Getting Healthy Together: How the Atkins Diet’s Low-Carb Meal Plans Have Improved the Lives of Real Married Couples

Men's Dating

Getting Healthy Together: How the Atkins Diet’s Low-Carb Meal Plans Have Improved the Lives of Real Married Couples

Amber Brooks Amber Brooks
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The Short Version: Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be about self-deprivation and bland meals. The Atkins low-carb lifestyle, which is backed by more than 80 independently published and peer-reviewed studies, invites people eat right, not less. The low-carb eating approach emphasizes a balanced lifestyle of high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein, and healthy fats, and it cuts out harmful sugars and processed foods. Atkins Nutritional Inc. provides meal plans as well as à la carte snacks, recipes, and other products to give people the freedom and flexibility to choose what works best for them. You can even use the company’s handy carb counters, acceptable food lists, weight-loss trackers, and other free resources to help you track your progress and reach your health goals. Backed by scientific research, the Atkins low-carb lifestyle has worked for many couples throughout the country, and hearing their stories can motivate others to stop counting calories and start living healthier lives through a smarter approach to eating.

Starting a new eating approach is like starting a new relationship — it’s not always going to be easy, and you need to have a lot of patience and determination to make it work. People can give you advice and explain why certain methods get faster results, but it may take some trial and error to discover what works best for you.

The key to making a new eating approach (or a new relationship, for that matter) last in the long run is to keep an open mind and not rush into anything without having all the facts.

If you’re ready to take a step toward a healthier lifestyle, Atkins Nutritionals Inc. can give you the information, meal kits, and tools you need to transform yourself one day at a time. Its trademarked meal plans give people the flexibility they need to satisfy their hunger through a steady lifestyle of nutritional and wholesome foods.

Atkins is the leading low-carb lifestyle in the US and internationally. Many high-profile figures, including Kim Kardashian and Rob Lowe, have used the lifestyle to maintain their fit physiques, and millions of everyday people have lost weight and become healthier thanks to this revolutionary lifestyle.

The Atkins low-carb lifestyle encourages consumers to eat right instead of eating less. It’s not about depriving yourself — it’s about understanding what you put in your body and maintaining a balanced eating approach of high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein, and healthy fats.

You can follow Atkins by starting on one of its Phases, buying Atkins products, or preparing meals using its 1,600 free recipes on the websites. A carb counter, food lists, and free weight loss app can help you stay on track and monitor your progress. You can even invite a friend, family member, or partner to join you. If you have someone to prepare meals alongside you, the the low-carb eating experience can be that much more enjoyable.

Many couples have seen phenomenal results after a few months on Atkins. Whether you want to lose weight so you feel more attractive or get healthy so you have more energy to go on dates, starting a proven eating approach like Atkins can be a rewarding way to increase your personal satisfaction in all aspects of life.

“Doing Atkins together almost guaranteed success because we were experiencing everything together,” said Mark, who lost 90 pounds after following an Atkins low-carb lifestyle with his wife. “We had a built-in support system. We held each other accountable, we challenged each other, we shared our feelings and fears, and we celebrated our successes as a team.”

Free Tools & Nutrition Plans Empower People to Lose Weight

The easiest way to follow an Atkins low-carb lifestyle is to follow an Atkins Phase.

For people using Atkins 20, they eat 20 net carbs from foundation vegetables, a variety of protein choices from poultry, fish, as well as meat, limited to four to six ounces per serving, healthy fats that include olive oil and avacado, and most cheeses limited to four ounces daily. After two weeks on Atkins 20, they add berries and nuts in five net carb increments. People losing weight with Atkins 40 eat 40 net carbs from a wider selection of food, including vegetables, root vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, and whole grains. Both approaches allow slow introduction of more food variety so that an individual can determine their carbohydrate tolerance.

On Atkins 100, individuals are encouraged to eat 100 net carbs per day from a variety of vegetables, moderate protein, healthy fats, and high-fiber carbohydrates, guiding individuals to make healthy choices with the understanding that no good is truly off limits.

With Atkins, people can eat from every food group and are allowed even more vegetables than recommended in the US Dietary Guidelines. People consumer 12-15 grams of net carbs from Atkins’ list of Foundational Vegetables.

On Atkins 40, people can enjoy a greater variety of foods from day one, including Greek yogurt, fruit, and whole grains, which make up the additional 25 grams net carbs of their choosing from a robust acceptable food list. On Akins 100, people can experience the benefits of a low carb lifestyle with even more flexbility, including legumes, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products.

New customers can input their age, gender, weight, height, and other key facts to receive an Atkins meal plan recommendation. Both plans offer a carefully calculated structure, but individuals have the flexibility to snack, exercise, and make it their own.

Couples can customize an Atkins meal plan for two and have healthy meal kits delivered anywhere from one to seven times a week. They can also create their own meal plans by buying Atkins protein bars, shakes, treats, and other meals a la carte. These items are sold online as well as at 43,000 store locations in the US and abroad.

Atkins also offers a free mobile app and downloadable resources to help people plan meals and track their weight loss. Anyone looking for peer-to-peer support can join the discussion board on the site and talk to people in the Atkins community.

A diagram of the benefits of the Atkins diet

The Atkins low-carb lifestyle limits carbohydrates, so the body burns fat for fuel, which results in weight loss.

The Atkins low-carb lifestyle is backed by more than 80 independently published, peer-reviewed clinical studies. Atkins has millions of success stories to its name. Plenty of couples report losing weight, feeling more energetic, and improving their health after a few months of eating nothing but low-carb meals.

Mark and Rachel Hallgren said following the Atkins lifestyle was a key step to changing their lifestyle and their relationship. The couple successfully lost more than 40 pounds each because they were in it together. They shared recipe ideas, shopped for food, and exercised together. They began going on activity-based dates instead of staying at home all the time.

Mark said they often challenged each other to mini-contests, such as seeing who could do the most squats or checking their step counters to see who’d walked more that day. “Getting off the couch and enjoying time together without distraction really allows a connection to grow,” Mark said. “My advice would be to plan active dates instead of dinner dates. It doesn’t have to be the gym. Hikes, kayaking, yoga, bike riding — lots of fun activities can count as a date.”

Kara & Matthew Felt Motivated to Change Their Eating Habits

Kara and Matthew Weekly live in Browns Mills, New Jersey, and have been married for 16 years. They are the proud parents of twin boys. When they were in their 30s, Kara and Matthew did some research and decided to try the Atkns low-carb lifestyle because they knew their health wasn’t as good as it could be and wanted an eating approach that was affordable and easy to maintain. “We needed to make a change in our lives,” Kara said, “and be healthy for ourselves, each other, our careers, and be good role models for our sons.”

Side-by-side photos of Kara and Matthew in 2016

Kara and Matthew felt more energetic and healthy after following the Atkins low-carb lifestyle.

Kara suffered from hypothyroidism and was at-risk for diabetes when she started on Atkins. Now, two years later, she’s no longer on any medications and does not suffer from as many symptoms from her medical condition as she did before. She has also lost over 50 pounds.

Kara said her health has improved significantly because of Atkins and having a partner to hold her accountable helped her feel motivated to keep going.

“By having that built-in support system as a couple, we were able to achieve success together,” Kara said. “I think the fact that we could cheer one another on, encourage one another, and be each other’s voice of reason in times of weakness during the induction phase was pivotal to us reaching our goals.”

Seeing their bodies change and health improve day after day kept them motivated to stick with Atkins. They wanted to see what they were capable of and how much of a transformation they could make by working together. The couple enjoyed the affordability and convenience of the meal plans, and they were soon encouraging friends and family members to try Atkins too.

“We try to serve as an inspiration to others,” Kara said. “We’re very proud of our results, and we’ll be everyone else’s biggest cheerleaders in their own journey.”

“By having that built-in support system as a couple, we were able to achieve success together.” — Kara Weekly, an Atkins advocate

It’s important to stay committed to the Atkins phases and see the plan all the way through. Matthew noted that couples shouldn’t feel discouraged if they don’t see results right away. “It took us about four weeks to see results,” he said. “Each person is different, so results vary. However, I would say you need to give yourself at least three months on the program in order to make an informed decision.”

Rachel & Mark Set Health Goals & Lost 40+ Pounds (Each)

At the age of 40, Mark and Rachel Hallgren felt that their bodies were giving out on them. The Californian couple had been together for 15 years, and they both suffered from plantar fasciitis, back pain, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. They were both morbidly obese. Decades of heavy drinking and gorging on fast food had taken a toll on them health-wise. And so they decided to make a change.

Side-by-side photos of Mark and Rachel Hallgren

Once Mark and Rachel Hallgren went on Atkins, they lost weight and maintained a more active and healthy lifestyle.

On March 1, 2015, Mark and Rachel gave up their unhealthy lifestyle and started the Atkins low-carb lifestyle. They cut out all processed foods, sugars, breads, pastas, and high-glycemic fruits, making a promise to each other to pay more attention to what they put in their bodies. They began reading food labels, taking long walks together, and cooking meals at home. After two months of this new lifestyle, Mark and Rachel had each lost about 40 pounds. “After that, we never looked back,” Mark said.

When they started Atkins, Mark weighed 323 pounds, and Rachel weighed 353 pounds. Now Mark weighs 233 pounds, and Rachel weighs 178 pounds. Their transformative journey has been good for their health as well as their relationship and overall happiness.

“Thinking about what we ate and moving our bodies became a lifestyle,” Mark said. “Now it’s just who we are — not people on a diet — but healthy, active, adventurous, happy people. We know reducing the carbs from our diet has given us a new lease on life and we are taking advantage of every moment of it.”

Throughout their lifestyle, the married couple relied on one another for support. Mark knew what Rachel was going through, and vice versa, because they were following the same low-carb lifestyle at the same time. That allowed them to be each other’s comforter, champion, and sounding board throughout the process.

“Weight loss is not just the transformation on the outside,” Mark said. “A lot goes on inside the head, and only someone experiencing the same changes can relate.”

The Atkins Lifestyle Can Transform Your Health & Happiness

If you’re willing to give it your all, following the Atkins low-carb lifestyle can be a life-changing choice. It’s not always easy to upend your lifestyle, but those who commit to self-improvement and consistently resist temptation will reap the benefits of their good decisions.

Photo of the Atkins Nutritional Inc. logo

A cardiologist named Dr. Robert Atkins started advocating for a low-carb lifestyle in the 1960s.

Kara and Matthew are a testament to what can happen when two people decide they’re ready to move forward and better themselves. They’ve stuck with Atkins for over two years, and their relationship is that much stronger because of their shared commitment.

“My biggest tip is to get creative with your meals,” Kara said. “Learning early on what foods are high or low in carbs is crucial because it helps with planning, shopping, and preparing meals.”

Thanks to the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, Kara and Matthew were able to achieve their weight-loss goals and become closer as a couple. “We changed our lives,” she said, “so I truly hope other couples can change theirs!”