The Atkins diet consists of a four-phase eating plan. The foods you eat vary depending on what phase you are in and your own personal metabolism. The four phases of the Atkins diet include:
- Induction - This is the first phase of the Atkins diet. It is also considered the most restrictive phase. In other words, phase one allows you to eat very little to no carbohydrates. You are limited to only 20 grams per day. The carbs you are allowed to eat consist of salad and other non-starchy vegetables.
- Ongoing Weight Loss - Phase two allows you to add some carbohydrates to your diet. In this phase, carbs are increased to 25 grams per day. Each week, you can increase the number of carbs you eat by five grams. So, the second week of phase two, you can have 30 grams of carbs. The third week you can consume 35 grams of carbs and so on. You continue on the course of slowly increasing carbohydrates until your body stops losing weight. When that occurs, you subtract five grams of carbohydrates from your daily intake. This level will allow you to maintain your weight.
- Pre-Maintenance - In this phase, you transition from weight loss to weight maintenance. You can increase your carbohydrate allowance by 10-gram increments each week as long as you continue to keep the weight off.
- Lifetime Maintenance - The final phase allows you to select from a wide variety of foods, while still limiting the amount of carbohydrates you eat. It is this phase that allows you to continue to keep your weight down as well as allows you to eat more foods than in the previous phases.