The Atkins diet may be the world’s most famous low-carb diet. It’s been around for half a century, and many people have lost weight on it. But how do you follow it if you’re thinking about starting it? Here’s what you need to know about what you can eat in each phase, and how Netrition may be able to help. Be aware that some experts believe that Atkins may not be the safest weight loss diet, and it’s always best to talk to your doctor before starting any new weight loss program.
Phase 1: Induction
This is the first phase. In it, you keep your total carb intake low enough so that your body shifts from burning carbs to burning fat for energy. That’s called ketosis. For some people, you may need to keep your daily carb intake to under 20 net carbs daily to achieve and stay in ketosis.
The diet includes mostly leafy green, non-starchy vegetables, as well as proteins and fats. You might have these foods.
- Lettuce, spinach, and kale
- Zucchini and broccoli
- Chicken, fish, shrimp, eggs, meat
- Butter, oil, cream, avocados
- Full-fat cheese
Phase 2: Balancing
Here, you continue to lose weight fairly quickly and you slowly add in a few daily net carbs every week. This continues as long as you keep losing weight and you’re still above goal weight. You can count net carbs by subtracting grams of fiber and sugar alcohols from grams of total carbs.
Food that you can slowly add in this phase may be these.
- Nuts and peanuts
- Tomatoes, onions, and other non-starchy vegetables
- Cottage cheese and Greek yogurt
During this phase, you may have a high enough limit for net carbs that you can add in a few treats from Netrition. Examples include Chocolate-Covered Candies, Tortilla Chips, and Dessert Bars.
Phase 3: Fine-Tuning
Here, you’re approaching goal weight. You can continue to slowly add carbs back into your diet until weight loss slows down. That means you can add small servings of foods such as the following.
- Fresh fruit, such as apples, peaches, melon, oranges, and pears
- Whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta
- Sweet potatoes and other starchy vegetables
The trick here is to keep portions small as you figure out what your body can handle.
Phase 4: Maintenance
As you get to goal weight, you can eat as many carbs as you want as long as you do not gain weight. It may be best to add them in slowly so you can find out how many you can eat. It’s best to stick to nutritious carbs that are higher in fiber and lower in sugars.