Phase 1 - Induction
Induction is your initiation into the New Atkins weight loss program. All too often, people confuse this first Phase of the program with the whole New Atkins Diet, but Induction is only the first of four phases, each slightly less strict that the one before. The two main objectives of Induction are:
- To switch your body from burning primarily carbohydrates (in the form of glucose) to burning primarily fat (including your body fat) for energy
- To jump-start weight loss
To encourage your body to burn fat, you’ll initially consume only 20 grams of Net Carbs per day. The carb foods you’ll eat in this phase are mainly vegetables low in carbs but rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients, including fibre.
It’s not essential to start New Atkins in the Induction Phase, but doing so is the fastest way to turn your body into a super efficient fat-burning machine. You’ll stay in this Phase for at least two weeks, unless you have only a few pounds to shed and they come off very quickly, in which case you can move sooner to Phase 2, Ongoing weight loss.
Induction – the rules
Many people see remarkably fast weight loss in Induction. Others find it slow going. Whatever your pace, you’ll need to follow these rules precisely to achieve success. This applies equally to those of you who are working on improving blood sugar and insulin levels or lipids. Otherwise, you could become frustrated before you’ve had a chance to see what the New Atkins weight loss program can really do for you. Stick to the following guidelines and you’ll soon be well on the way to successful results:
- Eat either three regular-size meals a day or four or five smaller meals. Don’t skip meals or go more than six waking hours without eating.
- At each meal—including breakfast—eat at least 4 to 6 ounces (115 – 175 grams) of protein foods, including poultry, beef, lamb, pork, veal, fish and shellfish, eggs, cheese and a variety of vegetable proteins. Up to 8 ounces (225 grams) is fine if you’re a tall man. There’s no need to trim the fat from meat or the skin from poultry, but do so if you prefer. Just add a splash of olive oil or a pat of butter to your vegetables to replace the fat.
- Enjoy butter, olive oil, high-oleic sunflower oil, canola oil, and seed and nut oils and mayonnaise (made from olive, canola, or high-oleic sunflower oils). Aim for 1 tablespoon of oil on a salad or other vegetables, or a pat of butter. Cook foods in just enough oil to ensure that they don’t burn. Or spritz the pan with a mist of olive oil.
- Eat no more than 20 grams a day of Net Carbs, 12 to 15 grams of them as foundation vegetables. This means you can eat approximately six loosely packed cups of salad and two cups of cooked vegetables per day. Remember, carb counts of various vegetables vary, so be sure to check them by using our Carb counter.
- Eat only the foods on the list What you can eat in Phase 1 (see below)
- In a typical day, you can have up to 4 ounces (115 grams) of most cheese (but not cottage cheese or ricotta), 10 black or 20 green olives, half a Haas avocado (the kind with a blackish pebbly skin), an ounce of sour cream or 2–3 tablespoons of cream, and up to 3 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. The carbs in these foods must be counted in your 20 grams of Net Carbs.
- Acceptable sweeteners include sucralose (Splenda), saccharine (Sweet’N Low), stevia (SweetLeaf or Truvia) or xylitol. Have no more than three packets a day, and count each one as 1 gram of Net Carbs. This is because, while these sweeteners contain no carbs, they are packaged with fillers that do contain a little carbohydrate.
- To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can have sugar-free gelatin desserts and up to two Atkins shakes or bars coded for Induction (Phase 1).
- Each day, drink at least eight 8 fluid ounce (240ml) portions of approved beverages: water, herbal teas, or in moderation, caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and tea. This will prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. In this count, you may include two cups of broth (not low sodium), one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
- Take a daily iron-free multivitamin/multimineral tablet and an omega-3 fatty-acid supplement.
- Learn to distinguish hunger from habit and adjust the quantity you eat to suit your appetite as it decreases. When you’re hungry, eat until you feel satisfied but not overly full. If you’re not sure that you’re full, wait ten minutes, have a glass of water, and eat more only if you’re still unsatisfied. If you’re not hungry at mealtimes, eat a small low-carb snack.
- Don’t starve yourself, and don’t skimp on fats.
- Don't assume that any food is low in carbs. Read the labels on packaged whole foods to discover unacceptable ingredients; and check their carb counts. Also use the Carb Counter.
- When dining out, be on guard for hidden carbs. Gravy is usually made with flour or cornflower, both not allowed. Sugar is often found in salad dressing and may even appear in coleslaw and other deli salads. Avoid any deep-fried or breaded food.
What you can eat in Phase 1 Induction
Most fish, poultry and meat don't contain carbs so you can feel free to enjoy them, but be sure you're also getting your 12 to 15 grams of Net Carbs in vegetables as well.
All fish including:
All fowl including:
- Cornish Hen
All shellfish including:
*Oysters and mussels are higher in carbs so limit to about 4 ounces per day.
All meat including:
*Some processed meat, bacon, and ham is cured with sugar, which will add to the carb count. Also steer clear of cold cuts and other meats with added nitrates.
Eggs are one of nature's most nutritious creations. That’s why eggs are a staple breakfast in the New Atkins nutritional approach. You can serve eggs in any style including fried, hard boiled, poached, scrambled and omelettes. Feel free to add mushrooms and onions, or even green pepper. Top the dish off with feta cheese or add basil, oregano and other herbs.
Keep in mind that cheese does contain carbs, about 1 gram per ounce. You may have about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese per day. An ounce is about the size of an individually wrapped slice of processed cheese or a 1 inch cube.
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. 1 cup is roughly the size of a tennis ball. Measure the following salad vegetables raw.
The following vegetables are slightly higher in carbs than the salad vegetables listed above. They also provide important nutrients and add variety to your daily foods. Make sure you stay within the 12-15 grams of Net Carbs. Unless otherwise indicated, measure these vegetables after you cook them.
Herbs and Spices (make sure they contain no added sugar)
Salad Dressings - Any prepared salad dressing with no added sugar and no more than 2 grams of net carbs per serving (1-2 tablespoons) is acceptable. Or make your own.
Fats and Oils
There are no carbs here, but keep in mind that the serving size is approximately 1 tablespoon.
- Mayonnaise – make sure it has no added sugar
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oils – those labelled ‘cold pressed’ are especially good and olive oil is one of the best.
- Grape seed*
*Do not allow any oils to reach overly high temperatures when cooking. Use olive oil for sautéing only. Use walnut or sesame oil to dress cooked vegetables or salad, but not for cooking.
- Splenda – one packet equals 1 gram of Net Carbs
- Diet soda (be sure to note the carb count)
- Carbonated water (must say no calories)
- Herbal tea (without added barley or fruit sugar added)
- Decaffeinated or regular coffee and tea*
- Unflavoured soy/almond milk
- Clear broth/ bouillon (make sure it has no sugars added)
- Cream, heavy or light (single or double cream)
- Water – at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day including...
- Filtered water
- Mineral water
- Spring water
- Tap water
*One to two cups of caffeinated tea or coffee is allowed as desired and tolerated by each individual. If you experience symptoms of hypoglycaemia or cravings as a result, do not use caffeine. If you have a true caffeine addiction, it’s best to break the habit during the Induction Phase.
*Limit lemon and lime juices to 3 tbsp per day.
Supporting you during this Phase
And download or request the New Atkins, Step-by-step guide. For FREE.
Everything you need to know about each Phase
Move to Phase 2/Ongoing weight loss if . . .
- You’re already within 15 pounds (6.8 kg) of your goal weight. It’s important for you to move on to learn a new, permanent way of eating.
- You’re bored with your current food choices.
- You’ve been in Induction for several months and are more than halfway to your goal.
You may choose to stay in Induction if . . .
- You still have more than 30 pounds (13.6 kg) to lose.
You should stay in Induction for now if . . .
- You still have a large amount of weight to lose.
- You’re still struggling with carb cravings.
- You’ve not followed the rules fully.
- You still have elevated blood sugar or blood pressure levels.
- Your weight loss is slow and you aren’t physically active.
Move on to Phase 3/Pre-Maintenance if...
- You’re within 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of your goal weight and still losing at a brisk pace.