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colette_heimowitz's Blog
What You Can Expect The First Two Weeks of Induction

The first piece of advice we can offer you, paradoxically, is to have no set expectations. Just because your best friend or spouse lost 7 pounds on Atkins the first week of Phase 1, Induction, don’t assume it will be the same for you. If you’ve been eating lots of poor-quality carbohydrates, this way of eating will be a significant change for you, and it may take some time for your body to adjust.


You may also be giving up many of your old high-carb comfort foods, which may leave you feeling emotionally bereft. Both reactions are normal. Record any such feelings in your diet journal along with a list of the foods you’ve eaten. You can find online support and answers to specific questions on the Community Forums during this transition (as well as at any other time) and link up with Atkins “newbies” and old hands.


Here’s what else you are likely to experience when you start Induction:
You’ll lose water weight. Most people lose a couple of pounds of water weight in the first few days, but you may lose more or less.
Then you’ll start to lose fat pounds. But don’t get hung up on the scale. Lost inches are just as significant as lost pounds. So if your clothes seem to feel a bit looser, even if your weight is constant, you’re on the right track. It’s perfectly normal for your body to vary from day to day, so we recommend that you weigh yourself just once or twice a week at roughly the same time of day and take your measurements. That way, you’re more likely to see positive and meaningful results. Weight averaging over the long haul is a better way of looking at weight loss. Daily fluctuations will drive you crazy.


You might experience certain symptoms that result from the diet’s diuretic effect, but you can minimize your chances of experiencing them with options discussed in The New Atkins for a New You. One suggestion is drinking a full sodium broth or miso soup daily. When water and sodium are flushed from your body, you could feel fatigue, light-headedness upon standing up or with exposure to heat, weakness, constipation, chronic headaches and/or leg cramps. Drinking broth will slow down water loss and you can side step those symptoms.


Your energy level may be low for a few days. If so, follow the advice above and hold off on or reduce your usual fitness routine. Let your body acclimate to your new way of eating and adapt to your new metabolism of fat burning before starting or intensifying activity.
You may feel hungry or crave high-carb foods for the first couple of days. If so, have a high-protein snack, such as sliced roast beef, a chicken breast or some cheese.


Your energy level improves along with a sense of well-being. This dramatic shift, usually occurs somewhere toward the end of the first or even into the second week. This is a clear Indication you have gotten into the Atkins Edge, which means you’ve made the transition to primarily burning fat for energy, and can begin to hone your low-carb skills. 


Medical Issues
Type 2 diabetes and hypertension sometimes improve dramatically when you are on a low-carb program, so the need for certain medications diminishes. Close cooperation with your doctor is essential so that you don’t confuse the effects of too high a dose of a medication with doing Atkins itself. Be aware that:

The diuretic effect of doing Atkins can lower your blood pressure if you have hypertension. Monitor your blood pressure carefully and communicate any changes to your doctor so that the dosage of any blood pressure drug can be adjusted.

Likewise, doing Atkins can have a dramatic impact on your blood glucose levels. If you take medication for type 2 diabetes your need for insulin may diminish. Monitor your blood glucose levels and stay in touch with your doctor.


Congratulations! You are about to discover a way of eating that will keep you satisfied, help you reach your weight loss goals, improve your health, and reverse the disease process. A powerful program that will change your life for the better.

Published Wednesday, May 23, 2012 04:01 PM by colette_heimowitz
Filed Under: Induction
Comments said:
As a new Atkins user I really found this helpful. Thanks
May 23, 2012 04:20 PM EST
llehmann51 said:
Colette, I have been following the Phase 1 eating plan for 5 weeks. The first week I lost 6lbs, the second week I lost 0, the third week I lost 1lb, the fourth I lost 3lbs and the fifth week I gained 1lb. I take janumet for type 2 diabetes. What is happening here? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
May 23, 2012 05:55 PM EST
paredd said:
I started induction 8 days ago. I lost 4 pounds the first week and now I seem to be at a stand still. I am retaining fluid and a bit discouraged. I realize that I may not get all of my carbs everyday from foundation vegetables but otherwise I am eating by the book. What am I doing wrong?
May 24, 2012 05:05 AM EST
Jacq said:
Another great blog Colette! llehmann - if you start a new thread in the forums - you will get lots of advice! :) Paredd - it is important to follow all of the guidelines - including veggie carbs. Often people undereat since your appetite diminishes with induction. :) Check your menu to ensure you are meeting all of the guideines.
May 24, 2012 08:00 AM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Hi Liehmann, 9 lbs in 5 weeks is pretty good. This is what I mean by 'weight averging'. Look at your process over the course of several months. You ARE heading in the right direction. It is normal to lose weight in fits and starts as well as stalls. Hang in there and make sure you are not consuming more than 4 to 6 ounces of protein at each meal and that your calories are between 1500 and 1800 daily.
May 24, 2012 02:54 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
HI Pareed, since you are retaining wtaer you may have a food intolerance. Try a process of elemination and challenges by cutting out a particular food for a week and see what happens. The most common culprits are, cheese, dairy, soy, tomatoes, nuts.
May 24, 2012 02:57 PM EST
jbeema said:
Hi Colette - I'm thinking of trying Atkins and have about 50 pounds to lose. I have done well in the past on the Type II Diabetes Diet (I am not diabetic), which I lost 50 pounds on before, but it no longer works for me. I was injured and gained 50 pounds and have been trying everything to get it off. I know, as a professional dancer, that I am extremely diet resistant due to decades of extreme dieting. I am also intolerant of dairy and wheat/gluten, and almost any grain makes me gain weight, but I crave creamy and sweet. I'm sure I can't use the Atkins bars, and the only sugar substitute I'll use is Stevia, so I'm limited in my options. Do you have any suggestions that might help me be more successful with this? I actually eat a pretty decent low carb diet except for constantly craving sweets. I have done a candida cleanse and lots of other things - I'm a holistic health practitioner so have some tools in my own arsenal, but would appreciate any help or suggestions. Thanks so much, Jana
May 28, 2012 01:49 PM EST
TurtleMom23 said:
At the suggestion of a friend, I joined the Atkins community. I've been researching the benefits of the low carb lifestyle for a couple of months now, and now that school is out, I've decided to go for it. I'm on Day 4 and I wish I would have read this on Day 1! I'm doing pretty good and I seem to be losing pretty steadily. What I am most excited about, however, is that my belly bloat is slowly going away. This more than anything is my biggest source of inspiration!
May 31, 2012 09:10 PM EST
tammie105 said:
Hi Collette, Great information! I'm on Day 3 and I've already lost 3.4 pounds of water weight the first day, but gained back a half pound overnight last night. It may have been from lack of good sleep, but I also just started taking Lipitor yesterday, hence one of the reasons I’m starting ATKINS (high cholesterol)… not sure of its effects on weight loss. My question is this... I understand that I need to make sure 12-15 of my net carbs come from the main "good" veggies (I'm good with that...I love veggies and fridge is stocked). My confusion is regarding the 4-6 oz of protein per meal and 1500 calories a day. I'm tracking my food on, so it breaks down how much protein I've consumed, but the amounts are in grams. How many grams of protein a day are we supposed to eat? Should that amount of protein be in some sort of ratio to fat or calories? Here are yesterday's numbers (followed a menu, which is turning out to be getting very tedious, but this was my first full day of eating all ATKINS): Net C(g): 20.82 ; Prot(g): 109.08 ; Fat(g) : 97.82 ; Carbs(g): 48.32 ; KCals: 1527 Also, I have a lot of days like today when I only eat a late breakfast (11am), a late lunch (4:30-5pm), and fit an ATKINS bar in at around 7:30pm. On these days I'm eating and will be eating only around 1000 calories a day. Will I still lose weight if I don't meet the calorie requirement of 1500? Is there a goal for protein and fat each day, so my body has something to burn? Sorry for all the questions... I have a stocked fridge and I just need to know what my goal is for each day on ATKINS. Thanks! CW: 157.6 GW: 125 CHOL: 245 TRIG: 219 LDL: 168 HDL: 55
June 02, 2012 12:08 AM EST
marcia200 said:
I think this blog is terrific! I see so many people doing greta! i have been a bit discouraged. i did atkins years ago and lost over 80 pounds, unfortunatly I put it back on and I am a lot older now and I have struggled since I started the 1st week I lost 5 pounds the 2nd weekI put on 4, I then revamped what I was eating and cut out a lot of hidden sugars and tried to cut back on my splenda consumption. and I started losing again. I usually eat eggs and bacon for breakfast, a salad for lunch with protein and maeat and veggie for supper when i get asweet tooth i usually have chocalote mousse made with unsweetened chocolate and heavy whipped cream or sugar free jello. I am now at 3 weeks and I have only lost 8 pounds and lost 1 inch on my hips and bust. I don't know what I am doing wrong any ideas?
June 02, 2012 11:06 PM EST
tanyamyles18 said:
Marcia200 I am having a similiar struggle. I did so well on Atkins in the past and I've noticed so many other diets leaning towards the same princples at Atkins that i decided to try it again. I am past the child bearing stage and am ready to make a lifetime commitment to the Atkins way of eating. Grant it, it's only been one week, but I am somewhat discouraged that I've only lost 5 pounds. Normally i lose 5 to 7 pounds in the first two days. I am attributing this slow progression to what Dr Atkins said in his first book. While I can't quote it specifically I believe he said that once you go back and forth from his diet to a regular carb consumption diet that your body needs to ensure adjust and that it may happen more slowly. It's been about 8 years since reading that so i could be wrong, but I want to check with the nutritionist here. I am happy that my cravings stopped after day 2 and i can feel that I am lighter, but there are some things I'm wondering if I'm doing wrong. Since the plan allows for splenda i chew about 3 pieces of sugarfree gum per day, I also have 1 packet of splenda in my coffee per day. These are things i did not do the first time around 8 years ago. I also have not really eliminated (tmi i know), but that's not normal for me, so i am going to get some metamucil, stop the gum (allthough in ketosis there's the concern of badbreath), and I am going to take a daily supplement omega 3. Hopefully this will get me to losing again! We are all in this battle together! Happy losing everyone!
June 03, 2012 11:56 AM EST
marcia200 said:
Yes I also did this diet years ago and used all the splenda I wanted . i drank a lot of diet soda and still loss, nit this time! i gave up soda altogether, and trying to just drink water except for my morning coffee. I am being very strict on my food consumption. When I feel the need to eat something sweet i have sugar free jello with whipped topping made with heavy cream. I have some atkins bars but i have heard eberyone complain that they slow the metabolism down so I have only had 1 or 2. I have a bad habit of weighing myself everyday which i shouldn't do because it shows a flucuation but I can't seem to break that habit, I just try not to get upset if it shows a gain, it makes me watch what I eat closer.I take magnesium and that helps with any bathroom problems. Good luck to us all!
June 04, 2012 12:03 AM EST
rljacuk said:
Is it alright if I eat most of my meals using the Atkins bars? I am in school most of the day and I am limited on how much standing/walking I can do while my foot is healing. Lately, we have been eating fast food (I get a low carb cheeseburger) since I am not able to cook. Is this ok on this diet?
June 05, 2012 07:41 PM EST
meslterhune1 said:
I just started atkins on Mon.6/4/12. is it okay to have the atkins snack bars during induction phase that say they are for all phases?
June 06, 2012 02:09 PM EST
tammie105 said:
Does anyone answer this blog? I thought when we submitted questions that they'd be answered in a day or two. Colette, are you there?? I see a bunch of questions, in addition to my specific ones, that I'm also interested in that haven't been answered for over almost a week... please help! :o) Thank you.
June 07, 2012 08:22 PM EST
Hotblondeinmich said:
I'm a bit frustrated. I've been on the Atkins for 4 weeks now, lost 10 lbs the first two weeks and now nothing. My carbs are under 25, I barely have an appetite. I usually eat two bars and a protein drink through the day and a high protein dinner (chicken beef etc) and a green vegetable. The only thing I can think of is maybe I'm not consuming enough calories? An ideas?
June 08, 2012 06:01 AM EST
ceharden84 said:
What about nausea? Can lack of sodium really cause nausea?
July 02, 2012 01:37 PM EST
lisamboo said:
Been on induction for a week and a half and for the last 3 days i have been on a stand still. I dont have much of an appetite so I agree with Hotblondeinmich that I might not be consuming enough calories but when I get hungry I really want salad and I know I am limited on vegetables. Some days I am consuming under 1,000 calories. Do you think I should add protein shakes and bars to supplement the xtra calories. I feel very limited in what I can eat for I don not eat any seafood. Help
January 16, 2013 10:17 AM EST
queenabalo0107 said:
I don't see CORN in the list for the first week. Is that not a vegetable? Are we ok to eat corn?
March 31, 2013 11:52 PM EST
brianNshape said:
I'm on my 4th day of the induction phase and have lost 8 pounds. (Heckyea) but I'm wondering if its normal that I havnt pooped in 2 days when usually I'm a daily goer?
September 25, 2013 10:13 PM EST
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