Check out our comprehensive Atkins Induction food list. We will show you what foods you can eat in the first phase of the Atkins diet. Over the past years, many studies have shown that low-carbohydrates diets are very effective for weight loss. Furthermore, it can even improve your overall health. Great, right? Let’s see what you are allowed to feast on. But first, let’s talk a bit more about the Atkins diet because it’s important you know what you’re getting yourself into. Afterward, we’ll move on to the Atkins Induction food list.

difference between a low calorie diet and an atkins diet

The Atkins Diet – What You Need to Know

The Atkins diet is one of the most popular low-carbohydrates diets. It is usually recommended for weight loss. Created by cardiologist Robert Atkins, it also promises to improve certain health issues, such as high blood pressure.

This diet restricts carbohydrates but allows dieters to eat protein and (good) fats. The ultimate goal of the Atkins diet is to change your eating habits, help you lose weight, while also preventing you put on weight on the long-term.

This used to be quite a controversial diet, mostly due to the high fat content. However, we’re talking about saturated fat, which has since been proven to be harmless. Despite the fact that this diet is high in fat, it does not usually raise the LDL cholesterol. However, it may happen in some individuals.

Yet how can protein and fat help us lose weight? It doesn’t sound too realistic, does it? But the explanation is quite simple. As we reduce the carbs and eat more protein and saturated fats, our appetite goes down. This, naturally, will lead to eating fewer calories.

low carb sign made of vegetables, nuts, and berries

The Atkins diet comprises four phases:

  • Induction. You’ll be eating less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day for the first two weeks.
  • Balancing. Here, you will be allowed to slowly add more nuts, fruits, and low-carb veggies to your diet.
  • Fine-Tuning. Now, having almost achieved your weight loss goal, you can eat more healthy carbs.
  • Maintenance. Finally, you are at the point where you can eat as many healthy carbs as you want without putting on weight.

It’s very important you do not skip the first phase. Carbohydrates should be included in your diet slowly. Otherwise, you may not lose weight at all. Read the Atkins Induction food list and don’t cheat. After all, you do want to achieve that thin body you’ve been dreaming of.

Atkins Induction Food List – What to Eat


• Beef.
• Veal.
• Lamb.
• Pork.
• Venison.
• Clams.
• Lobster.
• Shrimp.
• Squid.
• Crabmeat.
• Mussels.
• Oysters.
• Turkey.
• Quail.
• Goose.
• Duck.
• Chicken.
• Ostrich.
• Pheasant.
• Cornish hen.
• Tuna.
• Sardines.
• Salmon.
• Sole.
• Halibut.
• Herring.
• Trout.
• Cod.


• Blue cheese.
• Cow cheese.
• Sheep cheese.
• Goat cheese.
• Cream cheese.
• Cheddar.
• Feta.
• Mozzarella.
• Gouda.
• Swiss cheese.
• Parmesan.


• Iceberg lettuce.
• Romaine lettuce.
• Rocket.
• Radicchio.
• Radishes.
• Celery.
• Cucumber.
• Chicory greens.
• Chives.
• Bok choy.
• Alfalfa sprouts.
• Jicama.
• Escarole.
• Fennel.
• Daikon.
• Endive.
• Mushrooms.
• Peppers.
• Parsley.

Herbs and Spices

• Garlic.
• Coriander.
• Dill.
• Basil.
• Cayenne pepper.
• Ginger.
• Pepper.
• Oregano.
• Tarragon.
• Sage.
• Rosemary.

Fats and Oils

• Mayonnaise.
• Olive oil.
• Vegetable oil.
• Butter.
• Walnut.
• Sesame.
• Soybean.
• Sunflower.
• Safflower.
• Grape seed.
• Canola.


• Lemon juice.
• Lime juice.
• Ranch.
• Oil and vinegar.
• Cesar.
• Italian.
• Blue cheese.


  • Hard-boiled egg.
  • Sour cream.
  • Sautéed mushrooms.
  • Cheeses.

Higher-carb veggies to be eaten moderately

• Asparagus.
• Artichoke.
• Aubergine.
• Bamboo shoots.
• Broccoli.
• Brussels sprout.
• Cauliflower.
• Courgette.
• Kale.
• Kohlrabi.
• Okra.
• Olives black.
• Olives green.
• Pumpkin.
• Sauerkraut.
• Onion.
• Rhubarb.
• Snow peas.
• Snap peas.
• Spinach.
• Swiss chard.
• Summer squash.
• Water chestnuts.
• Tomato.
• Turnips.
• Spaghetti squash.
• Leeks.
• Hearts of palm.
• Collard greens.


  • Water.
  • Carbonated water.
  • Filtered water.
  • Tap water.
  • Mineral water.
  • Diet soda.
  • Herbal tea.
  • Cream.
  • Unflavored soy and almond milk.
  • Coffee.Atkins Induction food list dish Chicken Salad

What Not to Eat and Drink During Induction

  • Grains and products made of grains: bread, cake, pastries.
  • Dairy products (that are not on the list): milk, yogurt, coffee creamers.
  • Legumes: beans, lentils, chickpea.
  • Starchy vegetables: beets, corn, potatoes.
  • High-carb vegetables: carrots, turnips.
  • Fruits: bananas, apples, pears, grapes, oranges.
  • Trans fats: usually anything with the word “hydrogenated” written on the package.
  • Low-fat foods (including foods labeled as “diet food”).
  • Sweets high in sugar: candy, ice cream.
  • Nuts.
  • Processed foods.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Sugary beverages: fruit juices, regular soda, soft drinks.

8 Rules You Must Follow During Induction

  1. Don’t starve yourself

When you’re on the Atkins diet, you must eat three main courses and two snacks each day. Alternatively, you can split the food into five smaller portions. You should feel satiated at all times. Otherwise, you may cheat and snack on forbidden foods.

  1. Remember about the 20 grams of carbs per day

You must stick to an average of 20 grams of net carbs a day. Don’t go below or above this limit. You won’t be losing more weight if you go below 20. Select the carbs you’ll be eating only from the Atkins Induction food list.

  1. Get your protein

It’s important not to skin protein because it protects the muscle mass. This way, you only lose the extra fat. Besides, you don’t want saggy skin, do you? Consume about three 4 to 6 ounces of protein servings per day.

  1. Drink no less than eight glasses of water each day

Staying hydrated is essential in any weight loss diet plan. This is why you should drink at least eight glasses of water daily. We’re talking 8-ounce glasses. You are allowed to replace two of them with coffee or tea. Furthermore, if you really don’t enjoy drinking water, you can replace another two glasses with the equal amount of broth (be it meat or vegetable broth). Electrolyte imbalance may also be an issue, which is why you must consume enough salt.

  1. Don’t add other foods.

Many people add a few more foods that are not on the Atkins Induction food list because they feel it won’t do any harm. However, if you really want to lose weight, you must fully commit to the diet. Eat nothing that is not accepted during phase 1.  You are only allowed to add other foods if you choose to follow the same phase for more than the recommended two weeks.

  1. Take supplements

With any diet, you may be facing vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Consequently, we advise on taking daily multivitamin and omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

  1. Read the label

When buying packaged foods, especially canned veggies, read the label carefully. Most have sugar hidden in there, which is why you may end up eating more than 20 grams of carbs per day without even knowing it.

  1. Learn to distinguish hunger

Our brain takes about 20 minutes to register the chemicals in our foods. Consequently, if you do not feel hunger right after a main meal, wait. As a matter of fact, you should chew your food slowly to prevent the fake feeling of hunger right after a meal.woman eating a salad

What to Eat After Induction

You can move on to the Balancing phase after two weeks if you:

  • Have lost 15 pounds.
  • Are tired of eating the foods on the Atkins Induction food list.
  • Have been in Induction for longer than just a few weeks and have achieved most of your weight loss goal.

This diet is quite flexible, in the sense that you can start adding more foods to the Atkins Induction food list after the first two weeks. It’s only during phase 1 that you must minimize your carbohydrates intake. After Induction, you can slowly add (healthy) carbs into your diet. Such foods are higher-carb vegetables, fruits, legumes, potatoes, and healthy grains (oats, rice).

Now, while you are allowed to bring back carbs into your life, do it wisely. Even if you have achieved your weight loss goal, you still risk regaining the pounds you have lost. Moreover, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t eat the same amounts of carbs as you did prior to the Atkins diet.

Some people choose to stay in Induction for more than two weeks. You should too if you:

  • Have more than 30 pounds to lose.
  • Did not follow the rules accordingly.
  • Have a slow metabolism.
  • Are not physically active.
  • Still crave carbs.

The Risks Involving the Atkins Diet

While you are making a step forward toward your goal of losing weight, there are a few disadvantages you must learn about. Since you will be cutting back carbs, you may experience:

• Dizziness.
• Fatigue.
• Headache.
• Constipation.
• Diarrhea.
• Nausea.

This side effects usually happen during Induction, as it’s the low-carb phase of the diet. Over time, as you go through the other phases, your system should get accustomed to your new eating habits.

However, the Atkins diet is not for everyone. People with certain medical conditions should consult their physician before starting any diet. If you suffer from diabetes or severe kidney disease, you should not follow the Atkins diet. Furthermore, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not allowed to go on this diet.

Let us know if the Atkins diet worked out for you. While some praise its efficiency, others report little, if any weight loss. The reality is, not all diets work for everyone. You must find the one that suits you best. Consult your nutritionist or physician before making any major changes in your diet.

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