How to Count Carbs on the Atkins Diet

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The Atkins Diet is a regimen that asks you to regulate the number of carbohydrates you consume each day to lose weight. Dr. Robert C. Atkins believes that you can lose weight, keep it off, and set the stage for a healthier lifestyle if you reduce your intake of carbohydrates. If you have been on any other kind of “counting” diet, however, you know it isn’t always easy to keep track of the number or amount of anything over the course of a day, especially if you live on the go.

Make yourself familiar with the fundamentals of the Atkins Diet. Read books, pick up a “Carbohydrate Gram Counter,” and get to know your foods. Be aware that fiber content reduces the total carb count and you are interested in net carbohydrates.

Accept that “white foods” (rice, white bread, treats made with regular flour, much pasta) are high in carbohydrates and you must avoid them in restaurants and the office coffee room. Don’t even bother to count, just say “no,” especially in the initial phase of the diet.

Select dark green, leafy vegetables. Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, lettuce and spinach are low in net carbs. So is zucchini. Carry your carbohydrate counter with you to the grocery store and use it to answer questions on the fly. Read product labels for carbohydrate counts.

Find low-carbohydrate recipes on the web or invest in a low-carbohydrate cookbook. Many cookbooks and recipes today identify a meal’s nutritional value, which makes it easy for you to know how many carbohydrates are in a dish before you cook it.

There are plenty of ways to satisfy a sweet tooth on a low-carbohydrate diet; again, look at the packaging information. Don’t assume that something is low-carb simply because it is low-calorie or low-fat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Read Dr. Atkins's book. Understand the principles of this diet.
  • Stick with the program--don't grow discouraged if your weight loss slows.

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