The Program: Phase 1

How to Do Induction Right

Have three meals and two snacks a day.

Never starve yourself or go more than three or four waking hours without eating. If you prefer, have five or even six small meals. You never want to allow yourself to become ravenously hungry. That can open the door to eating whatever’s at hand. Not a good idea!

Consume 20 grams of Net Carbs a day.

Of these, 12–15 grams should be in the form of foundation vegetables. It’s fine to average 20 grams a day over several days, but don’t go below 18 grams or above 22 on a single day. Dropping below 18 probably won’t make you lose weight any faster and is unlikely to satisfy your vegetable requirement. Going above 22 could interfere with triggering weight loss. Select carb foods from the list of Phase 1 acceptable foods.

Eat sufficient protein at every meal.

As you now know, protein plays a key role in weight loss and protects lean muscle mass, so you lose only fat.

Don’t restrict fats.

Consuming fat is essential to slimming down on Atkins. Fat also heightens the flavor of foods and enables your body to absorb certain vitamins. Always accompany a carb snack with either fat or protein. For example, have cucumber slices with a piece of cheese.

Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.

Two of these can be replaced with coffee or tea. Another 2 cups can be replaced with beef, chicken, or vegetable broth (not the low sodium kind).

Avoid dehydration or electrolyte imbalance.

The perfectly normal initial loss of water weight can lead to light-headedness and other symptoms and rob you of energy. These symptoms disappear once you’re burning primarily fat, but in the meantime, be sure to consume sufficient salt in the form of salty broth, salt, tamari, or soy sauce.

Watch out for hidden carbs.

Read food labels carefully, particularly on condiments. In restaurants, ask for oil and vinegar to dress your salad, request sauces on the side, and feel free to ask the server what’s in a dish.

Use sugar substitutes—in moderation.

That means no more than three packets a day.

Use only Atkins low-carb products.

Most of these have been tested to ensure that their impact on your blood sugar level is minimal. The majority of them are coded for Phase 1.

Acceptable Foods only.

Eat nothing that isn’t on the list of Phase 1 acceptable foods, unless you plan to continue on Phase 1 for longer than two weeks. If so, then it is acceptable to add nuts and seeds.

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Disclaimer: Nothing contained on this Site is intended to provide health care advice. Should you have any health care-related questions, please call or see your physician or other health care provider. Consult your physician or health care provider before beginning the Atkins Diet as you would any other weight loss or weight maintenance program. The weight loss phases of the Atkins Diet should not be used by persons on dialysis or by pregnant or nursing women.