The Atkins program is based on the premise that low-carb diets can help burn body fat and promote weight loss. Because there are four phases in the Atkins diet, acceptable Atkins breakfast foods will vary based upon the current stage you're in. Phase 1 allows the fewest number of carbs and each stage thereafter allows an increasing number of carbohydrates. Be sure to pay attention to serving sizes, as they are important to your success in Atkins.
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Phase 1 Breakfast Foods
According to the Atkins website, eggs are one of nature's most nutritious foods, and because they are low in carbohydrates, they are ideal for the first phase of the Atkins diet. Because certain cheeses contain few carbohydrates, they are also allowed on Phase 1. An Atkins diet Phase 1 omelet could include one egg, with 1 ounce of mozzarella, cheddar or Swiss cheese and two to three servings of non-starchy vegetables. Low-carb vegetables ideal for an omelet include 1/2 cup of peppers, 1/2 cup of mushrooms, 1 tablespoon of chives, 1/2 of an avocado or 1/4 cup of onion. Alternatively, eggs can be served with 2 to 3 ounces of bacon or steak. Finally, a low-carb protein bar can serve as a quick and easy Phase 1-friendly breakfast for a busy morning.
Phase 2 Breakfast Foods
On Phase 2 of the Atkins diet, all of the breakfast foods from Phase 1 are allowed. Additional Phase 2 Atkins foods that are suitable for breakfast include 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of unsweetened plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cantaloupe or honeydew and 1/2 cup of tomato juice. You can add berries to Greek yogurt or have cantaloupe with cottage cheese, along with tomato juice. Alternatively, you can blend up berries with veggies for a low-carb smoothie.
Phase 3 Breakfast Foods
The breakfast foods on the first two phases of Atkins also make suitable breakfasts for Phase 3. In this phase, additional fruits are allowed, including 1/2 of an apple, one small banana, 1/4 cup of cherries, 1/2 cup of mangoes, one small peach, 1/2 cup of watermelon, one small plum, one kiwi, 1/2 cup of grapes and 1/2 cup of guava. Phase 3 also allows for either a 1/3-cup serving of rolled oats or a 1/4-cup serving of steel cut oats -- two more ideal breakfast foods.
Breakfast on the Maintenance Phase
The final phase of the Atkins diet is meant to be permanent. In this phase, you can include the breakfast foods from the previous phases while gradually increasing portion size and total carb consumption until your weight levels off. According to the Atkins website, if there were certain foods that you tried to reintroduce in earlier phases without success, Phase 4 is the perfect time to experiment with these foods again. The idea behind Phase 4 is to find a balance that will help you maintain a steady weight permanently.
- Atkins: The Program: Phase 1: What Low Carb Foods You Can Eat in this Phase
- Atkins: The Program: Phase 2: What Low Carb Foods You Can Eat in this Phase
- Atkins: The Program: Phase 3: What Low Carb Foods You Can Eat in this Phase
- Atkins: The Program: Phase 4
- Atkins: Healthy Breakfasts: Easy Low Carb Breakfast Ideas