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Atkins Diet Phase III - The Pre Maintenance Phase
Once you are within 5-10 lbs of your ideal weight, you will need to begin the Pre-Maintenance phase of the Atkins Diet. Pre-Maintenance slows your weight loss in preparation for Lifetime Maintenance. Find your Critical Carbohydrate Level for Maintaining (CCLM) in much the same way you found your CCLL. Each week, increase your daily carb count by 10 grams. If, after an increase, you find that you are gaining or are not losing and you are not yet at your goal weight, you need to back down to the previous level. The line between gaining, maintaining and losing is fine and it may take several weeks to find your CCLM
Don’t rush to lose those last few pounds. By adding new foods slowly, one at a time, you give yourself the chance to discover the impact of various foods on your body. Pre-Maintenance is the period in which you learn what your metabolism can handle and what sends you screaming off the wagon. If you have very high metabolic resistance, you may never be able to tolerate whole grains, legumes, or starchy vegetables.
Pre-Maintenance rules are not carved in stone. Rather than adding carbohydrate foods in increments of 10 grams each week, you could allow yourself a 20-gram carbohydrate treat a few times a week. Have half a peach with breakfast or a few slices of roasted sweet potato with dinner. Some people will opt to have a standard-sized, sugar-free alcoholic beverage such as a glass of wine or a scotch and soda. You could also choose to spread your carbs over the course of the week, having very low carbs for a few days before a special dinner out.
This phase of Atkins is the hardest one of all, because you need to learn to control your portions and your appetite. Once you begin to eat more carbohydrates, you will go out of lipolysis. When you are out of lipolysis, you will again be subject to cravings. You’re learning the eating skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life. You can help control your appetite by not skipping meals and by not eating carbohydrates without protein and fat to slow the rush of glucose into your bloodstream.
It’s crucial to choose from the lower-glycemic index foods to prevent cravings. Some good choices are:
•Oatmeal (not instant)
•Whole Grain Breads and Pastas
A good test for which grain products are acceptable for this phase is this: If you have to chew the grains with your molars to grind them up in order to swallow them (Like good, grainy bread, brown and wild rice pilaf, kasha, etc.), it’s good to eat.
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