Induction: Should You Stay or Should You Go?
Colette Heimowitz, Nutritionist
As the Vice President of Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. Colette Heimowitz has been a driving force behind the scenes at the Atkins Learning Center. She brings a wealth of talents and experience to the job. Colette’s clinical nutrition degree comes full circle in keeping current with respect to the scientific research related to the Atkins Diet and nutrition translating that information for the discussion boards as well as the Atkins web site... Read more
This is a topic I’ve discussed before, but it’s an important one for many. Typically, it’s recommended you do Induction for two weeks before re-evaluating your progress. The main reason for staying in Induction past two weeks is if you still have a significant amount of weight to lose, as you’ll lose weight a bit more quickly and consistently than in later phases. But don’t fall into the trap of staying in Induction for too long because the pounds are dropping more quickly. As I discussed in last week’s blog, Atkins is about a lifestyle, not a quick fix diet. As your body becomes more accustomed to burning fat for energy instead of carbs, it’s important to find your comfort zone and move up the ladder so that you can find your tolerance for carbs. Staying too low for too long is unrealistic, and may cause you to quit out of frustration or lack of food choices, which may lead to an unsuccessful pattern of yo-yo dieting.
Winning in the Weight-Loss Limbo Zone
So you’ve done Induction exactly how you should for two weeks, and you’re still a ways off from your weight-loss goal. If you’re in this weight-loss limbo zone, what do you do? If you’ve been feeling good in Induction, and you feel confident you can continue to follow this phase for a bit longer past the initial two weeks, it’s perfectly fine to continue on in Induction. But there are a few things you can do to make this process a bit easier, as well as set the stage for you to move on to OWL when the time is right. While in Induction, you’ll remain at 20 grams of Net Carbs a day, but try adding nuts and seeds to your list of acceptable foods. A couple of tablespoons of walnuts, almonds, pecans, pumpkin seeds or other seeds or nuts make a great snack. Or sprinkle them on a salad or cooked vegetables. If you’re doing more than two weeks of Induction, it might also make sense to add some exercise to your program, if you haven’t already. You’re probably already feeling more energetic, so this is the perfect time to take advantage of your newfound energy and make the most of it. Try going for regular walks. Enlist your family or a good friend to join you; this makes it more likely you will want to keep it up. You can also sneak in other types of activity into your day, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away from your destination. Even activities like gardening, mowing the lawn or cleaning the house will get your heart pumping. And as always, keep your diet and activity journal up to date. It’s important for you to track the foods you are eating, especially any new ones that you add, so that you can spot any problems quickly.
Keep this up in Induction for another couple weeks, and then re-evaluate your progress again. Check your measurements and review your journal. You can move to OWL at any time. Keep in mind that your rate of weight loss will slow down in later phases as you approach your goal weight, but this is a natural part of the process. It means you’re on your way to keeping the weight off permanently.
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