Establishing your personal Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CCLL) is critical for sustained weight loss.
By incrementally increasing your carbohydrate intake you can personalize an eating program that suits your individual needs, tastes and lifestyle. Your individual CCLL may be as low as 25 or as high as 50, or even more if you are exceptionally active. To get an idea of the range that is possible, see the “Carbohydrate Gram Levels & Metabolic Resistance for Losing” table below. Metabolic resistance is influenced by age, gender, activity level, hormone issues, level of physical activity, prescription medications and other factors, so the range in CCLLs can be great. If you eat beyond your CCLL, your scale and measuring tape will herald that you’ve crossed a line and you’ll make adjustments accordingly. Most people simply drop back down to the prior level of carb consumption.
You should be aware that once you are consuming 50 or more grams of carbohydrates a day, the lipolysis test will no longer register a change in color. So long as you continue to lose pounds and inches and experience no recurrence of your pre-Atkins levels of hunger, cravings and other symptoms, rest assured that all is well. You are still functioning on a primarily fat-burning metabolism even though you may not be producing enough ketones to show up in your urine. You should be aware that everybody hits plateaus—periods during which no weight comes off.
Your CCLL is an even more precise way to determine your level of metabolic resistance than the amount of weight you lost during Induction. As you continue to adhere to the Atkins Nutritional Approach™ you will, by glancing at this table, have a more accurate idea of your degree of metabolic resistance.
The Wise OWL Mind-Set
The Ongoing Weight Loss phase is all about choice. The choices you make should focus on healthy and pleasurable additions, with a strong emphasis on foods that contribute to both. As you add carb foods in roughly 5 gram increments, you can probably move beyond vegetables to other foods, such as nuts, berries and possibly grains. Although you will be eating primarily natural, unprocessed foods, you will find an increasing number of convenience foods created for people seeking to follow a controlled carbohydrate nutritional approach. Remember the mantra: Read the label!
Carbohydrate Gram Levels & Metabolic Resistance for Losing
Approximate CCLL Range
High 15 grams of net carbs per day
Average 15-40 grams of carbs per day
Low 40-60 grams of carbs per day
Regular exerciser* 60-90 grams of carbs per day
*In this context, a regular exerciser is someone who does vigorous exercise five days a week for at least 45 minutes.
The Power of Five
These portions contain roughly 5 grams of Net Carbs.( total carb minus fiber) Food groups are arranged in the general order in which they should be added.
1 cup cooked spinach
2/3 cup red bell peppers
1 medium tomato
1 cup cooked broccoli
12 medium asparagus
1 cup cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 California avocado
2/3 cup summer squash
5 ounces farmer’s cheese or pot cheese
5 ounces mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup cottage cheese
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
Nuts and Seeds
1 ounce of:
macadamias (approximately 10 to 12 nuts)
walnuts (approximately 14 halves)
almonds (approximately 14 nuts)
pecans (approximately 14 halves)
hulled sunflower seeds (3 tablespoons)
roasted shelled peanuts (approximately 26 nuts)
1/2 ounce of cashews (approximately 9 nuts)
1/3 cup blueberries (fresh)
3/4 cup raspberries (fresh)
3/4 cup strawberries (fresh)
1/4 cup cantaloupe or honeydew
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup tomato juice
You can select from the variety of convenience foods (bars and shakes are the two most available), but be sure to determine the actual number of digestible carbohydrates in any particular product.