The basis of the Atkins diet involves cutting out all carbohydrates from your diet. You are allowed a small amount of carbohydrates which consist of the natural carbs found in vegetables.
There are four phases to this diet plan:
This is the first phase and the most difficult to stick with. It last for 14 days and is designed to throw your body into a state of “ketosis”. This means your body starts producing ketones from fat which is used as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates. This allows you to lose weight very quickly since your body is burning away through your stored carbohydrate reserves.
You are allowed 20 grams of carbs a day consisting of certain types of vegetables. You are allowed to eat many types of meat, eggs, oil, butter, cheese and cream.
Ongoing Weight Loss Phase:
In this phase you are allowed to add a few more carbs to your diet, about 40 grams per day. You are told to monitor your weight loss and adjust your carb intake accordingly. You are also only allowed to eat certain types of carbs and a full list is included in the book.
Pre-Maintenance Diet Phase:
You go into this phase when you are almost at your weightloss goal (about 10 pounds away from target). You are allowed to slightly increase your carb intake a little further according to the diet guidelines.
Phase Maintenance Diet Phase:
This is the phase you start once you hit your target weight. You are told to remain at this phase for lifetime to maintain your weight.
Your carb intake is increased slightly further and you are allowed a little more variety.