Your Summer Shape-Up Plan: Get ready for swimsuit season!

The days are longer and the weather is warmer, which means swimsuit season is just around the corner. Whether you’ve been doing Atkins for a while or are interested in starting, now is the perfect time to take your plan to the next level so that you are ready to hit the beach or pool this summer with confidence.

Read or reread the book. Jumpstart your motivation and understanding of Atkins by reading The New Atkins for a New You, so that you have a thorough understanding of the program.

Get cooking! Eating the Atkins way is so much easier when you have yummy low-carb food to eat. Pick up a copy of The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook, where you have your choice from 200 simple and delicious low-carb recipes to choose from.

Plan ahead. Choose the recipes you want to cook each week, and set aside a day to do all your grocery shopping for the week. Keep your pantry and office stocked with Atkins-friendly snacks so you always have a low-carb option at your fingertips. Include delicious snacks like Atkins Advantage bars and shakes, nuts, jerky and cut-up vegetables and dip.

Evaluate where you are now.
Sometimes all you need to do to jumpstart your weight-loss is to move to a different Phase in Atkins. Whether this means starting from scratch with a quick move back to Induction for two weeks, or moving up to Phase 2 or Phase 3, both options have the potential of pushing you past a plateau.

Measure up. If you haven’t taken your measurements in a while, now is a great time to realistically re-evaluate where you are, and where you want to be by the time swimsuit season starts. Typically, you can realistically expect to lose 2 pounds a week. Use a measuring tape to measure your waist circumference, and other areas (upper arms, thighs, hips), and you can also gauge your progress with a piece of clothing that is a little tight. Try it on every couple weeks to gauge your progress. Try only to weight yourself once a week. Scales can’t distinguish among fat, muscle and water and your body’s byproducts. No matter what you do, the numbers are bound to differ a pound or two in either direction on a daily basis. And, as you build muscle and lose fat, your weight may not change, but your shape will. Instead, look at weight loss as something averaged over time.

Join the Atkins Community. If you haven’t already, join the Atkins Community. You can customize your profile, track your net carbs, create your own blog, join the forums and get to know plenty of other people who are trying to get in shape for swimsuit season just like you.

Journal your progress. Keeping a weight-loss journal is another great tool to help you stay on track. You can record all your meals, which gives you an honest look at areas of your meal plan that you might want to improve. Track your measurements, keep up with your goals, and write down important milestones during your Atkins journey.

Get an Atkins buddy. Do you have a friend or family member who is also trying to drop a few pounds before swimsuit season? Doing Atkins together is another great way to stay motivated. You can share recipes, exercise together, plan your meals for the week and keep each other on track. You can even find a virtual Atkins buddy by joining the Atkins Community.

Move your meals outdoors. Take advantage of the warmer weather, and fire up the grill. You can grill all sorts of meats, and add herbs, spices and oils to pump up the flavor. Shop for fresh vegetables that are in season, add some olive oil and herbs and grill them as well. A home-cooked meal bursting with fresh flavors makes it even easier to stick with Atkins.

Get moving. Studies show that people who exercise are more successful at maintaining their weight loss than people who don’t. Make it your goal to incorporate regular exercise into your life, especially now that the weather is getting nicer. Walking, swimming, running and biking are all great ways to enjoy the weather while burning calories. Take a walk at lunch or after dinner, or go on a hike with the family on the weekends.
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.