Meal Plan for the Induction Phase of Atkins

Updated February 21, 2017

The induction phase, or phase 1, of the Atkins diet is designed to move the body from carb burning to fat burning to kick start weight loss. In this phase, you are to eat no more than 20 grams of carbs each day. The majority of these carbs will come from vegetables.


Phase 1 of the Atkins diet allows eggs, all meats, many vegetables and some fats like cheese, butter and olive oil. For breakfast, these options work well together in an omelette with bacon, turkey or ham mixed with vegetables like mushrooms, peppers or broccoli and topped with a sprinkle of a little shredded cheese. You could also prepare two eggs in different styles like scrambled, poached or fried with a few slices of bacon on the side. If eggs are not appealing to you, Atkins offers its own brand of shakes and bars. Other options include asparagus wrapped in ham or turkey.

When it comes to choosing meats like bacon or ham, be sure to pick products that do not have added sugar or have been processed with nitrates. If you are concerned about the cholesterol level in eggs, the American Heart Association reports that people with healthy cholesterol levels can safely consume eggs as part of their diet as long as they are mindful of the cholesterol they consume from other foods.


Take the same options from breakfast to create a great meal for lunch. Phase 1 of Atkins also allows fish and shellfish, like shrimp and crab, to add more variety to your diet. A few lunch ideas include salads with lettuce, arugula, endive or spinach as a base and topped with chicken, turkey, fish or shrimp. To enhance the flavour, add crumbled bacon, cheese or a small amount of sour cream. Dress the salad with olive oil or a prepared salad dressing with no added sugar and less than two grams of net carbs per serving. You can also add vegetables like celery, cucumber or olives to the salad or create a vegetable side dish. Try roasting brussels sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms or peppers with a little olive oil.


Dinner on phase 1 of the Atkins diet consists of the same components used for breakfast and lunch. Consider grilling a chicken or turkey breast, or a piece of fish combined with vegetables. Other protein possibilities include pork chops or lamb chops, a cheeseburger or salmon burger without the bun, crab cakes, meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, steak, tacos without the shell, and meat and vegetable kebabs.


Snacks are allowed on the Atkins diet. Smart snacking options include devilled eggs, beef or turkey jerky without added sugars, a slice of cheese or string cheese, vegetables with cream cheese and sugar-free gelatin.

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About the Author

Based in Omaha, Neb., Amy Adkins has been a professional writer and editor since 2001. She writes primarily on the topic of health and health care and has experience in marketing communications, public relations, corporate communication and technical writing. She received her Master of Arts degree in communication from the University of Nebraska-Omaha.