Induction Stage -
The total carbohydrate intake should be less than 20grams. Atkins diet focuses on eating low-carbohydrate vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, spinach, asparagus, pumpkin, turnips, cauliflower and tomatoes, to name a few of the 54 veggies allowed by Atkins. Legumes are not allowed since they are too starchy for the induction phase. Most protein foods like meat, seafood and eggs can be eaten safely. Eat plenty of cold-water fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. Olive oil (preferably virgin or extra virgin), canola oil or grapeseed oil are recommended for cooking. Yogurt, fruit and starchy vegetables like potatoes are forbidden. Alcoholic drinks should be totally avoided in this phase. Caffeine can be consumed in moderation. Drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day is a must. A daily multivitamin with minerals is required.
Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) -
During the first week of OWL, a small additional serving of the induction acceptable vegetables should be added. Cheese, nuts and seeds, berries, alcohol, legumes, fruits, starchy vegetables and whole grains can be added gradually till the desired weight loss is achieved. Pre-maintenance Phase -
Dieters can add some of the forbidden carbohydrates back into their diet once a week. Dieters are encouraged to continue to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day and to increase their daily carbohydrate intake by 10 grams per week until they continue to lose weight. Maintenance -
Whole and unprocessed food should be the preferred choice during this phase.