he Atkins Diet is a low carbohydrate diet which aims at getting the body into ketosis to burn fat at a fast rate. The main reason why this diet came about was due to Dr. Robert Atkins' observation that fruit and sugar are high in carbohydrates, so he created a low carb diet where you get your daily intake of carbs at 20 grams at the initial phase. His diet proved that you can successfully lose weight without cutting down your calorie intake, but rather increase it.
The Atkins Diet has four phases: Induction Phase, Ongoing Weight Loss Phase, Pre-Maintenance and Lifetime Maintenance. On the induction phase, you get to eat at least 20 grams of carbs daily, at the ongoing weight loss phase, you get to eat at most 50 grams of carbs a day and at the pre-maintenance and lifetime maintenance you can have between 20-50 grams daily. The induction phase is considered to be at least 2 weeks long, it will depend on how quickly your body gets used to burning fat at a fast rate. It is important to note that at the induction phase, you want to reduce your intake of carbs at all costs.
Phase 1: Induction Phase [1-2 weeks]
At this stage, you have to strictly limit yourself from eating high carb foods like rice, pasta and sugar at all times. You can still eat good carbs at this stage, like vegetables. The reason why you want at least 2 weeks of low carb at the induction phase is because it takes time for your body to get used to using stored fat as energy and not carbs. If you jump into a low-carb diet abruptly without lowering your intake of carbs at all, your body automatically starts burning muscle for energy, at the same time it starts storing fat at a faster rate. It'll take at least 2 weeks for your body to stop burning muscle and start using it as energy instead.
Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss Phase [3-8 days]
As soon as you get used to low carb at the induction phase, you're at the ongoing weight loss phase, at this stage you can gradually start increasing your carb intake but at a slow pace. You don't want to eat too many carbs at once because at Phase 1, if you suddenly jump into the high carb, you'll store more fat at a faster rate. This particular stage is very important because it will determine whether or not you will lose weight at a fast rate or at a slow pace.
Phase 3: Pre-Maintenance Phase [9-16 weeks]
In this stage, at all times you are allowed to eat at least 20 grams of carbs daily. At this point, your body is already used to processing fat at a fast rate so there's no need to limit yourself at all. It's at this stage that you stop losing weight at a fast rate and start losing at a slow pace, thus this is the pre-maintenance phase where your body gets used to being at its lower ideal weight. Phase 3 is divided into three sub-phases namely: Pre-Maintenance 1, Pre-Maintenance 2, and Pre-Maintenance 3.
Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance [ at least 10 years]
This is the last of the Atkins Diet phases, at this point, you have already reached your ideal weight at the pre-maintenance phase. In the lifetime maintenance stage, your average daily intake of carbs should be between 20-50 grams at all times.