Starting any new diet is always difficult – there are so many ‘rules’ to get your head around, and finding new ways to prepare your food once you’ve been on your diet plan for a while can be a challenge.
Knowing that we all need a bit encouragement every now and then, this selection of diet menus should help you out if you are feeling in need of some inspiration or recipe ideas.
The menus that we have created here are all based around the acceptable food lists that Dr Atkins and the Atkins Foundation has produced as part of their weight loss program. Using the Atkins diet food list and counting net carbohydrate intake will help you to lose weight quickly and safely.
What is the Atkins Diet?
This diet is a weight loss program that works in harmony with your body’s metabolism rather than fighting against it.
By limiting your daily intake of carbohydrates, your body will change from burning sugar (carbohydrate) as its main source of fuel, to burning fat as its primary source of energy. This is through a process known as ketosis.
By following this diet not only will you lose weight, but you will also boost your energy levels, stabilize your blood sugar and lower the levels of insulin in your blood.
The diet works because by limiting your carb intake you get off the sugar rollercoaster. You will no longer suffer from sugar highs and then sugar lows – your energy levels will remain more constant and your hunger will no longer control your life.
Fewer carbs and more fats in your diet will suppress your hunger cravings so you no longer feel the temptation to snack on sweet sugary foods in order to get a quick energy fix.
Instead, by following the Atkins low carb, high protein diet you will take control of your weight loss. Some dieters lose up to 15 lbs during the first two weeks of the Atkins diet Induction Phase! This is achieved through following the Atkins diet food list and by preparing a daily Atkins diet menu from the acceptable foods list.
The Induction Phase
During the induction phase there are a few rules that have to be followed, you can learn about them in more detail on the Atkins diet Induction page . A few of the more important guidelines are detailed here.
1. Eat up to 20 g of net carbs per day, 12-15 g of which should be from foods on the acceptable food list.
2. Eat at least 120-180 g of protein at each meal.
3. Try to include one tablespoon of oil or pat of butter at each meal (over your vegetables or salad for instance).
4. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Some sample menus for during the Induction Phase
Here we have put together a sample menu for two weeks’ worth of menus you can follow during the induction phase. You must remember to count all of your net carbs.
Fourteen Atkins breakfast ideas for the Induction Phase
1. Scrambled eggs, fried bacon, fried tomato, mushrooms sauteed in butter.
2. Ground pork patties fried in oil and served with fried eggs.
3. Bacon and prawn omelet, with a pinch of chilli powder.
4. Hard boiled eggs and cold ham.
5. Smoked mackerel or smoked kippers with butter.
6. Cheese and bacon omelet or scramble.
7. Atkins bars or Atkins shakes.
8. Smoked salmon and cream cheese with Atkins Advantage wheat and rye crackers.
9. A grilled large flat mushroom stuffed with cheese and bacon pieces.
10. Pork or lamb chop with fried mushrooms and grilled tomato.
11. Fried or grilled haloumi cheese with lettuce and a fresh juice made from carrot, ginger and lemongrass.
12. Poached eggs on ham with mustard mayonnaise.
13. Turkey meatballs in tomato sauce. (See recipe below)
14. Rice free kedgeree. (See recipe below)
Fourteen Atkins lunch ideas for the Induction Phase
1. Salmon steak fried in butter, served with green beans.
2. Egg mayonnaise, sliced ham and a small salad.
3. Cold fried chicken, mayonnaise and avocado.
4. Prawn mayonnaise, cold asparagus spears with melted butter.
5. Sliced ham/beef/pork with cream cheese and home baked bread made with Atkins Advantage whole grain bread mix.
6. Homemade spicy beef and tomato soup. (See recipe below)
7. ‘Wraps’ made from thin slices of cold meat rolled together with lettuce leaves and mustard mayonnaise.
8. “Greek salad” – tuna, anchovies, olives, feta cheese, lettuce, cucumber, tomato.
9. Homemade creamy chicken soup and home baked bread made with Atkins Advantage whole grain bread mix. (See recipe below)
10. Cold tandoori chicken and raita. (See recipe below)
11. Sushi and cold stir fried vegetables in sesame oil. (See recipe below)
12. Cheese, ham and mushroom omelet.
13. Chicken Kiev and grilled aubergine. (See recipe below)
14. Chinese chicken and alfalfa salad. (See recipe below)
Fourteen main meal ideas for the Induction Phase
1. Thin strips of beef fried in oil with Chinese five spice and served with stir fry made from bok choy, bamboo shoots, one clove garlic, and sugar free soy sauce.
2. Fried chicken, with boiled squash that has been mashed with butter and wholegrain mustard.
3. Ground beef patties, fried eggs and roasted squash (cut the squash into chips cover with oil and roast in an oven).
4. White fish and vegetable curry (using a selection of vegetables from the acceptable food list).
5. Pork fried in oil with ginger, garlic and lemongrass.
6. Beef skirt, fried in a pan with butter, garlic and onions, served with griddled Swiss chard and zucchini and sugar free soy sauce. (See recipe below)
7. Warm chicken and egg salad with walnut oil and cubes of blue cheese.
8. Boiled lobster with garlic mayonnaise,watercress and cucumber salad.
9. Jalapeno peppers stuffed with ground beef and cream cheese with tomato and red pepper salsa.
10. Steak with a creamy peppercorn sauce, grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, and butter sauteed zucchini.
11. Double cheeseburger – homemade beef patties, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled gherkin, mayonnaise, and home baked bread roll made with Atkins Advantage whole grain bread mix.
12. Roasted chicken with mashed squash and butter, and a broccoli and cauliflower cheese.
13. Crab and vegetable broth with spaghetti squash.
14. Chicken tikka kebabs with okra curry (bhindi bhaji). (See recipe below)
For Phaseses 2-4 …
For Phases 2-4, take any of the diet menus above and include some additional carbohydrates, according to whichever Phase you are following. Extra carbs can be added by including the following foods: rice, potatoes, lentils, beans, noodles. But always remember to stay within your own personal net carb allowance.
Some simple Atkins Diet Menu recipes
For all of these recipe ideas you will need to calculate the net carbs based on the weight and quantity of the ingredients you use.
Turkey meatballs in tomato sauce
Mix together in a bowl ground turkey, chopped onion, eggs (beaten), your preferred seasoning such as oregano or paprika. The mix should be sticky and the meat should hold together in a ball when shaped and pressed – the egg will bind the ingredients. Shallow fry in oil until browned and cooked through. For the tomato sauce: puree some fresh or tinned tomatoes, add your preferred seasoning such as basil or chilli powder and heat through in a pan – pour over the hot meatballs and serve.
Rice free kedgeree
OK, this is a bit of a cheat calling this kedgeree because we are going to omit the rice, but the flavor will be the same. And, if you are in Phases 2-4 you can have rice as long as you count the net carbs and stay within your daily allowance.
Take some smoked white fish such as cod or haddock. Microwave until cooked through so you are able to easily flake the fish into a bowl.
Hard boil some eggs and set aside. In a dry pan, dry fry the following spices (or place under a hot grill) cardamon pods, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, galanjal (black onion seed), do not allow the spices to burn – what you doing here is “toasting” the spices to dry them in order to make them easier to grind and so you can release their full flavor.
Once you’ve done this, grind in the spices to a powder and add to a pan of hot oil. Quickly fry together with the flaked fish, then add the chopped hard boiled eggs, some garam masala powder and turmeric. Serve hot.
Homemade spicy beef and tomato soup
Blend together some cooked beef (steak is best) with some tinned tomatoes. Add a dash of Tabasco, or chilli sauce if you prefer, to give your soup a spicy kick. Thin with water until you reach the required texture, and heat until cooked through. Season to taste.
Homemade creamy chicken soup and home baked bread made with Atkins Advantage whole grain bread mix.
Thoroughly cook all of your ingredients first. Then blend together some chicken pieces, onion, carrot, celery, chicken stock, some single cream and a pinch of mixed herbs. Heat through until piping hot, season to taste. Make the whole grain bread according to the pack directions.
Cold tandoori chicken and raita
In the refrigerator, marinade overnight some chicken quarters in a mixture of natural yogurt and tandoori spice powder.
Thoroughly cook the chicken on a grill or in the oven. You can eat these hot or cold.
The raita is made from natural yogurt, mint sauce (with no added sugar) and a pinch of paprika, stir in chopped cucumber and serve as a sauce to accompany your tandoori pieces.
Sushi and cold stir fried vegetables in sesame oil
Use pre-prepared sushi, and serve with a stir fry of onions, beansprouts, bok choy, carrot, garlic, ginger and chilli. Allow the vegetables to cool before pouring over some sesame oil to flavor.
Chicken Kiev and grilled aubergine
For this chicken Kiev recipe we will not be using breadcrumbs, although if you are following Phases 2-4 you can include them as part of your daily net carb allowance.
Mix together softened butter, crushed garlic and salt and pepper. Cut a pocket into each chicken breast and fill with the butter mixture. Wrap each chicken breast in pancetta and place in an oven until thoroughly cooked through.
Serve with thin slices of aubergine that have been soaked in olive oil and cooked on a griddle pan.
Chinese chicken and alfalfa salad
Marinade chicken pieces in a mix of sugar free soy sauce and Chinese five-spice powder.
Fry or grill until thoroughly cooked and serve with a salad of alfalfa sprouts and cucumber drizzled with sesame oil and sugar free soy sauce.
Beef skirt and Swiss chard
Take a piece of Beef skirt and fry in a pan with butter, garlic and onions. Just before it is finished cooking add some sugar free soy sauce and allow it to reduce.
Griddle some fresh Swiss chard and thin slices of zucchini cut lengthways, flavor with soy sauce.
Chicken tikka kebabs with an okra curry (bhindi bhaji)
Overnight in a refrigerator, marinade chicken pieces in a mix of natural yogurt and powdered tikka spices.
Skewer the chicken on to metal or wooden skewers and thoroughly cook on a grill or in the oven.
For the curry: in a dry pan, dry fry the following spices (or place under a grill) cardamon pods, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, galanjal (black onion seed), do not allow the spices to burn – what you doing is “toasting” the spices to dry them in order to make them easier to grind and so you can release their full flavor.
Once you’ve done this grind the spices to a powder and add to a pan of hot oil. Add in chopped onion, garlic, chilli, mushrooms and okra. Add water a little at a time as required to help form the sauce naturally. Serve the okra curry with the hot chicken tikka pieces.
Only Your Imagination Limits Your Use of Atkins Recipes (this is almost true) – Good Luck!
These are just a few ideas you can use in your Atkins diet menu. The only thing limiting your food options is your imagination. You can see here that from some very simple ingredients you can create enough meals so that you don’t have to have the same one twice. Who ever thought that the Atkins diet menu was boring needs to think again!
Go to the top of this page, A 14 Day Atkins Diet Menu
Go to the main page for Atkins Diet Food List.