Food List for Atkins Diet Induction Phase

Food List for Atkins Diet Induction Phase | Phase 1

Atkins diet is a low carb diet that helps you to lose weight through focusing on protein and fat consumption. In the 1960s the Atkins diet was developed by Robert C. Atkins who was a cardiologist. A study showed compared to other popular diets Atkins is the most effective weight loss diet. Apart from weight loss this diet has several other health benefits too. The diet is divided into various phases for weight loss and maintenance and each phase has different rules for eating foods and deciding their portion of consumption. At the initial stage the diet allows you to consume very less carbohydrates. This early phase of this diet is called the induction phase. So, if you are new to this diet or about to start this diet program then we are here to help you by providing you a food list for the Atkins Diet induction phase.

What is the Induction Phase of Atkins Diet?

The Atkins diet is divided among 4 phases. Induction phase is known as phase 1 which is designed to jumpstart your weight loss journey. It is the beginning of the Atkins diet where you focus on low carbs nutritional food consumption. As the phase progresses gradually you can consume more carbs keeping appetite under control.

The phase 1 continues for 14 days however one can continue this depending upon how much weight he/she whants to lose.

Goal of Induction Phase

Under phase 1 of Atkins diet a person is allowed to consume 20g of carbs per day. In this phase a person only consumes high-fat, high-protein foods with low carbs vegetables. Following this process your body starts burning fat as a primary energy source which helps in losing weight. Then gradually add healthy carbs into your diet.

Food List for Atkins Diet Induction Phase

What to Eat?

Fish and Seafood:

Apart from being a rich source of protein and healthy fats, fishes are a good source of vitamins, calcium and minerals. For the induction phase we recommend you to consume 4-6 ounces of fatty fish and seafood. These fishes are:

  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Sardines
  • Mackerel
  • Flounder
  • Cod fish

When you are looking to lose weight though Atkins diet, protein becomes the main component to maintain muscle mass. The protein based food list for Atkins diet induction phase focuses on meat consumption as meat is an excellent, no net carb source of protein.

  • Beef
  • Bacon
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Ham
  • Veal
  • Chicken

Some processed meats may contain some amount of sugar so it is better to avoid them.


Atkins food list for phase 1 is all about low carb and high protein and fat based food consumption so similar to the meat, egg is also high in protein but along with that, egg contains vitamin A, and antioxidants too. Eggs with rich in omega-3 or pastured are great for the Atkins diet. Adding egg to the diet with some vegetables and topping helps you to enjoy your meal keeping protein consumption high. Some excellent egg items in Atkins diet are:

  • Deviled
  • Omelets
  • Poached
  • Fried
  • Hard-boiled
  • Scrambled or Soft-boiled etc.

Atkins food list for induction phase emphasizes on protein consumption. We recommend you to consume at least 4 to 5 ounce protein per day during this phase. The poultry products are good sources of protein with no net carbs in them. During this phase one can consume foods from following resource:

  • Chicken
  • Cornish hen
  • Goose
  • Duck
  • Quail
  • Pheasant
  • Turkey
  • Ostrich
Fats and Oils:

Along with protein the Atkins diet focuses on fat based foods consumption as well. Since in the induction phase or phase 1 a dieter is not allowed to consume carbs hence fat is needed to function the body. We recommend to consume 2-4 tablespoons of daily added fats.

We also suggest not to consume processed or cooked oil instead the dieter can consume olive oil, walnut or sesame oil. Full fat and oil resources are:

  • Butter
  • Mayonnaise
  • Vegetable oils
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocados
  • Avocado oil
  • Cream
  • Full fat yogurt
Low-carb Vegetables:

Some amount of carbs are required to run our body functions and during the induction phase vegetables are one of the main sources of carbohydrate. The dieter must consume 12 to 15 grams of net carbs every day from low carb vegetables. These vegetables are:

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Leeks
  • Olives green
  • Olives black
  • Onion
  • Pumpkin
  • Tomato plum

Drinking enough fluid is required as this may help you to lose weight. Drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day is required during the phase 1 of Atkins diet but you must pay attention towards the composition of the beverage as the beverage can be filled with hidden sugar and carbs. So, here are some drinks that you must not consume during the induction phase of the diet.

  • Water
  • Green Tea
  • Coffee
  • Club soda
  • Diet Soda
  • Unflavored soy/almond milk

What Not to Eat?

There are some foods that are high in carbs or low in fat and protein, which you should avoid during the induction phase of the Atkins diet. These foods can be fruits, sugary baked goods, pastas, grains, breads, nuts. Here are some of the foods that you must not consume during this early phase of Atkins diet.

  • Processed or natural sugar
  • Trans fats
  • Starchy vegetables like; yams, corn, potatoes and winter squash
  • Pasta
  • Baked items like; bread, cake, donuts, candy
  • Whole grains like; oats, brown rice, quinoa and farro
  • Whole-milk dairy
  • Nuts, seeds and their butters
  • Fruit high in sugar (mango, banana, pineapple)

Apart from these food items alcohol is also not allowed during this phase.

The Atkins diet offers an effective way to lose weight. The diet focuses on weight loss through fat burn which makes the weight loss journey faster and easier. Putting your body into Ketosis is not easy as this requires correct food choice in each of its phases. The above shared food list for Atkins diet induction phase would help you to meet the requirements of this diet. On the other hand there are some risk factors of this diet. People with increased risk of heart disease or high cholesterol should be monitored. People with kidney disease and diabetes are also not allowed to accept this diet program. Additionally, since the diet is a low carb diet so there are some side effects too; such as constipation, diarrhea and nausea. Hence, before starting off this diet it is better to consult with your doctor or dietitian.

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