The Induction Phase of Atkins is the most difficult one but can also bring the best results.
This stage requires the person doing the Atkins diet only to consume twenty grammes of carbohydrates per day.
While the results of this stage come quickly, there are numerous rules to follow, and several side effects.
The Induction Phase Of Atkins Is Designed To Shock
During this stage, twenty “carbs” means not eating fruits, bread, pasta, starches, or anything else that would be high in carbohydrates.
Since this is the Induction Phase and the person is attempting to shock their body into this new way of living there are many other things that must be cut from a regular diet.
Caffeine is a large thing that must be cut by many people.
Caffeine has been known to cause lowered blood sugar levels, which in turn, makes a person crave sugars. During this part of the diet, sugars are not allowed at all. Even aspartame is not recommended but rather sucralose which is found in such name brands as “Splenda”.
To give more of an example of how strict this diet it, a single slice of white bread has 14.9 carbs in it and a small banana can have as much as 23.7 carbs. Needless to say, this phase is very limited, and meals must be planned well.
The Induction Phase Of Atkins Can Have Some Side Effects
Quite often during the Induction Phase, the person doing the diet will experience many side effects from this shock to their system. Beyond all the symptoms of going through withdrawal from lack of sugar and caffeine a person can become constipated or the opposite have diarrhoea.
Furthermore, because of the body suddenly becoming deprived of certain things, muscle cramps are quite common as well, especially in the legs. Many of these side effects can be controlled with the aid of multi vitamins which will provide potassium, magnesium and calcium, but without iron, as the body is getting enough of that with the meats being consumed.
Should constipation happen, adding a spoon of bran, or flaxseed to something the person is eating should help this. Like all other diets, it is crucial to drink water. A typical day will involve drinking a minimum of eight cups of water beyond any other liquids consumed.
The Induction Phase Of Atkins Should Only Be For Two Weeks
The Induction Phase of Atkins is supposed to last a minimum of two weeks but depending on the amount of weight a person wishes to lose they can remain in this first stage much longer if needed.
It’s recommended to stay in the Induction Phase until ten percent of the desired weight is lost. Certainly, this can be a challenge, but many have had great success at this stage.
Some of the benefits of this step would be the fact that people will see results very quickly which will help maintain the desire to continue and keep the motivation high. Furthermore, once the initial withdrawal symptoms have finished, the person will find themselves with more energy and fewer cravings as the days continue.
As the person reaches the ten percent of desired weight loss, they can then move onto the second phase which is on going weight loss. The Induction Phase Of Atkins appears to be the hardest part to get through with only eating carbs.
Understanding Phase 2
Once a person has completed the induction stage of the Atkins Diet they are allowed to move forward to the second stage which is called ongoing weight loss,(OWL).
During this stage, a person is authorised to introduce certain foods while gradually increasing their carbohydrate intake by five grammes per week.
While five grammes may not sound like a lot, it does allow for some small indulgences. It is recommended that during the first week of the ongoing weight loss stage that people only increase the amounts of the foods they are already eating while in the Induction stage. This will help the body to adjust and prepare itself for the increase in carbohydrates. As long as the weight continues to come off, a person can continue to increase their carbohydrate intake weekly.
What Foods Can You Eat During Phase 2
Some of the foods are berries, nuts, legumes, and even pasta. While all food items will eventually be added to a person’s diet, they must be added in a specific order. The order of items added is called “rungs”. A person can skip a rung providing they do not intend adding that item to their diet.
The ongoing weight loss stage should last at least two months. During this time a person will learn proper eating habits while still having regular weight loss. However, it is crucial that a person is prudent not to fall into their old habits as they re-introduce foods into their system. As a person becomes aware of their weight loss, they learn their Critical Carbohydrate Level of Losing Weight.
Weight Loss Can Differ From Others Phase 2
Depending on the individual’s metabolism and rate of activity their level of losing will vary widely. A person will learn about some carbohydrates that they can consume while still having successful weight loss during this stage. For some people, this could be as low as 30 carbs while others could be allowed more than 100 carbohydrates. Either way, close monitoring of weight loss must be made during this stage.
When Do You Finish Phase 2
There are differing reasons why a person will complete this stage and move onto the next stage. The first reason would be that they are within ten pounds of their target weight. When this happens, everything on the rungs will have been introduced successfully, and the carbohydrate introduction will still be increasing. There is a lesser positive reason.
However, that can attribute to the ending of this stage. This reason will be if weight loss stops. This will automatically show the maximum carbohydrate amount that can be ingested. When weight loss stops, one must reduce their carbohydrate intake by five grammes and continue introducing the rungs until they have all been introduced.
This stage of the Atkins Diet is certainly safer than the Induction. It allows a person to learn their own body and what it is capable of doing with proper food intake. This will also allow a person freedom to live with fewer restrictions to their lifestyle. Once the ongoing weight loss stage is complete, a person can move onto the third stage of the Atkins program.
Phase 3 & 4
As a person begins to see the final few pounds that need to be lost on the Atkins diet they can enter the third stage entitled Pre-Maintenance. Pre-Maintenance means that the person is within ten pounds of their desired weight have introduced all the rungs from the “Ongoing Weight Loss” stage, and have found their ideal carbohydrate intake amount.
At this point in the diet, if a person is still losing weight while increasing their carbohydrate intake, they can now increase the number from five carbohydrates per week to ten per week until they have reached a level where they no longer lose weight. If they find they gain weight, however, then dropping their intake by five carbohydrates is suggested.
The reason for a further slowing of the weight loss in this stage is to allow the dieter to develop the proper habits to maintain their target weight. It is also there so that people will not slip back into their old habits of eating, which could ultimately cause weight gain. This stage further helps people to learn about their own body and what it is capable of doing. At this point, a person’s carbohydrate intake can allow for a large variety of foods to be enjoyed.
Many different fruits can now be introduced as well as whole grains like rice or oatmeal. Even high fibre cereals are permitted in Pre-Maintenance. It is important to maintain what was learned in the first two stages and continue to have healthy amounts of protein and green salads. Once a week, a person in this stage can also treat themselves to an item that would not be allowed because of its carbohydrate count.
These indulgences could be a slice of pizza, baked potato, or something else high in the sugar content.
Counting Weekly Not Daily
Many people find this stage is still difficult for them as they must still be aware of their carbohydrate intake. An upside to this, however, is the fact that rather than counting carbs daily, the weekly total can be used. If a person goes over their daily limit one day but stays under for a couple of days afterwards, they will still be in their weekly limit and continue to use the Atkins system safely.
However, this can also prove to be a major flaw for many people as they are given a large amount of freedom which could be abused and thus result in weight gain from having too many carbohydrates.
As the person in Pre-Maintenance reaches their goal weight, they are now ready to enter the final stage called Lifetime Maintenance. This is when they are allowed to move away from the Atkins ties and live life freely by incorporating the habits that they have learned from the Atkins diet.
While living the Lifetime Maintenance life a person can drop back to an earlier stage should weight gain occur. It is hoped, however, that everything learned from the first three steps be maintained throughout a person’s life.
More On Atkins