Since giving birth to Saint in December, Kim Kardashian has made her journey to get back to her pre-baby weight very public. To lose the 60+ pounds, she’s working out constantly, avoiding certain foods―and documenting it all on Snapchat. It’s working (“My butt and my hips are the last to go, but I’m not stopping!” an amped-up Kim toldPeople earlier this month)-in large part because of her strict adherence to the Atkins diet.
Kardashian is, of course, getting paid by Atkins. But it turns out she was an early devotee, back before sponsorships were a Kardashian way of life. Here, her nutritionist Colette Heimowitz down the diet.
Kim actually first tried the Atkins diet to lose the freshman 15
“In college, she actually did the diet with her father, you know, [after] she gained the few freshman pounds that everybody goes through.”
She did Atkins during her pregnancy and after, while breastfeeding
“The beauty about Atkins is that it meets all the nutritional requirements you need post-pregnancy and for pregnancy because you’re eating adequate protein, you’re eating healthy fats, and high-fiber carbohydrates, and some fruits and nuts, and a wide variety of protein. You don’t have to do low-calorie.”
Kim doesn’t eat more than 1,800 calories a day
Colette broke down what a typical day looked like in the beginning:
When she first started, for breakfast she would have an egg omelet-like cheese and vegetables and egg, for example. Lunch would be like grilled lime chicken over squash or a spinach salad with a feta ranch dressing.
And dinner could be zucchini noodles with a spicy chicken sausage or something like that. In between meals, she would have either our harvest trail bars, which is just nuts and fruits, or she would have hummus and vegetables, or Greek yogurt and berries. And for her sweet-tooth, she always likes the [Atkins] chocolate peanut butter cups.
But she paced herself
“Because rapid weight loss isn’t healthy for a breastfeeding mom. And so it was a nice balance, a steady weight loss over the past 6 months after her pregnancy.”
She’s changed her diet as she’s lost more weight
Originally, she started on the Atkins 40 program and could not eat starches. Instead, she could only eat “adequate protein (fish or chicken or meat or eggs), some dairy (Greek yogurt or some cheese), healthy fats (like nuts or avocado), and high-fiber carbohydrates (vegetables, lots and lots of vegetables, fruits like berries or cherries or cantaloupe).”
Kim can eat starches-but can’t get crazy with them
“She can add a side of brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, or baked potato. Because as you get to your weight loss goals, you can add a little bit more carbohydrate because you don’t have as much weight to lose.”
Kim’s meals don’t change when she’s doing an intense workout (and burning a ton of calories). “You’re taking in 1,800 calories and enough protein to turn your body mass into muscle. There’s no need to adjust it for someone working out.”
Same goes for bread, obviously
One blacklisted food, Colette noted, is an “Einstein bagel-I hate to use brand names but that’s one of the largest New York bagels. It has 77 grams of carbohydrates, and [that bagel] turns to sugar in the body, and when you’re turning all those carbs into sugar in the body, you’re going to store fat. So if you’re going to have a bagel, take out half, take out all the stuffing, put cream cheese in it, and you know, just control your portion.”
Kim doesn’t cheat, even on vacation
Instead, she’ll order a low-carb alternative to a high-carb food when out. “There’s always protein on the menu [at restaurants]-lamb chops, shrimp, salmon, chicken, and you have it with salad with olive oil and cooked vegetables with butter on it. [Then] you can have a little rice or starch on the side.”
When Kim has pasta, she employs self-control
“You really have to stay within a certain amount so you don’t gain weight. Don’t have three cups of pasta-you have it as a side, like a half a cup. There’s always ways around substituting and having clean cheats that give you the same sensation without sacrificing your diet.”
Kim doesn’t have to follow any one-cheat-day-a-week rule
“Some people like to do it that way. They like to be really strict during the week and then pick their poison during the weekend: You know, just have it once and then go right back on the diet. Other people prefer to do it by having a little bit more carbs every day. So, you have to make it work for you so you [stay] on the diet [and] keep the weight off. The important thing is that you make it work for you, to make it sustainable.”
She’ll be able to drink when she’s done breastfeeding-but has to be strategic about it
“White wine only has three grams of carbs. Vodka has practically none-so there’s way to do it in moderation and maintain your weight loss.”