The Program: Overview
Ways to Customize Atkins, Your Diet Plan
One of the beauties of the New Atkins Diet is that you can personalize it to suit your own metabolism, goals and time frame. Just as important, you can mold customized diet plan to your culinary tastes and any dietary restrictions you may have. After all, the closer you can get to the way you naturally want to eat, the more likely you are to make any way of eating your “forever” diet. And it’s not just what and how much you eat. You can choose when to begin a fitness program and what you want it to comprise. Take a look at 10 ways to make Atkins your own. If you’ve tried the program before and found it too difficult or too restrictive, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the updated approach.
Customize Your Diet Plan
1. START WHERE YOU WANT
Not everyone needs to start in Phase 1, Induction. You can choose to start in a later phase if you have little to lose or you’re willing to trade slower weight loss for more dietary variety from the start. See Choose the Right Phase in Which to Begin
2. MOVE AT THE RIGHT PACE FOR YOU.
In Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss, many people are in a hurry to increase their daily intake of Net Carbs. As long as you’re steadily losing weight, you typically increase by daily 5-gram increments each week, but you certainly don’t have to. You may decide to move up every two weeks or more to encourage faster weight loss. Nor need you reintroduce a new carb food group each week if a slower, more cautious approach suits your metabolism—or your personality. The same freedom applies in Phase 3, Lifetime Maintenance, in which most people move up in 10-gram daily increments each week.
3. REARRANGE THE CARB LADDER.
Once you move beyond Induction, we generally suggest you reintroduce foods in a certain order, called the Carb Ladder
, but if you’re losing weight reliably and in control of your appetite, you may be able to reorder the sequence to fit your preferences. Just stick to your daily quota of carbs and continue to get at least 12 to 15 grams of Net Carbs from foundation vegetables
4. HAVE MORE, SMALLER MEALS.
Eat four or five small meals instead of three meals and two snacks if you prefer. Just be sure to get enough fat and protein and not let yourself get too hungry between meals.
5. EAT LEAN PROTEIN—OR NOT.
You can eat lean cuts of meat and poultry, if you prefer, but do have some olive oil on a salad or dress vegetables with oil or butter at the same meal to keep your fat-burning engine humming away. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with eating fat in the context of a low-carb diet, because you’re burning it for energy.
6. PICK YOUR PROTEIN SOURCES.
If you don’t care to eat beef, fine. Concentrate on poultry, pork, fish and lamb. If you’re allergic to dairy products, there are plenty of alternative products that you can enjoy. It’s more challenging to do Atkins without eating any animal products, but we’ll show you how in Atkins for Vegetarians
and Atkins for Vegans
7. HONOR YOUR CULINARY HERITAGE.
One of the reasons that Atkins is so popular worldwide is that it can be adapted to almost any cuisine. If you’re of Hispanic descent, check out Atkins with a Latin Beat
. If you keep kosher, there are a number of websites that explain how to adapt Atkins to kosher dietary strictures and provide sources for low-carb kosher products.
8. CHOOSE WHEN TO BEGIN A FITNESS PROGRAM.
Other than advising you not to start or increase your activity level at the same time you begin Atkins—and reminding you that fitness is part of a healthy lifestyle
—we leave the when—and the what—to you. You may want to jump right in after losing the first few pounds or wait to slim down and feel more comfortable before getting (more) active. Likewise, it’s your decision whether to join a gym, take aerobics classes, roughhouse with your kids—or whatever.
9. CHOOSE FROM TWO OPTIONS IN PHASE
If you have a low metabolism, you may do better to stay in Phase 2 , Ongoing Weight Loss, until you lose all your excess weight. We help you make that decision with that decision in Two Paths in OWL
10. OPT FOR THE BETTER MAINTENANCE PATH FOR YOU
Likewise, you can select one of the two approaches to Lifetime Maintenance that better suits your needs and makes it more likely that you’ll be able to sustain your new weight. See Two Paths in Lifetime Maintenance
The point is clear: the more you can customize Atkins to fit your preferences and lifestyle—while abiding by the basic principles and guidelines, the more likely you are to find it easy and pleasurable to follow—and the more likely you’ll achieve permanent success.