1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Atkins Diet: Phase One: Induction


Updated July 06, 2014

Atkins New Diet Revolution Book

by Robert Atkins, MD

Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber


Induction is the strictest phase of the Atkins Diet, marked by a cutback of carbohydrates to 20 grams per day. There is a list of acceptable foods that shouldn't be deviated from, but portions of most foods aren't limited. This is the phase of the most rapid weight loss.

What You Eat:

There is some variation in the amounts of allowed vegetables between the books and the Web site, but the main rule is clear: Get most of your carbs from vegetables. Otherwise, allowed foods are primarily protein foods and fats. Beverages containing alcohol or caffeine are not allowed. Here are the allowed foods. If it isn’t on the list, it isn’t allowed.

Length of Phase:

In the Atkins books, he says that Induction should continue for a minimum of two weeks and encourages people to continue longer if they desire to, are tolerating it well, and have a lot of weight to lose. The Website now says that Induction is to last two weeks, and is optional.

Goals of Induction:

1) To induce “Benign Dietary Ketosis,” a state where fat is the primary fuel of the body. In this state fat metabolites called ketones (actually, one particular ketone) show up in the urine and can be detected with Ketostix. Atkins likes ketosis as a sign that people are using fat for energy; however, people are going to have varying reactions to the Ketostix. When people are in a state of ketosis, their appetite tends to diminish. They also may have changes in their breath, as extra ketones are expelled from the lungs as well as the urine.
2) To stabilize blood sugar and the symptoms that may come from erratic blood sugar, such as fatigue, mood swings and “brain fog.” Reduction in food cravings is also often experienced.

3) Rapid weight loss. People tend to get a boost when they see the numbers on the scale drop rapidly.

Atkins Induction Menus:

A list of Induction menus is available on the Atkins Web site.

Information about Ketosis:

If You Have Questions About Induction:

Join us in the Low Carb Diets Forum!
  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Low Carb Diets
  4. Atkins Diet
  5. Phase One of the Atkins Diet - Atkins Induction Phase

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.