Not everyone needs to start Atkins in Phase 1, Induction. It’s fine to start in Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), rather than Induction, if:
- A person has no more than 15 pounds to lose.
- He is a vegetarian or a vegan.
- Weight isn’t an issue, but he wants to feel better and have more energy.
As part of the personalization inherent in the Atkins Diet, there is also the option of starting in OWL if:
- Weight loss goals are modest (no more than 25 pounds) and the person is physically very active.
- Regardless of current weight, there is a willingness to trade more variety in foods for losing weight a bit more slowly.
How to Start in OWL
- Begin at 25 grams of Net Carbs.
- Eat foods found on the Acceptable Phase 1 list, as well as nuts and seeds, which are the first rung of OWL foods on the Carb Ladder.
- Assuming weight loss is reliable and extreme hunger or cravings aren’t a problem, continue to slowly add OWL foods, following the Carb Ladder.
- If weight loss doesn’t happen or occurs very slowly, begin Atkins anew in Phase 1, Induction, to jump-start fat burning. Once it kicks in—as evidenced by a weight loss of more than a couple of pounds and diminishment of cravings—return to OWL, where better results than initially experienced are likely.