The Magic Number
To complete phase 1 of the Atkin's diet, reduce total carbohydrates to less than 20 gm day for at least 2 weeks. During induction, you lose water weight rapidly and the energy processes of the body switch from using carbohydrates to using fat stores. This process results in ketosis. Using a carbohydrate counter will help you to keep track of carbs and identify hidden carbohydrates in your diet. Take water, fiber and vitamin supplements and decrease caffeine intake. There may be a carbohydrate withdrawal period accompanied by headaches, fatigue, irritability and inability to fall asleep. Testing your urine with ketosis strips will show you how quickly your body changes over. All carbohydrate stores typically leave the body within 2 days.
It's Not Allowed
Any cheating on the induction phase of the Atkin's diet will return the body to using carbohydrates for fuel and set the weight loss back a few days. Phase 1 does not allow sugar. Do not eat pasta, rice, potatoes, bread, flour, beans and milk. You do not drink or eat juices and fruits during the induction phase. Any medicines like cough syrup, cough drops or liquid analgesics may contain sugar. Sugar-free or pill form are better choices. He does not recommend gum, except sugar-free occasionally. Nuts and protein shakes or meal bars should be reserved for use later in the diet.
Meat and More Meat
Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, fish (including shellfish) and game meats are the staple foods during the induction period. The diet allows processed meats such as ham, salami, sausage, bacon and hot dogs if they are nitrate free and have no added sugars. You can eat eggs liberally. Eat all cheeses unless they are fresh (potter's cheese), aged or cottage cheese. During the Atkins diet phase 1, you should track the carbohydrate content of the cheese to keep the total to less than 20 gm per day.
The Atkins diet induction phase 1 permits 1 to 3 cups of vegetables daily. Eat any vegetables that isn't starch based. Do not eat beans, peas, lentils, squash--including pumpkin, winter, acorn, butternut and acorn squash. Avoid corn, sweet potatoes, yams and regular potatoes. Take fiber supplements in the form of psyllium husks found in products like Metamucil.
Break Up the Monotony
Atkins allows occasional foods during the first phase that give some more variety without breaking ketosis. Choose from 12 olives, lemon and lime juice, unsweetened heavy cream, a small avocado and sugar-free jello. Pork rinds can be eaten as chips. Shake things up with gourmet foods such as caviar, smoked oysters, gourmet cheeses and pate.