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Atkins Diet Induction Phase

The Atkins diet induction phase is the phase one of the Atkins diet, wherein one is expected to lose half of the weight of their weight loss goals. Read on to know more...
Rutuja Jathar Apr 19, 2019
The Atkins diet, originally named as the Atkins Nutritional Approach was created by Dr. Robert Atkins, in the year 1972. The Atkins diet is a high protein, low carbohydrate diet which is thoroughly explained in the books: Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution and Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, that are written by Dr. Atkins.
People who want to follow the Atkins diet for weight loss need to consume small servings of low carb foods that are determined by the creator of this diet. With this diet, the system uses body glucose as fuel and burns body fat, which leads to weight loss.
Although this is forced ketosis, it is controlled with help of a healthy ketogenic diet. It is the reason why the Atkins diet is cited to be to one of the healthier ways of losing weight through dieting.
According to the creator, the Atkins diet is also useful for diabetes and other medical conditions like epilepsy. There are 4 phases of the Atkins weight loss diet: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance, and maintenance. The induction phase is the phase of this ketogenic diet which is extremely crucial. Let's get to know more about this phase.

Foods to Eat During Atkins Diet Phase One

Although this is the introductory phase of the Atkins diet, the induction phase is extremely restrictive. The restrictive nature of this phase of the diet quickens the process of ketosis that aids quick weight loss. It is the reason why the induction phase concentrates on an extremely low carb diet.
During this phase, the dieter is not allowed to consume more than 20g of carbohydrates per day. The net weight of carbohydrates is counted with help of a specific formula (Carbohydrates = grams of fibers - grams of sugar alcohol or glycerin). There are as many as 54 allowed foods which the dieter can consume while he is in the phase 1 of the Atkins diet.
Phase 1 or the induction phase is a significant phase since most of the dieters experience most of the weight loss during the same phase. The duration of the induction phase is around two weeks or 15 days. If you check the reviews, they show that most of the Atkins diet followers have lost around 5 to 10 lbs during the induction phase.
The success of this phase depends on how well a dieter follows the meal plan for Atkins diet. Here are the important foods that you need to consume during the induction phase.

Salad Vegetables

Include ½ to 1 cup of the given vegetables in the Atkins diet. They are: alfalfa sprouts, arugula, bok choy, celery, chicory greens, chives, cucumber, daikon, endive, escarole, fennel, jicama, romaine, iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, parsley, peppers.

Regular Vegetables

½ to 1 cup of the given vegetables are included in the list of Atkins diet foods. Make sure that you don't consume vegetables worth more than 12g to 15g of carbs.
These vegetables include: artichoke, asparagus, avocado, bamboo shoots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, eggplant, green string beans, hearts of palm, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, olives, onion, pumpkin, rhubarb, sauerkraut, peas, spinach, spaghetti, summer squash, Swiss chard, tomato, turnips, water chestnut, zucchini, etc.

Salad Dressings and Garnishes

Salad dressing and garnishes should not excess more than 2g of carbs. Salad dressing and salad garnishes that are allowed during the induction phase.
Include blue cheese and all types of cheese, Caesar dressing, crumbled bacon, hard-boiled eggs, Italian salad dressing, lemon juice, olive oil and vinegar, ranch dressing, sautéed mushrooms, and sour cream.

Fish and Meat

Always make sure to consume high carb shellfish like oyster and mussels, less than 4 oz per day. When it comes to processed meats like bacon, make sure that you are consuming it in extremely low amounts.
The foods include: bacon, beef, chicken, clams, Cornish hen, crab, duck, flounder, goose, ham, herring, lamb, mussels, oysters, pheasant, pork, quail, salmon, sardines, shrimp, sole, squid, trout, tuna, turkey, veal and venison.

Fats and Oils

Neither of the fat and oil sources should exceed 1 tablespoon. Always consume sautéed foods.
The fats and oils which you can consume during this phase are: butter, mayonnaise (sugarless), olive oil, vegetable oils (cold pressed) like canola oil, walnut oil, soybean oil, grape seed oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil.

Drinks and Beverages

1 to 1½ cup of coffee and tea and all the other beverages in sugarless and zero carb varieties. One must also consume at least 8 oz water a day.
The drinks and beverages that are allowed during this phase include: bullion, vegetable broths, meat broths, clear broth, club soda, decaffeinated coffee and tea, diet soda, flavored seltzer, herbal tea (sugarless), water.

Eggs and Dairy

Small quantity of almost all types of cheese and creams like low fat, reduced fat, 2% fat, fat free, etc., can be consumed during the induction phase of the Atkins diet.
When it comes to eggs, you can consume them in all forms like deviled, soft boiled, hard-boiled, poached, scrambled, fried and omelets. However, make sure that the fat sources that are included in preparing eggs do not exceed the stipulated fat limits.


Now that you are aware of the Atkins diet foods list, you must also get well aware of a few more things that are important for the success of induction as well as its given phases.
  • As far as sugar is concerned, you may consume sucralose sugar substitutes, which is the most preferred sugar source for the Atkins diet.
  • It is also important to understand that all sorts of alcohol used in preparation of drinks, beverages, and food recipes should be strictly avoided.
  • It is important to consume the allowed food in small quantities, while sticking to the allowed foods list is also extremely important.
  • As far as the foods to avoid are concerned, avoid grains, foods with added sugar, fruits and juices, starchy vegetables, legumes, deli salad, nuts, milk, etc.
  • Along with consuming Atkins diet phase 1 foods, it is also important to follow some good habits like light exercising, sleeping and rising early, drinking a lot of water and staying motivated.
The ultimate aim of the induction phase is to induce ketosis or Benign Dietary Ketosis, stabilize the blood sugar levels and inducing rapid weight loss; which is the combined goal of the Atkins Nutritional Approach.