Colette's Blog

January 13, 2015

Following these 16 tips will help you stay on track and get started on Atkins:

  1. Understand what you are eating and how Atkins works. Atkins is all about eating right. You'll learn which foods your body needs to lose or maintain weight, how to easily reduce the amount of added sugar and other empty carbs and in your diet, how to understand what that Nutritional Facts label really says and more.
  2. Atkins, customized for you. Depending on how much weight you have to lose, Atkins has a plan that will work for you: Atkins 20, the original plan that has you consuming 20 Net Carbs a day or Atkins 40, where you consume 40 grams of Net Carbs a day and a full range of food options.
  3. Count your carbs. Understand what Net Carbs are and how to calculate them, using the handy Carb Counter in combination with the Acceptable Foods lists for your plan.
  4. Be sensible, not obsessive, about portions. There's no need to count calories on Atkins, but you should use common sense. You probably could guess that too many calories will slow down weight loss, but too few will slow down your metabolism—and, therefore, weight loss. You only need worry about calories if, despite following Atkins to the letter, you cannot lose weight. Depending upon your height, age and metabolism, you may need to play with the following calorie ranges to lose weight:
  5. Women: 1,500–1,800 calories a day
  6. Men: 1,800–2,200 calories per day
  7. Eat regularly. That's right, no starving! Regardless of which phase you're in, eat three regular-sized meals plus two snacks every day. Or, if you prefer, have four or five small meals throughout the day. Eating every few hours maintains blood sugar and energy levels and keeps your appetite under control. Eat until you're satisfied but not stuffed. Atkins has a full range of products, including frozen meals, shakes, bars and treats that make it convenient and easy to stay on track.
  8. Include protein in every meal. Make sure you are having 4 to 6 ounces of protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Tall men can have up to 8 ounces. You can choose eggs, meat (lean or fatty is fine), poultry; even marbled cuts of beef are fine. When leaner cuts are used, be sure to ensure enough of olive oil or other healthy oils on salads and cooked veggies.
  9. Savor foods with natural fats. Fat makes food taste good and is filling so you eat less. In fact, dietary fat is key to the Atkins program, and to overall good health. All fats except manufactured trans fats (hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils) are a healthy part of Atkins.
  10. Steer clear of added sugar. Added sugar comes in many forms and is found in most soft drinks and countless other foods. All are high in carbs and calories and empty of other nutrients. Instead, sweeten beverages with non-caloric sweeteners (stevia, sucralose—marketed as Splenda™– saccharin or xylitol.) Count each packet as 1 gram of Net Carbs and don't exceed three a day.
  11. Eat veggies. Be sure to consume at least 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrates in the form of Foundation Vegetables each day. From the start, you'll meet the USDA's recommended intake of at least five daily servings of vegetables. You'll also be getting plenty of fiber, which plays a key role in blood sugar management, and, of course, regularity. Fiber also helps you feel full, and helps with weight control.
  12. Enjoy eating—at home, in a restaurant, wherever. Unlike other diets that instill a fear of eating or require the purchase of expensive, pre-packaged meals, Atkins is all about eating delicious whole foods. You'll learn how to choose the right foods whether you're dining in or out, whether you're at a fast-food place or an ethnic restaurant, on the road for business or on vacation. Soon you'll know how to make the right choices and stay on track.
  13. Drink up. Water and other fluids like tea and coffee (in moderation) encourage your body to let go of water weight—plus water is just plain healthy. Aim for eight 8-ounce glasses each day.
  14. Take daily supplements. In combination with a whole-foods diet, supplements are a good protocol on any weight loss program. Take a daily multivitamin with minerals, including potassium, magnesium and calcium, but without iron—unless you are iron deficient. Also omega-3s in the form of fish oil or an alternative is a good therapeutic tool.
  15. Get moving. There are countless benefits to physical activity and exercise as a natural partner to a healthy diet. Brisk walking, swimming and other fun activities are an integral component of Atkins. And the more muscle you build, the more calories you'll burn. You may want to wait a couple of weeks after starting Atkins to begin a new fitness regimen—or ramp up your existing one. And if you have a lot of weight to lose, you may want to start slowly with short walks or water aerobics.
  16. Track your successes. We're talking about both pounds and health indicators. Weigh and measure yourself at the chest, waist and hips once a week. Also, keep a journal of food and fluid intake, as well as challenges and victories. Numerous studies indicate journal keepers are more successful at weight management than others. Get some baseline tests before you start Atkins—and 3 to 6 months later for follow up lipid levels. Prepare to be amazed at how much healthier they've become.
  17. Get support from friends and family. Let the important people in your life know how they're doing and feeling. An Atkins buddy can share the ups and downs of their journey. Also, be sure to join the Community Forum at
  18. Plan ahead. Stock your kitchen with the right food and snacks. Decide on your meals before you go grocery shopping so you don't fall back on your old (high-carb) food choices.

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