Here’s a scenario: You have been doing Atkins for a while, you’ve lost weight, and you are feeling great. As you progress through the different Phases, you start to incorporate different types of carbs in your meal plan, while still losing or maintaining your weight. Then, maybe you become a little overly confident. You figure you can handle some bread here and there, maybe some potatoes or cookies or alcohol (or whatever carbs are not necessarily on the list for your Phase). And for a while this strategy may work, and you continue to lose weight. Until it doesn’t. Suddenly your cravings become uncontrollable; maybe they are even waking you up at night. And the only way to calm the cravings is to feed the monster, i.e. eat those carbs. And soon your weight loss stalls. Does this sound familiar?
The reason for this is that when you eat those tempting carbs, you start to experience even more cravings because your blood sugar levels are unstable. Welcome to the carbohydrate rollercoaster. Once you get on, it’s very hard to get off. Your first exit off the rollercoaster? Induction. Return to this Phase for a week or so, until you get your blood sugar under control. When you are no longer craving foods high in carbs and your energy levels have stabilized, you can move beyond Induction. And hopefully you’ve learned something from your ride on the carbohydrate rollercoaster. Pay attention to what led you astray, whether it was skipping meals, stress or just a false sense of security that you could handle those “cheat” meals here and there. But don’t be too strict on yourself and deny yourself completely. This could also backfire. Let yourself have an occasional treat (within your carbohydrate threshold and acceptable food lists), but make sure you know your carb tolerance and stay below that. If you need to satisfy a sweet craving—without raising your blood sugar—you can try an Atkins Advantage™ Bar as a snack or occasional meal replacement. You can even eat them during Induction as long as you continue to lose weight. (Try to consume no more than two bars or shakes a day.)
As you continue on your journey on Atkins, don’t forget all the benefits you will experience as you decrease your carb intake, including:
• Burning your built-up reserves of fat for fuel, while preserving lean body mass, and energy optimal.
• Controlling your appetite.
• Eliminating spikes and slumps in your blood sugar
• Eliminating the bully in the park; excess carbohydrates.
• Reducing your risk of insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease.
• When you consume fewer carbs and replace that with fat and protein, as well as only enough whole food carbs that your metabolism can tolerate, you will be able to lose weight, and keep it off.