Atkins 20®, Phase 2: Balancing Your Diet

Phase 2 is all about balancing your diet and maintaining your momentum from Phase 1 (Induction) to continue towards your weight loss goals.  You’ll start to climb the Carb Ladder by slowly adding different foods like  nuts, seeds, strawberries, blueberries, melon, cottage cheese, yogurt, and more. The goal is to reintroduce a variety of carbs until you find a healthy diet that’s right for you.

Learn more about how to balance your diet by following the links below.

This balancing phase is designed to help your body lose excess weight after the more rapid progress of Phase 1. While your list of acceptable foods will grow, the goal is to continue your weight loss in a way that will be more sustainable.

See details below on Phase 2 and how to balance your low carb diet.

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Below you’ll discover Low Carb Diet Tips specific to Phase 2. In Phase 2 you climb the carb ladder by adding different foods to your daily meal plan, helping to increase your metabolism and maintain weight loss. Read the diet tips below to help guide you along the next step of your Atkins Journey.


If you have questions about Phase 2 of Atkins, you’re in the right place. Below you’ll discover Low Carb diet facts and frequently asked questions about how to maintain a balanced diet. From what to do if you’ve had a slip-up to what to do about cravings that may have returned. Continue reading to learn more.

Here are some FAQs that you may encounter during Phase 2:


If you’ve lost weight steadily and are now only about 10 pounds from your goal weight, it’s time to move on to Phase 3, because your long-term goal is to find a sustainable way of eating. And with 10 pounds to go, you have enough time to try to reintroduce the remaining carb foods.

If you aren’t yet 10 pounds from your goal, ask yourself which of these three scenarios describes you:

  1. You’ve reached a daily intake of about 50 grams of Net Carbs, have introduced Phase 2 foods, and continue to slim down without experiencing cravings and unreasonable hunger. If so, feel free to transition to Phase 3 now if you’re eager for more variety in your meals. If you stall out there, you can always return to Phase 2 to reboot weight loss.
  2. You still have more than 10 pounds to shed and are stalled in your weight-loss progress and/or experiencing cravings and extreme hunger before meals. By all means, stay in this phase until the cravings and hunger have vanished.
  3. Although you lost weight in Phase 1, your progress in this phase has been frustrating, and some Phase 2 foods are creating cravings and undue hunger. You may have even gained a few pounds. You may be extraordinarily sensitive to carbs and may have reached your carb tolerance at 30 or 35 grams of Net Carbs. Follow the advice above, be patient, and ramp up your activity level if possible.


Welcome to freedom, variety and finding your personal carb balance. Combine the foods listed below with all the options listed on the Phase 1 Acceptable Foods List to keep working towards your weight loss goals. So enjoy, keep your eye on the end goal and welcome to Phase 2.

During Phase 2, you add higher carb foods back into your diet – 5 daily Net Carbs per week. You can move beyond vegetables to other foods, such as nuts, seeds and berries. Although you will be eating primarily natural, unprocessed foods, you will find an increasing number of convenience foods – choices that help even busy people stay on track during weight loss.

Convenience Foods

Many of the foods listed above are available conveniently packaged to go at the market or convenience store – feel free to grab and go – just note the serving size, and subtract fiber from total carbs to get Net Carbs. Learn more about net carbs and how to calculate them here.

And remember, Atkins bars and shakes are super convenient too, And every single flavor is allowed in Phase 2. So be busy, be happy and be well fed.



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