When you start a low carb diet, the first two weeks are quite dramatic. Look younger, feel better and burn an amazing amount of stored body fat.
These promises are real. Here’s your bare bones easy, step-by-step:
- What to do before you start a low carb diet.
- A simple explanation of Atkins Induction and recipe resource.
- Your new low carb plate with the best fat-burning ratio.
- A printable, 7 Day Low Carb Meal Plan.
- After your first 2 weeks.
Instant motivation? Check your weight, take body measurements and body fat percentages – if possible. Use your webcam or camera to take a live video or still photographs. It’s amazing to see how much your body changes over the next two weeks on the Atkins diet.
The benefits of Atkins and low carb diets are hard to beat. You’ll feel energetic and euphoric, sleep better, live longer, prevent disease and reduce inflammation in your joints – after you adjust.
This 2 week plan glides you through all adjustments with ease.
Starting with Atkins Induction
The Atkins low carb diet starts with a limit of 20 net carb grams per day for the first two weeks. This simply means avoiding sugar and counting carbs while eating healthy fats, meat and veggies.
The Atkins diet calls this first two-week phase “Induction” or “Phase 1.” Both you and your metabolism are being introduced to a brand new lifestyle – emotionally, physically and psychologically.
Get more details about Atkins Induction Phase 1 and a printable Atkins Induction food list.
You may follow Atkins Induction (20 net grams of carbs) or use your own carb counts (30 to 40 net grams of carbs).
- It’s very important to track carbs during the first two weeks.
- Eat plenty of food and drink plenty of water. Counting calories isn’t necessary
- The foods you will be eating are delicious and very filling. Counting calories on a low carb diet is not necessary if you only eat when you feel hungry.
If you’re craving sweet foods or desserts, artificial sweeteners are a good solution. Dr. Atkins prefers sucralose (Splenda), but small amounts (2 to 3 servings) of all natural stevia are also allowed.
(Type, Serving Size, Net Carbs)
- Splenda: (sucralose) 1 packet, 1 net carb / liquid is zero carb
- Sweet N Low: (saccharine) 1 packet, 0.9 net carbs / liquid is zero carb
- Stevia: (all natural) 1 packet, 1 net carb / liquid is zero carb
- Erythritol (all natural) trace net carbs per serving
Sucralose Liquid Sweetener
EZ-Sweetz liquid sweetener is made of sucralose and has no bitter aftertaste. Zero carb, zero calories, zero impact.
De-Bittered Liquid Stevia
EZ-Sweetz’s de-bittered stevia blend has no unpleasant aftertaste. EZ-Sweetz’s blend has none of the characteristic bitterness of typical stevia sweeteners.
Now Foods erythritol powder is a natural sweetener that’s non-GMO, low glycemic impact and zero calorie.
Foods to Avoid During the First 2 Weeks
For the first two weeks after starting a low carb diet, avoid fruits, berries, pasta, rice, milk, nuts, alcohol and artificially sweetened soft drinks!
No chips or candies- even if they are “low carb” versions. There are lots of great low carb chocolates and ice creams, but avoid these for the first two weeks.
During these first few weeks it will become apparent if your body has any allergies or sensitivities, such as gluten.
How can you eat 20 grams a day of carbs and still have interesting meals? There’s an amazing low carb forum, A Pinch of Health, where Atkins Induction approved recipes are posted.
This thread is updated monthly, but there are currently 130+ Induction friendly low carb recipes listed, including: beef, veal, poultry, pork, lamb, soups, veggies, eggs, baked foods, desserts and sweets.
Your New Low Carb Plate
The Best Ratio to Burn Fat
Make sure to eat the correct amount of protein, fat and carb grams. To lose the most stored body fat, a typical ratio for the low carb Atkins Induction phase is 65% fat, 30% protein and 5% carbs.
A small increase in carbs and decrease in fat is a basic way to discover the right levels for your body. Track your progress and count every last fraction of a carb. Be honest.
If you begin to gain fat, simply adjust the ratio: lower your carbs, and increase your fat with the healthiest high foods.
Eating Fat to Lose Fat – Why this Works
Getting 65%-75% of your calories from fat gives your body enough fuel to operate at a maximum level. A few days after eating high fat low carb, you will enter a metabolic state called ketosis.
Ketosis (or keto for short) means you are efficiently burning fat for energy instead of storing it.
How to Know You’re in Ketosis
- During keto, low carbers experience bursts of energy and heightened mood – just two of the big benefits of ketosis.
- Some dieters notice a temporary, sweet taste in the mouth or a mild, sweet breath odor, a signal they have reached ketosis.
Measuring Keto with Test Strips
A measurable way to know if you’ve reached ketosis is by testing for ketones with inexpensive strips.
Check Amazon for the lowest prices: Keto Test Strips
Keto test strips are one way to know you’ve reached ketosis, but if the strip doesn’t register the presence of ketones, you can still be ketosis.
Why is this?
- Sometimes urine samples are diluted from drinking lots of water.
- It’s also possible to burn away ketones during exercise.
Tip: Rely on eating the correct keto ratio of fat, protein and carbs, and use the keto testing strips as a “check in.”
Real Life Low Carb Plates
Numbers are great, but what will your new low carb plate look like in real life?
Here’s a general run-down of how to eat low carb from each food group.
Low Carb Poultry, Meat and Fish
- Almost all poultry, meats and fish are zero carb. Avoid deli meats, processed meats and hot dogs during the first two weeks – these are higher in added starch and carbs.
Low Carb Veggies
This inexpensive wonder creates uniform, curly noodles from zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips and other round or long vegetables.
- Zucchini spaghetti (Zoodles)
- Cucumber ribbon strands
- Sweet potato, radish or turnip curly fries
- Long spiral squash strands
The veggie spiralizer is great for making curly fries, frittatas, salad garnishes and zoodles – low carb “pasta” made from zucchini!
The Inspiralized cookbook shows you how to transform more than 20 vegetables and fruits into delicious meals that look and taste just like your favorite indulgent originals.
Zucchini turns into pesto spaghetti; jicama becomes shoestring fries; sweet potatoes lay the foundation for fried rice.
Veggie Spiralizer Cookbook
Top 98 recipes Spiralizer Cookbook is a step-by-step guide on using a spiralizer, includes a list of spiralizer-friendly veggies and delicious recipes:
- Paleo-Friendly Carbonara
- Roasted Carrot and Coconut Crostino
- Chicken and Zoodle Bowl
- Mediterranean Zoodle Platter
- Zucchini Rice with Sweet Cider Dressing
- Parmesan Broccoli Noodles with Tomatoes
- Beet Noodles with Tangy Mustard Dressing
- Gluten-Free Parsnip Puttanesca
- Avocado and Beet Omelet
- Rutabaga Spaghetti with Truffle Marinara Sauce
- Summer Prosciutto and Cottage Cheese Pasta
Cheese, Dairy and Eggs
- Cream cheese, hard and full-fat cheeses are best. Shredded cheeses are coated with starches and are higher carb.
- Mascarpone cheese is an excellent zero carb dessert cheese.
- Use heavy cream instead of half-and-half or milk.
- Eggs are naturally very low carb – less than 1 gram per egg.
Butter and Oils
- Choose organic, grass-fed butters and creams.
- Concentrate on coconut and olive oils. These oils are richest in omega 3 fatty acids.
Coconut oil is one of the healthiest sources of fat for your low carb diet. It’s also your new rapid fat-burning secret. Coconut oil helps you burn even more fat while in ketosis. Coconut oil is used immediately for energy – not stored as fat.
Coconut oil lasts up to two years without spoiling. Coconut oil gives food a nice “buttery” (not coconut) flavor, and is easy to cook or bake with.
Carrington Farms Organic Coconut Oil is gluten free, non-GMO, free of hydrogenated and trans fats, Kosher, zero carb and organic.
La Tourangelle Avocado Oil is all-natural, expeller-pressed, non-GMO and Kosher. La Tourangelle has a fruity roundness – great for both sweet and savory applications.
Eat flavorful, low carb meals using fresh herbs and spices. Most low carb herbs have only trace amounts of carbs, so use these liberally.
When to Start Your Low Carb Diet
Most low carb diets put special emphasis on the first two weeks, when you get used to eating in a more healthy manner. But those first two DAYS are the key – when you break your carb addiction!
Start a low carb diet on a Thursday night. You’ll wake up Friday morning with a 12-15 hour head start. Your body was burning extra glucose (sugar) while you slept.
Feeling the Challenge
After starting a low carb diet, the first two days are challenging.
Your body was using high sugar foods for energy, and storing your fat. Your body will crave this sugar at first. You may get cranky, tired or shaky. The worse your symptoms are, the more addicted your body was to sugar.
We only carry enough glucose (sugar) to last for 2 to 3 days in our bodies. Any extra sugar is stored as fat.
On Monday morning, you’ll no longer be a “sugar burner.” After day two, you’ll start burning fat and protein for energy instead. The brain becomes clear and your metabolism runs more efficiently.
The more healthy fat you eat, the more stored body fat you’ll burn for energy. It’s difficult to overeat fat, so calorie counting isn’t usually necessary.
Your Metabolism is Different
The next two weeks are amazing. The roller coaster mood swings, hunger cravings, bloating and stomach puffiness caused by sugar is gone.
You feel better, need less sleep and have much more energy. Goodbye naps!
You’re losing weight rapidly- without hunger. And you are eating delicious, fattening foods.
Hello Rapid Fat Loss
On day 3, your body will start to consume its extra fat supply. When you eat, it will go after those fats as well. Many people losing anywhere from 7 to 14 pounds in the first two weeks of the low carb diet.
Low Carb Meal Plans
It’s a good idea to plan ahead for the first week of meals when you’re starting a low carb diet. Here are two sample meal plans from Atkins to take you through a solid week.
Atkins 20 Carbs per Day Meal Plan
Atkins 40 Carbs per Day Meal Plan
After the first week, you’ll really feel a new energy, feel more lively and even tempered. Your sugar-rush highs and lows will be gone, any shakiness when you’re hungry will go away.
This is a good time to try low carb versions of your old favorite meals. Continue eating high fat and tracking your progress.
Don’t forget to measure again on Day 14 to see the inches you’ve lost.
After the First Two Weeks
We start a low carb diet with two weeks of intensive training. By the third week, we understand all the basics:
- Our kitchen is clear of junk food and high carb foods.
- We’re drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
- We know which foods are good for us, and which ones pretend to be nutritious.
Track Your Progress
When you check your measurements every few weeks, you’ll be quite impressed. Keep taking photos, videos or measurements every few weeks. Seeing progress “on paper” is very motivating.
The scale is a good tracking device, but inches tell the whole story.
Set New Low Carb Goals
It’s time to set up a realistic weight loss goal, based on the first two weeks. Decide how long you will need to reach your goal weight.
If you are enjoying the food choices from the first two weeks, you may stay at Induction levels (20 carbs or less/day) to lose weight more quickly.
Begin Maintenance – Eat More Carbs
Once you’ve reached your target healthy weight, you’re ready to go on to maintenance.
This is the fun part:
Slowly increase your total carb amount by 5 to 10 grams each week. As you do, your weight loss will slow.
Eventually, your body reaches a “balance point” where you aren’t losing any more weight, but you aren’t gaining it either.
Optimize Your Diet
It doesn’t take long to learn about low carb foods and how to eat them. If you’re ready for a new challenge, try these seven tricks to make your low carb diet ideal.
Get Support from Atkins
Order your free low carb quick start kit from Atkins! It includes the Atkins Start Guide, sample low carb menus, a free carb counter, 3 full size Atkins bars, coupons, low carb recipes and info about the free Atkins Tracker App.
The kit also includes a $3 rebate for The New Atkins for a New You Workbook.
Tracking progress is the key to success. This step-by-step guide makes it easier than ever to follow Atkins. The Atkins workbook includes grocery shopping guides, food lists and tracking tools.
The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook features 200 delicious low carb meals, ready in 30 minutes or less.
Almost Zero Carb Meal Plan
Three easy days, one aggressive technique and major fat loss.
The Almost Zero Carb Meal Plan is designed to break even the worst stall, burn large amounts of stored fat, and induce deep ketosis – in 3 days.
- The Technique
- 150 Recipes (100 under 1g net carb)
- Shopping List & Sample Menus
- Printable Meal Planner
If what you’re doing isn’t working, get your meal plan now.
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