Hi! My name is Nikole and I write for healthybalanceddiet.org. What is the Atkins Diet? The Atkins Diet involves 4 phases and at the start of the diet all carbs are removed from the meals of the dieter because Robert Atkins believes that over-consumption of carbs causes weight gain. He also believes that most of the people who are overweight happen to have a problem with their bodies converting carbs to glucose (insulin resistant) and with this he thinks that strict carb restriction could resolve this. The daily intake of carbs in the diet should only be 15 to 60 grams and dieters are encouraged to take in foods high in protein and fat instead. In order for ketosis to occur, the intake of carbs should only be 40 grams per day because once fat is broken down the formation of ketones occur and appetite is naturally suppressed. The Atkins Diet involves 4 phases. Phase 1: Induction This is during the first 14 days of the weight loss program. The goal of the dieter here is to avoid the bad carbs in order for ketosis to happen. This is also where the dieter loses weight the fastest. There is a limit of 20 grams of carbs per day and vitamin supplements will be recommended. Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) This is followed where the dieter may increase carb intake depending on the person but needs to make sure that there is ketosis. In order to monitor ketosis, a dieter may buy Ketostix (litmus-type strips that change color between pink or purple to tell if you are in ketosis or not and they can be bought at drugstores) if you happen to be not in the state of ketosis then you may have to lower your carb intake. Phase 3: Pre-maintenance Once the dieter reaches within 10 lbs. of their goal weight, comes the Pre-maintenance phase. The goal here is to reach a certain level of carbs as you reach for your goal weight. Phase 4: Maintenance This is going to be something that the dieter will be using for the rest of his/her life. Your ideal carb intake which you have found out during the pre-maintenance phase is what you will be following. You should also be responsible for monitoring your weight because our bodies change within the course of time and the tolerance of carb intake may also change which can either cause weight gain or loss.