It’s a fact… the majority of people who start a diet end up quitting. You may have fallen into this category a few times in the past. But it is possible to do Atkins and not be a quitter.
First, you need to ditch the traditional “diet” mentality. Don’t think of Atkins as a short-term, quick fix that will help you lose weight quickly just in time for [pick one] swimsuit season/a wedding/class reunion/vacation. While it is possible to lose weight quickly with Atkins, you can gain it back just as quickly if you return to your old eating habits once you’ve hit your goal weight. You will be most successful if you think of Atkins as a lifestyle—you are changing your way of eating permanently. You’ll make it possible for your body to function at its highest level, for a lifetime. You’ll be able to enjoy a fulfilling and healthy diet of fish, fowl, meat, vegetables, natural fats, nuts, seeds, berries, Greek yogurt, and, eventually, other low-glycemic fruit, legumes and whole grains. Avoid refined, sugar-laden junk food, and you’ll be eating the way nature intended. By following this approach, you’ll be that much closer to your goal weight by following a method you can live with. You’ll have more energy and feel better. You’ll sleep better, your clothes will fit better, and you’ll naturally want to be more active without those excess pounds weighing you down.
Now let’s take a look at some other factors that may have the potential of bringing out your inner quitter:
- Discomfort: As your body adjusts to burning fat for energy instead of carbs, there may be initial periods where you may experience some drag, either a little fatigue, or weakness, or maybe a headache. Usually this is more of a symptom of being deficient in sodium than cutting carbs. That’s why it’s essential to drink plenty of fluids and consume adequate salt to replace the water and sodium you’re losing. You should also eat your full amount of recommended foundation vegetables—they’re full of water and minerals, including sodium. Plus they’re rich in fiber. If you’re still experiencing symptoms, you may need to add a little sodium to your diet. You can add an additional ½ teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of regular (not low-sodium) soy sauce or 2 cups regular (not low-sodium) beef, chicken or vegetable broth. You can use the canned kind or a bouillon cube in boiling water.
- Hunger: Your trusted friends—the foods that are rich in protein and good fat and high in fiber helped you reach your goal weight—are also your allies when it comes to controlling hunger. This is because protein foods are fundamentally self-limiting. Almost everyone has eaten 30 cookies at one sitting at some time in his or her life, and many carbohydrate addicts have done it many times, but how many people have eaten 10 hard-boiled eggs at one sitting? Make sure you’re getting enough protein and fat with each meal and snack, as well as enough fiber from vegetables and you should be able to keep your hunger in check.
- Cravings: Trigger foods, the foods to which you are addicted and can’t stop eating, are the very foods you should not add back to your dietary regimen. It might be peanuts, chocolate, potato chips or something else. If you find you are always planning when you can have your next portion of that food, cut it out altogether, or be sure to have it just once a week, perhaps as a Friday-night treat. Only you know whether the first or the second strategy will work better for you. Remember, it’s about what works. Controlled-carb foods can help out when urges become irresistible. Try Atkins bars or shakes to get you through those cravings. Stressful situations, as well as sadness, happiness and pure boredom can also bring on cravings for these trigger foods. Make sure you have figured out what strategy works best for you and that you have a plan in place when these situations pop up.
- Overthinking: Don’t overthink Atkins. The people who have the most success with Atkins follow it exactly the way it’s laid out, through each Phase in Atkins 20™. If you’re doing Atkins 40™, your rate of weight loss may be slower, but you also have access to a wider variety of food from the beginning so it may be more sustainable for you. Both methods work. The goal is to discover your own personal carbohydrate tolerance; it will be your guidance to get the weight off and keep it off. It’s when you fall prey to the lure of a quick fix solution that you may end up quitting. It’s a vicious trap. You lose weight quickly at first, and the thought of moving past Induction (and slowing the weight loss down) does not sound appealing. So you continue with Induction, instead of learning how to make Atkins a lifestyle. You never learn what your tolerance for carbs is, or how to incorporate the fundamentals of Atkins into a way of living. Instead, you struggle through Induction (which is not supposed to be the phase you stay on for life), and eventually your weight loss stalls. You become frustrated and you eventually quit. The pounds start to pile back on, and six months later, you remember all the weight you lost with Atkins at first, and you start again in Induction. Quite often with the same results.
- Social pressure: It’s happened to all of us; Grandma is pressuring you to have a slice of her home-baked bread, and you don’t want to hurt her feelings. You’re at a sit-down dinner with business associates and you don’t want the focus to be on your diet. Or you have family and friends who downplay your efforts or ply you with your trigger foods. Once again, it’s important to have a strategy in place, You can tell family and friends about your weight-loss goals, how much better you are feeling with the food choices you are making and how important their support is to you. If you’re at a business dinner, research the menu in advance so you know what you can and can’t order without turning it into a big deal. And the bottom line? If you do have a slip-up, remember that this one moment is not a reason to quit. Atkins becomes a lifestyle when you learn how to overcome these challenges.
To help you stay focused and get involved with the online community. We have been rolling out our new Community platform that includes an easy-to-use meal planner with printable shopping lists, nutritional trackers and fitness trackers that are completely customized to the Atkins program you’re on!
Our new meal planner and trackers include all of your favorite food brands and restaurants, giving you the most accurate nutritional information to help make your Atkins journey even easier!
If you have a fitness device (like Fitbit™ or Jawbone™) make sure you sync it up with your new account, to get a 360 degree-view of your health and success!
Our Forums and Groups from the past year are being integrated into the new community platform— so you’ll have great connections with your Atkins Family.
You can do this!!!