Atkins Diet Breakfast Ideas

Atkins Diet Breakfast Ideas

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You can have vegetable omelets during any stage of Atkins.

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The Atkins diet stresses low-carbohydrate food choices for weight loss and control. Each of the four stages of the diet restricts your consumption of net carbs, or total grams of carbohydrates in a serving of food minus the grams of dietary fiber. A successful breakfast on Atkins includes the number of net carbs that fits within your daily carbohydrate limit for your current phase. In addition, each meal and snack on Atkins, including breakfast, should include a high-protein food.

Ham and Eggs

In Phase 1, Induction, you can have 20 grams of daily net carbs, including 12 to 15 grams of net carbs from nonstarchy vegetables. Carbohydrate-free foods, such as eggs and meat, can be the foundation of your Phase 1 breakfast. Make scrambled eggs with diced ham and an ounce of feta cheese, which has 1.2 grams of net carbs. Add a cup of diced vegetables, such as spinach, with 4.4 grams of net carbs per cup. Vary this breakfast by choosing different types of cheese and vegetables. Check the ingredients label on the ham to ensure it wasn't cured with sugar or has other sources of hidden carbohydrates. Another option during Phase 1 is to have fish or meat served with a hard-boiled egg.

Hamburger Scramble

Ground beef and turkey are both carbohydrate-free and good sources of protein. Brown your hamburger meat with some garlic, 1/4 cup of cooked onions, 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli and 1/2 cup of cooked zucchini. Melt in an ounce of cheddar cheese. Choose extra-lean ground beef or lean ground turkey, and cook your scramble in olive oil instead of butter to reduce your consumption of cholesterol-raising saturated fat, which can increase your risk for heart disease. Vary this option by choosing different vegetables or another kind of cheese.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss, includes all foods on Phase 1 plus cottage and ricotta cheese, cream, peanuts and select nuts, seeds and fruits. In this phase, you add in 5 daily grams of net carbs per week. You can make cottage cheese pancakes for breakfast with eggs, cottage cheese, cinnamon, baking powder and vanilla. A 1/2-cup serving of cottage cheese on Atkins contains 4.1 grams of net carbs. Serve your pancakes with a 1/4 cup of raspberries, which have 1.5 grams of net carbs, and 10 pecan halves, with 1.5 grams of net carbs. Another breakfast option for Phase 2 is to make a breakfast salad with arugula, ham or chicken breast, cantaloupe, nuts or sunflower seeds and olive oil.

Oatmeal for Phase 3

Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance, raises your daily net carb limit by 10 grams each week, and you can add starchy vegetables, legumes, more fruit and some grains to the foods that were in Phase 2. A 1/3-cup serving of oatmeal contains 19 grams of net carbs. Serve it with one-half of an apple, with 8.7 grams of net carbs, and 24 almonds, with 2.3 grams of net carbs. Vary this breakfast by choosing different types of fruit or nuts. An alternative breakfast on Phase 3 could include ricotta cheese and a small fruit salad with sunflower seeds. Another option is to scramble eggs with tomatoes, black beans, cilantro and green onions and to top your scramble with cheese.

Leftovers on Phase 4

The foods that you can eat on Phase 4, Lifetime Maintenance, are the same as on Phase 3, but you may have a higher daily limit for net carbohydrates. Make a chicken stir-fry for dinner, and eat the leftovers for breakfast. Ingredients can include chicken breast, nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli, sugar snap peas, sprouts and water chestnuts plus sesame seeds and olive oil. On the side, eat 1/2 cup of cooked yam, which contains 9.6 grams of net carbs. Substitute any lean protein, such as fish or lean beef, for the chicken, and try different vegetable combinations, such as zucchini and eggplant, red and green bell peppers or mushrooms and bok choy. You can also swap the yam for another starchy vegetable, such as potatoes or winter squash. Build your breakfast by choosing a source of cooked lean protein, such as fish, shellfish, poultry or meat, and serving it with steamed, nonstarchy vegetables and some beans, lentils or starchy vegetables.