Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Do I Get Started?

The first phase of the Atkins way of eating (WOE) is called Induction. Typically, it lasts only two weeks if you have 30 lbs or less to lose. However, if you’ve got more weight to lose you can extend that until you reach only 30 lbs left to lose. Completing it exactly as instructed is critical because you may not lose weight the way that you ought to, you may not feel well, you may conclude that Atkins doesn’t work and you might abandon the opportunity not having given it a fair chance. Consider this first two weeks as a time of complete commitment, during which you give yourself over to a new ways of eating with your heart and soul. Are you ready? Here are the “rules” you’ll need to help you on your way.

Do not skip meals! Eat either 3 regular-sized meals or 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day

Do not go more than 6 waking hours without eating something. This goes along with not skipping meals. Your body goes into starvation mode when you don’t eat so by providing a regular intake of food, your body begins to release fat stores it has been holding onto.

Eat enough protein. You can eat it in the form of poultry, shellfish, meat and eggs. You want to eat approx 6-8oz protein per meal or 18g/day. E.g. eggs for breakfast, a piece of grilled chicken breast at lunch and a baked pork chop or steak at dinner.

Eat liberal amouns of pure, natural fats. These include: real butter; real mayonnaise (not miracle whip); cream; oils; trans-fat free margarine (I use no-name Becel). Also, natural fats can be found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese & avocado.

Avoid all types of hydrogenated oils completely. These are found in shortening (like Crisco) and most other margarines. They are also in most packaged baked goods and should be eliminated from the diet permanently, anyway.

Eat no more than 20g of Net Carbs per day. Most of the 20g of carbs must come from salad greens and other veggies. How do I calculate those? Looking at the nutrition label on something - carb grams minus fibre grams = # net carbs. The fibre grams help the body not to “react” to the carbohydrate grams. The easy explanation is that fibre grams cancel out the effect of the carbs so you only count the carbs that aren’t cancelled out by the fibre grams.

Eat absolutely no fruit, regular bread, pasta, grains, starchy veggies, legumes, or anything made with flour or sugar in the initial stages of weight loss. I know it will be difficult to find things that fit into this rule but it can be done! Others before you have been able to do it with a little planning ahead of time.

Eat no dairy products other than cheese, butter or cream. I try to limit cream to the cream someone might put in their morning coffee or in a recipe such as crustless quiche.

Do not eat nuts or seeds in the first 2 weeks. If you choose to extend Induction, then you can add 1oz of nuts/seeds in week three. This means you can start to eat sugar/salt-free nut butters if you want.

Eat only the foods on the “Master List”.

Let your appetite be your guide. Eat when you’re hungry but stop as soon as you’re pleasantly full. The longer you stick with this plan - the less you’ll need to eat to feel full. I used to plan what I was having for my next meal and I wasn’t even done eating yet. Now, if I’m not careful - I actually FORGET to eat!

Have a small, low-carb snack if you are hungry between meals

If you’re not really that hungry at meal times, eat a small, low-carb snack with your vitamins.

Don’t just assume that any food is low-carb. Check the carbohydrate level on every package. Prime example - bacon can be maple-flavoured... ham can be basted in something that it isnt’ allowed

When you dine out, watch for hidden carbs! Flour, cornstarch, and sugar are often ingredients in gravies, sauces or dressings. Steer clear of lite/light dressings - they are loaded in sugar.

Count every packet of artifical sweetener as 1g of Net Carbs. We recommend Splenda (sucralose) to sweeten things as needed. Sweetener in diet pop counts too - 1g per can

Avoid caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, and soft drinks. I have a hard time with this one so I’ve cut back to 1 coffee to start my day & I’m down to 1 can of Diet Coke/week as a treat. Excessive amounts of caffeine can cause unstable blood sugar and make you crave sugar.

Drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water each day. It’s really not that much water when you eliminate the other things that you may have been drinking. 8oz is the smallest coffee cup that Tim Hortons offers. So, if you have a “big” glass of water - you’ve just had 2 of those. Sneak them in throughout the day & before you know it you’ll be craving MORE! Water flushes helps to flush things through including washing away the excess fat you no longer need to carry around with you in storage!

If you are constipated from decreased fibre intake - sugar-free remedies such as Benefibre or Metamucil are allowed

Take a good quality daily multivitamin - unless you are iron-deficient, it should not contain iron in your multivitamin

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