The Phases of The Atkins Diet _

Phase one: inductionMany people confuse the Atkins Diet as a whole with the strict induction phase which lasts just two weeks. This stage severely limits carbohydrates to produce a dramatic change in your body chemistry. Instead of burning carbohydrates off, your body will start burning stored body fat instead.Eat three regular meals each day, or four or five smaller meals. Don’t go more than six waking hours without eating. What you can eat : Any kind of fish, red or white meat, chicken (including the skin), eggs, butter, mayonnaise or oils all in unlimited quantities. 3-4oz daily of full-fat cow, sheep or goats’ cheese. This includes cheddar, gouda, mozzarella, roquefort and other blue cheeses and Swiss cheese.2-3 tablespoons of cream.No more than 20g of carbs a day. This is approximately 250g of green salad or 140-200g (5-7oz) of low-carb vegetables. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, corn, sweet potatoes, chickpeas or any kinds of beans are not allowed.Decaffeinated tea or coffee (but not grain substitutes such as Barley Cup).Low-carb brands of clear broth or boullion.Water and soda water.A multi-vitamin and mineral tablet is recommended.Totally bannedFruit, bread, pasta, any grains, milk, yoghurt, other dairy products except those mentioned before and alcohol. Check labels for the carbohydrate content of any foods you’re not sure about. For example, breath mints and cough sweets can be very high in sugar.How you’ll feel Probably weak, cranky and light-headed at first. But by the end of the first week most people find they have more energy.Cutting carbohydrates will stabilise your blood sugar levels, stop cravings and break addictions to unhealthy foods.Burning fat will help curb your appetite so you won’t feel hungry all the time.To find out how you’re doing you can use Ketostix. Available at most chemists, these are small sticks covered in a reactive paper which measures the amount of ketones you’re excreting in your urine. Ketones are chemicals produced when your body is burning fat – a state called ketosis – and they’re also the cause of the bad breath associated with the Atkins Diet. The sticks change from beige to light pink through to dark purple depending on how much fat you’re burning. They’ll tell you whether your efforts are working – and, yes, you do have to wee on them.Phase two: ongoing weight loss NOW you’ll need to discover for yourself how much carbohydrate you can eat and still lose weight slowly and steadily.Each week, you’ll increase your daily carb intake by 5g a day until you reach the point where you stop losing weight. Then, you reduce your carbs to the previous week’s level and stay there. Depending on the amount of physical activity you do and your metabolism, this could be as low as 25g a day or as high as 50g.Add carbs slowly in the following order…More salad and other non-starchy vegetablesCheesesSeeds and nutsBerriesWine or spiritsBeansFruitsStarchy vegetables such as potatoes and carrotsWhole grainsYou’ll need to be very vigilant about reading labels and you’ll probably want to consult a carbohydrate counter (Use Dr Atkins New Carbohydrate Counter published by Vermillion or visit his website at you’re eating more than 50g of carbs a day, your Ketostix will stop showing any results, even though you may still be losing weight. Phase three: pre-maintenance WHEN you’re within 5-10lbs of your target weight, Atkins advises you to slow down so you’re losing less than one pound a week. Ideally, you should spend four to 12 weeks losing those last 5-10lbs.Each week, increase your daily carb intake by 10g. If you gain weight, cut back again by 10g. Add new foods slowly.Phase four: lifetime maintenanceBY now you should have found the level of carbs you can eat without gaining or losing weight. But it’s a fine line.Never let yourself get more than 5lbs above your goal weight. To lose any pounds you do put back on, go back to the induction phase until you’ve reached your goal weight again.-M Health Special Report-