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How to Get Started on the Atkins Diet

Doing Atkins

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Updated February 01, 2014

New Atkins Diet Book Image Courtesy Pricegrabber

How do you go about "doing the Atkins Diet"? Here are the steps and all the information you need to be successful.

1) Learn All About It

It's great to be able to find free Atkins Diet information here and other places on the net. But there's really no substitute for reading the original books by Robert Atkins or The New Atkins for a New You. Before embarking on any diet, it's important to know what you're getting yourself into over the long haul and to thoroughly understand the reasons for the food choices you'll be making. Here's a list of the Atkins Diet books with links to the best prices for each, or go to your local library. In the meantime, check out the Atkins Diet Resources on this site.

2) Learn How to Count Carbs

The Atkins Diet plan relies on knowing how much carbohydrate is in everything you eat. Therefore, it's of the greatest importance to learn about carb counting. Here are carb counts of some common foods. There are also books with carb counts, and also software you can buy. Find some of these resources here.

3) What To Eat on the Atkins Diet

There are four phases to the Atkins Diet. The first phase, called Induction, is the most restrictive, and lasts two weeks. (However, Induction is optional: consider Do You Need the Atkins Induction Phase?) After that, you'll be able slowly add more carbohydrate foods back into your diet. Here are the Atkins Diet food lists:

Acceptable Foods for the Induction Phase

Forbidden Foods for Induction, and What to Phase in After Induction

4) Plan Ahead

It's very important when starting out on a new way of eating to plan your food ahead of time. This really cannot be emphasized enough. Plan at least a week's worth of menus, and have food on hand a few days ahead of time. Then you won't be caught wondering what to eat.

The Atkins Web site has some ideas for menus for Induction.

Resources on This Site:

5) Take the Plunge!

The first week of a new way of eating is usually challenging. Know that there will be rough spots, especially as your body converts to a new way of eating.

6) Get Support!

This could be the most important step of all. Get support from family and friends. If possible, find someone else to do the diet with you. We have a forum where you can ask questions, get support for the new steps you are taking, find help through the rough patches, and chat with people who have similar goals.
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