Atkins Induction Phase Tips

You’ve done it. You’ve made the commitment to a healthy lifestyle with Atkins. Congratulations, you’re now in the Induction Phase. Now what?

The Atkins Nutritional Approach is based on a four-phase eating plan that focuses on the consumption of nutritious, unprocessed foods. The plan is to get your eating habits balanced again, so you not only lose weight, but increase your energy level and gain a strong sense of well-being.

The first phase of the Atkins Nutritional Program sets the stage for you to reach your goals. Induction is designed to jump-start your weight loss, end your carb cravings and stabilize blood sugar levels. It lasts a minimum of two weeks and will switch your body chemistry to burning primarily fat for energy rather than burning carbohydrates.

One of the most attractive aspects of the Atkins plan is that you have fewer limitations on the amount of food you eat. More importantly, it’s about the kinds of food you put on your plate.

The amount of carbohydrate in your diet determines both blood insulin level and weight gain. By following an individualized controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach, people at high risk for chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes and arthritis associated with obesity can improve their health.

The focus of Atkins is grams of Net Carbs, not calories. During Induction, you are allowed 20 grams of Net Carbs. As you progress to the other three phases you will learn to add Net Carbs in 5-10 gram increments. Although carb intake is the main focus, as you move out of Induction, you will gain weight if you take in more calories than you expend.

Atkins works by restricting the amount of carbohydrates you consume. The body first burns carbohydrates for fuel. However, when you reduce your intake of carbs, your body primarily burns fat.

When you do Atkins, you will find the threshold, where you will neither gain nor lose weight. Your Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE) is the amount of carbohydrates you are able to consume to maintain your target weight. On the Induction Phase your meal plan is limited to 20 grams of Net Carbs daily. Once you move beyond Induction and deliberately slow your weight loss, you will incrementally increase your intake of carbohydrates and eat a wider variety of nutrient-dense foods.

Your metabolic resistance influences your ACE, as do other genetic and lifestyle factors including your age, gender and level of activity. Since you can positively influence your ACE by staying active, you need to exercise.

You are ready to move on to the second Phase if you are close to your goal weight, or want more variety in your meals. You may be bored with the options available on the Induction phase and be willing to take on slower progress in return for eating a wider variety of foods.

There are two reasons to follow your personalized Atkins program very closely. First, all carbohydrates are not created equal. Even bread made from 100-percent whole-wheat flour contains enough refined carbs to produce an insulin-raising, fat-storing effect in many people. In later phases of the program, if your weight loss is progressing well and you have increased your daily intake of Net Carbs, you may eat an occasional slice of whole-grain bread.

The longer you consume no more than 20 grams of Net Carbs daily, the more body fat you will burn. Depending on how much weight you need to lose, you can safely continue with Induction as long as you feel well and are experiencing a high energy level, normal sleep patterns and stable moods. Someone with a lot of weight to lose might stay on Induction for six months or more.

But don't get stuck on Induction. Segueing from one phase to another will help you establish the habits that will become part of your ongoing lifestyle.

If you have a modest weight loss goal (20 pounds) and start losing rapidly, it's important to move ahead so you can establish the good eating habits that will become part of your ongoing lifestyle. Segueing from one phase to another will help you maintain a healthful weight, and end yo-yo dieting.

After two weeks on Induction, you will have a good idea of how easily you lose weight, which will allow you to personalize the path you take.

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