I'm on the Atkins diet plan (have been, since October of 2002 -- for the most part). It's worked well for me, I've taken off at least 50 lbs of fat, and with a good solid workout program it's helped quite a bit for me toward reaching my goals.
One of the problems with Atkins is finding food, and one of the small secrets I've discovered is that it's really not all that hard -- if you know the right questions to ask.
For example, at McDonalds, the menu is arguably anti-Atkins. Just about everything comes with a bun, and stuff that doesn't is coated in sugar in some form. Or so it would seem.
In reality, it's pretty easy to not only eat Atkins-ready food, but on a much lighter budget than you would imagine.
- Eggs: You can simply order the eggs like this at the counter: "I'll have 3 round eggs, please." (cost -- in my area, $1.20)
- Alternatively, you can get a burrito meal and ditch the hash brown -- it's still usually less than 4 bucks. Arguably, the eggs are a better deal.
- You can also simply order what you want: "I'll have two eggs, scrambled and two sausage (patties or links). They'll get em for you. I recommend the round eggs -- this insures that they're real eggs and I find them convenient to eat. They're the same eggs they put in the sandwitches, so they usually have a ready supply.
- On the Lunch/Dinner front, I can't emphasize enough that they actually have salads.
- If you really want to go cheap, however, you can get a big piece of lettuce and a couple of hamburger patties (at least in my area) for a buck by simply saying "I'll have a double-cheeseburger without a bun." -- the double cheeseburger is on the dollar menu, and I usually get two of them (for a whopping 2 bucks, I'm full). It's a bargain. You may have to wait just a tad, but it works just fine for the diet.