Atkins Diet :: Four phases of the Atkins diet
There are four phases of the Atkins diet:
The Induction phase is the first, and most restrictive phase of the Atkins Nutritional Approach. It is intended to cause the body to quickly enter a state of ketosis. Carbohydrate intake is limited to 20 net grams per day. The allowed foods include a liberal amount of most meats, a good bit of cheese and cream, two cups of salad, and one cup of other vegetables. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages are not allowed.
The Induction Phase is usually when many see the most significant weight loss – reports of losses up to six or eight pounds (3 or 4 kg) per week are not uncommon.
Atkins suggests the use of KetoStix, small chemically reactive strips used by diabetics. These let the dieter monitor when they enter the ketosis, or fat burning, phase.
2. Ongoing weight loss
The Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) phase of Atkins consists of an increase in carbohydrate intake, but remaining at levels where weight loss occurs. Carb intake increases by 5 grams of carbs per day each week. A goal in OWL is to find the “Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing”. The OWL phase lasts until weight is within 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of the target weight.
Carbohydrate intake is increased again, and the key of goal in this phase is to find the “Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintenance”, this the maximum number of carbohydrates you can eat each day without gaining weight.
4. Lifetime maintenance
This phase is intended to carry on the habits acquired in the previous phases, and avoid the common end-of-diet mindset that can return people to their previous habits and previous weight. Whole, unprocessed food choices are emphasised, with the option to drop back to an earlier phase if you begin to gain weight.