What Is the Atkins Nutritional Approach?
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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.)