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Atkins Induction Phase
Depending on how much weight you need to lose, the induction phase lasts for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of one year. You can generally expect to lose 10% of your excess weight during the first 14 days of induction. Atkins enthusiasts recommend that you follow Induction until you have lost half of the weight you need to lose, and then go on to complete the Ongoing Weight Loss portion of the diet. The rules of induction are simple, and must be followed exactly. With induction, even "just ONE little bite" of something not on the induction list will doom you to failure. With all of the fabulous, no-carb goodies available, there’s no need to cheat!
The Rules of Atkins Induction :
•Have three meals a day or up to six mini-meals, depending on how you feel. 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. Xanthin gum, from your health food store, thickens gravy perfectly without carbs.
•Avoid foods or drinks sweetened with aspartame. Instead, use sucralose (Splenda) 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.
What to Expect In Atkins Induction Phase
For the first few days of induction, you will be withdrawing from sugar and caffeine. It will take 3 to 7 days for these substances to leave your system. During this time, you may find that withdrawal from these substances causes you to have headaches, diarrhoea, nausea, "brain fog" (be careful driving), and muscle cramps. This is commonly referred to as "induction flu." If you suffer from these symptoms take heart- they are very temporary. Soon, you will wake up with more energy than you’ve had in years, your moods will stabilize, and your hunger will disappear!
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