Phase 1 - Frequently Asked Questions

Are nuts and seeds okay on Induction even though they have carbohydrates?

New Atkins is about controlling your carb intake and eating those Phase 1 that are the most nutrient-dense. Different nuts and seeds have different percentages of fat, protein and carbohydrate. We don't recommend eating them during the first two weeks of Induction. But after that if you are continuing to lose weight steadily, you can try introducing some. Note, however, that nuts and seeds may contain mould, which could trigger an allergic response.
It’s worth mentioning that nuts are notoriously hard to eat in moderation. One leads to another until you may have eaten several ounces/grams. Try buying small packets so you won't be tempted to over indulge.

I’m used to counting calories. How many am I allowed on Induction?


The New Atkins nutritional approach counts grams of carbohydrates instead of calories. In Induction, you are allowed 20 grams of carbs. When you progress to Ongoing weight loss, you gradually add carbohydrates in 5-gram increments as you move toward Pre-Maintenance, and finally, in 10-gram increments as you approach the Maintenance Phase. On the New Atkins nutritional approach we don’t make you count calories. However for weight loss purposes we suggest you aim for a healthy range. For women that range is approximately 1500 to 1800 calories. For men that range is approximately 1800 to 2000 calories per day. Be sure to limit empty calories and follow the acceptable foods list for whichever Phase you are currently in.
Research has shown that on a controlled carbohydrate program, more calories are burned than on a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, so there is a certain metabolic advantage to the controlled carb approach. But this doesn’t not give you a license to gorge.
The real goal of the New Atkins program is to learn eating habits that will enable you to permanently maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. This includes changing old habits, such as portion size and overeating, which contributed to your original weight problem.

I’m not far from my goal weight, what will happen if I come off New Atkins altogether and just eat healthily?


Congratulations on almost reaching your goal weight! If you’re within one stone of your goal you should be thinking of moving into Phase 2 of the New Atkins nutritional approach.
It's not advisable for you to switch back to eating a higher amount of carbs immediately, as this may lead to weight gain and water retention. Re-introducing carbs gradually will actually help you to continue to lose weight, while allowing you to assess your tolerance to carbs. It's very important to go through all four Phases of the New Atkins nutritional approach, until you've found your own New Atkins carbohydrate balance when you will be able to eat a variety of healthy foods and maintain your target weight.
If you’re one stone away from your goal weight and want to start adding more carbs into your diet, it's perfectly acceptable to go into Phase 2 and introduce 5 grams of carbs at a time. This means you'll be able to eat foods such as berries, pulses, nuts and seeds, as well as a greater variety of dairy foods, not to mention bars from the delicious Atkins Endulge range. When you’re within 10lbs (4.5 kg) of your goal weight, start adding carbs at 10 grams carbs a time and go into Phase 3 (Pre-Maintenance).

I was losing weight, and now have stopped. What do I need to do?


If you haven’t already, start to tracking your daily consumption of carbs. Research shows that when people track their consumption, they are much more likely to succeed at weight loss than those that don’t. It is important to check you are consuming 12-15 grams of carbs from foundation vegetables, every day. Most importantly, be patient. If you’re approaching your goal weight, your weight loss may slow down but, if you stick with your meal plan (get started here), your body will break through the stall.

Can I eat yoghurts during Induction Phase and if so, which ones are best?


Yoghurts aren’t allowed on Induction as they are too high in carbs for this Phase. However, you can re-introduce them in Phase 2, Ongoing weight loss. As yogurt is on rung five of the Carb ladder, it should also only be introduced after nuts, seeds, berries and cherries.
When you are able to treat yourself to yoghurt, ensure that you eat unsweetened, whole milk varieties, instead of low fat versions, as the latter are usually high in sugar and the fat is often replaced by carbs.
Plain Greek yoghurt is an ideal choice, as it’s much lower in carbs and you can alter the flavour by adding some berries or nuts.
It is also important you always check the label on any yoghurt, as many contain added sugars. To keep on track with the New Atkins Diet, aim for a natural yoghurt that contains no more than 4-5 grams of carbs per serving.

Can I eat sausages on Induction?

Some sausages contain added fillers (carbs) so always check the label. Good ones are Asda’s own gluten free range or Black Farmer, from any supermarket.

I’m vegetarian and would like to follow the New Atkins Diet; can I use Quorn instead of meat?


It’s possible for vegetarians to follow New Atkins using Quorn products but you can also enjoy tofu, cheese and eggs as sources of protein. Make sure you include foods such as avocado, olives, fats and oils, which add fibre, healthy fats and a wide range of nutrients. The New Atkins website has hundreds of recipes to help you stick to the diet, as does the ‘New Atkins, New You’ cookbook, which also contains vegetarian recipes.
You will need to check the nutrition label on the Quorn products you eat, to make sure they only have small amounts of carbohydrate. You will also need to include these in your daily carbs total. For instance, Quorn burgers contain 4g carbs per burger, so it’s important that you consume adequate protein, without over-consuming carbs, which will affect your weight loss.
We would advise you start the diet in On-going Weight Loss (Phase 2), allowing 30g of carbs daily, which will mean you can eat nuts and seeds, as well as berries. If you have less than one stone 4lbs (1kg) to lose and you would prefer more food choice, yet slower weight loss, you can even start in Pre-Maintenance (Phase 3). Add extra olive oil, rapeseed oil, flaxseed oil and other oils to salads and vegetables, to make up for the smaller amount of fat in most of your protein sources. I would also recommend introducing a daily multivitamin and fish oil supplement, in order to boost overall health. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

Since beginning New Atkins, I am often constipated. How can I avoid this?

Some constipation is common during the first week of the Induction Phase. This is due to the change in diet, especially the reduction of fruit and vegetable fibre. Be sure that you are taking in 12-15 grams of New Carbs from vegetables daily and not using your carb allowance on other foods. After the first few days, your body should adjust and constipation shouldn't be a problem. And when you begin to add more carbohydrates, your first choices should be more vegetables, followed by seeds and nuts and berries.
If constipation continues, there are several remedies. First, make sure you are drinking enough water as inadequate hydration is the main reason for constipation. Second, consume some supplementary fibre in the form of wheat bran, psyllium husks or ground flaxseed.

Why can't I consume alcohol when I am in the Induction Phase?


You should not drink alcohol during Induction, but you can drink moderate amounts of alcohol during the Ongoing weight loss, Pre-Maintenance and Maintenance phases of the New Atkins nutritional approach. When given the choice, your body will burn alcohol for energy before it burns fat. But alcohol does not act as a carbohydrate so it will not interfere with burning fat in the same way that sugars and other carbohydrates do.

When should I move from Phase 1 to Phase 2?

You are ready to leave Induction and add more carbohydrates to your meals when you have lost much of the weight you want to shed and are within 1 stone of your goal weight. Or you may be bored with the options available on the Induction phase and willing to trade a slow-down in the progress of your weight loss in return for eating a wider variety of foods.