The Atkins diet has four phases. The first three focus on weight loss, while the last one centers on maintaining the weight lost during the first three phases. During the first two weeks the carbohydrate intake is almost totally restricted. Following the first two weeks, the carbohydrate intake is increased step by step.
The first phase allows dieters to eat no more than 20 grams of carbohydrates daily. The second phase is similar to the first one, except that the amounts of carbohydrates are increased, and nuts, seeds, and some plants with berries are allowed.
When the dieter has about twelve pounds left to lose to reach his or her target weight , the third phase starts. New food along with up to ten grams of carbohydrates is allowed if the dieter`s weight is constant. The fourth phase establishes the amount of carbohydrates allowed per day that do not cause weight gain.
The Atkins diet includes eggs, meat, fish, olive oil, butter, cheese, olives, spinach, salad, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, and avocado. The foods that are not permitted include sugar and pastry products, vegetables that contain starch like corn and peace.
Bread, pasta, potatoes, and fruits are not allowed in the first phase but may be eaten starting with the second phase. The same with alcohol, nuts, and peanuts.