The Atkins diet is one of the best low-carb diets. It assures weight loss by eating more fats and proteins with minimal carbs intake. The diet has four main phases, of which the Atkins diet phase 1, is the most essential where maximum weight gets reduced.
Therefore, the diet assures weight loss with continued maintenance and a healthy lifestyle if we follow all phases.
The Induction Phase
The Atkins diet starts with phase 1, which is known as induction. It initiates the weight loss process in this phase. It has two main objectives.
- Kick start the weight loss process,
- Make body shift to burn fats rather than glucose for energy,
Phase 1 is the most essential phase of the diet. Here, nutrient intake is changed completely. Fat intake increases to raise fat metabolism similarly, protein intake also increases to provide enough energy to the body. However, carbs intake is kept minimal, to maximum 20 grams per day for at least two weeks.
What happens in Atkins Diet Phase 1?
The induction phase cuts down carbs intake and raises fat intake to induce lipogenesis. Although this is similar to the ketogenic diet. However, it may not work the same as in the Atkins diet, the body slowly and steadily shifts back to normal carbs intake. However, the carb portion should not exceed a certain limit in the later stages also.
Basic steps for phase 1
- Three regular or four-five smaller meals.
- Protein-rich breakfast to drive enough energy for the day.
- Healthy fat portions like olive oil and butter should be used.
- Carbs should not be more than 20 grams for a day, so can be taken from less starchy vegetables.
- No usage of all refined foods, sugars, milk (low or full fat), dairy products, whole grain products, fruits (except avocado), starchy vegetables, legumes, and tomatoes.
- Try to take daily multivitamins to fill the deficiency of missing ones present in prohibited food items during phase 1.
- Don’t skip any meals or starve and retain energy levels from protein and healthy fats intake.
- Avoid meals with gravy that might have cornstarch in it and focus on meat and salads.
Adopting the instructed steps during phase 1 will help your body move to use fat for energy rather than carbs. The more wisely you follow the steps, the earlier the body adapts to the change and you can lose weight with the excessive fat burn-out.
Foods allowed in Atkins Diet phase 1
- Fiber and micro-nutrients rich vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables like salad leaves, broccoli, spinach.
- Plant fats. For example, nuts, olive oil, seeds, and avocado.
- Protein-rich foods. For example, eggs, chicken, red meat, beef, mincemeat.
Induction phase Meal Ideas
A five-day menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner options with the foods permitted during the induction phase.
- Hard-boiled eggs with avocado
- Cheese omelet with sausages and mushrooms
- Scrambled eggs with low carb vegetables
- Poached eggs with sausages
- Peanut butter with heavy cream, chia seeds, and protein crackers
- Grilled chicken with sauteed vegetables
- Beefsteak with mushroom sauce and broccoli
- Chicken drumsticks (air fried or baked) with Greek yogurt or mayonnaise.
- Meatballs with boiled eggs and salad.
- Chicken caesar salad with greek yogurt and mayonnaise sauce.
- Lamb chops with salad and greek yogurt.
- Boiled chicken and eggs with mayonnaise and capsicum.
- Chicken shashlik with bell peppers and mushroom sauce.
- Chicken/meat soup with cabbage, onion, and egg (no corn flour).
- Chicken filet with mushroom sauce and broccoli.
Importance of the Atkins Diet – Phase 1
Phase 1 reduces carbs intake to a very low level, at which everybody will start to use fat as a primary source of energy than carbs. However, since the body is shifting its main source of energy, care should be taken that it is supplied with enough energy from other nutrients. Proteins are the main energy drivers in this process which give us the power to bear the carbs deficiency and adjust to fats usage by cells for energy.
The phase lasts for about two weeks or more, the time your body needs to adjust to replace the energy source. Later, you can slowly add carbs content to your diet in the tuning phase. An optimal amount of carbs should be set in your diet after the tuning stage. The carb content should be consumed within that limit, as beyond that the body might shift back its mechanism to the usage of carbs for energy and may disrupt the process.