Phases of the Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is based on the concept of ketosis wherein the body’s excess, stored body fat is being burned in order for weight loss to happen. The daily intake of carbs in the diet should only be 15 to 60 grams and dieters are encouraged to take in foods high in protein and fat instead. In order for ketosis to occur, the intake of carbs should only be 40 grams per day because once fat is broken down the formation of ketones occur and appetite is naturally suppressed. The Atkins Diet involves 4 phases and they are as follows:
Phase 1: Induction
This is during the first 14 days (2 weeks) of the weight loss program. During which, the goal of the dieter here is to avoid the bad carbs in order for ketosis to happen. This is also the part of the program where the dieter loses weight the fastest. There is a limit of 20 grams of carbs per day and vitamin supplements will be recommended.
Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)
After Induction, OWL is followed where the dieter may increase carb intake depending on the person but still making sure that there is ketosis happening. In order to monitor ketosis, a dieter may buy Ketostix (litmus-type strips that change color between pink or purple to tell if you are in ketosis or not and they can be bought at drugstores) if you happen to be not in the state of ketosis then you may have to lower your carb intake.
Phase 3: Pre-maintenance
Once the dieter reaches within 10 lbs. of their goal weight, then the Pre-maintenance phase is introduced. This is the part where you can gradually increase the intake of carbs until you no longer lose weight anymore. The goal here is to reach a certain level of carbs as you reach for your goal weight. This is also where you get to find what your ideal carb intake is.
Phase 4: Maintenance
This is going to be something that the dieter will be using for the rest of his/her life. Your ideal carb intake which you have found out during the pre-maintenance phase is what you will be following. You should also be responsible for monitoring your weight because our bodies change within the course of time and the tolerance of carb intake may also change which can either cause weight gain or loss. If you are losing weight, you have the option of increasing your carb intake but if you gain weight to as close as 5 lbs. or more of your ideal weight then you can start over with the Induction Phase.