The Program: Phase 1

What Low Carb Foods You Can Eat in this Phase

Our low carb food list is an easy guide to your Phase 1 eating plan. Most fish, poultry and meat don't contain carbs so you can feel free to enjoy them, but use the low carb food list to be sure you're also getting your 12 to 15 grams of net carbs in vegetables as well.**

All fish including:
  • Flounder
  • Herring
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sole
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Cod
  • Halibut
All fowl including:
  • Cornish hen 
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Turkey
  • Ostrich
All shellfish including:
  • Clams 
  • Crabmeat
  • Mussels*
  • Oysters*
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Lobster
*Oysters and mussels are higher in carbs so limit to about 4 ounces per day.

All meat including:
  • Bacon* 
  • Beef
  • Ham*
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Venison
Some processed meat, bacon, and ham is cured with sugar, which will add to the carb count. Also steer clear of cold cuts and other meats with added nitrates.

Eggs are one of nature's most nutritious creations. That’s why eggs are a staple breakfast in the Atkins Nutritional Approach.

Feel free to get creative with your eggs: Add mushrooms and onions, or even green pepper. Top the dish off with feta cheese or add basil, oregano and other herbs.

Eggs in any style, including:
  • Deviled 
  • Fried
  • Hard-boiled
  • Omelets
  • Poached
  • Scrambled
  • Soft-boiled
Keep in mind that cheese does contain carbs, about 1 gram per ounce. You may have about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese per day. An ounce is about the size of an individually wrapped slice of American cheese or a 1" cube.

Cheese including:

Type
Serving Size
Grams of net carbs
Blue cheeses 2 T 0.4
Cheddar 1 oz 0.4
Cow, sheep and goat 1 oz 0.3
Cream cheese 2 T 0.8
Feta 1 oz 1.2
Gouda 1 oz 0.6
Mozzarella 1 oz 0.6
Parmesan 1 oz 0.9
Swiss 1 oz 1.0

Vegetables:

You should be eating approximately 12 to 15 grams of net carbs per day in the form of vegetables, which is equivalent to several cups depending on the actual carb content of the veggies you select.
1 cup is roughly the size of a baseball. Measure the following salad vegetables raw.   

Vegetable Serving Size/Prep  grams of net carbs
Alfalfa sprouts ½ cup/raw 0.2
Arugula 1 cup/raw 0.4
Bok choy 1 cup/raw 0.4
Celery 1 stalk 0.8
Chicory greens ½ cup/raw 0.1
Chives 1 tablespoon 0.1
Cucumber ½ cup 1.0
Daikon ½ cup 1.0
Endive ½ cup 0.4
Escarole ½ cup 0.1
Fennel ½ cup 1.8
Jicama ½ cup 2.5
Iceberg lettuce 1 cup 0.2
Mushrooms ½ cup 1.2
Parsley 1 tablespoon 0.1
Peppers ½ cup/raw 2.3
Radicchio ½ cup/raw 0.7
Radishes 6/raw 0.5
Romaine lettuce 1 cup 0.4

The following vegetables are slightly higher in carbs than the salad vegetables listed above. They also provide important nutrients and add variety to your daily foods. Make sure you stay within the 12-15 grams of net carbs. Unless otherwise noted, measure these veggies after you cook them.

Vegetable Serving Size/ Prep Net Carbs
Artichoke 1/2 medium 3.5
Asparagus 6 spears 2.4
Artichoke hearts 1 canned 1.0
Avocados ½ whole (raw) 1.8
Bamboo shoots ½ cup 1.2
Broccoli ½ cup 1.7
Broccoli raw ½ cup 0.8
Broccoli rabe ½ cup 2.0
Broccoflower ½ cup 2.3
Brussels sprouts ¼ cup 1.8
Cabbage ½ cup (raw) 1.6
Cauliflower ½ cup (raw) 1.4
Swiss chard ½ cup 1.8
Collard greens ½ cup boiled 2.0
Eggplant ½ cup 2.0
Green String Beans 1 cup 4.1
Hearts of palm 1 heart 0.7
Kale ½ cup 2.4
Kohlrabi ¼ cup 2.3
Leeks ½ cup 3.4
Okra ½ cup 2.4
Olives green 5 0.1
Olives black 5 0.7
Onion ¼ cup 4.3
Pumpkin ¼ cup 2.4
Rhubarb ½ cup (unsweetened) 1.7
Sauerkraut ½ cup (drained) 1.2
Snow peas and snap peas in pod ½ cup with pods 3.4
Spaghetti squash ¼ cup boiled 2.0
Spinach ½ cup 2.2
Summer squash ½ cup 2.6
Tomato ¼ cup 4.3
Turnips ½ cup 3.3
Water chestnuts ¼ cup (canned) 3.5
Zucchini ½ cup 1.5

Salad Garnishes

Crumbled bacon 3 slices 0.0
Hard-boiled egg 1 egg 0.5
Grated cheeses (see above carb counts)  
Sautéed mushrooms ½ cup 1.0
Sour cream 2 tbs 1.2

Herbs and Spices (make sure they contain no added sugar)

Basil 1 tbs 0.0
Cayenne pepper 1 tbs 0.0
Cilantro 1 tbs 0.0
Dill 1 tbs 0.0
Garlic 1 clove 0.9
Ginger 1 tbs sliced root 0.8
Oregano 1 tbs 0.0
Pepper 1 tbs 0.0
Rosemary 1 tbs 0.0
Sage 1 tbs 0.0
Tarragon 1 tbs 0.0

Salad Dressings - Any prepared salad dressing with no added sugar and no more then 2 grams of net carbs per serving (1-2 tablespoons) is acceptable. Or make your own.
       
Blue cheese 2 tbs 2.3
Caesar 2 tbs 0.5
Italian 2 tbs 3.0
Lemon juice 2 tbs 2.8
Lime juice 2 tbs 2.8
Oil and vinegar 2 tbs 1.0
Ranch 2 tbs 1.4

Fats and Oils

There are no carbs here, but keep in mind that the serving size is approximately 1 tablespoon.
  1. Butter
  2. Mayonnaise – make sure it has no added sugar
  3. Olive oil
  4. Vegetable oils – Those labeled “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed” are especially good and olive oil is one of the best.
    • Canola*
    • Walnut
    • Soybean*
    • Grape seed*
    • Sesame
    • Sunflower*
    • Safflower*
*Do not allow any oils to reach overly high temperatures when cooking. Use olive oil for sautéing only. Use walnut or sesame oil to dress cooked veggies or salad, but not for cooking.

Artificial Sweeteners
  • Splenda – one packet equals 1 gram of net carbs 
Beverages
  • Clear broth/ bouillon (make sure it has no sugars added)
  • Club soda
  • Cream, heavy or light.
  • Decaffeinated or regular coffee and tea*
  • Diet soda (be sure to note the carb count)
  • Flavored seltzer (must say no calories)
  • Herb tea (without added barley or fruit sugar added)
  • Unflavored soy/almond milk
  • Water – at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day including...
    • Filtered water
    • Mineral water
    • Spring water
    • Tap water
* One to two cups of caffeinated tea or coffee is allowed as desired and tolerated by each individual. If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia or cravings as a result, do not use caffeine. If you have a true caffeine addiction, it is best to break the habit during the induction phase.
* Limit lemon and lime juices to 3 T per day

**If you have decided to stay in Induction longer than 2 weeks while following the “Fast Track”, you may swap out 3g NC of other foundation vegetables for 3g NC of nuts or seeds. Do not let your Foundation Vegetable levels drop below 12g NC. Refer to the meal plans in The New Atkins Made Easy for ideas. As a quick guide, 3g NC of nuts or seeds translates to 30 almonds, 3T of macadamia nuts, 2T of peanut butter, 2T pistachios, 4T shelled sunflower seeds. Transition to Phase 2 (Balancing) once you are within 15 pounds of your goal weight. If you are taking the “Slow and Steady Track”, wait to introduce Nuts and Seeds when you reach Phase 2 (Balancing).

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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.