The Atkins Diet is a radical change of eating habits for most people. One of the main reasons people have trouble staying with a new weight loss plan is the difficulty adjusting to necessary dietary changes. With the following Atkins Diet tips, new dieters should find it easier to go the distance, achieving and maintaining their weight loss goals.
Atkins Food Suggestion Tips
- Do eat enough food. While calories and portion sizes do count, it is important to eat enough that you feel satisfied.
- Do try new foods and new methods of preparation.
- Do make sure to get enough water -- water aids in the digestive process.
- Do eat all of your vegetables. Atkins is not a "no-carb" diet; it's a low-carb diet. Vegetables have carbohydrates, but they also have vital nutrients and fiber needed for proper health and digestion.
- Do eat low-carb fruits for dessert. Use your carb-counter to select the appropriate fruits and portion sizes.
- Do read labels to screen foods for hidden sugars. Some meat products contain sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, both of which can sabotage dieting efforts.
- Don't eat too much cheese. One or two ounces total per day is the maximum amount of cheese to eat on the Atkins diet. For some people, excessive cheese can cause constipation.
- Don't eat too many foods containing artificial sweeteners. Sweeteners may contribute to food cravings.
- Don't overdo legal desserts. Use the majority of your daily carb ration for your vegetables, not for sweet treats.
- Don't eat to repletion. "Satisfied" does not mean "stuffed."
- Don't drink too many diet sodas. Besides the artificial sweeteners in them, diet sodas often replace much-needed water in the diet.
Atkins Diet Lifestyle Tips
- Exercise! While low-carb dieting may help your body burn fat, it cannot completely replace the need for regular exercise.
- Get adequate sleep. Recent studies have shown people who do not get at least seven hours of sleep each night will have a harder time losing weight than those who get seven or eight hours of sleep.
- Reduce stress in your life as much as possible. Stress can make it harder to lose weight.
- Don't let naysayers discourage you. There are many detractors from the Atkins Diet, but if you have determined it is the most effective weight-loss plan for you, then you should resist the efforts of others to sabotage your confidence.
- Don't feel guilty about refusing foods you cannot eat.
- Don't rely solely on your scale to determine your success. The fit of your clothes and your physical energy are far more reliable guides.
- Don't panic if you hit a plateau. These are normal milestones in any weight loss program, and you must wait patiently for your body to adjust; sometimes it may take as long as six to eight weeks to lose weight after an initial weight loss. If you continue to follow the plan, you will eventually start to lose weight again.
General Atkins Diet Tips
- Know the plan before you start. The first two weeks are very stringent, but you don't stay there forever. Too many people start the diet thinking the first two weeks are typical of the whole Atkins experience. They aren't.
- Clear your home as much as possible of all "forbidden foods." There's no point having to fight temptation more than you have to.
- Keep a legal snack with you at all times, so you can fight any temptations by eating something legal.
A 2010 Temple University study showed low-carbohydrate diets similar to the Atkins diet provide a viable option for long-term weight loss success. The key to selecting a diet that works for you is finding one you can sustain for the long-haul in order to maintain weight once it is lost. Before undertaking any diet, including the Atkins diet, talk with your doctor. Together with your health care provider, you can map a path to successful and long-lasting weight loss.