Atkins Diet: Induction Phase

Induction is the initial and most strict phase of the Atkins diet. In this phase you are trying to stabilize your blood sugar and switch your body from running on its glucose (sugar) metabolism to its fat burning metabolism. During this time one should:

1) Limit carbohydrate intake to 20 grams a day.
2) Eat three regular sized meals or four to five smaller ones.
3) Eat less as your appetite decreases.
4) Avoid caffeine.
5) Drink eight eight oz. glasses of water a day.

Dr. Atkins says do this for two weeks or longer. It is very tempting to try to do this as long as possible as it is the quickest way to lose weight. Just be sure you understand and practice the Pre-Maintenance and Maintenance phases of the diet as well or you will likely gain any lost weight back. Atkins is a "life long" diet.

What to Eat

During Induction one may eat as much as is desired of meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and shellfish. One can also eat three to four oz. of hard cheese a day, and two to three cups of salad vegetables a day.

What Not to Eat

In Induction no starches of any kind are permitted. No rice, beans, corn, bread, wheat, grains or potatoes for example. No sweet items are allowed either , this includes fruit and fruit juice, and any cakes, cookies, candies. Check the label if you are not sure, and watch out for hidden carbs in gravies and dressings. One piece of bread for example contains 20 grams of carbs. You will want to get your daily carb supply from a large salad.

Get Into Ketosis

Your body has a three to four day supply of carbohydrates stored in your muscles. You will start to use this store after you stop eating carbohydrates. After this store is gone your body switches to a mode called ketosis where it is using fat instead of glucose for energy. You will experience a reduced appetite and lose weight while you are in ketosis. If you eat the wrong foods (carbohydrates) you will go out of ketosis for several days, and may feel hungry. Understanding this helps keep people from going off the diet.

You can tell you are in ketosis because you will turn the color of the Ketostix urinalysis test strips towards purple when you test your urine. This indicates there are ketones in your urine and that you are burning fat.

Make Permanent Dietary Changes

During the induction phase you need to be as consistent as you can about avoiding carbs. As you reach your target weight add the carbs back into your diet slowly. Never again though, can you eat carbohydrates at your old levels. If you do, you will feel hungry and gain back weight. Some changes must be permanent: no coke, no fruit juice. Feel guilty about the fruit juice and the soft drink, the potato and the rice, not the meat and the cheese. Eating carbs in small amounts throughout the day can help, as no single portion produces a strong insulin response.

Last Modified: Tue, 01 May 2007 08:36:01 GMT