Sunday, January 12, 2014

Atkins Induction Day 11 - A Newbie's Guide to Meal Planning!

Well whaddayaknow! We DO eat salads during Atkins Induction!
When you first start out on Atkins Induction, meal planning may feel daunting. How do you count carbs? How do you know you won’t run out too soon? How do you know WHAT to eat!? Oh my! Intimidating! You only have 20g of Net Carbs during Atkins Induction? As I’ve demonstrated on my fasting days (not part of Atkins Induction), it’s easy to eat 20g of net carbs in a single meal! The CHALLENGE is figuring out how to spread those carbs over an entire day – 3 meals and possibly snacks if you need them!

But really, as you gain experience, it’s super easy and much of the fear and uncertainty goes away. It’s the fear (that stress hormone cortisol) that’s gonna kill ya. Relax. Take it slowly. It’s ok. Most likely it won’t matter if you “PACK” you lettuce into the cup or if you loosely tumble it into the cup-despite the carb count being much different! (Pssst - that's why I use a digital scale whenever possible. But it's not mandatory or anything like that.)

Here’s how I plan a day of Induction when I’m eating my full 3 meals. Try as I might, because I’ve been low carbing a long time, I can’t eat snacks. I’m too full from the 3 meals. Most of the time it’s a struggle to eat 3 meals. I prefer eating 2 meals. But when you’re first starting out, you will be thankful for the 3 meals, plus both snacks!!

STEP 1 – Determine when you’re the most hungry during the day. Most of us already know this intuitively. Remember, the idea is NOT to feel like you’re dieting. Avoid situations that make you experience deprivation. Deprivation is COMPLETELY optional! 

STEP 2 – Plan that meal first. If you’re hungriest in the morning, make breakfast your big meal. If lunch is your booga-bear, make it the biggest, but if you’re like most, you’ll want dinner to be your big meal. Planning your favorite meal first ensures you will ALWAYS have a carb budget left to eat whatever you feel like eating! It can change on a daily basis, too!

STEP 3 – Divide the rest of your budget between your other 2 meals. Or, if you know you’re not big on breakfast, go light on it and allow a couple more carbs for lunch.

STEP 4 – Make any snacks carb-free. If you do that, it’s still possible to eat your snacks and a dessert, ensuring you’re not hungry and that in the early days you never go more than 3-4 hours without eating. It’s hard (not impossible) to binge when you’re chock full of food!

STEP 5 – If hunger does occur…and it might, especially in the first 2 weeks, it’s due to blood-sugar roller coaster rides while your body tries to get its insulin dosage correct. Don’t panic. Reassure yourself. Note the hunger. Observe it. But don’t act on it. Experience it. Hunger does not constitute an emergency and usually doesn’t mean you MUST eat.

(IMPORTANT!!! Now please know, there are some people with hypoglycemia where some forms of hunger do mean you MUST eat. But those times are usually accompanied by other signs and signals such as cold sweats, shakiness, anger outbursts, etc. And it’s never good to undertake a new diet of any kind without talking to your doc first! Especially if you are on any medications, especially diabetes drugs including metformin, blood pressure meds, cardiac meds, etc! Get the picture?)


STEP 1 – I am ALWAYS hungrier in late afternoon or dinner time.

STEP 2 – I plan dinner first. Actually I plan my day in reverse! We’re gonna be out most of the afternoon, so I know it’s gonna be leftovers. Hurray! It’s the first salad of my 2 weeks Atkins Induction experience!

Remember the Beef Enchilada Dip? There were leftovers.
Time to use some of them up!

Taco Salad made from leftover Beef Enchilada Dip. YUM!

Dinner Day 11 - (609 Calories; 46g Fat (67.1% calories from fat); 32g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 121mg Cholesterol; 14g Net Carbohydrate)
1/2 serving Beef Enchilada Dip
2 cups romaine hearts
1 ounce grape tomatoes
1/4 avocado
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 ounce cheddar cheese
4 black olives, large, pitted, canned, Lindsay Ripe Olives
(Wow! Some salads have a LOT of calories and carbs in them! Surprise!!! NOT!)

STEP 3 – I have 6g Net Carbohydrates left after planning dinner. Oh nooooooooo-ses!!! But relax. No stress mon. Remember? So breakfast is not a big thing for me. I usually must force myself to eat!!! The next meal I plan will be lunch! I’ll make it super low carb!

Lunch Day 11 – (Lunch (287 Calories; 18g Fat (56.3% calories from fat); 28g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 124mg Cholesterol; 3g Net Carbohydrate)
1 can sardines in olive oil
1 serving pork skins
2 ounces cucumbers
1 ounce grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, custom
(Wow! What a carb bargain lunch was. It is possible to have a satisfying meal for less than 5g of Net Carbs!)

Breakfast Day 11 – ((267 Calories; 22g Fat (72.5% calories from fat); 15g Protein; 4g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 455mg Cholesterol; 2g Net Carbohydrate)
3 cups decaffeinated coffee, black, unsweetened
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups baby spinach
1 clove garlic
(Wow! Breakfast with only 2g of Net Carbohydrate! Easy, peasy, light and breezy!)

STEP 4: Make any snacks carb free. I consider “trace” carbs to be “carb-free” as long as I make sure to adhere to the serving size that denotes “trace.” It’s Saturday. We usually eat dessert on Saturdays and we love Jello!

Dessert - (61 Calories; 6g Fat (87.8% calories from fat); 1g Protein; trace Carbohydrate; 0g Dietary Fiber; 20mg Cholesterol; trace g Net Carbohydrate)
1 serving sugar free gelatin
2 tablespoons sugar free whipped cream

Atkins Induction Day 11 – Daily Totals (1224 Calories; 92g Fat (66.7% calories from fat); 76g Protein; 27g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 720mg Cholesterol; 20g Net Carbohydrate)

STEP 5: Relax. Take 3-5 deep, slow breaths if/when hunger hits. Drink all my water. Note any hunger and deep breath through it. Reassure myself I’m under no threat and the next meal will be within hours.


How do you handle meal planning on Atkins Induction? Please be sure to leave a message so we can get a glimpse into your reality!

The saga continues...join Fluffy Chix in their new nest!


  1. Fantastic information, tips and tricks, Susie!


    1. Muah! You sure know how to make a fluffy chix feel needed!



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