Atkins diet induction phase is the first phase of the Atkins diet plan. It is designed to start the fat-burning metabolism by restricting the intake of carbohydrates and also to lose weight in the first few weeks. It allows 20 grams of carbohydrates intake, on average, per day for at least 2 weeks. In no case, this should go below 18 grams or exceed 22 grams. The more you will be consuming fewer carbohydrates; it will burn the more accumulated fat in the body. One may also extend the duration of the induction phase for losing excess weights.
When to start the Atkins diet induction phase
Most of the people are habitual eaters. The induction phase lets one distinguish hunger from habit. It also helps to change the quantity of food to suit your appetite.
The thumb rule is that you can start the induction phase when you have to lose 40lbs or more. This phase is also ideal for those who are pre-diabetic, or diabetic, not much active and suffer from a slow metabolism. Sometimes, some people start regaining the weight once lost. The induction phase is perfect for them and for those who want to shed a fair bit of weight quickly.
Atkins diet induction phase guidelines
The first or induction phase of the Atkins diet does two things. It starts the fat-burning mechanism in the body and also ensures quick weight loss. Because of the strict restriction of carbohydrate intake, the body is forced to burn the fat for energy and achieve weight loss most effectively. Sticking to the following guidelines will help you achieve that.
Never skip your meal
Eating regularly every day lessens the risk of overeating and taking unhealthy foods. So, one must take three regular-sized, or 4 to 5 smaller meals throughout the day. One should not also starve for more than six waking hours.
Have protein with every meal
Protein has is critical for weight loss and maintaining lean muscle mass. Have 4 to 6 ounces of protein at least three times a day. It can be anything from poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs, and red meat.
Stick to the allotted net carb. Also, see that you get 12 to 15 grams of that from salad and other vegetables. You can take the help of the Atkins carb counter tool.
Must consume fats
Fats are the real pal for slimming down. They add flavor to the food and also helps to absorb certain vitamins in the body. One may have 3 tablespoons of butter, mayonnaise, olive oil, safflower, sunflower, and other vegetable oils daily.
Eat acceptable foods only
One must stick to the acceptable foods only during the Atkins diet induction phase, and never take anything that is not included in the list. Deviating from this may slow down or can block your weight loss achievement.
As your appetite starts decreasing, you must learn to adjust the food quantity. Eat, when you are hungry. But, it must give a satisfying feeling and not a stuffy feeling. Even, if you do not feel a big appetite during mealtime, you should never skip a meal. You must have a low-carb snack instead. To check, if you are still hungry, you can wait for 10 minutes and drink a glass of water.
Take care of hidden carbs
Always check the carb contents listed on every package. As per the law, the manufacturers round off anything below 0.5 grams of carbohydrate. So, a zero- carb item may not be free from carbohydrates. Go through the ingredients list where everything is mentioned in detail, no matter how much little is added.
Drink plenty of water
The initial loss of water weight happens in the Atkins diet induction phase. This sometimes leads to loss of energy. To avoid this one must hydrate with at least 8 glasses of water every day. It will also reduce constipation and help to maintain the balance of electrolytes. Having clear or very pale urine is an indication that you are on the right track.
Avoid excessive caffeine
Excessive caffeine intake may lower the blood sugar level and entail sugar carvings. So, you must keep your tea, coffee, and other caffeinated drinks intake to a bare minimum.
Take multivitamin daily
While this is not an absolute necessity, you may take an iron-free multivitamin tablet and omega3 fatty acid supplements daily. This will ensure that you are getting the needed nutrients and minerals.
Moderate sugar substitution
One should not use more than three packets of substitutes a day. Every packet of the same should also be counted as 1 gram of carbs.
Consume a little salt
Atkins is a diuretic diet plan. So, there is no need to avoid salt for minimizing water retention in the body. Consume a pinch of salt every day. This will compensate for any loss of minerals and help to reduce weakness, headaches, muscle cramps, etc.
While Atkins does not suggest counting calories, this does not mean that you can consume any amount. Remember, excessive calorie intake can stall your weight loss program. So, count it and cut down your calorie intake if you are not losing weight.
Keep a note
Write everything down in a notebook about what you eat every day. This will help you monitor your weight loss achievement and plan meals accordingly. You will also be able to see the pattern that is likely to be missed otherwise.
Starting and staying committed to the diet plan is essential to get sustainable weight loss results. Atkins diet induction phase is a stepping stone to the next phases where more carbohydrates are allowed until one reaches the carb-balance. However, one can also stay in this phase for an indefinite period.