Atkins Article - The Rules of Induction
This phase of the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ must be followed precisely to achieve success. If you do it at all incorrectly you may prevent weight loss and end up saying, "Here is another weight-loss plan that didn't work." Also, check out "Extra Cautions," below.
Memorize the following rules as though your life depends upon it. In fact, it does.
Eat either three regular-size meals a day or four or five smaller meals. Do not skip meals or go more than six waking hours without eating.
Eat liberally of combinations of fat and protein in the form of poultry, fish, shellfish, eggs and red meat, as well as pure, natural fat in the form of butter, mayonnaise, olive oil, safflower, sunflower and other vegetable oils (preferably expeller-pressed or cold-pressed).
Eat no more than 20 grams a day of carbohydrate, most of which must come in the form of salad greens and other vegetables. You can eat approximately three loosely packed cups of salad, or two cups of salad plus one cup of other vegetables (see Acceptable Foods).
Eat absolutely no fruit, bread, pasta, grains, starchy vegetables or dairy products other than cheese, cream or butter. Do not eat nuts or seeds in the first two weeks. Foods that combine protein and carbohydrates, such as chickpeas, kidney beans and other legumes, are not permitted at this time.
Eat nothing that isn't on the Acceptable Foods list. And that means absolutely nothing. Your "just this one taste won't hurt" rationalization is the kiss of failure during this phase of Atkins.
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. When you're not hungry, eat a small controlled carbohydrate snack to accompany your nutritional supplements.
Don't assume any food is low in carbohydrate—instead, read labels. Check the carb count (it's on every package) or use a carbohydrate gram counter.
Eat out as often as you wish but be on guard for hidden carbs in gravies, sauces and dressings. Gravy is often made with flour or cornstarch, and sugar is sometimes an ingredient in salad dressing.
Avoid foods or drinks sweetened with aspartame. Instead, use sucralose or saccharin. Be sure to count each packet of any of these as 1 gram of carbs.
Avoid coffee, tea and soft drinks that contain caffeine. Excessive caffeine has been shown to cause low blood sugar, which can make you crave sugar.
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to hydrate your body, avoid constipation and flush out the by-products of burning fat.
If you are constipated, mix a tablespoon or more of psyllium husks in a cup or more of water and drink daily. Or mix ground flaxseed into a shake or sprinkle wheat bran on a salad or vegetables.
At a minimum, take a good daily multivitamin with minerals, including potassium, magnesium and calcium, but without iron.
Stay away from diet products unless they specifically state "no carbohydrates." Most such foods are for low-fat diets, not controlled carbohydrate plans.
The words sugarless, sugar-free or "no sugar added" are not sufficient. The label must state the carbohydrate content; that's what you must go by.
Many products you do not normally think of as foods, such as chewing gum, breath mints, cough syrups and cough drops, are filled with sugar or other caloric sweeteners. They must be avoided.
Be wary of prepared salads at salad bars or deli counters. For example, cole slaw or even tuna-fish salad may have been prepared with sugar.
Our thanks to the Atkins Center for this article. This article will give you some basic information about the Atkins Diet Approach for Weight Loss and Good Health, but is 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.)