The initial phase of the Atkins diet (induction) has quite a few rules, and an extensive list of foods you can and can’t eat.
To experience the most success, and lose the most weight, during induction you need to focus on the following rules considered to be the most critical.
#1 – 20 g Carbs Or Less
By far, the number one most important goal is to stay below 20 grams of carbs per day. This isn’t an arbitrary number that’s used because it’s easy to remember. Everyone has a threshold where your body switches from burning carbohydrates to burning body fat. And for most people the threshold will be around 20 grams.
If you’re not careful enough and not eating less than those 20 grams, you’re not doing the Atkins diet. You’re just on a low carb diet. Your primary focus isn’t the protein, or fat, it’s the carbs. You have to track every gram of carbohydrates you eat on the diet.
#2 – Hit Your Protein Goals
Depending on your current diet content, and meal preferences, it may seem unusual to consume so much protein. But you have to.
Every meal should have a minimum of at least 115 grams of protein. That will translate into roughly 450 calories per meal coming from protein. This will help you feel full, and helps regulate where your calories are coming from.
#3 – Drink Water Religiously
If you allow yourself to get dehydrated you’re going to feel miserable on this diet. Restricting carbohydrates to less than 20 grams will have effects on your body that will present challenges. You may experience headaches, dizziness, and feel unusually tired. These are often temporary and only last a week.
If you pile on the complications of dehydration, you’ll likely have to discontinue the diet. Drinking 8 oz of water, eight times per day, is what’s recommended by Atkins.
#4 – Understand The Food Do’s & Don’ts
Induction is the most strict phase of the diet, and it’s also where people will lose the most weight. In addition to changing to more protein rich meals, you’ll also be asked to eliminate many of the processed foods you may be used to. The more strictly you can follow the eat and do-not eat food list, the more success you’ll have.
Many of the restricted foods in phase one will become available in moderation in the later phases of the diet. Here’s what you need to know
#5 – Eat The Fat
Eating fat is scary. If you’re on a diet you’re likely trying to lose body fat, so mentally eating huge amounts of calories from fat causes concern.
But it’s part of the process, and calories from fat are necessary. It’s not just recommended, it’s necessary. When you restrict your primary energy source (carbohydrates) your body needs to get it’s energy from somewhere. You’re trying to get your body to switch from burning mostly carbs, to burning mostly fat.
Studies have shown high fat diets influence your body to burn more body fat compared to other diets. The only concern you should have is if you’re eating large amounts of carbohydrates AND large amounts of fat calories.
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