About the Atkins diet and the great Atkins recipes
The Atkins diet is divided into 9 “rungs” of steps to get back to eating carbohydrates. Rungs are added one week at a time during the “Continuous Weight Loss” stage or “OWL” stage. This stage is designed to allow each person to find their critical carbohydrate level to lose and to teach the dieter to eat these foods reasonably, manage their glycemic levels, and control cravings. This phase begins when a person is within 10 pounds of their target weight. The rungs should be reached in order, but can be skipped if you do not intend to include that food in your diet permanently, such as the alcohol rung. The overall goal is to add 5 net grams of carbohydrate each week to your daily carbohydrate intake. Each rung incorporates 5 more net grams into your daily intake, so at the bottom of the ladder you will have an additional 45 net grams of carbohydrates that you started with.
The first step is to add more acceptable vegetables in greater quantities to your diet. This can be as simple as eating more salad or adding more cooked vegetables as side dishes to your regular Atkins meals. Note that you are still limited to introducing approved vegetables. The next step is fresh cheese or fresh dairy products. Add more milk, yogurt, and other dairy products to your diet while still following a more regulated plan. Some of the dairy options include hard cheese, cream, half half, sour cream, and low carb yogurt and milk ice cream. The third rung is the nuts and seeds. Add almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, etc. They provide healthy fats and nutrients to your food and are easy to incorporate into a low-carbohydrate diet. Top cooked vegetables or salads with nuts or eat them as an easy snack. You can find many great Atkins recipes for the new stages of your diet, with options including dairy, seeds, nuts, and more veggies.
Berries are the fourth rung and include all kinds of berries like blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Some limited quantities of melons are also allowed. AGR melons are allowed, including watermelon, molasses, and cantaloupe. The fifth step is alcohol and includes low carb beer, white and red wine, and spirits. Spirits do not contain carbohydrates, but low carb beer and wine should choose wisely and keep portions limited. It’s also important to remember that your body burns alcohol before fat, so you can stop your weight loss by drinking too much. If you notice this, refrain from drinking until it returns to normal.
After the alcohol you get to the legume rung. The sixth rung allows you to add many different beans, hummus and chickpeas, tofu, and other soy products. At this point, it is important that you take note of eating foods with higher FFAs and make sure not to eat them alone due to their effect on blood sugar. Make sure to eat them with foods high in fat and fiber to minimize the effects on blood sugar. Adding vegetables to your diet is easy if you know the correct Atkins diet recipes to follow, your new rungs allow you to incorporate a wider variety of tastes and flavors. The seventh step allows you to add more fruit, in addition to the berries and melons from step 4. Kiwifruit, apples, citrus, and peaches are some of your fruit options. Continue to avoid dried fruits because they can be very dense in sugar and in one small piece you can consume as many carbohydrates as a whole fruit.
Starchy vegetables are next and include carrots, squash, and peas. Corn and potatoes can be added as occasional treats. Remember to keep portions of starchy vegetables small. Finally, the ninth rung on the ladder is the rung for whole grains. Make sure to keep your grains whole and unprocessed with small servings. You can eat oatmeal, wheat bran, low carb breads and muffins, cooked barley, and some other whole grain options.
The rungs of the Atkins diet are designed to get you on a more normal eating plan, slowly reintroducing more common higher carbohydrate foods. It is important that you continue to count your net carbs and keep them within your diet parameters to maintain your weight loss and keep your body at its new healthy weight.