The Program: Objectives of Lifetime Maintenance


If you’ve done well with Atkins so far, your good experience is very likely to continue by following one of two Lifetime Maintenance options: one at 50 grams of Net Carbs or less and the other above 50 grams. The simplest description of the first approach is Ongoing Weight Loss with a bit more variety and some additional fat. The second option can be best described as your last month of Pre-Maintenance, again with a bit more fat. Each meets all of your energy and essential nutrient needs and can be tailored to your individual metabolism. You probably already have a pretty good idea of which path is the one for you, based upon your metabolism, your ACE and your experiences in OWL and Pre-Maintenance.

Health Considerations

If you have a condition such as hypertension, diabetes, high triglycerides or a low HDL (“good”) cholesterol level, you may find that they’re better controlled if you remain at a lower level of carb intake. So even if you can maintain your weight at a certain ACE, it may be better for your health to stay below that. Rest assured, there’s no risk in staying between 25 and 50 grams of Net Carbs. This lower option is particularly worth considering if you previously needed medication to control any of these conditions. Ask yourself two interlocking questions:
  • Do I feel safer and better on the medication(s)?
  • Or do I feel safer and better on a diet that gives me equal or better control of this condition with less medication or none at all? 

The Same but Different

Regardless of whether you choose the lower carb path or the higher carb path, remain at the ACE you identified in Pre-Maintenance and continue to eat the same healthy whole foods you’ve come to rely on.  Perhaps the best way to think of the two paths in Lifetime Maintenance is like a pair of fraternal twins. They share many similarities but have some significant differences, as summarized below.

Daily Intake in Two Lifetime Maintenance Paths

ACE Above 50 Grams of Net Carbs Below 50 Grams of Net Carbs
Foundation vegetables   Minimum 12–15 grams Minimum 12–15 grams
Total daily protein
(meals plus snacks)

Women: 12–18 ounces

Men: 16–22 ounces
Women: 12–18 ounces

Men: 16–22 ounces
Healthy natural fats As your appetite dictates As your appetite dictates
Total grams of Net Carbs  50–100 25–50
Range of carbohydrate foods Possible     Foundation vegetables

Nuts and seeds
Berries and other fruits


Starchy vegetables*

Whole grains*
Foundation vegetables

Nuts and seeds


Other foods possible*
Broth/bouillon/salt Optional 2 servings (unless you are hypertensive or on diuretic medication)
*If your ACE allows.
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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.