Phase 2 of the Atkins Diet is known as ongoing weight loss. In this phase, you will continue to lose weight at a slightly slower pace than in the induction phase. Your food options in Phase 2 include some nuts, berries, and yogurt. Also, the total net carb allowance per day ranges from 25-45 grams. In Phase 2, you will discover your body’s tolerance for certain types of carbs. In general, it’s best to add new foods gradually to give your body a chance to adjust to the new menu, which can also include some dairy foods and certain fruits.
This phase can be relatively short, depending on your body’s reaction to the new menu. Most people move on to Phase 3 once they are within 10 pounds of their goal weight. The average person loses about two or three pounds per week while in Phase 2. If your weight loss suddenly drops off or stalls, stay in Phase 2 for as long as it takes to begin losing weight again. It’s also appropriate to stay in this stage if you are experiencing specific food cravings.
Every food that was allowed in the induction phase is still acceptable for eating during Phase 2. This includes a variety of proteins, like fish, beef, eggs, and chicken; many salad vegetables, such as lettuce and cucumber; some types of cooked vegetables, including squash and broccoli; and some kinds of cheese. In addition, certain new foods can be introduced a few at a time, with a goal of building up slowly by about 5 additional grams of carbohydrates daily. Some lower-carb dairy items are now allowed, include low-fat cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and ricotta cheese. Many nuts can be added, such as walnuts, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds. Acceptable fruits during Phase 2 include fresh blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, as well as honeydew melon or canteloupe. One 5-gram serving sizing of any of these fruits is about a quarter of a cup. You can add small amounts of lime or lemon juice to foods at this point. Tomato juice is also allowed in Phase 2.
It’s important to be aware that many people have a “trigger food” that they can’t enjoy in Phase 2 because it creates cravings for those individuals. A small portion of the trigger food might lead them to binge. Some people choose to simply keep avoiding their trigger foods in Phase 2. Another way to handle this problem is reducing your overall carb intake by a few grams, staying to the lower end of the 25-45 gram range.
Remember, there can be multiple ways to measure how much weight you’re losing. Some people find it more helpful to step on the scale weekly, rather than every day, due to minor weight fluctuations that occur from day to day. Additionally, notice other ways to measure your progress. Your weight loss might be more noticeable when measured in inches rather than pounds. Your clothes may feel looser, and you might have more energy than before.
In Phase 2, the primary goals are continuing losing weight as well as feeling in control of your appetite. This phase is a way to gradually and safely add more variety to your diet. However, it is best to view this phase of the Atkins Diet as a way to take baby steps into a broader menu of food choices. For most people, it is most effective to increase their net carb intake by only about 5 grams at a time in order to continue losing weight in Phase 2.