The Program: Objectives of OWL
HOW TO PERSONALIZE OWL
Once you have the basics of Ongoing Weight Loss under your belt—that same belt that you’ve probably had to tighten a notch or two—it’s time to learn how to customize OWL to suit your needs, culinary heritage or preferences and metabolism. One thing that is not negotiable is that you should continue to get at least 12 to 15 grams of Net Carbs from foundation vegetables. Also, be sure to:
- Discontinue any new food if weight loss ceases, and/and cravings result.
- Keep portions small.
- Count—don’t estimate—your carbs.
- Record any reactions such as weight gain, change in energy level or cravings in your diet journal and modify your choices accordingly.
Here are some ways you can make Phase 2 of Atkins your own:
- Rearrange the Carb Ladder. As long as you stick to your daily quota of carbs, you may be able to change the order established by the Carb Ladder. So if you prefer to add berries before nuts or yogurt before berries, give it a try. Likewise, if you just love yogurt (the plain, unflavored, whole milk kind), try adding it before berries. But don’t try this with legumes (unless you’re a vegetarian or vegan), which are higher in carbs.
- Move up more slowly. As long as you’re steadily losing weight, you can increase your daily intake by 5 grams of Net Carbs each week, but you certainly don’t have to. You may decide to move up every two weeks or to introduce new foods more slowly in a tradeoff for faster weight loss.
- 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.
- Factor in your food preferences. If you prefer not to eat meat, you can rely on other animal protein sources. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, you’ll want to start in OWL. We’ll show you how. If you follow a kosher diet, they are websites that explain a kosher approach to Atkins and provide sources for low-carb kosher products. Likewise, if you have a Hispanic culinary heritage, you can modify Atkins to your needs.
- Tailor your fitness program. While there is no question that the Atkins Diet and a regular program of physical fitness are natural partners, we leave the specifics of when to begin and what specific regimen to follow to you. By the time you reach OWL, you should feel invigorated enough to resume your exercise program, build upon it or start one. However, if you still have a lot of weight to lose, you may be more comfortable going easy for a while, perhaps just taking a short walk once or twice a day.
The point is, the more you can customize Atkins to fit your preferences and lifestyle—without abandoning the basic principles and guidelines, the more likely you are to find it easy and pleasurable to follow—and the more likely you are to achieve success.