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Now that you’re convinced Atkins diet really works and ready to take the plunge,
here’s everything you need to know about AtkinsInduction Phase, including foods
you can eat and a few simple tips for success.
What is Induction Phase?
Induction is phase 1 of the Atkins diet. Basically, its purpose is to induce weight
loss by changing your body metabolism so that you will achieve ketosis, a natural
process in which your body begins to use fat for your primary fuel source, resulting
in weight loss.
Depending on your weight loss goals, the induction phase may last for a minimum of
2 weeks to a maximum of 1 year.
Also, if you don’t have a lot of weight to lose, you can start with Ongoing Weight
What to Expect during Induction?
You can generally expect to lose 10 percent of your excess weight during the first
14 days of induction. You should stay on Induction until you have lost half of the
weight you need to lose, and then move on to complete the Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)
phase of Atkins diet.
During the first few days of Induction, you may experience slight discomfort from
sugar and caffeine withdrawal. It will take around 3 to 7 days for these substances
to leave your system so don’t worry too much about them.
It is also normal to find yourself suffering from “Induction Flu” symptoms such as
headaches, diarrhea, nausea, “brain fog”, and muscle cramps. These symptoms are temporary;
and it goes to show that your body is changing from sugar metabolism to fat metabolism.
What Are the Rules of Induction?
Eat 3 meals or 6 small meals a day. Do not skip meals or go more than 6 waking hours
Eat no more than 20 grams a day of net carbohydrate, most of which must come in the
form of salad greens and other vegetables.
Adjust the quantity you eat to suit your appetite, especially as it decreases. When
you’re hungry, eat the amount that makes you feel satisfied, but not stuffed. Simply
put, don’t overeat.
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every single day to hydrate your body,
avoid constipation and flush out the by-products of burning fat.
You’re also advised to take a good multivitamin supplement with minerals, including
potassium, magnesium and calcium, but without iron.
Atkins Induction – What You Can Eat – Foods Allowed
Most fish, poultry and meats do not contain carbohydrates so you can eat without
Keep in mind that some processed meat (hotdogs, sausages, salami), bacon, and ham
is cured with sugar, and will add to the carb count. Also, avoid anything that’s
breaded such as chicken nuggets and fish fingers.
All shellfish is allowed but be warned that oysters and mussels are higher in carbs
so limit to about 4 ounces per day.
Eggs are incredibly cheap, highly nutritious and a great source of protein. So eat
eggs, in any style for breakfast.
Unlike other weight loss diets, fats are allowed. You can include pure, natural fat
in the form of butter, mayonnaise (without added sugar), olive oil, safflower, sunflower
and other vegetable oils (preferably expeller-pressed or cold-pressed).
Feel free to use artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or saccharin but never aspartame.
Take note that 1 packet of Splenda equals 1 gram of net carbs. You may also drink
diet beverages that contain these sweeteners and have sugar-free gelatin desserts.
You should be eating approximately 12 to 15 grams of net carbs per day in the form
of vegetables, which is equivalent to several cups depending on the actual carb content
of the vegetables you select.
You can use herbs and spices in your diet, just make sure they contain no added sugar.
Any prepared salad dressing with no added sugar and no more than 2 grams of net carbs
per serving (1 to 2 tablespoons) is fine.
Atkins Induction – What You Can’t Eat
Alcohol is not allowed during the first two weeks of Induction. Consuming alcohol
will slow your weight loss.
Any fruit, bread, pasta, grains, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, yams,
and squash or dairy products other than cheese, cream or butter are not permitted.
Do not eat nuts or seeds in the first 2 weeks of Induction.
Foods that combine protein and carbs, such as, lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
kidney beans and other legumes are a BIG no-no!
Also avoid cold cuts and other meats with added nitrates.
Here are some simple tips for success with the Atkins Diet:
Make sure you don’t consume too few calories during Induction phase, which can slow
down your metabolism and ruin your weight loss progress. Also, don’t even think of
doing a low-fat version of Atkins.
Avoid coffee, tea and any drinks that contain caffeine. Excessive caffeine has been
shown to cause low blood sugar, which can cause sugar cravings.
If you’re constipated, mix a tablespoon or more of psyllium husks in a cup or more
of water and drink daily. Alternatively, mix ground flaxseed into a shake or sprinkle
wheat bran on a salad or vegetables.
When eating out, look out for “hidden carb” in gravies, sauces and salad dressings.
They could contain sugar or starches.
If you want a rich gravy or sauce, try xanthin gum. It is available from your health
food store and thickens gravy perfectly without adding carbs.
Moderate exercise is recommended to help you lose weight while on the Induction phase.
Last but not least, never cheat – don’t eat anything that is not allowed.
Can't get motivated to work out every day, or find yourself making excuses not to
exercise all the time? We share some motivating ways to help you stick to your exercise
routine and get you back on track quickly.