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What Is the Atkins Nutritional Approach?

What Is the Atkins Nutritional Approach?         


The cornerstone of the Atkins philosophy is a four-phase eating plan in conjunction with vitamin and mineral supplementation and regular exercise. Further, it is based upon four principles.

The Atkins Nutritional ApproachTM rebalances your nutrition so that you improve your energy level and your appearance and gain a sense of well-being. Following this approach lays the groundwork for a lifetime of better health.

The four-phase individualized eating plan allows you to knowledgeably select which foods to eat based on your need to achieve weight loss and weight maintenance, enjoy good health and prevent disease. Food selections will differ to varying degrees depending upon the phase you are in and your individual metabolism.

The phases in the Atkins roadmap to sustained success are:

Phase 1: Induction

Restrict carbohydrate consumption to 20 grams each day, obtaining carbohydrate primarily from salad and other non-starchy vegetables.

Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)

Add carbohydrate, in the form of nutrient-dense and fiber-rich foods, by increasing to 25 grams daily the first week, 30 grams daily the next week and so on until weight loss stops. Then subtract 5 grams of carbohydrate from your daily intake so that you continue sustained, moderate weight loss.

Phase 3: Pre-Maintenance

Make the transition from weight loss to weight maintenance by increasing the daily carbohydrate intake in 10-gram increments each week so long as very gradual weight loss is maintained.

Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance

Select from a wide variety of foods while controlling carbohydrate intake to ensure weight maintenance and a sense of well-being. This lifestyle is the foundation for a lifetime of better health.

Unlike a diet, the Atkins Nutritional ApproachTM is a lifetime nutritional philosophy, focusing on the consumption of nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods and vitanutrient supplementation. Moreover, Atkins restricts processed/refined carbohydrates (which make up more than 50 percent of many people's diets), such as high-sugar foods, breads, pasta, cereal and starchy vegetables. Core vitanutrient supplementation includes a full-spectrum multivitamin and an essential oils/fatty acid formula. This nutritional philosophy has been embraced by an estimated 20 million people worldwide since the release of Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution in the 1970s, and is the cornerstone of the treatment protocols for patients of The Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine in New York City.

Our thanks to the Atkins Center for the information contained on these pages. These articles give you a basic overview of the Atkins Approach for Weight Loss and Good Health, but they are not a substitute for reading the books for the details of this plan (or the book for whatever low carb plan you choose to follow.)