The Atkins Diet is a low carbohydrate diet. It is divided into four phases. The first three have different food allowances. Phase 4 is a maintenance phase.
Phase 1 of the Atkins Diet allows the following:
Fish, including flounder, herring, sardines, sole, tuna, and trout.
Poultry, including Cornish hens, chicken, duck, goose, pheasant, quail, and turkey
All shellfish, including clams, crabmeat, mussels, * oysters,* shrimp, and squid
*Oysters and mussels are higher in carbs, so limit to about 4 ounces per day.
Meat, including bacon,* beef, ham,* lamb, pork, veal, and venison
*Be aware that the processed version of these meats may be cured with sugar or contain added nitrates.
Eggs are a staple in the Atkins Diet, so be as creative with them as you want.
The types of cheeses allowed are, blue cheese, cheddar, cow, sheep, goat, cream cheese, feta, gouda, mozzarella, parmesan, and swiss.
Approximately 12 to 15 net carbs per day should come from vegetables. Most vegetables are included in phase 1 except starchy vegetables, which are included in phase 3.
Herbs and spices include, basil, cilantro, dill, garlic, ginger, oregano, pepper, rosemary, sage, tarragon, sautéed mushrooms, and sour cream. Make sure they contain no added sugar.
Salad dressings are, blue cheese, Caesar, Italian, lemon juice, oil and vinegar, and ranch. Allowable fats and oils are, butter, mayonnaise, olive oil, and vegetable oils.
Beverages include, clear broth, club soda, cream, decaffeinated coffee and tea, diet soda, herb tea, water, and flavored seltzer. If you have a true caffeine addiction, it is best to try to break the habit during phase 1. Alcohol is not allowed in phase 1, but is allowed in moderation in phase 2.
Many of the above foods are conveniently packaged at the supermarket. Just be sure to note the serving size and subtract grams of fiber from grams of carbohydrates to get net carbs.
Atkins Advantage bars and shakes are convenient and every flavor is allowed in phase 2.
Phase 2 adds higher carb foods back into your diet (5 daily net carbs per week). You can now add dairy, nuts and seeds, some fruits and juices, and some grains.
Dairy adds cottage cheese 1%, heavy cream, and ricotta cheese.
Nuts and Seeds add almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, macadamia, pistachios, and walnuts. Fruit adds fresh blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cantaloupe, and honeydew melon. Juices add lemon, lime, and tomato. Grains add oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, and brown rice.
Phase 3 adds the starchy vegetables like acorn squash, carrots, white potatoes, and yams. They also add in all types of beans. The fruits not included in phase 2 can now be included.
The Atkins Diet believes that if you cut down on carbohydrates and concentrate on fiber and protein, you will lose weight. You are encouraged to eat three meals and two snacks a day.