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Meal Plan for the Induction Phase of Atkins

author image Barbara Froek
Barbara Froek is a dietitian and fitness trainer who holds a Bachelor of exercise and nutrition sciences as well as a Master of dietetics, food and nutrition. She has served as a contributing writer for various diet and fitness magazines including "Flex," "Muscular Development" and "Muscle & Fitness Hers."
Meal Plan for the Induction Phase of Atkins
A vegetable omelette. Photo Credit: Elen11/iStock/Getty Images

The first phase of the Atkins diet, called the induction, is the strictest phase. It requires you to limit your carbohydrate intake to 20 net grams, which refers to the total amount of carbs minus any fiber. About 12 to 15 grams of carbs must come from vegetables. On this phase, dieters also eat lean protein, healthy fats and drink plenty of water. Phase one lasts two weeks, and then you can increase the amount and types of carbs you eat.

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Eggceptional Breakfasts

For breakfasts on the induction phase of the Atkins meal plan, try different omelets, scrambles and salads. A steak and onion scramble with 3 ounces of lean sliced beef, one-half cup of bell pepper and one-half cup of onion contains about 5 net carbs. A hearty avocado and spinach salad with 2 cups of spinach, one-half of an avocado, sliced, one-half cup of diced tomato and 1 ounce of cheese contains 6 net carbs.

Delectable Lunches

Lunches on Atkins have a little more variety than breakfasts. A chicken and broccoli dish with 1 cup of broccoli and 3 ounces of chicken topped with an ounce of cheese contains 5 net carbs. Another idea is spicy Italian sausage with mixed greens. Use 1 cup of mixed greens, 4 ounces of chopped spicy Italian sausage and top it with two tablespoons of creamy Italian dressing for a total of 7 net carbs. Try grilled salmon with sauteed cherry tomatoes. You can use 4 ounces of salmon with one-half cup of sliced cherry tomatoes and 1 cup of asparagus spears on the side for a total of 6 net carbs.

Delicious Dinners

Choose a different protein food for each dinner like lamb, chicken, fish, turkey, duck and other seafood. You're limited to protein, vegetables and cheese so avoid getting bored by making different dinners each evening. For example, grilled chicken with yellow squash and mixed greens, using 1 cup each of the vegetables and 4 ounces of chicken contains only 4 net carbs. Try duck breast with kale and mushrooms for a total of 4 net carbs. Use 1 cup of kale and one-half cup of mushrooms.

Super Snacks

You can find Atkins shakes and bars at the typical grocer. These can provide a break between the savory meals you'll eat in phase one. Shakes and bars typically contain about 5 net carbs on average. You can make quick snacks such as one-half cup zucchini topped with 1 ounce mozzarella, which contains about 2 net carbs. Or you can make some deviled eggs using 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, salt, pepper and paprika for another quick snack. Each deviled egg has about 1 net carb.

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