Have you decided whom you want to give the Atkins Diet a trial run? Are you a bit hesitant? Do you be concerned about the health effects, warnings, and sustainability of limiting the carbohydrates in your diet? If so, this beginner’s guide to Atkins Inductionwill arm you with the information you need to turn your dieting experience into a successful low-carb lifestyle.
There are a bunch of myths and misinformation surrounding low-carb diets. These inaccuracies sometimes concentrate on the super-restrictive nature of Atkins Induction and assume only the first phase of the diet is the diet itself. It’s not.
Although some obese individuals do choose to follow the Atkins Induction Diet for longer than the recommended 14 days, the goal of Phase 1 is not weight loss. The goal is to lower your basal insulin levels, correct any glucose issues you might have, eliminate food sensitivities, and switch your metabolic pathway to a pathway more likely to burn your body fat stores for fuel.
Strict adherents to the alkaline diet plan don’t eat meats or dairy, are vegan, and eat raw foods. However, there are others who advocate a more balanced strategy. The benefit of a balanced approach is that it’s a lot easier to comply with a diet that permits some flexibility. My favorite method is to make alkaline foods 70-80 per cent of your diet and then to savor the foods you like for the remainder of your calories without guilt. Nonetheless, it’s a very individual choice dependent on exactly what works for you.
During this introduction to low-carb diets, the Induction Phase of Atkinsfocuses on correcting metabolic imbalances. That’s the purpose for initially lowering your carbohydrate intake to a mere 20 grams per day. For those used to eating 300 to 400 grams of carbohydrates daily, that restriction can appear excessive, but 20 grams is not magical.
Atkins Induction starts you off at 20 grams per day’ cause it was based upon a ketogenic diet that Dr. Walter Lyons Bloom created, studied, and reported on in the literature in the early sixties. That diet’s purpose was to monitor the metabolic changes of a no-carb diet. It wasn’t to treat patients. The study showed that the loss of hunger that occurred during fasting also occurred for those on a no-carb diet.
This ketogenic diet consisted of bacon and egg for breakfast, and meat and salad for luncheon and dinner. Dr. Bloom’s diet is what many low-carb opponents claim the Atkins Diet is today, but that diet was far lower in carbohydrates and made no allowance for individual differences in metabolism.
Through trial and error, Dr. Atkins discovered that he could add 10 or 15 grams of carbohydrate to Dr. Bloom’s diet after that zero-carb start and still remain in the state of Ketosis. Although Dr. Bloom’s diet did contain salad, it accounted for less than 10 grams of carbohydrate per day, which the body treats as essentially zero. As Dr. Atkins experiments continued, he discovered that he was able personally go as high as 40 grams per day provided he returned carbohydrates to his diet slow enough.
Dr. Bloom’s ketogenic diet was the foundation Dr. Atkins used to create his unique low-carb nutritional approach. Unlike other low-carb diets, today you start out on what he called Induction at 20 net carbs per day, and then return carbohydrates to your diet slowly until you find your own personal carbohydrate tolerance. The Atkins Induction Diet is that the first phase of the diet. It isn’t your lifelong way of eating. There are actually four complete phases. The low-carb path only begins at Induction.
If you have not read at least 1 of Dr. Atkins’ books, you will not have adequate knowledge or scientific understanding about why and how low-carb diets work to sustain you through the first 14 days of the program. While you might achieve some degree of success, you will find yourself stumbling around, especially when it is a question of low-carb opponents and the inaccuracies that the people who prefer their own diet plans will throw your way.
You need to read one of the following two books if you have not already. The differences between the books are minor.
While the low-carb communities aren’t totally accepting of this latest version, it clears up a few of the mistaken ideas they have about dietary fats and what makes appropriate serving sizes. It also allows more vegetables.
Both books will give you an adequate foundation for your new low-carb lifestyle. In fact, even Dr. Atkins’ older versions of the diet also work well provided you commit to following them as written, but do not look on them as absolutes. They are simply a point of departure upon which to build. They aren’t the Atkins Diet itself.
At 20 net carbs per day, you will be eating mostly protein foods, some forms of dairy, and getting most of your carbohydrates from non-starchy vegetables. This Induction design is set up in this way that almost all dieters will be in a position to go into a state of Ketosis within three or four days.
The state of Ketosis merely means you’re predominantly burning fats for fuel rather than glucose. If your intake of dietary fats are lower than the amount of fats your body needs for fuel, you’re going to burn a part of your excess body fat to make up the difference. However, When you begin a low-carb diet, before you switch metabolic pathways, the body will use its glycogen stores to keep your blood glucose levels from falling too low.
Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates. The Body stores glycogen in your muscles and liver. Liver glycogen is transformed into glucose when you restrict starches and sugars. The body stores a large amount of water that’s needed to process it into glucose along with that glycogen. Most of the drastic weight losses you’ll see on Induction come from glycogen and water.
Low-carb opponents will try to tell you…… that all of the weight loss on a low-carb diet comes from water, but that is not true. Yes, you can lose around 5 to 20 pounds of glycogen and water within those first 14 days, depending on how much lean body mass you have, (everything in your body that is not fat), but once your glycogen stores empty about half-way, you begin burning body fat for fuel.
When you stop restricting carbohydrates during Induction, soon thereafter, or go over the number of carbohydrate grams it takes to maintain your current weight, the body will refill its glycogen stores with those carbohydrates. That will result in weight gain due to glycogen and water. However, it’s not body fat. Body fat storage due to carbohydrate consumption only occurs if your glycogen stores are full.
Typically, Induction will result in about 2 to 4 pounds of body fat loss. This fat loss comes as the liver needs to fuel its backup pathway for glucose production from amino acids with fats. These fats can come from dietary fats or body fat.
However, Phase 1 of a low-carb diet is not the time to worry about weight loss. It’s a corrective phase. Since low-carb diets aren’t temporary solutions to overweight and obesity, it is best to give yourself time to adapt to dietary changes and be concerned about the amount of fats, calories, and protein you are eating once you move into Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss.
Most people who have chosen to go onto a diet measure their success by how much they weigh on the scale. Because of that, they like to establish a weight-loss goal. Yet scale weight isn’t an accurate assessment of what is going on internally. Low-carb diets have been shown to maintain larger amounts of lean body mass than standard weight-loss diet programs, so the number on the scale can often be deceptive.
Since muscle mass takes up less space than fat mass does, you can actually find yourself weighing 10 or even 20 pounds more than someone else does at the same size. A better diet goal is to establish a goal for the size you wish to be, rather than how often you want to weigh.
You’ll want to take your measurements and a few of “before ” pictures before you begin the Atkins Induction diet, for that reason. If you do not, you will probably regret it later on, because measurements and pictures will more accurately reflect your success.
Pictures can give you the incentive to keep going and show you have far you have come. Measurements can help you when you get to places in your path where the number on the scale is not moving. When you burn visceral fat or your body is placing water inside your fat cells to keep them from shrinking, you are going to need additional ways of measuring success other than a scale.
There are a bunch of myths surrounding what is called the Atkins Flu even among low-carb dieters. One of these myths is that the Atkins Flu is a consequence of carbohydrate or sugar withdrawals and that the people who suffer such symptoms should rejoice because it means the body is cleansing itself. While some people will experience withdrawal symptoms when they eliminate a particular food they are intolerant of, the Atkins Flu is more often caused from unbalanced electrolytes rather than allergens.
When large amounts of water leave the body, sodium and potassium travel with it. That leaves the body in a state of serious unbalance if that potassium and sodium aren’t replaced.
There seems to become a large fear of salt and sodium among all types of dieters. That fear generally appears among those who use the scale as a measurement of success’ cause if you over-consume sodium, the body will hold onto water to dilute the amount of sodium in the blood. This is only a temporary situation. However, dieters who stress over every single pound they lose or gain will mistakenly cut back on their salt intake thinking they’re helping their weight loss efforts.
Basically, you will feel like you get the flu but without the congestion and coughing. While some physical discomforts can result from your body transitioning from burning predominantly glucose to burning predominantly fats, most symptoms are due to the absence of sodium.
The Atkins Nutritionals website recommends that you get at least 1/2 teaspoon salt or 2 tablespoons of soy sauce per day. You can also increase your sodium intake by drinking a couple of cups of warm chicken broth or beef broth.
Atkins Induction also tends to put an upsurge in energy and feelings of well being. Most People find their appetite is completely under control within just a few days. However, that depends on the kind of Induction foods you choose.
Low-carb products may be low in carbohydrates. However, they can sometimes seriously interfere with your appetite and even fat loss. Trying to replicate the same diet that was responsible for your overweight or obesity is only asking for trouble, and looking at the Atkins Diet as only a temporary solution is also fighting an uphill battle.
There is no miracle diet that will cure your weight problems. That includes low carb. The only answer to overweight and obesity is to begin a complete lifestyle change.
Since it lowers insulin levels naturally, it can also correct a variety of other physical conditions associated with elevated insulin or blood glucose levels, but it starts with dramatic change. A low-carb lifestyle is not just about weight loss. It’s also about improving your health.
It’s often best to ignore what your weight is doing during the first 14 days and concentrate on avoiding the pitfalls that come with dieting itself, for that reason.
If you are used to eating bread, whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, and low-fat products every day, you are going to have enough of an upset to your daily routine and meal plans without having to be afraid of what the scale is doing.
Plus, hidden carbohydrates can also be problematic if you are used to going out to eat once or twice a week, or grabbing a quick sandwich for tiffin at the café near the office. Restaurants are notorious for sneaking sugar into their food where you least expect it. Even salad dressing can be loaded with carbohydrates in the shape of sugar and starches.
They no longer have to be measured or restricted. You can sprinkle your salad with sliced olives, crumbled bacon bits, and grated cheese. You can even use real sour cream on your taco salads with a handful of pork rinds rather than tortilla chips on the side.
The trick to a successful Induction is to place your focus on whatever you can have, rather than what you can’t. It can also make things easier if you continue your meals simple such as well-seasoned baked chicken legs with a nice salad, homemade dressing, and a side of steamed broccoli. You could throw a roast into the crock pot with some chopped green onions, red salsa and minced garlic that you simply serve in bowls topped with grated cheese and sour cream.
The idea is not to spend all of your free time in the kitchen, although there are a number of great websites online where you can get delicious Induction-safe recipes. The goal is to learn the foundations of a low-carb diet with the intension of using this Induction plan as your foundation for the healthier lifestyle to come.