Atkins Forever? How Long Should You Stay On The Atkins Diet?

by Jessica A. Andersen

The Atkins Diet was designed by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1970s. He designed the diet to followed forever. That is, the diet is more of a lifestyle than a fad diet. The Dr. was a proponent of ketogenic fat burning. This is accomplished by consuming few than 40 grams of carbohydrate daily. He also suggested using dietary supplements to maintain nutrition within the body’s systems.

Atkins Diet consists of 4 stages: the Induction Diet, the Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) Diet, the Pre-Maintenance Diet, and ultimately the Lifetime Maintenance Diet.

The Induction Diet Stage severely limits carb intake, only 20 grams are allowed for 14 days. The recommended source of carbs is low starch vegetables. Following this stage is the OWL diet.

The OWL Diet Phase is more forgiving. At this point, participants can consume 40 grams of carbs per day. This phase lasts until dieters reach their ideal weight. Once this goal is accomplished, dieters move to the pre-maintenance diet phase. Now the participant must establish how many carbs they can consume without gaining weight. This is known as finding their carb tolerance level.

When dieters understand how much carb they can consume and they maintain their ideal weight, they will enter Lifetime Maintenance. Here they will continue to avoid sugar, processed foods, white flour and hydrogenated fat/oils.

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