Atkins: The Short Version

I am not going to reinvent the wheel by telling you all about the Atkins diet, but I will give you the short version.  Atkins is a lifestyle plan that will help you shed pounds, become healthier, and help you reach your weight loss goals in an easy to learn easy to follow eating plan.  I have been on this plan since January 2, 2009 and in two and one half months I have dropped 35 lbs, lost several inches off every area of my body, and went from a size 42 pants to a  size 38.  I also went from wearing X-large shirts to large shirts.  In addition, my energy is up, and my blood pressure is under control without medications.

But more importantly, I get to eat great food, and am never hungry.

Atkins is a low carbohydrate diet based on the principle of burning fat for fuel as you limit your intake of bad carbs, and increase your intake of good carbs, protein, and fat.  By limiting carb in-take the body goes in a state of ketosis, which is the optimal state for low-carb dieters to be in, when in ketosis your appetite becomes suppressed, and your craving for starches and sugars  are drastically reduced.

I no longer have cravings for any of the foods that made me fat in the first place.  ie, pizza rolls, fast food, chocolate, ice cream, Doritos, etc…

Atkins is flexible, but  it’s  not a one size fits all program.  You will learn what works for you and what doesn’t as you move through the four phases of Atkins…

The four phases:

Phase 1: Induction

This first phase of Atkins is meant to eliminate or drastically reduce your food cravings, and put your body into Ketosis where you will start burning fat for fuel.  This phase will last a minimum of two weeks, but some people choose to stay on this phase longer.  This is the hardest phase of Atkins, but it will jump start your success. This is what you will do on Induction:

  • Limit carbohydrate consumption to 20 grams of net carbs.  (Carbs minus fiber equals net carb).
  • Satisfy your appetite with foods that combine lean protein and fat, such as fish, poultry, eggs, lamb, pork and beef. While eating limited amounts of hard cheeses .
  • You will get eat 12-15 grams of net carbs from veggies.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
  • Take multivitamin/mineral and fish-oil nutritional supplements.
  • It is also recommended that you exercise .  ( I don’t do much of this, but don’t tell anybody)

After at least two weeks, you will move on to OWL.  This is the phase I am currently on.  This  is the phase that you will lose most of your weight and learn the most about your food, and how your body reacts to certain food.  Feel free to experiment on this phase of Atkins.  You will stay on this phase until you are within 10 lbs of your goal weight.

Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)

The first week you’ll increase your daily carb intake from 20 to 25 grams.  The following week you’ll move to 30 grams of Net Carbs per day, and so on.  You will increase your carb intake until your weight loss  slows to one to two pounds per week.  This is purely an individual choice.

During OWL, you’ll find out how many grams of  net carbs you can eat and still lose weight.  You’ll also discover your own Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CCLL).

During OWL, you begin to add a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods back into your diet-such as more non-starchy veggies (e.g., asparagus and broccoli); berries, including raspberries and strawberries; nuts and seeds, such as hazelnuts and almonds; and soft cheeses (e.g., cottage cheese

Phase 3: Pre-Maintenance

When you’re within 10 pounds of your target weight, it’s time to move to Pre-Maintenance.  You’ll stay on Phase 3 until you hit your target weight and maintain that weight for one month.

Each week during Pre-Maintenance, you’ll add 10 grams of Net Carbs back into your diet until you’ve reached your goal weight.  Once you’ve reached your goal weight and have maintained it for at least one month, you will have found your ACE, or Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium. This will be the place that you neither gain nor lose weight.

Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance

Once you’ve maintained your goal weight for one month, you will move on to Lifetime Maintenance.  In this phase, your average Net Carbs will range from 40 to 120 per day.  This number will depend on how your body reacts to food.

I’ve met people on the Atkins forum who eat 120 net carbs a day.  That’s a whole lot of food. I don’t know how they do it. But you gotta love a diet that let’s you eat like a pig.

Now that  you’re  ready to begin, if you want more information I suggest getting Dr. Atkins book Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, 2002 edition or newer, also referred to as DANDR.  Also, check out the Atkins website at  This is where I have found most of this information and it is a great place to learn and get support.  I also suggest you join the forum and seek support from those who are going through the same thing you will be.

I use the forum for support, to gain invaluable insights from those who are sharing my experiences, as well as from those who have been doing Atkins successfully for many years.  There are great people on this forum who are more than willing to help you, answer your questions,  and cheer you on.  I am honored to call them my friends.

When you stop by make  sure you tell them Whyguy sent you and that I said hello .

While my blog will mostly deal with my writing, I will devote a portion of this site to Atkins.  I am not affiliated with the Atkins Company, but I believe in it so much that I am willing to endorse it and give it my support.  As with any diet program, you should consult your physician.

If you have any question for me about Atkins feel free to leave a comment and I will share my experiences with you.

Yeah, I know, I said I would give you the short version, but as you get to know me, you will discover that brevity is not my strong suit.  So sue me.  LOL

Terry Elkins (whyguy)

P.S.  I will be adding tips and strategies that you can use for to help your increase your success on Atkins.  I am currently working on gathering 100 tips to help you succeed on Atkins. Also, I will be posting Atkins succes stories in a section called Snap Shots.  If you would like to be a part of this contact me on this blog page or at

I will be posting this soon so make sure you subscribe to my blog and book mark this page.


I almost forgot, are you ready to change your life? Come on, what do you have to lose besides those extra pounds.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Esiole
    Apr 25, 2009 @ 06:10:59

    Hi there,
    Maybe just try the naked running around at home and see how that goes first before you venture outside!
    I haven’t bought clothes yet but am finding a whole lot in my cupboards that haven’t been worn for so long they are back in fashion. I knew I was ahead of my time lol.
    I bought some black boots though, as we are heading into winter in NZ, and went down half a size which is funny as you don’t think about your feet losing size too.
    Its sounds like you have found your way to lose weight keep within your carb count but still have plenty of variety to stop getting bored.
    For lunch today I had the most amazing salad of char grilled red and yellow peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes with lettuce & feta cheese and a side of mince with canned tomatoes. I would never have eaten this type of meal before Atkins. When I was a kid I ate meat and potatoes, no other veges, so there have been some BIG changes in my life. I even get excited about what veges I am going to have with my meals, so funny but cool.
    Esiole 🙂


    • whyguy
      Apr 28, 2009 @ 19:00:32

      Hey Esiole, My feet are getting smaller too, that is funny, and I’d swear I’ve lost some height as well. Could there be that much fat on the bottom of my feet to make me taller?

      Did you buy hooker boots? That’s what I call my wife’s winter boots with the long heels.


      • Esiole
        Apr 29, 2009 @ 04:21:02

        Hi Terry,
        Haha, maybe grandma hooker boots, they have a wedge heel.
        I don’t know about the height thing, maybe there is something to your theory. Do we store fat on the top of our heads as well?? Or is that just a swollen head?
        I’m sure you would never have one of those, you seem a pretty down to earth kind of guy.
        Keep up the blog, you are getting a neat collection of information and thoughts together.
        Esiole 🙂


        • whyguy
          Apr 29, 2009 @ 13:05:16

          I don’t know about you, but I’m almost positive I’ve stored some fat in my head, that’s what my wife tells me anyway. 🙂


  2. Esiole
    Apr 23, 2009 @ 08:18:23

    Hi there Terry,
    A nice succinct (well sort of) run down on Atkins. If I wasn’t already an Atkins devotee I would give it a try after reading that.
    Hope your weight is continuing to fall. Are you into the berry rung or still just being nutty?
    I am thinking of moving to legumes etc but don’t want to do anything to jeopardise progress. I’ve never been that into beans, haha.
    I am going to start storing away the clothes that are too big for me instead of just leaving them in the wardrobe.

    Esiole 🙂


    • whyguy
      Apr 23, 2009 @ 16:47:30

      I’m always a little nutty. LOL Right now I’ve dropped back down to 25 net carbs, but I eat from many of the rungs of the ladder, I just don’t go over 25 net carbs. I’ve lost 43 lbs so far, so something is working. I know that if I go any higher I get kicked out of Ketosis, so I’m going to make the climb up the ladder a little slower this time.

      Have you been buying any new clothes yet, or are you still waiting? I’m waiting, I’m losing so fast there is no point in buying anything new. The thing is, I don’t have much to wear. I could run around naked though. LOL


  3. Amanda
    Mar 20, 2009 @ 17:29:10

    Terry…which bit were you referring to? I don’t like the way my body feels right now…I have lost that “up” feeling…I am bloated and grumpy! Gassy too! I think I may be eating something that has set off my IBS…but I am convinced it is the stress.


    • whyguy
      Mar 21, 2009 @ 12:49:07

      Bloated, Grumpy, Gassy…not a good combination. I had to laugh though, for some reason I was thinking we were missing a few of the 7 dwarfs. LOL Sorry.


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