The Atkins diet is a protein-heavy diet that promotes weight loss through reduced carbohydrate and increased protein consumption. The Atkins theory is that in the absence of carbohydrates, your body will be forced to burn fats for energy. Sometimes called “the meat lover’s diet” because of its emphasis on proteins derived from meats, the Atkins diet largely shuns carbohydrates typically found in breads, cakes, pastries, pastas and burger buns 2.
Beef and Venison
All types of beef are permitted in the Atkins diet 3. As the main entrée in a meal, beef or venison is often served as a steak or roast, accompanied by cheese, mushrooms, onions, garlic and other low-carbohydrate foods. Meatloaf is still on the menu in the Atkins diet 3. Many dieters choose beef sausage to complement their breakfast eggs. For snackers, beef or venison jerky or a bowl of meatballs may provide a high-protein boost between meals. Burger lovers who often eat out can still enjoy their favorites on the Atkins diet by simply removing the bun before eating the meat.
Pork and Lamb
Atkins dieters may eat pork in various cuts and preparations. Roasts and chops frequently appear on Atkins diet daily menus for lunches and dinners 3. Some dieters choose bacon, ham and pork sausage as their breakfast meats. For variety, some Atkins diet menus suggest pork medallions in a creamy garlic sauce or a snack of sliced roasted pork wrapped around cream cheese. The Atkins diet also permits dieters to eat roast lamb, leg of lamb and lamb chops.
Poultry and Fowl
A wide range of poultry, fowl and game birds are permitted meats on the Atkins diet. Perennial favorites chicken and turkey are often served roasted, grilled, baked or in casseroles. Chicken stir-fry is a meal that combines the Atkins diet’s emphasis on meat with a few vegetables. Snackers may enjoy chicken wings with a creamy dipping sauce, or chicken fingers with a side of ranch style dressing. Turkey burgers, without the bun, are a popular menu item. Atkins dieters may also choose from among less typical fowl such as pheasant, Cornish game hen, quail, duck and goose.
- Geshas/iStock/Getty Images