FAQs: Atkins Phase 1 What Foods Can't I Eat?

A friend of mine is starting the Atkins diet and he has a lot of questions about what he can and can't eat. I figured if he's having a hard time trying to figure out what to eat, some of you who are starting may have a hard time as well.

Learn what foods you should avoid while on Atkins Phase 1 Induction Diet.

Since I like helping those who are trying to get the feel for the Atkins diet or any low carb diet, I thought I would give you a heads up on some of the items you should not eat.

The question at hand was, "Would it be okay if I had one pretzel every other day"?


Starch was my biggest challenge. Yep, we all love starches. I'm sure most of us are addicted to them. I was addicted to Cheez-its. Before I started Atkins, I was eating close to 4 family size boxes a week, now I don't even bring them into the house and I have no desire to even eat one.

You can't eat the foods I mention down below during the induction phase; that's the first 2 weeks. After you reach your goal weight and you want to maintain your weight, then you can eat these but in MODERATION.

So, you CAN'T eat:

Ooey Gooey Sugary Snacks

  • Anything that lives in the cereal aisle. Say goodbye to Captin' Crunch, Rice Krispies and the rest of the gang. 
  • Pop-Tarts, Toaster Strudel or anything that has frosting on it.  
  • Cookies, Cakes or Pies
  • Candy 
  • Marshmallows
  • Gum & Mints - check the carb count, some have a lot of carbs and some have a very small amount. 

If you want something sweet, grab yourself some Atkins Endulge candies or bars. I'm telling you, they're awesome and you will feel like your cheating, but you're not. Check out my review on Atkins Chocolate Peanut Candies. 


  • Crackers
  • Bread, Bagels, and Pita wraps
  • Rice - that means no sushi. You can eat the fish but that's it!
  • Potatoes - that includes French Fries, Potato Chips and anything else derived from a potato.
  • French Fries
  • Pretzels, Popcorn, and anything that comes in a bag and produced by the Frito-Lay company
  • Corn Nuts
  • Carrots and Peas - You can have that in a later phase. 
  • Beans. All of them. 
  • Bread - white, wheat, rye, wraps, pita, English muffins
  • Pasta

Sauces and Gravy
  • Tomato sauce is a NO-NO. Sure, you can make it from scratch, but tomatoes have carbs in it and when you're adding the canned tomatoes and tomato paste, you're going to be consuming more carbs than you actually think you're consuming. 
  • Gravy is bad. Okay, let me rephrase that. Gravy is delicious and something I miss desperately; however, it's loaded with carbs seeing how one of the main ingredients is flour and/or corn starch.

Soft Drinks

If you want to drink Kool-aid, soda, or any soft drinks, make sure it has ZERO carbs.

There are plenty of other items you can not eat while on Atkins. This list does not constitute all of them. Make a habit out of reading the labels and don't forget to keep track of your daily carb intake. 

If you have any Akins or low carb related questions, please feel free to ask me, and I'll answer your question here on the blog.