Atkins Diet FAQ's

Question: Why do I have bad breath?

Bad breath is an indicator of the production of ketones as you burn body fat and is a good sign that the diet is working. To combat it, you may use chlorophyll (must be sugarless), eat more parsley and dark green, leafy vegetables, and be sure that your water intake is at least 8 or more glasses daily.


Question: Since I have been on the Atkins Diet, my cholesterol has gone up. Why? And what can I do about it?

It's not uncommon for cholesterol to rise in the beginning. When a person loses weight, cholesterol usually rises because the body must break down stored fat for energy. However your total cholesterol should drop within two to three months. When looking at your cholesterol levels, pay attention to your HDL (which is also known as the "good" cholesterol) level. A rise in HDL cholesterol levels could be a good thing, if it's all attributed to HDL cholesterol. If you've been following Atkins for some time and your cholesterol levels have not come down, there could be several other reason. Some people have a genetic factor that influences cholesterol regardless of diet. In these cases you may need to add essential oils and other supplements your diet. Please check with your physician on a regular basis.


Question: Is it true that I can subtract grams of fiber from my total carb count?

Yes. In most cases, the fiber will not interfere with weight loss because it does not impact upon blood sugar levels.


Question: How can I avoid Constipation while on the Atkins Diet?

First, make sure you are drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Lack of water is one of the main reasons for constipation.

You may need to consume some supplementary fiber in the form of wheat bran, psyllium husks or ground flaxseed. Another thing to consider is adding in more exercise which often helps constipation. Make sure you are eating your salads and vegetables!


Question: Since I have started doing Atkins I have terrible leg cramps. What do I need to get rid of them?

During Induction, Atkins has a strong diuretic effect , which means you will lose a large amount of water weight, along with electrolytes, which contain the minerals potassium, magnesium and calcium. This is what causes the leg cramps. The best way to replace these is to salt your food to taste and take a mineral supplement that includes calcium, magnesium and potassium.


Question: Why do I have headaches when starting the Atkins Diet?

The most common reason is that you've given up caffeine. Take some ibuprofen for relief. Other reasons, include sugar withdrawal, food sensitivities, skipping meals, lack of vitamins or dehydration from not drinking enough water.


Can I drink Alcohol while on the Atkins Diet?

When you consume Alcohol, it is the first fuel to burn. While that's going on, your body will not burn fat. While this does not stop weight loss, it will postpones it until the alcohol has been used up. If you must drink alcohol, straight liquor such as scotch, rye, vodka, and gin would be the best choices as long as the mixer contains no sugar. If you have added alcohol to your diet and suddenly stop losing, give it up.


Question: Why aren't my Ketosis sticks changing color?

Since the body can only store a two-day supply of glucose in the form of glycogen when consuming 20 grams of carbs a day, it normally takes two to three days for your body to go into Ketosis. If you are past the two or three days, and still not in Ketosis, check more closely the number of carbohydrates you are eating. You may be eating more carbs than you think. Another thing to consider is that the sticks do expire. Check the date to make sure you have a fresh pack.


Question: What medications interfere with or need to be adjusted while I am doing the Atkins Diet?

It's best to stop taking any unnecessary over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrup, diuretics, antacids, sleep aids, antihistamines or laxatives. Some prescription medications also inhibit weight loss so it's a good idea to talk to your doctor to see if an alternative approach can be found if you find that you are not losing. Atkins is known to lower high blood sugar and high blood pressure so people who take insulin or oral diabetes medications, or medications to lower their blood pressure need to be closely supervised in order to adjust their dosage.


Question: Is it true that Atkins Dieters don't eat Vegetables?

That is completely false. Atkins is not an all protein diet. Much of the news media have portrayed Atkins as an all meat and cheese diet which is simply untrue. It's best to stay away from starchy vegetables such as beets, potatoes and carrots. During the Induction phase, you'll eat three cups of certain vegetables each day, primarily salad greens and other raw salad ingredients. During the other phases of the diet you gradually increase the amount of vegetables in your diet.


See below for a list of some of the acceptable Vegetables:


artichoke, celery root, pumpkin, artichoke hearts, rhubarb, asparagus chard, sauerkraut, bamboo shoots, collard greens, scallions, dandelion, snow peas, bean sprouts, dandelion greens, spaghetti squash, beet greens, eggplant, spinach, broccoli, hearts of palm, string or wax beans, broccoli, rabe, kale, summer squash, brussels, kohlrabi, tomato, bean sprouts, leeks, turnips, cabbage, okra, water chestnuts cauliflower onion, zucchini, alfalfa sprouts, daikon mushroom, arugula, endive, parsley, bok choy escarole, peppers, celery, fennel, radicchio, chicory, jicama, radishes, chives, lettuce, romaine lettuce, cucumber