To get your weight-loss programme off to a fast start, you limit your carbohydrate intake to just 20 grams of Net Carbs a day for a minimum of two weeks.
During this time, you satisfy your appetite with fish, poultry, eggs, beef, and other foods high in protein and good fats, such as olive oil.
You may also eat 3 cups of salad greens (dressed with your favourite low carb dressing) or 2 cups of salad and a cup of fresh, non-starchy veggies such as broccoli, courgette, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach.
After two weeks, you can add an ounce of nuts or seeds to your daily intake of carbs if they don't interfere with your weight loss.
Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)
During OWL, you continue to eat high-quality protein and fat, along with your salad greens and vegetables.
Week by week, you add back nutrient-rich carbohydrates such as more veggies, cheese, berries, nuts, and seeds-and for some people, even legumes. (legumes...A plant of the pea family)
You do this by adding just 5 grams of Net Carbs per day in weekly increments until weight loss ceases. So you go from 20 to 25 grams per day one week, then 30 grams daily the next week, and so fourth.
Once you stop losing weight, drop back 5 grams and you've discovered the amount of carbs you can eat while still losing weight.
For most people, that amount is somewhere between 40 and 60 grams daily. Continue until you are within 5 to 10 pounds of your goal weight.
Phase 3: Pre-Maintenance.
With your goal in sight, you'll want to slow your weight loss to an almost imperceptible rate so that your good eating habits become ingrained.
Each week, you'll now add another 10 grams of daily Net Carbs to your programme-or treat yourself to an extra 20 to 30 grams of nutrient-dense foods twice a week-so long as you continue to lose.
If your weight loss stops, cut back 5 or 10 grams until you resume gradual weight loss. This is your revised level for carb consumption, at which you will continue until you reach your target.
Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance.
Now that you've achieved your goal weight, you can start enjoying an even wider range of delicious foods. You still need to keep an eye on your carb intake, of course.
Is that hard to do? No. Just skip the junk food and use your carb grams on nutrient-rich foods such as whole, unrefined grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Most people find that they can maintain their weight by consuming somewhere between 45 grams and 100 grams of Net Carbs a day. Someone who is fit and exercises an hour or more daily may be able to go even higher.
This individualized number is your Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE). the number of grams of Net Carbs you can eat without gaining or losing weight. This is your equilibrium zone in which you'll maintain your weight effortlessly while eating a satisfying, healthful diet.