Four Phases for Measured Success
The Atkins Diet Plan is divided into four phases.
Although you can start the plan at any of the four phases, Atkins recommends spending the first two weeks in the Induction Phase. During the Induction Phase, the Atkins plan forces your body to burn from its fat stores by eliminating all fruit, grain-related carbs, and starchy vegetables. Yep. That’s right, I said eliminating. You are allowed 20 Net Carbs each day during Induction, and specified fresh vegetables will be your only source of those carbs during this two week period. But don’t panic! If the idea of giving up mashed potatoes, cereal, and bread makes you hyperventilate, just remind yourself that it’s temporary. You’ll soon be re-introducing healthy carbs into your diet, and the results you’ll see almost immediately during Induction will probably see you through those first two weeks!
Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)
Depending on how much weight you have to lose, you may spend a majority of your time on the Atkins plan in the Ongoing Weight Loss, or OWL, Phase. After the initial two weeks of Induction, you will move into the OWL Phase through the gradual addition of nutrient-rich carbs. The goal is to increase daily Net Carbs by five grams each week and to learn how to incorporate healthy carbs into your diet in quantities that still allow you to lose weight. You will remain in the OWL Phase until you are within 5-10 pounds of your goal weight.
Your goal is in sight! During Pre-Maintenance you will continue to increase daily net carbs by ten grams per week until you are losing less than a pound a week. By following this formula to reach and maintain your goal weight for one month, you are learning the exact formula your body requires for lifelong weight maintenance. Atkins calls this the Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium, or ACE – the ideal level of carbohydrate intake at which you will neither gain nor lose weight.
Congratulations! Reaching Atkins’s Lifetime Maintenance phase means that you’ve reached your goal weight and maintained it for one month. By focusing on your ACE, you can maintain your weight for a lifetime simply by keeping your balance of carbs just right.
Get Started Today!
The Atkins website has everything you need to get started. The site features one of the more comprehensive libraries of nutrition-related articles and information, as well as discussion groups and online nutrition and wellness courses. You can also purchase Atkins designed food products right from the site and find recipes tailored to the Atkins diet program. All of which keeps you on the right track to a healthy weight – and a healthy lifestyle!