I know I have been highly critical about Atkins Nutritionals over the years. Dr. Atkins stressed whole, real food originally. For the company to push meal replacement bars and shakes really irritates me BUT I have eaten and enjoyed their bars in the past and, if you feel the need, you should too!

Those bars kept me sane. They kept me on track. Those Atkins bars gave me something I was happy eating, when what I really wanted was a giant Snickers. I began with the free bars they sent to me. Then, I bought them by the box. I would eat one a day (more or less). After a while (maybe a couple of months), one box would last me well over a month. That is when I stopped buying them. I just didn’t want them any more. This, as a lifeline in the beginning of any weight-loss journey, is where I think any of Atkins’ ready-to-eat items should be: a temporary solution until cravings have subsided. I have never (and probably never will) tried their shakes or other snacks/meal replacement bars.

There are a lot of other, less expensive (and higher quality) options out there. Just take a look wherever they sell protein bars. Read the labels (especially total carbohydrates). Look at the ingredients. I know a lot of people who have never looked in that aisle of the store who are shocked by the variety that is out there. Just think about all those people around the globe who have been in the fitness/body building industry for decades! They have researched and come up with items that are typically high in protein, while being low in fat and carbohydrates (that doesn’t taste like you are chewing on a vitamin).

Just today, I experienced my 4th low blood sugar day since having to switch around my diet. So, while at the drug store, I grabbed a Powerbar Protein Plus bar (chocolate peanut butter). It has 25 grams of total carbs and 4 grams fiber (perfect since I have to limit my fiber). Comparing this with Atkins version, which has 23 grams of total carbohydrates and 14 grams of fiber, the Powerbar is much bigger and more filling. It evened out my blood sugar until I could finish shopping and, if I recall correctly, tastes about the same as the Atkins version but didn’t leave me still wanting more. I also checked out my Costco’s selection of protein bars and the Kirkland brand bars are reasonable on carbohydrates (17 and 16 total grams).

As for shakes, if you choose to use them, take a look at the various protein powders that are available (that are not Atkins branded). My favorite are 1st Phorm‘s Level 1 protein powders. These are the best tasting and cause me NO digestive issues. They also have fantastic meal replacement bars (my favorite is Salted Caramel).

Atkins’ frozen meals were highly disappointing. The price was too high for such a small amount of food that was barely edible. If you are willing to read labels, you need to look at the other options that are in the freezer aisle. Not everything is breaded or covered with gravy anymore.

The points I am making are:

  1. Just because a product is labeled “Atkins” does not make it either high quality, flavorful or unique. Look around and you will be astounded by the options that are out there;
  2. Do not listen to those who may belittle a product simply because the ingredients are not whole foods, 100% natural, organic, paleo, and sourced from the jungles of the Amazon by angels riding on the backs of unicorns. You do whatever you need to do to keep yourself sane and on track to become as healthy as possible!
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