Two years ago I tried on a dress for my friend’s wedding, looked in the mirror, and hated what I saw. I stood there, staring at myself, crying, wondering how I got to that point. I weighed in at 192 and knew something had to change. I came across the Atkins diet, went on the Atkins 20 plan, and my life was forever changed. I focused, put in the hard work, and came out feeling confident, healthy, strong and 73 lbs lighter on the other side – and you can too! I learned what worked for my body and left what didn’t. Here are a few tips that helped me along the way.
- Never let yourself go hungry. In other words, EAT! The Atkins diet encourages you to have three meals and two snacks per day, or five or six small meals, whichever you prefer. Either way, snack regularly! Eating low carb snacks every few hours helps keep you satisfied, maintains your blood sugar and keeps your energy at a sustainable level. I found that keeping Atkins meals, shakes, bars and treats on hand helped when hunger strikes!
- Hydrate. Drink at least 8 oz glasses of water each day. If you are active, drink more! Yes, two of your daily cups can come from coffee, tea, or broth (vegetable, chicken, beef, or bone are all good for you). Dehydration makes your body retain fluid as a protective mechanism, so make this a priority!
- Count net carbs, not total carbs. This is a common mistake for newcomers to the Atkins diet. Net carbs are the grams of total carbs minus grams of fiber. On the Atkins 20 plan, your daily goal is to intake 20 net carbs, which is the average level at which fat burns. It’s best to eat 15 grams of carbs per day in vegetables, saving the other 5 for meat, cheese and other necessities. (Definitely cheese!)
- Plan your meals. Take time every Sunday to plan your meals for the week, make your shopping list, and stock your kitchen only with approved food. Order Atkins prepared meals, shakes, snacks, and more to help along the way. Click here for a $5 off coupon! Once you register, you’ll get free weight-loss guides and coupons to save on their delicious products.
- Supplement your diet with vitamins to ensure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Multivitamins help improve energy levels and reduce sugar cravings, electrolytes will assist with headaches or fatigue, fish and flaxseed oil can improve blood circulation, and fiber can ensure a healthy digestive system. These will all make sure your body is working in sync and feeling good.
- Exercise daily. Whether it’s a walk after dinner, a yoga class, a group fitness class, or going for a swim, exercise builds muscle. And the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn. Get out there!
- Track your success. Take photos along your journey, keep a food and fluid intake journal, and write about challenges or achievements that come up. Atkins even provides free diet tools to track your weight loss goals and progress. I have found these trackers especially helpful in times when I wanted to give up. It wasn’t an easy process, but seeing my day 1 photo next to my day 30 photo helped me when I wanted to eat that chocolate cake on day 60.
So whether you just started the Atkins diet or you’re trying to figure out if you should take the plunge, Atkins can help you get there with determination. If I can do it, you can!
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