Paleo Diet or Atkins Diet: Which Is Better?


Both the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet are low carb plans.  There are many similarities between the two plans, but there are also some differences.  Some folks say the Paleo diet is simply a revised edition of the original Atkins diet.  This is not quite accurate.

The Atkins diet has four phases.  During phase 1 you limit your intake of carbohydrates to 20 grams per day.  It is the phase where you will have the most weight loss.

Phase 2 is when you begin to gradually add some foods such as seeds, nuts, berries and some additional vegetables.

Phase 3 is when you are nearing your goal weight.  This is a pre-maintenance stage and you can add an additional 10 grams of carbohydrates to your diet each week.  You continue to add the carbs as long as you are still losing weight.  If weight loss stops you cut back on the carbs.  You stay in this phase until you reach your goal weight and then move on to the maintenance phase.

Phase 4 is the maintenance phase and can be followed for a lifetime.  During maintenance you will follow a daily intake of between 45 and 100 grams of carbohydrates.

The Atkins program has some online support tools.  They also promote many products like meals, shakes and meal and snack bars.


Experts have rated the Atkins plan as good for short term weight loss, but not for long term success.

The Paleo diet is based on the theory that you eat only foods a caveman ate.  You will be eating meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and fruit.  You will avoid eating grains, processed foods and sugars and dairy products.

While the Atkins diet has no ban on foods which have been treated with pesticides or antibiotics or were raised in factories, the Paleo diet stresses the quality of the food.  It promotes using meat from grass fed and pasture raised animals.

The Atkins diet allows the use of artificial sweeteners while the Paleo diet rejects these chemical products.  The Paleo diet eliminates grains while the Atkins plan allows grains during its later phases.

With the Paleo plan you adjust the program so you can lose weight if this is your desire.

Both diets say they are healthy for a lifetime.  Both say they will help diabetics maintain their blood sugar levels.  Both say they are heart healthy.  Some experts are skeptical of the claims about diabetes and the heart.

These plans have been evaluated and ranked by experts in the field and neither diet ranked very well.  Both diets fell short for long term weight loss success.  Neither was easy to follow with the restrictions of food.  Both were fairly expensive.

If you decide  you want to follow either the Atkins or Paleo diet be prepared to adjust to a limited menu.  Be sure  you consult with your health care processional before you embark on either program.