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colette_heimowitz's Blog
Let’s Talk About Induction

An all-too-common misconception is that the first Phase of Atkins—Induction—is the whole program. Which probably led to other misconceptions, including the one that Atkins is all about omitting major food groups from your diet and subsisting on meat, eggs, cheese and lots of fat. Every time I see that in an online article, I find myself yelling at my computer. It is simply not true! The purpose of Induction is to switch your body over to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs for fuel and kick-starting weight loss. You will burn the fat you are consuming as well as the fat you have stored. However, don’t think that eating less fat will hasten burning more body fat. You need dietary fat to fuel the fires of fat burning. So, when you are on Induction, you are consuming optimal levels of a variety of protein choices like fish, poultry, eggs and meat, healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, and polyunsaturated fats, as well as the mandatory Foundation vegetables. 

However, the true key to success on Atkins is the process of finding the maximum number of carbs you can eat while continuing to lose weight, keep your appetite under control and stay alert and energized. This number is your personal carb balance, which is different for everyone. To find your personal carb balance, you gradually increase both the amount and variety of the carbohydrate foods you eat. Once you’ve reached your goal weight, you will have hopefully discovered the maximum number of carbs you eat while maintaining this weight and controlling your cravings. This is your personal carb tolerance, and this is when Atkins has become a lifestyle for you; a new and improved way of eating and living, versus a quick-fix diet you return to after you’ve resumed your old eating habits and the pounds pile back on.

It’s true that if you have a lot of weight to lose, or you want to lose weight faster and you like the structure and fewer choices in this first Phase, you may stay on Induction longer than two weeks, typically until you’re 15 pounds from your goal weight. But even if that’s the case, I suggest that you add nuts and seeds to your meal plans, as they are full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats and relatively low in carbs. But I still strongly recommend that you move to Phase 2 (Balancing) no later than when you’re within 15 pounds of your goal weight so that you can transition to a more permanent way of eating. In Phase 2, you begin to increase your carb intake in 5-gram increments, which means gradually introducing more foods as you begin to understand your personal carb balance. In addition to nuts and seeds, you can start to add foods like berries, melon and cherries, Greek yogurt and fresh cheeses, which add delicious variety to each of your meals.

And let me clear up one last little misconception about Induction. Not only is it not what Atkins is all about, you don’t even have to start in Induction if you don’t want to! If you are comfortable with a slow and steady rate of weight loss (because wouldn’t you rather lose a little more slowly and keep the weight off for good?), it’s perfectly acceptable to start in Phase 2.

Starting in Phase 2 can be a more gentle way for some folks to ease into their backup fuel system, which is a fat-burning metabolism. There are fewer adaptation symptoms and you have more foods to choose from.  Plus, you have the option to go down to Induction if the inches and scale are not moving as fast as you’d like. The bottom line? Atkins is not just about Induction—each Phase of Atkins plays an important part in your goal to lose weight and keep it off for the long term while developing lifelong healthy eating habits.

Published Tuesday, November 19, 2013 01:53 PM by colette_heimowitz
Filed Under: Induction, OWL, Carb Balance/Carb Intolerance, Nutrition
Comments
ladynasdaq said:
I should have started to work my way out if Induction earlier but as a carb addict I guess I did a good job hanging in there 7 weeks. I agree with you now, the Atkins Program is about the reintroduction of carbs back into your menu and now the weight is really coming off! This week 4.4 lbs with 40 bet carbs a day. I realize this is a terrific way to go back to eating the way I ideally want to but needed a huge push!
November 19, 2013 04:01 PM EST
Sherry89014 said:
I have Hypothyroidism and it's very hard to lose weight or to maintain a lower weight. I started Atkins Induction diet on 10/13/13 and so far I have lost 11.4 pounds. I would love to lose a little more weight at a time but I am very happy with my results so far. I have never eaten so much food in my whole life. But if you have any ideas on how to step up the weight loss I would love to hear it.
November 19, 2013 05:01 PM EST
jwbrighteyes said:
Thank you. May I quote you? ( when my friends and family question my choices) jw
November 19, 2013 06:42 PM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
Good for you ladynasdaq ...keep up the good work. Sherry89014 ... faster weight loss does not mean better weight loss. sometime the weight that stays off is the weight that comes off more slowly. Just hang in there. jwbrighteyes ... yes you may quote me (:-)
November 20, 2013 03:40 PM EST
Abinidab said:
I recently found myself having to explain the "New Atkins" to a new doctor who was still under the impression that it was all meat, eggs, butter, and cheese like when he tried it years ago (and lost 30lbs incidentally). That misconception is still out there. He gave me his tentative approval to start Atkins and we will see how my cholesterol levels change on Atkins. I think he will be surprised. All we can do is plug along, keep losing fat, and when people ask us how we did it tell them the truth.
November 21, 2013 11:06 AM EST
Rigormorticia Tammy said:
I seem to be at a stand still and believe it's because of my blood pressure meds. I have Atkins for years with great success but not at all this time.....I can not get my heart rate above 65 and I walk 3-5 miles a day...often discouraging as I do believe I am doing it correctly. Any other advice???? Thanks.
November 21, 2013 03:56 PM EST
TDrexler said:
I developed a new problem about 3 months ago. I started having trouble eating. It isn't that I can't swallow, but most of the foods I ate on Atkins are now making me extremely uncomfortable. The doctor finally narrowed part of the problem down to gastroparesis. I've read about it, and found the diet they want to put me on, but it is fairly high in processed carbohydrate as the primary source of calories. I can't eat fresh (raw) fruits and veggies, high-fiber foods, and fatty foods. The diet is EXTREMELY limited, and for the past 13 weeks, I've been living primarily on crackers and Atkins shakes. I know I'm struggling with my energy levels and clarity because of the shift in what I can eat. Is there a plan that will fit Atkins AND not exacerbate the problem?
November 21, 2013 11:09 PM EST
amydds said:
are you allowed to drink crystal light during the day when you want (during induction)...or does that count as the 3 "artificial sugar" servings for the day???
November 24, 2013 04:48 PM EST
fishflower said:
I would like to start Atkins diet, but I don't like to eat artificial sugar, what else can you use in place of it. I don't like to put chemicals in me. Like splenda, sweet and low or any of those.
November 24, 2013 06:25 PM EST
cindylouray said:
I truly think this is an eye opening blog post. I am staying with induction for a time longer, but interestingly enough, the minute I started to add nuts, people started saying, "Aha, that's why you can't lose. Leave the nuts alone." I ate four brazil nuts one day last week, which was the first nuts I had eaten in almost a month; haven't eaten any since. I'm wondering if when you have done a lot of yoyo dieting, and if you are on thyroid meds, if the weight ever decides to come off a little faster. Thanks for all you do.
November 24, 2013 07:56 PM EST
DH4533 said:
RE: Natural Sweeteners I use sweetener from the Stevia plant. Here's a quote from wikipedia on it 'Stevia is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. The species Stevia rebaudiana, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sweetener and sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations. With its steviol glycoside extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has attracted attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar sweeteners. Because stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose it is attractive to people on carbohydrate-controlled diets.'
November 25, 2013 09:52 AM EST
girl4lifecappy said:
Im on day three of Induction and so far so good but im kinda of confused about the app. I dont know how to find or enter just regular scrambled eggs without all the other ingeidients. Also how would i enter something that wont scan?
December 11, 2013 02:27 PM EST
Fuzzylove17 said:
Hi, I just started the atkins diet a few days ago I am also taking Xenadrine. Will this effect my weight loss in anyway? I know that there is usually a caffeine limit during the first Phase of the diet.
January 09, 2014 12:53 PM EST
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