I’ll be honest; the Atkins Induction Diet is restricted. The reason the Atkins induction diet is so limited during the first few crucial weeks is to rev up your metabolism and get your body burning the fat stores it has, a process known as ketosis.
Dr. Atkins discovered years ago that the best way to do this is to severely restrict carbohydrates and rely on protein and some fats for your daily food intake for about two weeks. After that, carbohydrates can be slowly re-introduced to your diet until you reach a weight loss plateau.
But what diet isn’t restricted in some way? Most of them tell you to count calories, and I tried that more times than I care to admit – always failing in the end because I never felt full. Counting calories and eating nothing but “rabbit food” wasn’t for me. I got sick of it after a week or less and found myself craving meat.
The Atkins Induction diet foods aren’t anything like what you eat on a standard diet. I enjoyed meats, shellfish (lobster on a diet? You bet!), cheeses and flavorful vegetables like snap beans. In fact, I felt decadent when I first started eating on the Atkins diet induction plan.
The restrictive part of the Atkins diet induction menu is the avoidance of carbohydrates. That’s why so many people refer to the Atkins diet as a low carb program – you have to get rid of that affection you have for breads, pastas, rice and other starchy foods. When you are starting the Atkins diet, they are almost entirely eliminated.
But take heart – the Atkins plan has a great advantage – proteins and fats (the key foods in the plan) are much more filling than carbs, which tend to make you feel temporarily full, then quickly change to stored body fat. Atkins diet induction foods like cheese and meat give you that full feeling longer and curb your appetite better than empty calories from simple carbs and sugars.
The funny thing with the Atkins diet induction plan is that it has the opposite effect of most diets – I found that I no longer craved foods I couldn’t eat the longer I was on the plan!
The scientific basis for this is that the body shouldn’t naturally be taking in as many carbs and sugars as most of us eat in today’s world. When you cut back on them (like I did), your body returns to a more natural state, one with stable insulin levels and a more efficient capacity to burn fat as fuel. Since your body recognizes it doesn’t really need those carbs during the Atkins diet induction phase, the cravings fade over time.
I also noticed that during the induction phase of the Atkins diet I was hungry less often, had fewer headaches and slept better. I attribute a lot of this to the stabilization in my blood sugar levels and insulin levels, a side effect many people mention during Induction.
So if you’re nervous about how limited the list seems for Atkins diet induction phase foods, don’t be. It’s just as varied as some calorie-counting diets and healthier, too. Add to that feeling more satisfied and full after a great Atkins meal, and you’ll understand why the induction phase can be enjoyable and rewarding on your way to a slimmer, healthier you.