Atkins diet reviews are sometimes a little complicated and confusing. The easiest way to get started with the induction phase is with a list of common foods and their carb content. Here are my top induction phase foods.
Atkins Diet Reviews – Why Low Carb?
Imagine what happens when you eat too much of the wrong kind of food. Your digestive system breaks it down, it is absorbed through the digestive tract and into the blood stream, and it has to be moved around your body until it gets where it is supposed to go (liver, muscle, fat storage, etc.).
This movement depends on a fluid environment, which is like any plumbing system. It has to have fluid. The more food there is moving around, the more fluid there has to be to keep it moving. This leads to overall fluid retention just to keep everything from bogging down in sludge.
The kinds of foods that drive fluid retention most are carbohydrate-rich foods. You can do a 2-day experiment to see how this works. On the first day, weigh yourself first thing in the morning, then eat a low-carb, protein and fat-rich diet all day long. When you weigh yourself that evening you will most likely see a 1-2 lb gain over your morning starting weight.
On the second day, weight yourself again at the start of the day, then eat a carb-rich diet all day. Go ahead and go crazy. We are doing science here! When you weigh yourself that evening, you will most likely see at least a 4-5 lb increase. Besides being a sign that you ate too much carbohydrate during the day, and it is also an indicator of how your body has to retain fluid to keep all that sludge moving. It only happens when you eat too much carbohydrate.
What this means is that, before you can really get your metabolism going in the right direction for weight loss, you must reduce the food load in your plumbing system. This will automatically lead to a reduction in your fluid load.
The first week or so of the Induction Phase therefore leads to a very fast drop in your fluid retention, which some nutritionists refer to as ‘water weight’. Since carbs are behind fluid retention in the first place, then reducing carb intake is what you must do to reduce it.
You have to seriously reduce your carb intake. Dr. Atkins discovered that this means consuming 20 grams or fewer each day for a 14-day period.
Top Foods – Keeping Track of Carb Intake
You can find a whole lot of detailed information about all aspects of the Atkins Diet on the main website here: Atkins.com. However, it may seem like too much to sort through at one time. I know it is for me. That is why I selected my top foods for the Induction Phase, for my own reference.
These are not all the foods that the Atkins website lists. I have eliminated those that I am just not interested in eating. And I have not included beverages, since all I drink is coffee and water, and an occasional ‘diet beer’ (MGD 64, with 2.6 g of carbs per bottle; does not account for the alcohol, though). I have not included herbs and spices, since they are never an issue (unless I want to eat 20-30 garlic cloves in one day!). Finally, I have not included salad dressings, since there are so many brands that are really awful and only a few that are pretty good. You just have to read the labels to know what you are getting.
Oh, and of course, have not listed any meats. They do not ever contain carbs, unless they are processed (sausages, bacon, lunch meats, etc.) Just read the labels on the processed ones to make sure you don’t take in too much carb. Gee, that only leaves beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, lobster, crab, shrimp, fish of all kinds, eggs … the list goes on and on for the truly great foods that I can eat in unlimited quantities during the Induction Phase.
||Net Carbs (g)|
|Cream cheese||2 tbsp||0.8|
|Vegetable||Serving Size||Net Carbs (g)|
|Iceberg lettuce||½ cup||0.1|
|Romaine lettuce||½ cup||0.2|
|Vegetable||Serving Size||Net Carbs (g)|
|Artichoke hearts||1 canned||1.0|
|Avocados||1 whole (raw)||3.6|
|Broccoli raw||½ cup||0.8|
|Cabbage||½ cup (raw)||1.6|
|Cauliflower||½ cup (raw)||1.0|
|Green String Beans||1 cup||4.1|
|Onion||2 tbsp chopped||1.5|
|Sauerkraut||½ cup (drained)||1.2|
|Snow peas and snap peas in pod||½ cup with pods||3.4|
*Note that the ‘vegetables’ fit the USDA classification of vegetables. To be botanically correct, this list includes these ‘vegetables’ that are really fruits: avocado, eggplant, green string bean, olive, snow/snap pea in pod, tomato, zucchini. Fruits are adapted to store carbs to nourish the developing seeds inside. Be careful that you don’t take too much carb nourishment from them yourself!
These are the foods that I look forward to whenever I want to take some weight off, especially water weight. It is the best way to balance the fluids in my body.
By the way, even though this 14-day ultra-low carb phase reduces fluid retention, it is not the same thing as taking diuretics. I would almost never recommend taking diuretics just to reduce body fluids. It is a simple-minded and harmful way to do so.
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