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Atkins Diet-Welcome to the Induction Phase

written by: Summer Banks • edited by: Rhonda Callow • updated: 2/27/2009

The Induction Phase involves consuming a diet of only the acceptable foods without deviation or limitation in portions consumed. It is a phase where the dieter loses weight rapidly while at the same time changing the lifestyle for a better and more permanent overall health.

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    Goals and Benefits of Induction

    This phase takes at least two weeks. This period is just the minimum. Dieters can continue if they are coping well with the low carb diet or if they have more weight to lose. One benefit of the Atkins diet induction phase is losing appetite. This results in the dieter losing weight rapidly. Most dieters are motivated to continue once they realize how fast they begin to lose the weight. Dieters begin to have less food cravings and their blood sugar stabilizes. Mood swings, ‘brain fog’, fatigue and other symptoms related to irregular blood sugar are also stabilized.

    The reduction in appetite is contributed to ketosis. Ketosis is the body's method of burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. When the body is starved of simple carbohydrates for the first three days of the diet, the ketosis switch will flip and the body will burn fat first.

    These first few days on the Atkins Diet make leave the dieter feeling ill, almost flu-like. These symptoms are often referred to as the "Induction Flu" and will pass very quickly.

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    Rules or Guidelines of Atkins Induction

    The rules and guidelines of induction are not complicated and should be followed to the letter. A dieter should have three main meals or six mini meals each day depending on individual preference or need. Meals are not to be skipped and the dieter should eat every 6 waking hours. Combinations of protein and fat from fish, poultry, eggs, red meat and shellfish can be eaten liberally. Pure fat from natural sources such as mayonnaise, butter, olive oil, sunflower and other cold-pressed or expeller-pressed vegetable oils are also eaten without limitations.

    The dieter should refrain from eating foods like pasta, bread, fruits, grains or starchy products. The only dairy products that they can consume in the induction phase are cheese, butter or cream. Soft drinks, tea, coffee and other drinks that have caffeine should be avoided. The dieter should eat a low carb diet when hungry to be satisfied but not to stuff themselves. During this phase, the dieter should be careful to read all labels to identify low carb diet foods. Eating any of the restricted foods slows down or jeopardizes the weight loss process. The dieter should drink enough water to keep the body hydrated and the bowels moving and take multivitamins that provide minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.

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    Choosing a Multivitamin on the Atkins Diet

    When choosing the multi-vitamin for daily use while on Atkins, make sure to choose a viatmin that is free form Iron. Iron is prevalent in high protein foods and meats and should not be supplemented. Many "senior" or "silver" vitamins do not contain Iron.