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Bartley Medical Weight Loss & Coolsculpting


The Program: Phase 1

Objectives of Induction

As the name implies, Induction is your initiation into the Atkins Diet weight loss program. All too often, people confuse this first phase of the program with the whole Atkins Diet, but Induction is only the first of four progressively liberal phases. The two main objectives of Induction are:
  1. To switch your body from burning primarily carbohydrates (in the form of glucose) to burning primarily fat (including your body fat) for energy
  2. To jump-start weight loss

To encourage your body to burn fat, you’ll initially consume only 20 grams of Net Carbs per day. The carb foods you’ll eat in this phase are primarily vegetables low in carbs but rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients, including fiber. For specifics on how to do Induction, see How to Do Induction Right.

It’s not essential to start Atkins in the Induction phase, but doing so is the fastest way to blast through the barrier that blocks your fat stores, enabling you to transform your cells into an army of fat-burning soldiers. You’ll stay in this phase for at least two weeks, unless you have very few pounds to shed and they come off very quickly, in which case you can move sooner to Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss.

The Program: Phase 1

How to Do Induction Right

Many people see remarkably fast weight loss on Induction. Others find it slow going. Whatever your pace, you’ll need to follow the rules precisely to achieve success. This applies equally to those of you who are working on improving blood sugar and insulin levels or lipids. Otherwise, you could become frustrated before you’ve had a chance to see what the Atkins weight loss program can really do for you. Abide by the following guidelines and you’ll soon be well on the way to successful results:
  1. Eat either three regular-size meals a day or four or five smaller meals. Don’t skip meals or go more than six waking hours without eating.
  2. At each meal—including breakfast—eat at least 4 to 6 ounces of protein foods, including poultry, beef, lamb, pork, veal, fish and shellfish, eggs, cheese and a variety of vegetable proteins. Up to 8 ounces is fine if you’re a tall guy. There’s no need to trim the fat from meat or the skin from poultry, but do so if you prefer. Just add a splash of olive oil or a pat of butter to your vegetables to replace the fat.
  3. Enjoy butter, olive oil, high-oleic safflower oil, canola oil, and seed and nut oils and mayonnaise (made from olive, canola, or high-oleic safflower oils). Aim for 1 tablespoon of oil on a salad or other vegetables, or a pat of butter. Cook foods in just enough oil to ensure that they don’t burn. Or spritz the pan with a mist of olive oil.
  4. Eat no more than 20 grams a day of Net Carbs, 12 to 15 grams of them as foundation vegetables. This means you can eat approximately six loosely packed cups of salad and two cups of cooked vegetables per day. Remember, carb counts of various vegetables vary, so be sure to check them.
  5. Eat only the foods on the Acceptable Foods List for Phase 1.
  6. In a typical day, you can have up to 4 ounces of most cheese (but not cottage cheese or ricotta), 10 black or 20 green olives, half a Haas avocado (the kind with a blackish pebbly skin), an ounce of sour cream or 2–3 tablespoons of cream, and up to 3 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice. The carbs in these foods must be counted in your 20 grams of Net Carbs.
  7. Acceptable sweeteners include sucralose (Splenda), saccharine (Sweet’N Low), stevia (SweetLeaf or Truvia) or xylitol. Have no more than three packets a day, and count each one as 1 gram of carbs. This is because, while these sweeteners contain no carbs, they are packaged with fillers that do contain a little carbohydrate to keep them from clumping.
  8. To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can have sugar-free gelatin desserts and up to two Atkins shakes or bars coded for Induction (Phase 1).
  9. Each day, drink at least eight 8-ounce portions of approved beverages: water, club soda, herb teas, or moderation—caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee and tea. This will prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. In this count, you may include two cups of broth (not low sodium), one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
  10. Take a daily iron-free multivitamin/multimineral combo and an omega-3 fatty-acid supplement.
  11. Learn to distinguish hunger from habit and adjust the quantity you eat to suit your appetite as it decreases. When you’re hungry, eat until you feel satisfied but not stuffed. If you’re not sure that you’re full, wait ten minutes, have a glass of water, and eat more only if you’re still unsatisfied. If you’re not hungry at mealtime, eat a small low-carb snack.
  12. Don’t starve yourself, and don’t skimp on fats.
  13. Don’t assume that any food is low in carbs. Read the labels on packaged whole foods to discover unacceptable ingredients; and check their carb counts (subtract grams of fiber from total grams). Also use a carbohydrate gram counter.
  14. When dining out, be on guard for hidden carbs. Gravy is usually made with flour or cornstarch, both no-nos. Sugar is often found in salad dressing and may even appear in coleslaw and other deli salads. Avoid any deep-fried

The Program: Phase 1

What You Can Eat in this Phase

Most fish, poultry and meat don't contain carbs so you can feel free to enjoy them, but be sure you're also getting your 12 to 15 grams of net carbs in vegetables as well.

All fish including:
  • Flounder
  • Herring
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Sole
  • Tuna
  • Trout
  • Cod
  • Halibut
All fowl including:
  • Cornish hen 
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Goose
  • Pheasant
  • Quail
  • Turkey
  • Ostrich
All shellfish including:
  • Clams 
  • Crabmeat
  • Mussels*
  • Oysters*
  • Shrimp
  • Squid
  • Lobster
*Oysters and mussels are higher in carbs so limit to about 4 ounces per day.

All meat including:
  • Bacon* 
  • Beef
  • Ham*
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Veal
  • Venison
Some processed meat, bacon, and ham is cured with sugar, which will add to the carb count. Also steer clear of cold cuts and other meats with added nitrates.

Eggs are one of nature's most nutritious creations. That’s why eggs are a staple breakfast in the Atkins Nutritional Approach.

Feel free to get creative with your eggs: Add mushrooms and onions, or even green pepper. Top the dish off with feta cheese or add basil, oregano and other herbs.

Eggs in any style, including:
  • Deviled 
  • Fried
  • Hard-boiled
  • Omelets
  • Poached
  • Scrambled
  • Soft-boiled
Keep in mind that cheese does contain carbs, about 1 gram per ounce. You may have about 3 to 4 ounces of cheese per day. An ounce is about the size of an individually wrapped slice of American cheese or a 1" cube.

Cheese including:

Serving Size
Grams of net carbs
Blue cheeses 2 T 0.4
Cheddar 1 oz 0.4
Cow, sheep and goat 1 oz 0.3
Cream cheese 2 T 0.8
Feta 1 oz 1.2
Gouda 1 oz 0.6
Mozzarella 1 oz 0.6
Parmesan 1 oz 0.9
Swiss 1 oz 1.0


You should be eating approximately 12 to 15 grams of net carbs per day in the form of vegetables, which is equivalent to several cups depending on the actual carb content of the veggies you select.
1 cup is roughly the size of a baseball. Measure the following salad vegetables raw.   

Vegetable Serving Size/Prep  grams of net carbs
Alfalfa sprouts ½ cup/raw 0.2
Arugula 1 cup/raw 0.4
Bok choy 1 cup/raw 0.4
Celery 1 stalk 0.8
Chicory greens ½ cup/raw 0.1
Chives 1 tablespoon 0.1
Cucumber ½ cup 1.0
Daikon ½ cup 1.0
Endive ½ cup 0.4
Escarole ½ cup 0.1
Fennel ½ cup 1.8
Jicama ½ cup 2.5
Iceberg lettuce 1 cup 0.2
Mushrooms ½ cup 1.2
Parsley 1 tablespoon 0.1
Peppers ½ cup/raw 2.3
Radicchio ½ cup/raw 0.7
Radishes 6/raw 0.5
Romaine lettuce 1 cup 0.4

The following vegetables are slightly higher in carbs than the salad vegetables listed above. They also provide important nutrients and add variety to your daily foods. Make sure you stay within the 12-15 grams of net carbs. Unless otherwise noted, measure these veggies after you cook them.

Vegetable Serving Size/ Prep Net Carbs
Artichoke 1/2 medium 3.5
Asparagus 6 spears 2.4
Artichoke hearts 1 canned 1.0
Avocados ½ whole (raw) 1.8
Bamboo shoots ½ cup 1.2
Broccoli ½ cup 1.7
Broccoli raw ½ cup 0.8
Broccoli rabe ½ cup 2.0
Broccoflower ½ cup 2.3
Brussels sprouts ¼ cup 1.8
Cabbage ½ cup (raw) 1.6
Cauliflower ½ cup (raw) 1.4
Swiss chard ½ cup 1.8
Collard greens ½ cup boiled 2.0
Eggplant ½ cup 2.0
Green String Beans 1 cup 4.1
Hearts of palm 1 heart 0.7
Kale ½ cup 2.4
Kohlrabi ¼ cup 2.3
Leeks ½ cup 3.4
Okra ½ cup 2.4
Olives green 5 2.5
Olives black 5 0.7
Onion ¼ cup 4.3
Pumpkin ¼ cup 2.4
Rhubarb ½ cup (unsweetened) 1.7
Sauerkraut ½ cup (drained) 1.2
Snow peas and snap peas in pod ½ cup with pods 3.4
Spaghetti squash ¼ cup boiled 2.0
Spinach ½ cup 2.2
Summer squash ½ cup 2.6
Tomato ¼ cup 4.3
Turnips ½ cup 3.3
Water chestnuts ¼ cup (canned) 3.5
Zucchini ½ cup 1.5

Salad Garnishes

Crumbled bacon 3 slices 0.0
Hard-boiled egg 1 egg 0.5
Grated cheeses (see above carb counts)  
Sautéed mushrooms ½ cup 1.0
Sour cream 2 tbs 1.2

Herbs and Spices (make sure they contain no added sugar)

Basil 1 tbs 0.0
Cayenne pepper 1 tbs 0.0
Cilantro 1 tbs 0.0
Dill 1 tbs 0.0
Garlic 1 clove 0.9
Ginger 1 tbs sliced root 0.8
Oregano 1 tbs 0.0
Pepper 1 tbs 0.0
Rosemary 1 tbs 0.0
Sage 1 tbs 0.0
Tarragon 1 tbs 0.0

Salad Dressings - Any prepared salad dressing with no added sugar and no more then 2 grams of net carbs per serving (1-2 tablespoons) is acceptable. Or make your own.
Blue cheese 2 tbs 2.3
Caesar 2 tbs 0.5
Italian 2 tbs 3.0
Lemon juice 2 tbs 2.8
Lime juice 2 tbs 2.8
Oil and vinegar 2 tbs 1.0
Ranch 2 tbs 1.4

Fats and Oils

There are no carbs here, but keep in mind that the serving size is approximately 1 tablespoon.
  1. Butter
  2. Mayonnaise – make sure it has no added sugar
  3. Olive oil
  4. Vegetable oils – Those labeled “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed” are especially good and olive oil is one of the best.
    • Canola*
    • Walnut
    • Soybean*
    • Grape seed*
    • Sesame
    • Sunflower*
    • Safflower*
*Do not allow any oils to reach overly high temperatures when cooking. Use olive oil for sautéing only. Use walnut or sesame oil to dress cooked veggies or salad, but not for cooking.

Artificial Sweeteners
  • Splenda – one packet equals 1 gram of net carbs 
  • Clear broth/ bouillon (make sure it has no sugars added)
  • Club soda
  • Cream, heavy or light.
  • Decaffeinated or regular coffee and tea*
  • Diet soda (be sure to note the carb count)
  • Flavored seltzer (must say no calories)
  • Herb tea (without added barley or fruit sugar added)
  • Unflavored soy/almond milk
  • Water – at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day including...
    • Filtered water
    • Mineral water
    • Spring water
    • Tap water
* One to two cups of caffeinated tea or coffee is allowed as desired and tolerated by each individual. If you experience symptoms of hypoglycemia or cravings as a result, do not use caffeine. If you have a true caffeine addiction, it is best to break the habit during the induction phase.
* Limit lemon and lime juices to 3 T per day

The Program: Phase 1

When to Move On

Based upon your experience in the last two weeks on Induction, plus your weight goal, it’s decision time. But before you decide whether it’s time to move to Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), be sure that you’ve achieved the two main entwined purposes of Induction: shifting to burning primarily fat for energy and kick-starting weight loss. Then, and only then, are you ready to decide if moving on to OWL after two weeks is right for you.

If you’ve lost no weight or no more than the 2 pounds, your body has not made the shift to primarily burning fat, and you should remain in Induction until you lost some more weight. Likewise, if you’re still plagued by cravings for carbohydrate foods or fighting excessive hunger between meals, you’re not yet experiencing the benefits of the Atkins Edge, making it inadvisable to leave Phase 1.

Decision Time

Having a large amount of weight to lose is a common reason to stay longer in Induction, as you’ll lose a bit more quickly and consistently in this phase than in subsequent ones. If you’re content for now with the Induction food choices, you should consider staying put. On the other hand, if you’re close to your goal weight, losing very quickly, or being tempted to stray because of limited food choices, it’s time to move to OWL.

Don’t make the mistake of staying in Induction too long just because you love how the pounds are peeling off. It’s important to move through the phases to ensure that you've cured yourself of your old habits and can reintroduce foods without halting your weight loss or provoking cravings. Losing weight fast is exhilarating, but it will likely be a temporary fix if you don’t find a sustainable way of eating that works for you. Deliberately slowing your rate of weight loss as you approach your goal will make it easier to make those lost pounds history. You needn’t worry about any health risks of staying in Induction, but you do need to work on moving up the Carb Ladder so you can find your tolerance for carbs, whether it’s 30, 50, 60 or more grams a day.

The Program: Phase 2


Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss, or OWL
for short, lets you start adding more
types of food and more carbs back into
your diet—but amazingly, you keep
losing weight, just a bit more slowly.

The Program: Phase 2

Objectives of OWL

Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss—or OWL, as we like to call it—is the second phase of the Atkins Diet. You learned the basic guidelines of the low-carb weight loss program in Phase 1, Induction. Now, in this phase, you'll learn how to:
  • Gradually up your Net Carb intake, starting at 25 grams of Net Carbs. 
  • Continue to stay in control of your appetite and lose weight.
  • Slowly and safely increase the variety in your diet, usually starting with small portions of nuts and seeds (or more foundation vegetables), following the Carb Ladder.
  • Find your Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CLL).
  • Decide when to move on to Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance. 

Explore Your Carb Tolerance

Your objective in OWL is to find how many carbs you can consume while continuing to lose weight, keep your appetite under control and feel energized. In this respect, OWL is the first step in discovering your tolerance for carbohydrates. At the beginning, the differences between Induction and OWL are relatively minor, but the gradual additions to your diet mark the beginning of your return to a permanent way of eating. Everything else remains the same as in Induction:

  • You’ll count daily grams of Net Carbs. 
  • You’ll eat the recommended amounts of protein and sufficient natural fats.
  • You’ll continue to drink about eight glasses of water and other acceptable fluids.
  • You’ll make sure that you’re getting enough salt (assuming that you don’t take diuretic medications) to avoid experiencing fatigue and other symptoms of switching to a primarily fat-burning metabolism.
  • And you’ll continue taking your multivitamin/multimineral and omega-3 supplements.

What Is Different from Induction?

There are, however, two key distinctions between the first and second phases of Atkins: the slightly broader array of healthful acceptable foods in OWL and the gradual increase in overall carb intake. These foods include nuts and seeds (which you may already be eating if you spent more than two weeks in Induction), berries and a few other relatively low-carb fruits, a wider array of dairy products, a few vegetable juices and legumes such as lentils and kidney beans. Still, despite eating more carbs and gradually introducing a greater variety of them, it’s best to regard these two changes as baby steps. Perhaps the biggest mistake you can make when you move from Induction to OWL is to regard the transition as dramatic.

The Program: Phase 2

What You Can Eat in this Phase

Welcome to freedom, variety and the Ongoing Weight Loss plan. Combine this list with all the options from Phase I and you’ve got a broader selection of foods to choose from. So enjoy, keep your eye on the end goal and welcome to Phase 2.

During OWL, you add higher carb foods back into your diet – 5 daily Net Carbs per week. You can move beyond vegetables to other foods, such as nuts, seeds and berries. Although you will be eating primarily natural, unprocessed foods, you will find an increasing number of convenience foods – choices that help even busy people stay on track during weight loss.

The Power of Five

In the recommended portions, these foods each contain roughly 5 grams of Net Carbs (total carbs minus fiber).

Dairy Serving Size Net Carbs
Cottage cheese 2% 1/2 cup 4.1
Heavy cream ¾ cup 4.8
Mozzarella cheese 5 ounces 3.0
Ricotta cheese 1/2 cup 3.8

 Nuts and Seeds  Serving Size Net Carbs
Almonds 24 nuts 2.3
Brazil nuts 5 nuts 2.0
Cashews 9 nuts 4.4
Hulled sunflower seeds 2 T 1.1
Macadamias 6 nuts 2.0
Pecans 10 halves 1.5
Pistachios 25 nuts 2.5
Walnuts 7 halves 1.5

 Serving Size Net Carbs
Blueberries (fresh) ¼ cup 4.1
Cantaloupe or honeydew ¼ cup 3.5
Raspberries (fresh) ¼ cup 1.5
Strawberries (fresh) ¼ cup 1.8

Serving Size
Net Carbs
Lemon juice ¼ cup 5.2
Lime juice ¼ cup 5.6
Tomato juice 4 ounces 4.2

Convenience Foods

Many of the foods listed above are available conveniently packaged to go at the market or convenience store – feel free to grab and
go – just note the serving size, and subtract fiber from total carbs to get Net Carbs.

And remember, Atkins bars and shakes are super convenient too, And every single flavor is allowed in Phase 2. So be busy, be happy and be well fed.

The Program: Phase 2

When to Move On

Time to Move to Pre-Maintenance—or Not

As you'll come to understand, your experience in OWL will likely determine what your permanent diet will look like. Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance, is where most people lose their last excess pounds and segue into permanent way of eating. If you've been losing steadily and are now close to your goal weight, don't waste any time before transitioning to Pre-Maintenance. But as long as you're alert to danger signals, you may be able to move on before you get to this point.


If you still have more than 10 pounds to go but are champing at the bit for more food choices, you can move to Phase 3 under certain circumstances. You should have been steadily losing weight at a CLL of 50-plus without cravings and nagging hunger. However, if weight loss ceases and any previous symptoms return, waste no time returning to OWL. You're better off remaining in OWL if your weight loss is stalled, certain foods still trigger cravings, you're eating inappropriate foods on occasion and/or your blood sugar and insulin levels are not yet normalized. Ignore that old wives' tale that upping your carbs will break a plateau. The reality is that any plateau eventually comes to its natural conclusion.


What if you lost weight in Induction, but can't seem to budge in OWL? Or new foods are causing cravings and unreasonable hunger. You may be particularly sensitive to carbs and must keep your intake low indefinitely. If that is the case, don't even consider moving to Pre-Maintenance. You may have unintentionally reached your personal carb balance or Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE), which is the number of grams of Net Carbs you can consume without gaining or losing weight— typically found in Pre-Maintenance.

For some people, both their CLL and ACE are low, as well as close together, 30 and 45 grams, for example. Even if you're still losing weight, your carb-intake level may be destabilizing indicators that you've recently brought under control—namely, hunger and cravings. To remedy things, back down 5 daily grams for one or two weeks to see how you feel. If necessary, drop back another five. If you suspect that a new food may be the culprit, limit it to a couple of servings a week or omit it. Add no new foods until you stabilize, and then try again to reintroduce them as long as both weight loss and overall feelings of well being remain. When you're 10 pounds from your goal weight, move to Pre-Maintenance.


However, if you're consuming somewhere between 25 and 50 grams of Net Carbs, cannot increase your CLL and are 10 pounds from your goal weight, there's no point in trying to move to the next phase and introduce higher carb foods. Instead, stay in OWL until you reach your goal weight, maintain it for a month, and then follow our lower-carb approach to Lifetime Maintenance. Don't feel bad if your CLL is quite low. Instead, be grateful that Atkins allows you to find the individualized level that works for you.

The Program: Phase 3


Phase 3 of Atkins is called Pre-Maintenance.
By now, you’ve lost so much weight, you’re
only 10 pounds from your goal. Is it
complicated? Not at all—basically you
keep adding carbs, keep losing weight
and keep gaining control.

The Program: Phase 3

Objectives of Pre-Maintenance

By the time you move to Phase 3 of the Atkins Diet, you’ve clearly learned how to take control of your appetite and are probably enjoying a greater variety of carb foods. Best of all, you’re just 10 pounds from your goal weight. Now, in addition to saying good-bye to those final pounds of excess fat, it’s time to identify your overall tolerance for carbohydrates—as well as which foods you can and cannot handle—in order to maintain your new weight. Achieving these five objectives will get you to that fabulous place—being permanently slim.

Objective 1: Lose the Last 10 Pounds—Slowly

When it comes to shedding the last pounds, slower is definitely better. You’ll deliberately put the brakes on the pace of weight loss as you gradually move toward a permanent way of eating. It may take several months to reach your goal weight, losing perhaps just half a pound a week. And that's good, because this leisurely pace tells your body, "This is completely natural." Hard as it may be, stay focused on the process—it will lead to your desired results. If you rush to shed those last pesky pounds, you may never learn what you need to know to keep them off for good.

Objective 2: Test Your Carb Tolerance

In Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), you found your carbohydrate threshold, known as your Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CLL). When you first move to Pre-Maintenance, you’ll explore whether you can push that number a bit higher as you slow the pace of your weight loss. Some people can raise that number significantly; others can’t budge it or can move it only slightly higher. To find out, increase your daily carb intake in increments of 10 grams of Net Carbs every week or every few weeks. If weight loss stalls and/or extreme hunger or cravings return, step back 10 grams. You may discover that the CLL you discovered in OWL is where you need to stay until you’ve lost all your excess weight.

Objective 3: Test Your Tolerance for Additional Foods

Objective 3: Test Your Tolerance for Additional Foods
In Pre-Maintenance, you’ll have the opportunity to reintroduce the whole foods carbohydrates that have been off-limits until now. They appear on the top three rungs of the Carb Ladder: fruit higher in carbs, starchy vegetables and whole grains. Some people can eat all these foods; others can eat only some, eat only in small portions or eat them only rarely. Others find they do best when they simply stay away from higher-carb foods that might cause weight regain or make it difficult to stay in control. In Phase 3, you’ll learn what works—and what doesn’t work—for you.

Objective 4: Find Your Personal Carb Balance/ACE

Once you’ve reached your goal weight, you’ll say goodbye to your CLL as you seek to maintain equilibrium—meaning neither losing nor gaining weight. This new number is your personal carb balance or Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium, or ACE, for short—the number of grams of Net Carbs you can consume daily without gaining or losing weight. It may be just 5 grams above your CLL or it may be 20 or 30 or more grams higher. Like your CLL, it is a highly personal number.

Objective 5: Maintain Your Control—and Your Weight

Once you’ve found your ACE, your final objective before moving on to Phase 4, is to hold your weight steady for one month. To do so, stay at or just below your ACE and your weight should stabilize. During this dress rehearsal for Lifetime Maintenance, you can continue to climb the Carb Ladder and introduce new foods—as long as you don’t go above your ACE, but pay careful attention both to your weight and your appetite. If a food revives old cravings or makes you ravenous for more carbs, back off immediately.

Keep in mind that your goal isn't just to lose weight, but to keep it off—from now on. That's what Pre-Maintenance is all about. You fine-tune your eating habits during this third phase until they become automatic and you move on to the final phase of Atkins—also known as the rest of your life.

The Program: Phase 3

What You Can Eat in this Phase

You should be saying “Wow.” And if you’re not, we’ll say it for you. Wow, you’ve made it to Phase 3 and you know what that means – you’ve almost reached your goal. Now it’s time to slow your weight loss and find your personal carb balance or ACE, Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium. And we have a great way to do it – more variety. Pair these low-carb foods, including some whole grains, with the Acceptable low-carb Foods lists from Phase 1 and 2 for your total variety eating plan.

In Pre-Maintenance, you add 10 daily Net Carbs per week – The Power of 10 makes it easy. These low-carb foods, in these portion sizes, all equal about 10 grams of Net Carbs – remember, total carbs minus fiber.

Have fun. We know you will.

The Power of 10

Starchy Vegetables* Serving Size Net Carbs
Acorn Squash (baked) ½ cup 7.8
Carrots 1 medium 5.6
Potato (baked) ½ potato 10.5
Yams ½ cooked 16.1

Legumes* Serving Size Net Carbs
Black Beans ½ cup 12.9
Chickpeas  1/4 cup 6.5
Great Northern Beans 1/4 cup 6.3
Kidney Beans 1/4 cup 5.8
Lentils ½ cup 12.0
Lima Beans ½ cup 14.2
Navy Beans ½ cup 18.1
Pinto Beans ½ cup 14.6

Fruit Serving Size Net Carbs
Apple ½ of whole 8.7
Banana 1 small 21.2
Cherries ¼ cup 4.2
Grapefruit (red) ½ of whole 7.9
Grapes (red) 1/2 cup 13.4
Guava 1/2 cup 5.3
Kiwi 1 8.7
Mango 1/2 cup 12.5
Peach 1 small 7.2
Plum 1 small 3.3
Watermelon ½ cup 5.2

Grains* Serving Size Net Carbs
Oatmeal (rolled)  1/3 cup 19.0
Oatmeal (steel cut) 1/4 cup 19.0
Rice (brown) 1/2 cup 20.5

* All figures reflect if the vegetable, legume, or grain is cooked.

The Program: Phase 3

When to Move On

Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance, bridges weight loss and weight maintenance. It’s where most people lose their last extra 10 pounds and then segue into a permanent way of eating. So if you start maintaining your weight in this phase, why would you need to move to Phase 4, Lifetime weight loss maintenance? And when do you actually do so? It’s helpful to think of Pre-Maintenance as a dress rehearsal for Lifetime Maintenance, which is the main show—your new lifestyle! Once you’ve rehearsed enough to learn the habits that will allow you to eat in a way that naturally maintains your weight, you’re ready for “opening night.”

Find Your ACE

Before you can move to Lifetime Maintenance, you need to know exactly how many grams of Net Carbs you can consume each day while maintaining your weight. You’re already familiar with your Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CLL), which was your threshold for carb consumption while still losing weight. In contrast, your personal carb balance or Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE), is your personal threshold for carb consumption while neither gaining nor losing weight. While weight loss maintenance is a key goal, you also want to be sure you can maintain your ACE without experiencing extreme hunger, cravings or any of those other old demons that indicate excess carb consumption. If that happens, you’ve lost the Atkins Edge, which will make it will be extremely difficult for you to sustain that level of carb intake—and your new weight. It can take some “backing and forthing” to settle on your natural ACE, which is why Pre-Maintenance serves as a tryout period.

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

In addition to finding your ACE, you’ll most likely be trying out some new foods in Pre-Maintenance. You may be able to tolerate all of them, some of them or none of them. Or you may be able to eat some of them only occasionally or in very small amounts. These are the same foods you’ll be eating in the next phase—although you may broaden your range of foods within each rung of the Carb Ladder. If any food creates problems for you, omit it for a while and then reintroduce it once twice a week to see if you can better tolerate it.

Again, this ability to rehearse with new foods means you are not moving into uncharted waters when you transition to Lifetime Maintenance.

Time for Lifetime Maintenance

Once you hit upon the correct number of grams of Net Carbs to hold your weight steady—and avoid any symptoms of exceeding your carb tolerance—simply practice your “dress rehearsal” for a month before officially graduating to Lifetime Maintenance. Don’t move on if you’re still struggling with new foods or experiencing weight fluctuations beyond the normal daily ebb and flow. If you suffer a setback, simply reset the clock and “rehearse” for another four weeks. Annoying as it may be to delay moving to Lifetime Maintenance, the more likely you are to achieve the ultimate goal of stabilizing your weight if you don’t move before you’re ready.

The Program: Phase 4


You've reached the end - Phase 4, Lifetime
Maintenance. You're at your goal weight
- you know exactly how much and what
kinds of foods you can eat to maintain your
weight and you'll never have to go
on another diet, ever.

The Program: Phase 4

Objectives of Lifetime Maintenance

In the Phase 4, Lifetime Maintenance, you’ll come to understand why the Atkins Diet is also called the Atkins Nutritional Approach. This is where you’ll commit to remaining at your goal weight from now on. It's also where you continue to celebrate the sensible eating plan you've mastered—and enjoy sustained energy, improved health, a sense of well-being and self confidence—and perhaps best of all—the way you look in the mirror.

The objectives of this phase are simple—but profound. Specifically, you want to:

Take Charge of Your Weight—for a Lifetime

Now that you've done it—lost weight and kept it off for a month in Pre-Maintenance—it's time to prove you can stick with it. Lifetime Maintenance enables you to do just that. Maintain your new healthy habits—both in what you’re eating and physical activity—and your new body and new mindset will be yours, not just for today or tomorrow—but for good.

Comply with Your ACE

You found your personal carb balance or Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium (ACE) in Pre-Maintenance. In Lifetime Maintenance—meaning the rest of your life—you'll learn to stick to that special number as if it were second nature. Do that and you’ll find it easy to stay within 5 pounds of your new weight.

Make Adjustments as Needed

As your weight loss diet morphs into your lifestyle, your eating habits will become easier and easier to internalize. But “life happens,” and you may need to adjust your ACE or otherwise tailor your program to accommodate changes in your activity level, work, health or simply the passage of years. You already have all the tools you need to make adjustments so you can stay in control. And even if you have an occasional lapse and fall off the wagon, those same tools will let you get right back on—where you belong.

Take Charge of Your Health

Now that you know how great you feel on the Atkins and how your health has improved, you have another reason to maintain your new lifestyle based on healthful whole foods and physical activity. When you see how various healthy indicators have improved or remain in the healthy range, you’ll feel assured that doing Atkins is as safe as it is effective.

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The Atkins Community is made up of millions of healthy, happy people. Some are looking for encouragement and support. Some, aren't just successes—they're gurus who are ready to help others enjoy this incredible lifestyle. So stay in touch, learn, share, take part in our very inclusive community and get to know the Atkins Team.

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Show the World You Can Stick with It

How good does it feel to know in your heart that you'll never have to go on another weight loss diet again—ever? Pretty good, right? In fact, on Atkins, you've been experiencing the primary meaning of the word diet: a way of eating. And it has led you to a healthy new lifestyle that will undoubtedly inspire anyone you come in contact with. Again, congratulations!

The Program: Phase 4

How a Weight Loss Diet Becomes a Lifestyle

Your trusted friends—foods that are rich in protein and good fats—helped you reach your goal weight. Now these same foods will be your allies when it comes to maintaining your weight loss. And just as you avoided refined carbs and junk foods in earlier phases, we caution you to do the same in Lifetime Maintenance. Remember, achieving your weight loss goal meant reaching a destination. Maintaining that healthy new weight is an ongoing journey. To make that diet into a lifestyle, follow this advice:

1. Continue to Rely on Protein and Fat . . .

Protein and fats quickly satiate your appetite and protein foods are fundamentally self-limiting, allowing you to stay in control. Almost everyone has eaten 30 cookies at one sitting at some time in his life, and many carb “addicts” have done it many times, but how many people have eaten 10 hard-boiled eggs at one sitting? (Nuts, (particularly salted nuts) are another story!) Plus, unlike high-carb foods, protein foods don't unleash a metabolic tidal wave in your body.

2. And Whole Food Carbohydrates

You explored a variety of foundation vegetables as you moved through the first three Atkins phases. Continue to explore more vegetables, enjoy your favorite veggies and find new ways to prepare them. Likewise, continue to rely on berries, and nuts and seeds to satisfy your desire for something sweet or a crunchy treat. Your blood-glucose level doesn't rise and fall sharply when you sit down to eat a Cobb salad or have a side of asparagus or cauliflower topped with butter or olive oil. Keep experimenting with foods on the acceptable food list for Phase 1, the acceptable food list for Phase 2 and the acceptable food list for Phase 3. The more varied your meals, the less likely you are to get bored and fall back on foods you’re better off avoiding.

3. Make Exceptions a Rare Event

Does this mean you can never eat another piece of Grandma's pumpkin pie or another starchy or sugary food? If you’re successfully maintaining your weight and keeping cravings under control in Lifetime Maintenance, then you may be able to occasionally indulge in a slice of pizza or a scoop of pistachio ice cream without causing noticeable aftereffects. The operative word is occasionally. If any food causes carb cravings or unreasonable hunger, back off fast.

4. Avoid Trigger Foods Altogether

There’s one category of food you should avoid at any cost—trigger foods. That describes any food that you can't stop eating. It might be peanuts, chocolate, potato chips, ice cream or something else. If you find you are always planning when you can next have that food or can’t stop with a small portion, cut it out altogether. After you've been off certain trigger foods like ice cream or pizza for a while, may notice a temporary return of some familiar and unpleasant old symptoms after eating them. That distress may cure you of these urges once and for all.

5. Continue to Enjoy Low-Carb Foods

Another alternative is to find a low-carb version of the food such as sugarless, full-fat ice cream or soy chips. Have an Atkins Advantage bar instead of a brownie; an Advantage shake instead of a commercial smoothie; an Atkins Day Break bar instead of a muffin or breakfast pastry; or an Atkins Endulge bar instead of a sugar-filled treat.

6. Never Gain More Than 5 Pounds

It’s unrealistic to assume that you’ll never stray, but be vigilant about not ever getting more than 5 pounds above your goal weight. Instead, take yourself in hand and get back on plan—fast. A firm resolution to deal with weight regain immediately will serve you well.

7. Don’t Let Travel Throw You

Whether you’re traveling by plane, train or car, travel is inherently unsettling. Suddenly you're without your familiar routines and resources. Not only are you confronted with temptations that you’d never allow in your house, you're exposed to them precisely when you're most vulnerable. (Just think about those cinnamon buns that perfume every airport.) As if such factors weren't hazardous enough, traveling in and of itself can bring on stress, which in turn may cause cravings for unhealthy foods. The key to remaining disciplined while traveling is a combination of mental and physical preparation. For more advice on how to stay in control when you’re far from home, see The Low-Carb Traveler.

The Program: Phase 4

What You Can Eat in this Phase

The name Lifetime Maintenance says it all. This is not so much a phase as a permanent lifestyle. Pre-Maintenance is designed to make the transition from Phase 3 to [the so-called] Phase 4 practically seamless, so you should have no fears about moving on once your goal weight is stable. First of all, the Acceptable Foods for Phase 3 are the same as those for Phase 4. Of course, you may not have reintroduced all the foods you’ll try in the months and years to come, but as long as you’re alert to the potential of any individual food to cause weight regain, cravings, unreasonable hunger or any of the other symptoms of carb intolerance, you know what to do. As long as you comply with the program and stick to your ACE—which may require some modifications as you get older or make some lifestyle changes—you’ll be able to maintain your healthy new weight and say goodbye to on-again, off-again diets once and for all.


The Power of 10

Starchy Vegetables* Serving Size Net Carbs
Acorn Squash ½ cup 10.0
Carrots ¾ cup 10.2
White Potatoes ½ cup 13.9
Yams ½ cooked 9.6
Legumes* Serving Size Net Carbs
Black Beans ½ cup 12.9
Chickpeas ½ cup 16.2
Great Northern Beans ½ cup 12.5
Kidney Beans ½ cup 11.6
Lentils ½ cup 12.1
Lima Beans ½ cup 14.2
Navy Beans ½ cup 18.1
Pinto Beans ½ cup 11.0
Serving Size
Net Carbs
Apple ½ of whole 8.7
Banana 1 small 21.2
Cherries ¼ cup 4.2
Grapefruit ½ of whole 7.9
Grapes ¼ cup 7.1
Guava 1 medium 5.8
Kiwi 1 8.7
Mango ¼ cup 6.3
Peach 1 whole 8.9
Plum 1 whole 7.6
Watermelon ½ cup 5.2
Serving Size
Net Carbs
Oatmeal ½ cup 10.6
Pasta (whole wheat) ¼ cup 8.3
Rice (brown) ¼ cup 10.3
 * All figures reflect if the vegetable, legume, or grain is cooked.

The Program: Phase 4

Physical Fitness and Weight Maintenance

What do you mean by activity or “being active?”

The short answer is that being active or activity is movement. Anything that gets you moving, elevates your heart rate and keeps it up for a period of time is activity. You can be active by walking, riding a bike, or even gardening for as little as 20 minutes. More vigorous activities include running, spinning and stair climbing. Lifting weights, yes, even light weights constitutes activity as well – and is very good for anyone of almost any age.

Why do I need to be active?

The human body was meant to move, our ancestors used their bodies to find food, to hunt and to migrate. Today, many of us are far too sedentary which is bad for our health and our waistlines. Being active is, by far, one of the best things you can do for your health. It helps control weight, helps fight diabetes and decreases the risk for cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. It also decreases stress, strengthens the heart, improves your mood and builds confidence and self-esteem. Recent research shows that moderate activity even increases the size of the brain. It’s the perfect “anti-aging” prescription.

How much activity do I need?

Estimates vary. Even twenty minutes three times a week will reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, but most experts agree it’s best to get 30 minutes of moderate activity 5-6 times a week. You can certainly do more if you like.

What is the best kind of activity?

The best kind of activity is anything you love doing and will keep doing -- often. Things like golf, tennis, gardening, swimming or playing with your grandkids. As long as you’re moving and breathing harder than you do at rest, you’re being active. An easy way to start is by walking. That’s what the healthiest people in the world do.

A number of studies show that walking 30 minutes a day, every day will improve your health.

Experts now believe the best activity programs incorporate brisk movement – activities that get your heart and lungs working harder, such as swimming, jogging and walking, combined with light weight lifting. The first type of activity strengthens the heart and lungs while lifting even the lightest weights strengthens muscles, improves bone density and raises metabolism (helping to keep weight under control). It’s also beneficial to add some light stretching into the mix.

How do I get more activity into my daily routine?

It’s not as hard as you think. Start by walking in your neighborhood 15 minutes a day. Finding a buddy is a great way to keep to a schedule and a commitment. Ride your bike or walk to work. Walk at lunchtime. Rent an exercise video, then follow it right there in front of the television. Join a gym if you can. Once you get started on a routine, it’s surprisingly easy to stick with it.

The Program: Counter

We make carb counting easy.

Download the Atkins Comprehensive Carbohydrate Counter and Acceptable Food Lists below to find the Net Carbs in many of your favorite foods.


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