The Atkins diet is a low carbohydrate diet centered around getting your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates.
To do this, as part of the Atkins Diet plan, you need to enter ketosis. Although some people are able to tell whether they are in ketosis or not it is best to purchase some ketostix to help you determine whether you are in ketosis or not more accurately.
The Atkins Diet consist of 4 general phases which we will cover in detail in this article.
Atkins Low Carb Diet Phase 1 – Induction
Phase 1 of the Atkin low carb diet is called the Induction Phase. In this initial 14 day phase the intake of carbohydrates is restricted to below 20g of carbs a day to ensure the body enters ketosis. The purpose of this is to teach your body how to burn fat, instead of using the carbohydrates it is used to burning for fuel.
This phase of the Atkins low carb diet plan often sees some large weight loss.
During this phase of less than 20g of carbs a day, you will be eating primarily proteins (meat, eggs etc) and vegetables which are low in carbs.
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The most important thing in Phase 1 is to watch your carb instake, whilst still managing your hunger. You should not be hungry on the Atkins Diet.
Atkins Low Carb Diet Phase 2 – Ongoing Weight Loss
Phase 2 is designed to find the “sweet spot” in terms of carb consumption for your body, while still allowing it to lose weight. Followers are encouraged to increase the carb intake gradually starting at 25g of carbs a day to see how this impacts on both ketosis and weight loss.
The accepted way to increase carb intake is to add foods such as berries, nuts, seeds and some dairy products, whilst still maintaining the intake of protein and vegetables and salads as in Phase 1.
The most important thing in Phase 2 is to introduce additional carbs gradually. If you add too many new foods at once, you won’t know which one is impacting on your weight loss.
At the end of stage 2, the goal is to understand what carbohydrate requirements your body and lifestyle have, so you can find a steady and sustainable balance for life.
Atkins Low Carb Diet Phase 3 – Maintenance Phases
Once you reach approx 4 kilos from your ideal weight, you should enter the pre maintenance phase of the Atkins diet. The aim of this phase is to lose the last of your unwanted weight slowly, ensuring when you need to stop losing weight – you can! As in the ongoing weight loss phase, you will gradually add in extra carbs in increments of 10g of extra carbs a day for 1 week.
If you find you stall in your weight loss, drop this back by 5g initially and the gradually while you find the carb intake which allows you to slowly lose weight.
This is the time to reintroduce some of the foods which have been a no go up until now. Try introducing bread and starchy vegetables in small quantities to see how the react with your new body. Some people find they cannot eat high carb food without weight wanting to jump right back on, so take it slowly!
Atkins Low Carb Diet Phase 4 – Lifetime Maintenance
In phase 4 you will be aiming to try to find the daily carb intake that holds you at your current weight – neither gaining nor losing weight. This will be a fine balance as some weeks you will find you gain a little, and other weeks you will lose a little, but the aim is to maintain within 2 kilos either side of your goal weight.
If you find weight starting to creep back on, it is a simple matter of going back onto phase 2 or 3 again until you reach your desired weight.
Atkins Low Carb Diet Guide – Other Atkins Info
Atkins Weight Loss Products
There is a wide variety of low carb products available by Atkins, and these are fairly readily available in supermarkets.
These are all labelled with the phases they are suitable for, which can make it easier if you are getting confused with what you can snack on. These are definitely not essential, but they are certainly yummy! Additionally, all products in our online low carb store are suitable for Atkins diets.
Atkins Low Carb Diet History
The Atkins diet, named after the creator of the diet, Dr Robert Atkins was first introduced by Dr Atkins via a series of research articles and papers. Dr Atkins used this diet to control his own weight issues and those of patients with heart conditions.
However it was only in 1972 with the publication of Dr Atkins’ Diet Revolution that the Atkins craze really took off. A second book was later published Dr Atkins’ New Diet Revolution, with some slight modifications but the core of the eating plan remained the same.