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Atkins Diet: How Many Calories Do You Need Per Day?

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Atkins Diet: How Many Calories Do You Need Per Day?
Walnuts next to a variety of cheeses Photo Credit: DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

The Atkins diet is a controlled-carbohydrate eating plan designed to promote weight loss. The program is based on the premise that higher insulin levels promote fat storage. Insulin is a blood sugar-regulating hormone. The goal of the Atkins program is for you to consume fewer carbohydrates in order to avoid insulin spikes throughout the day. The Atkins plan does not restrict how many calories you can eat daily.

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No Calorie Limit

Different phases of the Atkins plan limit you to varying amounts of carbohydrates. There is no calorie requirement, but you may find yourself eating fewer calories than you normally would, according to the Atkins website. A typical person following the Atkins diet might eat between 1,800 and 2,000 calories, according to The average phase one Atkins menu contains about 2,000 calories and 20 grams of carbohydrates. On the plan, you'll focus on lean meat, fish, nuts, cheese, eggs and low-starch fruits and vegetables.

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