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Days 1-2

When to Start Your Low Carb Atkin Diet

Most low carb diets put special emphasis on the first two weeks, when you get used to eating in a more healthy manner. But those first two DAYS are the key – when you break your carb addiction!

Start a low carb diet on a Thursday night. You’ll wake up Friday morning with a 12-15 hour head start. Your body was burning extra glucose (sugar) while you slept.

Feeling the Challenge

After starting a low carb diet, the first two days are challenging.

Your body was using high sugar foods for energy, and storing your fat. Your body will crave this sugar at first. You may get cranky, tired or shaky. The worse your symptoms are, the more addicted your body was to sugar.

Don’t worry.

We only carry enough glucose (sugar) to last for 2 to 3 days in our bodies. Any extra sugar is stored as fat.

On Monday morning, you’ll no longer be a “sugar burner.” After day two, you’ll start burning fat and protein for energy instead. The brain becomes clear and your metabolism runs more efficiently.

The more healthy fat you eat, the more stored body fat you’ll burn for energy. It’s difficult to overeat fat, so calorie counting isn’t usually necessary.

Days 3-7

Your Metabolism is Different

The next two weeks are amazing. The roller coaster mood swings, hunger cravings, bloating and stomach puffiness caused by sugar is gone.

You feel better, need less sleep and have much more energy. Goodbye naps!

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You’re losing weight rapidly- without hunger. And you are eating delicious, fattening foods.

Hello Rapid Fat Loss

On day 3, your body will start to consume its extra fat supply. When you eat, it will go after those fats as well. Many people losing anywhere from 7 to 14 pounds in the first two weeks of the low carb diet.

Low Carb Meal Plans

It’s a good idea to plan ahead for the first week of meals when you’re starting a low carb diet. Here are two sample meal plans from Atkins to take you through a solid week.

Atkin Diet 20 Carbs per Day Meal Plan

Atkins 20 Carb Meal Plan

Atkin Diet 40 Carbs per Day Meal Plan

Atkins 40 Carb Meal Plan

Days 8-14

After the first week, you’ll really feel a new energy, feel more lively and even-tempered. Your sugar-rush highs and lows will be gone, any shakiness when you’re hungry will go away.

This is a good time to try low carb versions of your old favorite meals. Continue eating high fat and tracking your progress.

Don’t forget to measure again on Day 14 to see the inches you’ve lost.

After the First Two Weeks

We start a low carb diet with two weeks of intensive training. By the third week, we understand all the basics:

  • Our kitchen is clear of junk food and high carb foods.
  • We’re drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
  • We know which foods are good for us, and which ones pretend to be nutritious.

Track Your Progress

When you check your measurements every few weeks, you’ll be quite impressed. Keep taking photos, videos or measurements every few weeks. Seeing progress “on paper” is very motivating.

The scale is a good tracking device, but inches tell the whole story.

Set New Low Carb Goals

It’s time to set up a realistic weight loss goal, based on the first two weeks. Decide how long you will need to reach your goal weight.

If you are enjoying the food choices from the first two weeks, you may stay at Induction levels (20 carbs or less/day) to lose weight more quickly.

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Begin Maintenance – Eat More Carbs

Once you’ve reached your target healthy weight, you’re ready to go on to maintenance.

This is the fun part:

Slowly increase your total carb amount by 5 to 10 grams each week. As you do, your weight loss will slow.

Eventually, your body reaches a “balance point” where you aren’t losing any more weight, but you aren’t gaining it either.

Optimize Your Diet

It doesn’t take long to learn about low carb foods and how to eat them. If you’re ready for a new challenge, try these seven tricks to make your low carb diet ideal.

Get Support from Atkins

You can follow Atkins by reading a book, but if you want extra support, the Atkins website has support groups and chat rooms, where you can talk to others who are losing weight the same way you are. There are also free recipes, meal trackers, and apps to make it simple to count carbs, plan meals, and shop.

Order your free low carb quick start kit from Atkins! It includes the Atkins Start Guide, sample low carb menus, a free carb counter, 3 full-size Atkins bars, coupons, low carb recipes and info about the free Atkins Tracker App.

The kit also includes a $3 rebate for The New Atkins for a New You Workbook.

new atkins workbook

Tracking progress is the key to success. This step-by-step guide makes it easier than ever to follow Atkins. The Atkins workbook includes grocery shopping guides, food lists, and tracking tools.

New Atkins for a New You cookbook

The New Atkins for a New You Cookbook features 200 delicious low carb meals, ready in 30 minutes or less.

Almost Zero Carb Meal Plan

Three easy days, one aggressive technique and major fat loss.

insid the almost zero carb meal plan

The Almost Zero Carb Meal Plan is designed to break even the worst stall, burn large amounts of stored fat, and induce deep ketosis – in 3 days.

  • The Technique
  • 150 Recipes (100 under 1 g net carb)
  • Shopping List & Sample Menus
  • Printable Meal Planner

If what you’re doing isn’t working, get your meal plan now.