Atkins Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance Is Truly for a Lifetime

Lifetime Maintenance Is Truly for a Lifetime

Stick with the fourth and final phase of the Atkins Nutritional Approach and your weight problems are history—but digress, and you're headed for trouble.

The bells should be ringing, the flags should be flying: You're there! You've arrived at the place you were meant to be. And the impact on every part of your life is enormous. Take a good long look in the mirror, try on your newly tailored clothes or climb into duds you haven't been able to shoehorn yourself into for years, and then—oh, bliss—listen to the comments people make. Losing weight sure attracts attention. And who doesn't want to look his or her best?

Now for a reality check. Have you won the battle of the bulge? Or have you only graduated from boot camp, in shape now for the battle ahead? The truth is that you have achieved the latter. All too many overweight individuals reach their goal weight four or more times, only to gain back the pounds every time. Their fatal flaw: always trying to return, as closely as they could without giving up Atkins altogether, to their old way of eating. I hope you have learned better on your weight-loss odyssey. Recidivism among people who have lost considerable weight is such a well-documented phenomenon that many cynical doctors advise their patients not to even bother trying to lose1.

Fortunately, with Atkins such pessimism is unwarranted. But this is not to say you don't need an eating plan accompanied by unceasing vigilance. The former is the Lifetime Maintenance phase; the determination to succeed is your responsibility. To enjoy long-term success, you need to have the strength of conviction.

Probably as you traveled along the slow Pre Maintenance path, one day you realized you were actually in Maintenance: Your weight remained constant within a pound or two for several weeks. The decisions to move from Induction to Ongoing Weight Loss and from OWL to Pre-Maintenance were conscious choices on your part. But it is not always easy to define the moment at which you leave Pre-Maintenance and move to Maintenance; the former segues naturally into the latter. But from now on, you will have conscious choices to make every day of your life.

Here is a brief reminder of why it is worth making the right choices. By now, you should know this by heart, but in this case a little repetition is a good thing. Adhering to Maintenance will:

-provide you with a way of eating that allows you to stay slim for the rest of your life

-allow you to maximize the amount of healthy carbohydrate foods you can eat while staying within three to five pounds of your goal weight

-prevent readdiction to foods that have gotten you in trouble before by helping you to avoid frequent exposure to them

-teach you how to drop back to an earlier weight-loss phase, when needed, to achieve lifetime weight control

-train you to make the healthiest carbohydrate choices, which will allow you to continue to stay in control of your eating habits, feel your best and maintain improved blood-lipid levels, blood pressure and other lab test results, as well as optimize your blood pressure, energy and more
teach you how to adjust your carbohydrate consumption when metabolic circumstances change, before you find yourself regaining inches and/or weight

-reduce your risk factors for cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and other sugar metabolism disorders

-give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence that spills over into the rest of your life
Re: Atkins Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance Is Truly for a Life

My dad was on atkins diet for 3 months and he lost about 40 pounds.. He only ate vegetables and white meat(mostly fish), no bread, no carbohydrates of any kind. I felt sorry for him :cheesy: