Diet atkins the ultimate low carb high protein diet phase 1 introduction

Published on February 27th, 2013 | by George Conte


Atkins diet phase 1: Introduction

This is the second article of the Atkins diet series.

You can find the first article here: Atkins – The ultimate low carb high protein diet

You can find the third article here: Atkins diet phase 2 – Ongoing Weight Loss

You can find the fourth article here: Atkins diet phase 3: Pre-Maintenance

You can find the fifth article here: Atkins diet phase 4: Lifelong Maintenance

The Atkins diet phase 1 is an introduction phase, a brief period that triggers the power of the body so that it can cleave the fat. At this stage there is reduction in net carbohydrate intake to about 20 grams per day. For the calculation of net carbohydrates we are removing the fiber from the total carbohydrates (Net carbs = total carbohydrates – Fiber).

 This dietary plan supports that by reducing carbohydrates, the body is activated and begins to break down the primary energy source, i.e. the fat, resulting in weight loss. The idea is to quickly lose weight over a period of two weeks. During this phase the Atkins diet promotes eating lean proteins like chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs and more. Long with proteins we have the choice of eating good fats such as virgin olive oil. Furthermore, it is possible to consume vegetables, low in carbohydrates. Sweets are prohibited, except
sweet snacks that are specifically designed for people who follow this diet.

 The “bad” carbohydrates as called by the Atkins diet are carbohydrates with high glycemic index and should be avoided.  Also, foods containing hidden sugars – such as breads should be removed from the diet. Also, we must abstain from the fruits and nuts
for two weeks.

There is no need to start the Atkins diet in the first phase. If someone wants to lose a small amount of weight and quickly, then there is no need to remain in this phase for two weeks, but he can pass to the next phase of the diet.

The introduction phase is suitable for people who are overweight and their goal is to lose a lot of weigh or for people that just need a good start to get on the right track. If the target is the loss of a few pounds, they can go straight to the second phase.

Foods to avoid in phase 1 (Introduction)

  • Sugar and saturated fat.  It is acceptable to consume artificial sweeteners like sucralose or saccharin. Also, you may consume diet drinks containing these sweeteners and sugar free gelatin.
  • Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkins.
  • Bread, pasta, cereal (if someone feels the need  to consume these kinds of foods, he should prefer varieties low in carbohydrates and high in fiber).
  • Normal, low-fat or skim milk.
  • Fruits, except avocado, tomatoes and olives.
  • Nuts or seeds.
  • Foods that combine proteins with carbohydrates such as lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans and other legumes.


Atkins diet food list – Foods allowed in Phase 1

Most fish, poultry and meat do not contain carbs, therefore you are permitted to consume these foods. However, you must ensure the daily intake of 12 to 15 grams of net carbohydrates by eating vegetables. Listed below are the foods that may be eaten in the first phase of the diet:

Fish (all including the following) Poultry (all including the following) Seafood (all including the following) Meat (all including the following) eggs
solea chicken crab bacon grilled
herring duck mussels beef fried
salmon goose oysters * ham ** poached
sprat turkey shrimp lamb boiled
tuna quail squid pork omelet
trout pheasant veal scrambled

Keep in mind that mussels and oysters contain more carbohydrates, so we need to limit to about 100 grams per day. Be cautious about processed meat because it may contain sugar, and that would increase the consumption of carbohydrates. Also, meat with additional salt is prohibitive. The eggs are actually very nutritious and are a staple food in the Atkins nutritional approach.


Cheese contains carbohydrates, in an amount of about 1 gram of carbohydrate per 28 grams of cheese. WE can eat 84 to 112 grams of cheese per day. Cheese that may be consumed in the Atkins diet and the content of its carbohydrates, are presented below:

Type of cheese serving Size Net Carbs (gr)
Blue cheese 28 grams 0.7
Cheddar 28 grams 0.0
Cow, sheep,  goat cheese 28 grams 0.3
Cream cheese 28 grams 0.8
Feta cheese 28 grams 1.2
Gouda 28 grams 0.6
Mozzarella 28 grams 0.6
Parmesan 1 tablespoon 0.2
Swiss cheese 28 grams 1


The Atkins diet suggests consuming approximately 12 to 15 grams of pure carbohydrates from vegetables per day, which corresponds to several cups, depending on the amount of pure carbohydrates contained in each vegetable. The vegetables allowed to be eaten in the first phase of the Atkins diet and the carbohydrate content is presented below:

Vegetable Portion Net Carbs (gr)
sprouts 2 tablespoons 0.2
celery 1 0.8
radish 56 grams 0.3
leek 1 tablespoon 0.1
cucumber 56 grams 1
White radish 56 grams 1
endive 56 grams 0
Fennel 56 grams 2.2
iceberg lettuce 56 grams 0.1
mushrooms 56 grams 1.2
parsley 1 tablespoon 0.1
peppers 56 grams 2.3
Radicchio 56 grams 0.7
Romaine lettuce 56 grams 0.5

The vegetables below contain more carbohydrates that the salad vegetables listed above. These vegetables are also rich in nutrients and add variety to your everyday diet. Again don’t forget that anyone who follows this plan must ensure that he does not exceed the limit of 12-15 grams of carbohydrate per day.

vegetables portion preparation   Net Carbs (gr)
artichoke  ¼ of normal boiled 4
asparagus 6 stems boiled 4
avocado 1 whole raw 3.5
Bamboo shoots 112 grams boiled 1.1
Beetroot 84 grams canned 4.7
broccoli 84 grams boiled 1.6
Brussels sprouts 56 grams boiled 3.8
Brussels 56 grams Boiled or raw 2
cabbage 56 grams Boiled or raw 1
eggplant 84 grams Boiled or raw 1.8
leeks 28 grams boiled 1.7
okra 56 grams Boiled or raw 2.4
green olives 5 2.5
black olives 5 0.7
onion 56 grams raw 4.8
pumpkin 56 grams Boiled or raw 2.8
peas 56 grams cooked 3.4
spinach 56 grams boiled 0.4
Cherry tomatoes 1 raw 2.2
turnips 56 grams boiled 2.2

Salad garnishes allowed

kind portion Net Carbs (gr)
Crumbled bacon   3 slices 0.0
Boiled eggs 1 egg 0.0

Herbs and spices

We can use the following herbs to improve the taste of food, provided they do not contain added sugar. Herbs and spices and amount of net carbohydrates:

kind portion Net Carbs (gr)
basil 1 tablespoon 0
Cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon 0
Dill 1 tablespoon 0
garlic 1 clove 0.9
Ginger 1 tablespoon  sliced ​​root 0.8
oregano 1 tablespoon 0
pepper 1 tablespoon 0
rosemary 1 tablespoon 0
sage 1 tablespoon 0
tarragon 1 tablespoon 0
Sautéed mushrooms 56 grams 1
Sour cream 2 teaspoon 1.2

Salad Dressing

Any salad dressing that contains no added sugar and no more than 2 gr of net carbs per serving is appropriate for the Introduction phase in the Atkins diet. The portions correspond to average of 1 to 2 tablespoons. Salad Dressing and amount of net carbohydrates contained:

kind portion Net Carbs (gr)
Blue cheese 2 tablespoon 2.3
Caesar 2 tablespoon 2.3
Italian 2 tablespoon 3
Lemon juice 2 tablespoon 2.8
oil and vinegar 2 tablespoon 1
Ranch 2 tablespoon 1.4

Fats and Oils

These foods do not contain carbohydrates but a portion should not exceed a dose of one tablespoon. Foods allowed are:

• Butter
• Mayonnaise with no added sugar
• Olive oil
• Milk cream, concentrated or light (attention for carbohydrates)


• canola
• Walnuts
• Soya Beans
• Grape Fruit
• Sesame
• Sunflower
• Safflower

Particularly for soy beans and safflower, it is proposed to avoid high temperatures during cooking, while it is recommended to use olive oil for sautéing food. 

Artificial Sweeteners

Acceptable sweeteners include sucralose, saccharin, stevia and xylitol. It should be noted that each piece of sweetener (usually a small cube) contains one gram of carbohydrate and we should not consume more than three per day. This is due to the fact that while sweeteners do not contain carbohydrates, manufacturers put a small amount of carbohydrates to keep them compact.


Every day we should consume at least 8 glasses-servings of approved liquids-drinks listed below to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalances:

  • Clear broth (without additional sweeteners)
  •  Club soda
  •  Decaf or regular coffee and tea
  • Flavored Seltzer (no calories)
  • Dietary refreshments (pay attention to the total carbohydrate)
  • Herbal tea (without added barley or fructose
  • Water (at least 8 eight glasses of 240 ml per day), including filtered water, mineral water and tap water

 Specifically, coffee, tea and similar beverages that contain caffeine are allowed depending on the level of individual need and tolerance. If we observe symptoms of hypoglycemia or sugar carvings due to caffeine, we should then avoid the use of such drinks. If there is addiction in caffeine, it would be better to not consume any caffeinated beverages during   the introductory phase.


Alcohol is not allowed during the introduction stage but can be consumed in the second stage in moderate amounts and the person can still lose weight, although this is likely to happen at a slower rate. The maximum one glass of wine per night is proposed.

Tags: , , , ,

About the Author

George Conte is a student of Nutrition and Dietetics, a fitness and healthy living enthusiast. After seven years of personal experience with weight loss, exercise and a total body transformation where he managed to burn 121+ pounds of fat he became the founder of A website dedicated to help you overcome obesity and transform your life the same way he did!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top ↑