet limits those foods, you don't really have a choice.

So if you've been meaning to try this diet, be prepared financially.

However – is it worth the expenses, if you consider its risks?

If your health status really requires you to follow this diet, it is worth it.

But otherwise, you can always find other ways that are more sustainable and budget-friendly.

2. Atkins Diet

Obviously – the same things go with the Atkins Diet.

Again, the only difference between the two is the daily net carb intake.

The only situations it can affect your spending are listed before:

  • if you follow Atkins 100™ (you have more adjustments for foods with carbs)
  • the cost of the allowed foods in your area is slightly lower

Now – you can add foods with lower prices if you follow the plan that allows more carbohydrates.

But again, the money you save is nothing major if you think about it.

With that, the Atkins Diet is not far from the classic Keto Diet in terms of cost.

So if you want to try it, make sure you're capable of following its requirements.


To summarize – none of these diets is more affordable than the other one.

Again, the list of foods allowed is almost the same.

Honestly, if your health conditions and goals don't require Keto Diet in general, just find better alternatives.

But if you're eager to try it, then be informed and prepared financially.



Final Conclusion

To conclude, the Atkins Diet is slightly better than the Keto Diet overall.

Here's the final breakdown of all their aspects:

  • Keto Diet works better for promoting a faster weight loss
  • Atkins Diet is easier to follow and more versatile
  • Both diets are similar in terms of safety and cost

Again – the Atkins Diet is a modified version of the classic Keto Diet.

To be exact, it offers several choices when it comes to the number of daily net carbs.

However, Atkins Diet's maximum carb intake of the least strict plan is still not sustainable.

Well – for the sake of comparing these two regimens, the classic Keto Diet is harder to follow.

Generally – both of these diets should be for people whose doctor recommended them.

So if your only goal is weight loss, you should find some more sustainable ways to do that.

Always remember that any special diet comes with a price.

So be mindful of what regimen you try and do your research before you start following it.


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Written by 

Paula has a background in Chemistry and continues to pursue further studies in it. She loves searching for the best products in the market that will give excellent benefits to the human body and share them with you.

Last updated: May 17, 2023

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