Atkins: 100 Tips to Success

This is a list I put together with help from my friends on the Atkins forum. It’s a great list, but not to meant to be all inclusive.  There are also several repeats on this list, but I prefer to think of them as re-enforcers.  🙂

1) Read the book, Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, also referred to as DANDR. Get the newest version possible.

2) Visit the Atkins website.

3) Join the Atkins forum.

4) Get a scale and weigh your food. Digital is preferred.

5) Eat only from the Acceptable food list while on induction.

6) Drink LOTS OF WATER — Minimum 64 oz.

7) Read Atkins tips for success,

8)  Do some kind of exercise every day, to help your body and your mind.

9) Use Fitday to keep track of your food intake.

10) Use baggies to plan your veggie servings for the day and for grab and go snacks.

11) Stop making excuses as to why it is OK to cheat. Your mind might tell you that it is OK to eat <insert hi carb item here>, but your body does not care at all. Your body will take that <insert hi carb item here> and make it into glucose.

12) There will always be a special occasion or event in your life where cheating will seem like a good idea. Such as: Birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Death in the family, illness, Easter, etc…. Don’t do it.

13) Visualize yourself as the person that you want to be in 1 month, 2 months, and the rest of your life.

14) Remind yourself of why you started this change of lifestyle to help you get through those tough moments.

15) Heavy whipping cream is not the same as cool whip.

16) Count only net Carbs, which means the total carbohydrate content of the food minus the fiber content.

17) Eat the proper amount of calories. Women should eat 1500 – 1800 calories a day and Men should eat between 1800 – 2000 calories per day.

18) Spread your meals and carbs throughout the day. If you eat all your carbs at one time you risk spiking your blood sugar.

19) Find a good support system. The Atkins forum is a great place to find support, along with family and friends.

20) Stop for one extra second and think “do I want to eat that <insert hi carb item here> or do I want to change my life once and for all”.

21) Control your eating, don’t let your eating control you.

22) Learn to cook new things with veggies.

23) Use Linda’s low carb recipe site. It is full of great recipes that you will enjoy.

24) Do the lessons on the Atkins web site.

25) When choosing an exercise ask yourself if you can see yourself doing that activity for life. If not, find something else. It’s important to have fun, if you are not having fun while exercising you won’t stick with it.

26) Exercise does not have to mean going to the gym. Get moving any way you can.

27) Mushroom facts: though mushrooms are commonly thought to have little nutritional value, many species are high in fiber and provide vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, coalmines, and ascorbic acid. Mushrooms are also a source of some minerals, including iron, selenium, potassium, and phosphorus.

28) Keep a food journal of EVERYTHING that you eat, including exact quantities of each food.

29) Make sure that you are counting NET carbs, not total carbs. Net carbs are total carbs minus fiber.

30) Be open minded about trying new veggies.

31) Use Atkins recipes to help you make some delicious foods.

32) Think outside the box when it comes to planning your menus. Breakfast can be ANYTHING, not just eggs.

33) While on Induction, eating only the foods listed on the Acceptable list is the BEST way to follow the diet successfully.

34) When faced with a craving for sweets or starchy foods. Eat a piece of cheese, a pickle, or a high protein snack (deviled eggs for example).

35) Take body measurement before starting. Some people forget to do this and regret it later.

36) When the scale is not showing results, remember to focus on how you feel to find your motivation in this way of life.

37) A craving is not a signal that your body “needs” something- it only means you want something and the only way to get rid of craving is to not feed them….not even a little bit. Think of your food cravings as an addiction because that is exactly what they are.

38) Make sure you know where the bathroom is in all your favorite stores. You’ll be going a lot. Planning is everything.

39) When you eat out do not assume that just because something looks low carb on the menu that it is. For example, when you order a chicken picatta, it may be described in the menu with ingredients that may be in the list of acceptable foods, (a touch of lemon, capers, olive oil, salt pepper, butter in a light sauce). That “light” sauce may contain flour! So make it a habit to ask how something is prepared. Ask if it contains flour (or breadcrumbs), etc. Don’t be shy; this is your life we are talking about.

40) Keep Listerine strips handy. Your friends will thank you.

41) Know exactly how many carbs are in your food by using Atkins carb counter.

42) Don’t expect to lose all your weight overnight.

43) Learn all you can to lose all you can.

44) Always have food on hand that are Atkins friendly.

45) When you are going to be on the road take a cooler, and pack it full of Atkins goodies.

46) Read labels on everything.

47) Plan, plan and then plan some more.

48) Plan your meals around vegetables, even breakfast, and then add protein.

49) Never let yourself get hungry-the old HALT adage is true. Hunger, Anger, Lonely, Tired-all things that make it difficult to make good choices.

50) Ask for help when you need it.

51) Make a list of non-weight related progress so you aren’t too focused on the scale.

52) Make double recipes when you cook so you have leftovers for other meals.

53) Read the labels including the ingredients. If the label say carbs = 0, read the list of ingredients and look for sugar (or anything that ends in OSE). In the U.S . if something is .5 or less the manufacturer can label the count as 0.

54) Get blood work done before starting Atkins, and as you go along. It’s a good indicator of getting healthier.

55) Find a Doctor that supports you.

56) Don’t be swayed by other’s opinions; most people don’t even know Atkins has been revamped since the old version and wrongly assume it is horrible for you .

57) Take a picture of yourself before you start Atkins, and when you want to quit pull it out as a reminder as to why you started the plan in the first place.

58) Remember nothing tastes as good as thin feels.

59) Make a list of the induction veggies you like with weights and net carb count and keep it with you for a handy reference.

60) Save a pair of “fat jeans”. Put them on when you are discouraged or feel like giving up. This is a great motivator for staying on plan.
61) Get all of your measurements and weigh yourself
before you start. If you don’t you’ll regret it.

62) Eat food for fuel-not fun.

63) Don’t eat too many foods containing artificial sweeteners; they may contribute to prolonged food cravings.

64) Only eat until satisfied, not until you are stuffed.

65) Don’t let anyone discourage you. People who don’t know better are going to tell you how bad Atkins is for you. They will do this out of ignorance, or in an attempt to hold you back. Don’t let it happen.

66) Limit caffeine, it may stall weight loss.

67) Watch out for hidden carbs in sugar-free gum and mints. Each has just a little less than 0.5 carbs per piece, and counts as one sweetener serving.

68) Weigh at the same time every time, preferably after rising and emptying your bladder, but before your first meal of the day.

69) Don’t let yourself get hungry. It can cause cravings and bad judgment. Eat when you feel hungry.

70) Don’t be afraid to experiment with vegetables. Tastes change as your body detoxifies from carbs, so try new foods and recipes, and revisit old foods. You might be pleasantly surprised

71) Detoxify your house of junk food. It makes it easier not to “cheat” if you don’t have it at arm’s reach.

72) Exercise…if you don’t like to exercise or finding it difficult. Just walk as much as you can…to work, school, upstairs (NO LIFTS), take the dog for an hour’s walk. If possible, park the car at the back of the car park when shopping.

73) Make sure your have good walking shoes.

74) Invest in a pedometer.

75) Seek advice from others who have had success…never be afraid to ask questions . No question is “stupid.”

76) Learn from past mistakes rather than using them as excuses to go off plan.

77) If you realize you have been eating something with hidden sugar, stop eating it and learn to watch your labels a little better.

78) Don’t beat yourself up over mistakes, they happen to everyone.

79) Assume “Carb-Free” is a lie! Unless it is on a bottle of water!

80) Learn to replace old favorites with new low carb favorites. This can be a favorite meal or snack. You’ll start to look forward to the new things you’ve learned to enjoy instead of wanting to go back to the old things that aren’t good for you.

81) Atkins is LOW CARB not ZERO CARBS.

82) Expect a stall and plan ahead. It’s bound to happen at some point. That’s usually the time to up your carbs or calories and definitely a time to review what you’ve been doing so far. Don’t let it convince you to stop. Stick to plan and your body will kick back in gear.

83) Always leave celery under your pillow for the whoosh fairy.

84) Food is not the enemy if you make smart choices. Atkins will show you how.

85) Say no to soda pop. Drink water instead.

86) When you reach a mini goal along the way, reward yourself with something special for a job well done.

87) Food should never be a reward for anything.

88) Don’t make it harder than it has to be. Atkins should be a great experience. This is a lifestyle change after all.

89) Avocado is good for leg cramps.

90) If a product says “sugar free”, it doesn’t mean that it’s low in carbs. Read the label!

91) When going out to dinner with friends, plan ahead. Many restaurants have menus on line now. Or, you can visit the restaurant earlier and ask to see their menu. It sounds like a hassle, but planning is everything.

92) You can enjoy muffins in the morning. Here’s the recipe for muffins in a minute, otherwise known as MIM.

93) If you are drinking anything besides water, it does not count towards your water intake for the day.

94) Ketosis sticks are only a tool; don’t rely on them as an indicator that you are doing Atkins right.

95) Learn all you can to lose all you can.

96) If you want to reshape your body, you need to reshape your mind.

97) Be patient. This cannot be said enough.

98) Sugar is not a food group.

99) Set long-term goals and focus on them every day.

100)  Remember, you only get one body.  Take care of it.

101) Atkins is not a diet, it is a lifestyle.

102)  Use the ‘Nike-i pod’ when exercising. Its a great encouragement.  You can walk anywhere and it will let you  know how far how far you have traveled, your speed, and the time it takes you to walk.  Also, you can plan routes and play with them on the net.

103)  Atkins does not equal Induction.  Follow the plan to the end, and don’t stay on induction the entire time you are doing Atkins.

104) Food can make us sick or make us healthy.  Choose healthy.

105) Trust the Net Carb count on Atkins products.  Atkins uses a scientific system for determining Net Carb in their products.

106) Watch for carb creep. As people start adding in more food  they sometimes lose track of of their carbs.  Don’t let this happen to you.

107) If you want to be healthier, happier, and thinner, never give up.

108) Remember, a good support system is like sex. Sure, you can go it alone, but it’s nice to have someone to share it with.

109) Spread your meals throughout the day, and eat even if you are not hungry.

110) To increase calorie intake without increasing carb intake add real butter or Extra Virgin Olive Oil to your food.

111) Losing weight is not the only indicator of success on Atkins.  If you are losing inches and feeling better you are a success.

112.  Remember, muscle weighs more than fat.  On other diets you may lose more weight in the short term, but you will also be losing muscle.  On Atkins you lose mostly fat.

I will  be adding to this list in time, so it will grow beyond 100.  Don’t send me an email complaining that I went over 100.  🙂  If you can think of anything to add to this list please feel free to add it in the comments section.

Terry Elkins (whyguy)


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Sunday Food-Log 04/11/10 « Life Hiccups
  2. Nancy
    Dec 22, 2009 @ 13:19:14

    I was on the verge of giving up until I read this list of yours. Thank you (:


  3. mel
    Mar 26, 2009 @ 16:59:38

    i like 49) Never let yourself get hungry-the old HALT adage is true. Hunger, Anger, Lonely, Tired-all things that make it difficult to make good choices.

    that is so me!

    thanks tel



    • whyguy
      Mar 27, 2009 @ 02:52:58

      It is hard to make good choices when we don’t take care of our basic needs. I’m not sure who gave me that one. I’ll have to go back to the thread and check it out. And we can thank them together. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: