The Program: Phase 1
When to Move On
Based upon your experience in the last two weeks on Induction, plus your weight goal, it’s decision time. But before you decide whether it’s time to move to Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), be sure that you’ve achieved the two main entwined purposes of Induction: shifting to burning primarily fat for energy and kick-starting weight loss. Then, and only then, are you ready to decide if moving on to OWL after two weeks is right for you.
If you’ve lost no weight or no more than the 2 pounds, your body has not made the shift to primarily burning fat, and you should remain in Induction until you lost some more weight. Likewise, if you’re still plagued by cravings for carbohydrate foods or fighting excessive hunger between meals, you’re not yet experiencing the benefits of the Atkins Edge
, making it inadvisable to leave Phase 1.
Having a large amount of weight to lose is a common reason to stay longer in Induction, as you’ll lose a bit more quickly and consistently in this phase than in subsequent ones. If you’re content for now with the Induction food choices, you should consider staying put. On the other hand, if you’re close to your goal weight, losing very quickly, or being tempted to stray because of limited food choices, it’s time to move to OWL.
Don’t make the mistake of staying in Induction too long just because you love how the pounds are peeling off. It’s important to move through the phases to ensure that you've cured yourself of your old habits and can reintroduce foods without halting your weight loss or provoking cravings. Losing weight fast is exhilarating, but it will likely be a temporary fix if you don’t find a sustainable way of eating that works for you. Deliberately slowing your rate of weight loss as you approach your goal will make it easier to make those lost pounds history. You needn’t worry about any health risks of staying in Induction, but you do need to work on moving up the Carb Ladder
so you can find your tolerance for carbs, whether it’s 30, 50, 60 or more grams a day.
Move to OWL if . . .
- You’re already within 15 pounds of your goal weight. It’s important for you to move on to learn a new, permanent way of eating.
- You’re bored with your current food choices.
- You’ve been in Induction for several months and are more than halfway to your goal.
You may choose to stay in Induction if . . .
- You still have more than 30 pounds to lose.
You should stay in Induction for now if . . .
- You still have a large amount of weight to lose.
- You’re still struggling with carb cravings.
- You’ve not been fully compliant with Induction.
- You still have elevated blood sugar or blood pressure levels.
- Your weight loss is slow and you aren’t physically active.
Move on to Pre-Maintenance if ...
- You’re within 10 pounds of your goal weight and still losing at a brisk pace.