The Atkins Diet is a low-carbohydrate eating plan that can help you lose weight. As the Atkins Diet website explains, your body typically preferentially burns carbohydrates in the form of blood glucose as fuel. By reducing your carbohydrate intake, you cause your body to turn to other fuel sources, including body fat. The Atkins Diet consists of multiple different phases which allow for different amounts of carbohydrates. These stages help you initially lose weight and then develop a long-term eating plan.
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Consume a maximum of 20 g carbohydrates each day for at least two weeks. This part of the Atkins Diet is known as the "induction phase." It works to put your body in a state of ketosis, which occurs when your body produces ketones, a byproduct of breaking down body fat for use as fuel. During this phase of the diet, you may have no grains, fruits, starchy vegetables or bread.
Increase your carbohydrate intake gradually. During the second phase of the Atkins Diet, you may slowly add carbohydrates in the form of vegetables, nuts, seeds and berries. These small increases in carbohydrate intake are done on a week-by-week basis as you continue to lose weight. Typically, you will consume 40 to 60 g carbohydrates each day during the second phase. You will stay in this phase until you are within 0.5 kg to 1 kg (5 to 10 lb) of your target weight.
Eat only as many carbohydrates as you need to maintain your weight. During the final phase of the Atkins Diet, the maintenance phase, you will limit your carbohydrate intake so that you maintain your weight. Most people can consume 45 to 100 g carbohydrate each day without gaining weight, but you will need to use trial and error to determine how many carbohydrates you can eat without gaining weight. You can stay in this phase for as long as you want; this phase is designed to help you keep from regaining the weight you lose.
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