Maintaining Weight Loss: How to Wean Off the Atkins Diet

One of the most well known diets around is the Atkins Diet. This is a diet that is all about restricting the consumption of carbohydrates. In fact, the first two weeks of this diet tells you that you can’t eat any carbohydrates at all, so you can enter into a phase called ketosis. The whole concept behind the Atkins diets is that carbs, in general, are bad and make you overweight. While this is somewhat true, not all carbs are bad for you.

If you are on the Atkins diet and you find that you want to change your eating habits back to including carbohydrates into your diet, you will need to do this slowly. Since your body has become used to not ingesting and digesting carbohydrates, you will need to come up with a plan. This plan should allow for you to slowly re-incorporate carbohydrates into your diet. Be careful of eating too many at the wrong time because your body may not be ready for it.

Bringing Back the Carbs

When you bring carbs back into your diet, expect to gain a few pounds at first. This is your body storing these carbs for energy. You may also notice some water retention as well. This is to be expected but, as you adjust back to adding healthy carbs to your diet, this is normalize. Many people who have done this report that water retention seems to be the biggest problem. One way to avoid this is by being careful with the foods you choose.

For example, when adding bread back into your diet, go for the whole grain variety and not white bread. While there are carbs in whole grain bread, they are healthier and better for you than the carbs in white bread. You should stay away from any carbs that come from white foods such as:

  • White pasta
  • White Rice
  • White Bread

The carbs in all these foods will cause you to rapidly gain weight and they will be hard to lose again. 

If you go out to eat and want a burger, get it without the bun or ask if they have whole grain buns. Stick to whole grain cereals and avoid foods that may trigger a sugar binge. For example, if you eat pancakes in the morning you may want to put some syrup on them. Syrup, sugar free or not, is sweet and this may trigger a desire to eat more sweet foods later. This is not to say you can’t have sweets. You can, but you must limit yourself so you don’t trigger a binge.

Letting Go

The Atkins diet is right in that limiting your carb intake is a great way to lose weight, but the human body needs carbs to function properly. Also, this diet is not sustainable in the long run because you will crave carbs and eat them. When you do, it will usually be the bad carbs instead of the good ones and your diet will fail. You have to be smart with how you introduce carbs back into your diet, but it can be done.


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