How to Make the Atkins Induction Diet More Successful

Grilled Steak and Shrimp, with a Half a Lemon
Success is when you complete the objective
of doing Phase 1 of the Atkins Diet.

If you're not seeing the success you expected on Atkins Induction, perhaps you're trying to make this part of the Atkins journey do what it was never designed to do.

The Atkins Diet isn't a quick weight-loss scheme.

Crash diets are only useful short-term, and Atkins is meant to be a lifestyle, so in this extensive guide, we'll show you how to make the Atkins Induction Diet more successful and fulfilling.



Successful Weight Loss First Requires a Healthy Diet


I used to think that major newspaper reporters were objective about what they report, but that immature ideal quickly faded after I gained a bit of real-life experience with low-carb and gluten-free diets.

What I've learned over the years is that the bulk of what the media presents as news is nothing more than biased mind-games carefully designed to convince the reader that the reporter's opinion is the one-and-only truth.

If your personal experience with low-carb diets differs from what the author says, you're made to feel out of touch with reality, even if what the majority of society believes isn't true.

A lot of science supporting the effectiveness of low-carb approaches to weight loss have come out over the past 5 years, with some of those studies actually focusing on real-life Atkins Induction Diet macros.

And yet, news reporters and online articles continue to criticize low-carb diets for being among the latest unhealthy fads, or even worse -- dead. While I'm not sure if that speaks to the gullibility of the article's author or the misconception of the reader, the truth is this:

Carbohydrate restriction continues to be very popular among dieters and is increasing in popularity as the scientific research continues to support it as a viable weight-loss option.

Two dead trees in the desert sand
Are low-carb diets still a useful option to lose weight?
The media and medical communities keep saying they're not.



In fact, out of the top 10 most-Googled diets for 2015, three of the most popular diets that were searched for above all others fell solidly into the carb restriction category:
Low-carb diets are not dead.

They are alive and well, despite the propaganda, misconceptions, and outright lies spread by those who have a financial interest in you eating an excessive amount of carbs.

The problem with low-carb diets isn't whether carbohydrate restriction is harmful or not. When followed correctly, low-carb programs include a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods and, overall, a lower fat content than most dieters ate before starting these programs.

Nope.

The real problem is the same problem as with all diets:

How do you make your diet of choice enough of a lifestyle that you can successfully shed the excess pounds and keep those pounds from coming back?

Pinterest Image: Grilled Steak and Shrimp Salad

Where Did the Atkins Induction Diet Actually Come From?


Low-carb approaches are not new. Not even the Atkins approach to weight loss.

Developed in the 1960s and published for the masses in 1972, Dr. Robert C. Atkins' original low-carb diet (today called Atkins 72) simply used a different technique than other low-carb programs that were popular during that time. In the 1960s, the:
  • Stillman Diet
  • Air Force Diet
  • Drinking Man's Diet
  • and Life Without Bread
attempted to get the sugars and starches out of the typical American lifestyle, bringing total carbohydrates in the diet back down to a reasonable level.


During this time period, the average diet included about 200 grams of carbs per day, which is why low-carb enthusiasts and advocates like to blame the obesity crisis on carbohydrates. Today, the average American eats well over 300 grams of carbs per day, and many eat closer to 500, going well over their maintenance level for daily calories.

Dr. Atkins discovered that for those with a strong metabolic resistance to weight loss, blood glucose issues, and cholesterol irregularities, lowering your carbohydrate intake to 60 grams a day wasn't restrictive enough to eliminate hunger and cause acetoacetate ketones to spill over into the urine.

Dietary ketosis was a new area that had never been researched prior to this time, so methods of measuring that metabolic state were complex. Urinary ketone spillage was the most practical way to determine the state in study participants, so Dr. Atkins simply adopted the established method at the time.

This doesn't mean that you can't be in ketosis at 60 grams of carbohydrates per day, or even more. William Banting, often referred to as the Father of Low-Carb Diets, lost weight eating that way.

The 60-gram figure that Atkins thought was too high was simply the cut-off point that Dr. Atkins saw in himself and most of his patients at that time. Weight-loss programs are always written for the masses and not a specific person who might fall outside of the general guidelines.

Dr. Atkins had no willpower and couldn't tolerate being hungry, even while waiting for a table in a restaurant, so his focus wasn't on quick weight loss. When searching through the scientific literature for answers to his weight problem, he was trying to find a diet scheme that didn't make you hungry.

He had tried several low-calorie diets before, and for him, cutting down on portion sizes was a lost cause. He couldn't make it through a single day without cheating. Hunger always defeated him.

One night, he ran into a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania by Dr. Garfield Duncan. Although the research was on nutrition and the effects that fasting has on the body, Dr. Atkins was shocked to learn that after going 48 hours without food, hunger actually disappeared.



Armed with that knowledge and a strong desire to know why fasting got rid of hunger, he continued to search for the missing pieces to the weight-loss puzzle that could produce success for him -- without hunger.

At this point in his life, Atkins wasn't looking for the world's greatest weight-loss diet. He was just searching for a way to get rid of his triple chin.

Eventually, he ran into the idea that it was a lack of carbohydrates in the diet that caused hunger to fade, rather than fasting itself. But keep in mind, that a lack of carbs in the diet was a correlation. It didn't prove causation.

At the same time, the DuPont Company was conducting investigations of their own as to why low-calorie diets were not successful. Dr. Alfred W. Pennington was placed in charge of that research and hypothesized that perhaps there was some type of metabolic defect that prevented those who were overweight or obese from effectively utilizing the carbohydrates they ate.

To test this theory, participants were placed on a diet that eliminated all sugars and starches. Instead of carby foods, they were instructed to eat as much protein and fat as they wanted -- with no calorie limits.

Since the participants were not hungry and all of them lost weight over that 3-1/2 month trial period, Dr. Atkins was encouraged by their success.

However, it was the ketogenic diet designed by Dr. Walter Lyons Bloom that actually sparked Dr. Atkins into action.

Dr. Bloom wanted to test the metabolic changes that occur when someone eats a zero-carb diet, so his menu consisted of bacon and eggs for breakfast, with ample servings of meat and a very small side salad for both lunch and dinner.

Sound familiar?

Although he included salad with two of these meals, the diet still eliminated hunger, so Dr. Atkins ignored the rush of articles that disputed Bloom's findings.


According to Dr. Atkins, it was a common practice during those days for the medical field to openly dispute scientific findings right after publication if the research results didn't match common thought. The medical industry isn't interested in discovering truth. If it was, they wouldn't be treating your symptoms. They'd be treating the root cause of what's going on.

Like most of humanity, and this includes the modern-day low-carb community, those performing scientific studies are looking for proof of what they already believe. On the other hand, those funding scientific studies want research results that back up what they want you to believe. Results have to benefit them or there's no use forking over the cash.

In 1963, Dr. Atkins decided to give Dr. Bloom's ketogenic diet a personal trial.

How Dr. Atkins Used Dr. Bloom's Ketogenic Diet


If you look at Bloom's diet:
  • Breakfast: bacon and eggs
  • Lunch and Dinner: meat, fats, very small salad
You'll quickly see that the original Atkins Induction Diet, as published in 1972 and shown in the photo below, wasn't something that Dr. Atkins just made up. It was almost the exact same diet used in Dr. Bloom's metabolic study. 

Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, and Homemade Cheddar Cheese Sticks
Dr. Atkins made slight alterations
to Dr. Bloom's Diet
for the 1972 Induction Plan.
For Atkins, the Bloom Diet was a starting point from which he could design his own personalized low-carb diet with the help of diabetic tablets that measured the concentration of acetoacetate ketones his body was throwing away in the urine.

The tablets, actually designed to catch ketoacidosis in diabetic patients, gave Dr. Atkins the opportunity to experiment with various carbohydrate foods in different amounts and visibly see the results.

This ketone spillage was also the only way that Dr. Atkins had to measure the state of ketosis at that time. He knew it wasn't completely accurate, that blood tests are more reliable, but it was the best method available at that time.

His discovery?

By starting at essentially zero carbs, which the Induction diet did back then, he could add 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrates back into his diet without lowering the relative concentration of ketones spilling over into the urine. He could snack on:
  • cold cuts
  • cheese
  • shrimp
  • cottage cheese
And still have a small salad with lunch and dinner -- without affecting the degree of ketosis that results from a zero-carb diet.


By trial and error, he was able to add 35 to 40 grams of carbohydrates per day, continue losing weight and still not be hungry, provided he added them gradually enough. Those few extra carbs made room for the vegetables, strawberries with whipped cream, and melon balls that he had been missing.

He was even able to indulge in an occasional Scotch before dinner without affecting his rate of weight loss.

To Atkins, it felt like he was eating all day, so he wasn't hungry, and therefore, he didn't feel deprived. He didn't feel like he was on a diet, so this was exactly the type of weight-loss diet he was looking for.

Even better, despite his huge appetite, which included snacking several times a day, by the end of 6 weeks, he had lost 28 pounds. That weight loss was all it took to convince him that he had found the ultimate weight-loss plan that could eliminate hunger as well as shed the excess pounds.

However, please note that he did NOT stay on his Induction Plan for the full 6 weeks. Induction was one week only!

A Realistic Look at the Atkins Induction Diet


After experimenting with a group of AT&T employees, as well as his own patients, Dr. Atkins published his original low-carb diet in 1972. Criticism was heavy, and the backlash was greater than he had expected, due to the book's lack of scientific evidence.

When you go against the common belief system of our modern-day society, the lack of evidence-based science is always used to tear down a theory's validity in the eyes of the people. But Dr. Atkins' intent wasn't to please the medical and science communities.

He wanted to offer the American people the same thing he offered his patients on a daily basis:

Thin Man with Chef Hat Cooking a Roast
A successful plan for getting rid of your excess body fat once-and-for-all without having to endure the hunger and deprivation that low-calorie diets are known to cause.

His intent was never to present the world with another crash diet, such as the Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. marketing company tried a few years back when one of the modern-day Atkins books claimed you could lose up to 20 pounds in 14 days on Induction.

His intent was to present the world with an alternative lifestyle choice. One that WORKED. And worked well.

Atkins Induction is an introduction to the low-carb style of eating that Atkins recommended to his patients with metabolic defects or inflammatory bowel conditions. He didn't, and never did, require all of his patients to go low carb.

He didn't believe that was necessary.

Restricting carbs was only used with those who were overweight, obese, or had medical conditions that low-carb eating could help. Others were placed on a well-rounded diet, which consisted of whole grains.

Initially designed to last only 7 days, the purpose of the original Induction Diet wasn't fast weight loss.

The purpose was to reduce your cravings for sugars and starches while quickly and dramatically moving the body from predominantly burning glucose into the state of dietary ketosis, where fatty acids are predominantly used for fuel instead of glucose. This is why ketosis is often said to take 3 to 5 days.

What Dr. Atkins had on his side was that he had experimented with very few weight-loss diets, so his body had never been exposed to calorie deprivation for more than few hours. As a result, his body had never endured a dietary famine, so it didn't automatically know how to handle the famine situation known today as dieting.

His body didn't know if carbohydrate restriction was going to continue for more than a few days, so by the end of the first week, the liver was pulling ample fat from his fat stores to supply the body with the energy it needed to survive.

Making an overabundance of ketones is quite common before ketone adaption takes place.

As fat is broken down, more ketones than needed are created because the body doesn't know how many to make. If there are too many ketones in the initial stage of the diet, the excess is gotten rid of, to avoid ketoacidosis, so they won't back up in the bloodstream.

This is an important point for new dieters to be aware of, as well as those who are returning to Atkins for a second or third time, because, for those new to dieting, fat loss can be easy and quick during Phase 1, especially if you stay on Atkins Induction for an extended period of time.

As time goes on, however, the body will become fat adapted and know exactly many ketones and fatty acids it takes to fuel the body. It will remember, from that point on, so the learning advantage is what people like to call low carb's One Golden Shot. The body will have a system in place for getting the glucose it needs for all of the cells that don't have mitochondria.

As ketone production slows down, so does weight loss, which is why a lot of people today are trying to get their blood ketone level higher than they need.

If you only have 30 or 40 pounds to lose and your dieting history is skimpy like Dr. Atkins' weight-loss story was, you can easily shed the pounds before full adaption takes place. For these individuals, a low-carb diet can appear to be magic, which is one of the reasons why there is a lot of misconception on the web regarding low-carb diets.

For a select few, it does happen exactly that way. It did for me, in 1975.

If this isn't your first attempt at dieting, and especially if you're a yo-yo dieter, the experience you have on Atkins Induction, as well as the later phases of the diet, might not be as spectacular as Dr. Atkins experience was, or even mine in 1975, because your body will already have a certain degree of survival knowledge that will kick in as soon as you go into a calorie deficit.

In these cases, weight loss can be slow -- excruciatingly slow -- even on Atkins Induction. Water fluctuations can easily mask fat loss, which is exactly what happened to me in 2007. So you need to keep this in mind:

Past dieting history makes a difference in how quickly you can shed the pounds on Atkins Induction, and beyond.

And it doesn't matter what type of diet you used in the past. All diets set up a famine situation in the body, which the body has to adapt to. The body will remember those prior adaptions and use them to oppose what you're doing right now.

Weight Management is Harder than Weight Loss


Age is also a strong factor in how quickly the pounds come off since younger people tend to have less metabolic damage than older folks. When I was in my 20s, although the Atkins Diet wasn't my first weight-loss diet, it worked just as well for me as it did for Dr. Atkins.

Better, actually, because I lost 40 pounds in 6 weeks.

I was at goal weight long before my body reached fat adaptions. The excess body fat just fell off. It was my One Golden Shot at achieving a healthy weight, so for me, the Atkins Diet lived up to its promises.

However, what the Atkins Diet couldn't do was manage my weight for me.

I had to do that myself, and like so many others, I didn't understand the importance of staying aware of what I was eating, and how much. Nor did I have a solid maintenance plan set up. I definitely didn't have my priorities straight, but I also didn't have a correct picture in my mind of my capabilities.

Ego said I could do this without paying attention.

Ego said that now my weight problems were going to disappear. I had reached goal weight and that's all I needed to do to be happy and thin and strong for the rest of my life.

I was very active in my 20s, so my calorie needs were higher. Even so, I quickly slipped back into an unconscious, unmindful eating pattern, thinking that I'd be able to maintain goal weight effortlessly without having to continue counting carbohydrates for the rest of my life. Or only sticking to low-carb foods.

I didn't understand the magnitude of the issues that tag along with being overweight.

Nor did I have any idea that dietary habits and patterns continuously get worse as you age if you don't pay attention to them. This is even more true today with the way the processed-foods industry has manipulated its products to make them even more addictive to an unsuspecting mind.

If your attitude, mindset, and eating patterns do not permanently change as your weight does, getting slim and trim won't make you normal again.

Biochemical responses, hormones, adaptions to stress, and excessive insulin release when overeating carbohydrates do not magically reverse themselves just because you managed to cast off the pounds before your body caught on to what you were doing.

Regardless of what your specific issues are, you will never be able to eat what thin people eat if you want to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

So What can the Atkins Induction Diet Do for You Then?


Over the years, I've come to realize that weight loss comes when you prioritize fat loss to be more valuable than other lifestyle pursuits that don't allow you to reach and maintain a healthy weight. Your desire to reach a healthy weight has to be stronger than your desire for other things.

Raised Donut with Chocolate Frosting and Sprinkles

However, the Atkins Induction Diet comes with no guarantees that you'll lose any weight at all, even after giving up the donuts and cakes and cookies, which is one of the hardest concepts for dieters to understand.

Diets are set up to achieve certain results, but you might have misinterpreted what those results could be, so the following list will help you understand what a successful Atkins Induction Diet looks like. 

What the Atkins Induction Diet can do for you is this:
  1. Assist you in lowering your basal insulin level.
  2. Stop cravings for sugar and starches.
  3. Balance blood glucose levels (correct them if high).
  4. Correct cholesterol problems, if any.
  5. Give you an opportunity to shed excess pounds.
  6. All, without having to go hungry.
In addition to the possibility of weight loss without hunger and improved health, Atkins Induction also offers a solid nutritional foundation from which you can design your own personalized healthy weight-loss diet, tailored to help you stay within your personal carbohydrate tolerance level.

By staying within your carbohydrate tolerance, you can reach your health and weight-loss goals, but it won't happen overnight.

When I was browsing through the archives here the other day, I realized that I didn't lose over 100 pounds in a single year, or even two. Because in 2012, I was still slightly above that 100 pound mark. I didn't reach the 100-pound milestone until after I'd used the HCG diet to get there.

And then, I had to pay the consequences for not trusting that the higher mind knew best.

For Atkins Induction Diet Success: Get Rid of Your Misconceptions


Most of the nutritional knowledge that makes its way into mainstream thought and belief originally came from the food industry.

The push toward eating more and more whole grains on a daily basis is a good example of that. The whole-grain thing began as an advertising campaign created by the Whole Grains Counsel to beef up their sales. And the same goes for the more recent gluten-free foods are more healthy campaigns.

Marketing experts have done an enormous amount of research on what you buy, why you buy, and when you buy. They are also experts in psychology. They don't need a psychological degree to know your mind and habits better than you do. All they have to do is watch your spending habits, and listen to your thoughts and feelings.

All surveys have an agenda.

And part of that agenda is to sell the data they collect to manufacturers along with new ideas, tricks, and schemes on how to market their products so those products will fit in with what you believe. They have also hired chemists to come up with tastes that will keep you begging for more.

The fastest way to get you to buy? Give you what you think you want!

Eating a low-carb diet doesn't profit the food manufacturing industry, especially if you stay on Atkins Induction past the introductory period and choose to give up all whole grains, including low carb ones.

Even today, Phase 1 of the Atkins Nutritional Approach contains only a minimum amount of carbohydrates when compared to the average American Diet, and very few processed foods. It's also the phase that is the most misunderstood.

I can still remember the news segments that used to run on television during the late '70s. From the Atkins' Diet's humble beginnings, it was presented by the media to the public as an unhealthy diet, a way to eat all of the bacon and eggs you wanted.

Huge Pile of Cooked Bacon
The Atkins Diet has always been presented to the public
as a high-fat meat diet.

Men who weighed over 350 pounds were shown on camera with huge frying pans filled with slices of raw bacon and 3 or 4 hamburger patties in another skillet smothered in melted cheese. And that was just breakfast. Shopping carts were depicted as being filled to the brim with bags of pork rinds and cartons of heavy cream. Vegetables were never mentioned.

The same mindless game continues today.

Although Atkins Induction has always been a one to two-week diet, depending on the version you're following, the media loves to present the regular Atkins Diet as being a meat-and-fat banquet. Phase 2 is described as a no-carb diet, with no fruits and vegetables allowed, which they claim puts you at risk for heart disease and other health problems.

Even though scientific research studies have proven those ideas to be false, and many cardiologists and surgeons believe the Atkins Diet to be optimal nutrition -- including my own -- the misconceptions and inaccuracies presented by the media continue to spread, even among low-carb dieters.

This is due to humanity mechanical nature. We have been trained, or programmed, to always do as we're told. We see the media as being authoritative, the scientific community as being authoritative, our doctors as God.

The Atkins Induction Diet forms the foundation upon which you build your own personalized low-carb eating plan, which is what you're encouraged to do after entering into the dietary state of ketosis and becoming fat adapted.

Phase 1 introduces you to the possibilities that a low-carb diet holds for you. Watching your hunger and cravings disappear will help boost your motivation to succeed. Most people experience an upsurge in energy and feelings of well-being. You even get to eat things normally shunned on low-calorie diets, like real butter, heavy cream in your coffee, and fatty meats.

However, Atkins Induction is NOT the Atkins Diet.

It's simply the fastest way to assist you in getting into ketosis where fats are burned for fuel rather than glucose.

While some people do choose to stay at an Induction level of carbohydrates, due to personal preference or metabolic issues, the Induction phase isn't a zero-carb diet anymore. In fact, a zero-carb diet is only recommended by the Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. marketing company (the ANA) for those who are so severely insulin resistant that a typical low-carb diet plan of 35 to 60 net carbs per day doesn't work.

How the Atkins Induction Diet Has Evolved


Lettuce in a Pink Bowl
Atkins 72 allowed up to
2 cups of lettuce.
In 1972, the only thing green you were allowed to eat was 2 cups of loosely packed salad greens with bits of celery, cucumber, and radishes (included in that 2-cup total), and dressed in an oil-and-vinegar dressing.

That's it.

Atkins did allow 2 tablespoons of psyllium husks per day for digestive issues, which is why I've included a one-minute muffin made with flaxmeal in our 1972 Atkins Induction menu. Adding psyllium husks to water and chug-a-lugging that down isn't as pleasant as eating a muffin.

However, when Dr. Atkins discovered that many of his patients were cheating on his Induction diet by adding vegetables to lunch and dinner, he modified the 1972 Induction diet to contain 2 cups of salad and 2/3 cup of cooked vegetables per day.

Due to the extra vegetable intake, he also lengthened the time you spent on Induction from one week to two.

In addition, he offered an alternative Induction plan that allowed you the freedom of making up your own Induction diet. I don't like talking about this option in today's crash-diet mentality, but in 1992, you could use any low-carb foods you wanted, such as nuts and cream cheese, provided your didn't go over 20 grams of total carbohydrates per day (not net).

This is where the confusion over whether nuts, soy flour, and other low-carb products are allowed on Induction originally came from. In 1992, many people ate anything they wanted to on Induction, so when they returned to a low-carb diet in later years, they tried doing Induction the same way.

Those of us who still believe that Old-School Atkins is the best way to go, continue to stick to these now-outdated ideas.

In 2002, the freedom of creating your own Induction Diet was taken away, and replaced by the Atkins Carbohydrate Ladder. Keep in mind that this was shortly before the Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. marketing company took over the Atkins name, and many people suspect that Dr. Atkins actually had little to do with the writing of that book.

Marketing companies are notorious for gently moving their target audience in the direction they want them to go, which is what we've seen from the ANA over the years. The focus has drastically changed from a very low-carb Induction period to a higher-carb, low-glycemic plan, which is NOT the same thing.

Another change that appeared in 2002 was the increased vegetable intake. Cooked vegetables on Induction were raised from 2/3 cup to 1 cup.

Instructions in the 2002 book were to eat 2 cups of salad and 1 cup of cooked low-carb vegetables from its extensive list, as well as up to 1/2 of an avocado per day -- if your carbohydrate tolerance could handle the 20 net carbs that would give you.

With an occasional avocado averaged out over the week, if you followed the 2002 Induction plan as written, it came to about 15 net carbs max. Not 20.

However, Dr. Atkins made it clear that you were not to go over 20 carbs per day, even though you could now deduct the fiber content of your vegetables, since fiber doesn't affect blood glucose levels. This was the beginning of moving away from a very low-carb diet to something more acceptable to the powers-that-be.

After Dr. Atkins death in 2004, Atkins Nutritionals changed the Induction Diet again.

This time, they made it a rule that you use 12 to 15 of your 20 net carbs per day on vegetables and salad, no matter how many cups that was. This was a sneaky way of increasing the prior 20 carbs a day maximum to something closer to 35 or 40.

Still later, the ANA changed the rules again to specifically be 6 cups of salad and 2 cups of cooked vegetables per day, on Atkins Induction, depending on which vegetables you picked.

This is one of the main reasons why today's Atkins Induction Diet won't work for everyone. 

It is no longer Atkins Induction. 

Today, you start off in the middle of Phase 2 with 35 to 40 total carbs a day, but the ANA is hiding that fact behind the net-carb or effective-carbs label.

You are still required to eat at least 12 to 15 net carbs of vegetables, which they now define as 6 cups of salad and 2 cups of cooked vegetables, although the Atkins Diet has changed its name to Atkins 20.

If you're doing this higher carb Atkins 20 Induction and it's not working for you, then you do have a legitimate gripe.

But what you believe the objective of Atkins Induction is and the real objective of Atkins Induction might not be the same thing.

[NOTE: The Atkins Diet has been divided into two diets today: Atkins 20 and Atkins 40. Since Atkins 40 is for those with less than 40 pounds to lose and doesn't have an Induction Diet, this article is only relevant for those doing Atkins 20 or Old-School Atkins plans.]

Purpose of the Atkins Induction Diet


The Atkins Diet has always been divided into four phases:
  1. Atkins Induction
  2. Ongoing Weight Loss
  3. Pre-Maintenance
  4. Maintenance
Each phase has a particular objective.

Atkins Induction - Get into the state of ketosis and reduce your cravings for sweets and starches.

Phase 2 - Discover your carbohydrate tolerance for weight loss, and then diet yourself down to within 10 pounds of goal weight, adjusting your diet as necessary to make that happen.

Phase 3 - Discover your carbohydrate tolerance for maintenance.

Phase 4 - Maintain your current weight.

Once the objective is met for a specific phase, it's time to move on to the next phase of the lifestyle.

Notice that the objective of Atkins Induction isn't weight loss. It's just to get into ketosis and gain control of your eating habits.

However, it's easy to get caught up in the desire for quick weight loss.

Since the introductory period includes shedding a lot of water weight along with your glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrates), many dieters are reluctant to leave Phase 1 behind. They want the fast weight loss they see on the scale to continue, so they avoid moving into Phase 2.

This can be a big mistake.

Weight loss during the first week has been shown in dietary studies to only contain water, glycogen, and maybe some protein. It isn't until you reach Day 7, and beyond, that the body begins to burn fats for fuel.

Although Dr. Atkins personally allowed obese dieters to stay on the Induction Diet for longer than two weeks, he also recognized that for many people, Induction can ignite a crash-diet mentality. 

The huge losses you see on Atkins Induction do not continue because most of what you lost on Induction was water! It wasn't body fat! In fact, studies have shown that you lose less body fat on low carb than you do eating a more moderate diet. At least, at very high-fat levels of intake.

Since the Induction Diet provides lists of acceptable foods and can be simplified nicely into a protein-salad-vegetable template way of eating, it's easy to lose track of the purpose for Induction.

If you begin Atkins Induction with the idea that low carb is a quick and painless way to achieve your weight-loss goals, you're missing the whole point of what a low-carb diet is all about.

How to Achieve Success on Induction


How successful you are depends on your ability to adapt to carbohydrate restriction.

Success requires you to be able to make the enzyme needed to burn fats for fuel effortlessly. This is not controllable because the ability is hereditary. It will also require you to make adjustments to your eating plan, and often your eating habits themselves, as the weight comes off.

The Atkins Diet is a long-term game.

There are no short-cuts.

You don't get the weight off and then go back to your old style of eating. Reaching goal weight is only the beginning of your real struggles. If you want to succeed, you can never go back to eating what other people eat without suffering the consequences.

Mindful eating must become a part of your new eating style.

It's your dietary habits, misconceptions, mindless eating, and food addictions that got you into the condition you're in. The only way out is to do something different.

Atkins Induction offers you an alternative way to eat that can make healthy eating less painful and more comfortable, but you have to want to do what's necessary to make that happen. Worrying about the amount of weight you lost on Induction is only setting you up to fail long-term.

Success comes when you stop seeing the Atkins Diet as a temporary deprivation method and begin using the Atkins Nutritional Approach appropriately, moving through the four phases as designed.

The purpose of Induction isn't to lose a ton of weight, although that might happen if you're brand new to low-carb diets. The purpose of Atkins Induction is to get you into the state of ketosis, so your body can begin to heal itself from all the damage caused from eating a typical, unbalanced, standard American diet.

The objective is to correct hormonal imbalances that are interfering with proper weight management. To do that requires that you eat an adequate amount of protein, limit your carbohydrate intake to some degree, and eat enough healthy fats to supply the energy your body needs to function optimally.

For this reason, Induction does not curtail calories. Weight loss isn't the aim here. Getting into ketosis is the aim. Once you're in ketosis, the aim switches to becoming fat adapted. Once fat adapted, the aim switches yet again.

The difference between a successful Atkins Induction plan and one that ends in disaster is how you choose to think about what you're doing. If you're using Atkins Induction to achieve some ideal or level of happiness, you'll be disappointed and hurt when it doesn't meet your expectations.

Developing a permanent way of eating doesn't have to be a struggle. Accepting it for what it is can be far more pleasant and productive. Personal responsibility isn't easy, but it takes lots of planning and hard work to take charge of your emotional state.

The idea is to change the way you think about food and learn how to eat in a way that will allow you to maintain a healthy weight for life, but unlearning everything the food industry has taught you won't be quick.

You're going to fall down and skin your knee now and then. Even so, Atkins Induction is a great way to kick-start yourself into a new way of eating that can improve your health and well-being in the process.


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