Reaching the the fourth phase of the Atkins diet, means you’ve already lost a lot of weight and you’re ready to progress to a less restrictive diet.
Instead of sending you off on your own, without any guidance, Atkins utilizes a final phase to help you avoid regaining unwanted weight.
What Is Phase 4?
The fourth phase of the Atkins diet is considered long term maintenance, intended to help you keep off all the weight you’ve lost. If you’ve progressed to phase 4, it means you’ve lost a considerable amount of weight and you’re likely at your ideal or “goal weight”.
Most people are worried about regaining all their lost weight once they accomplish their goal and stop following the Atkins diet. That’s where phase 4, comes in.
The final phase encourages you to continue utilizing everything you’ve learned from the beginning phases and apply them long term.
You’re no long on an ultra restrictive low carb diet, but you should continue to utilize “carb balance”. This is the number of carbs your body can tolerate each day, without gaining weight.
Finding Carb Balance
To maintain your long term results, you should continue to track your daily carb consumption and monitor your weight. Using this correlation will help determine your personal carb balance. If you’re gaining weight, reduce your carbs by 20 grams per day until you find an equilibrium.
A common mistake, once you’ve progressed to the final phase, is to stop tracking the carbs you eat each day. This makes it difficult to identify and make needed changes to your meal planning.
Phase 4 Food List
All of the food from the food lists in the first three phases are allowed in the final phase. There isn’t a pre-determined carb threshold everyone is required to stay below anymore. You’ll want to use your personal carb balance, as explained above, to determine your daily meal composition.
What You Shouldn’t Eat
While there aren’t any foods banned in phase four, and you’re free to choose from all food types, you’ll want to avoid eating behavior that caused your initial weight gain.
You can think of the fourth phase as Atkins light, where you’re allowed to eat whatever you want in moderation. You should still follow the food lists, but your carb consumption is based on maintaining weight instead of trying to lose weight.
Here’s a list of foods you should eat in moderation, as they’re known to cause weight gain if eaten regularly.
– Excessive Sugar
– White Bread
– White Rice
– Candy Bars
– Foods Cooked with white flour
– Fruit Juice
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