Be Prepared to Succeed on a Lower-Carb Diet

Are you tired of starting diets again and again or of gaining and losing the same pounds? Are you frustrated by knowing you need to lose weight but just can’t face being hungry all the time? Do you keep making the same mistakes with food and sabotaging your own efforts?

Controlling carbohydrates can end this cycle—if you do it the right way. When following the Atkins Nutritional Approach, you can increase your chances of success by investing a bit of time and effort in preparation.

Planning Ahead

Do your homework, and you’ll finally be able to make that permanent lifestyle change that can get you on the road to weight control and better health.

The most important first step is to acquire the knowledge you need to follow the plan correctly and understand why controlling carbohydrates can be a viable, healthy lifestyle. For starters, read “Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution.”

Timing Is Everything

Choose a time to begin when you feel well in control of your life. It’s best not to begin making lifestyle changes during times of intense stress, vacations, holidays or when traveling. If you are anxious to get started, you can still moderate your carbohydrate intake by cutting down on sugary foods; but for the best results, wait a bit until your life calms down.

Rid the Kitchen of the ‘No-No’ Foods

Try to dispose of all the foods that aren’t allowed on the plan. If this is not possible, store your high-carb foods in one hard-to-reach cabinet, and stay away from that cabinet. Remember: Out of sight is out of mind.

Stock up on the foods that you are allowed. Be sure you have a variety of protein foods to help control hunger.

Make a Shopping List and Stick to It

First and foremost: Don’t shop when you are hungry!

The Atkins plan focuses on eating whole foods. Shop the periphery of the grocery store and avoid those aisles stocked with packaged, processed foods, which are usually found in the middle aisles of the store.

Don’t Just Change Your Diet—Change Your Attitude

A diet is something most people think of following for a period of time until they go off it and try something else. That “something else” may be the newest crash-diet fad or their old way of eating that caused weight gain in the first place. Forget about dieting this way. Take the long view and make a real lifestyle change. This means forgetting about a specific time frame—you have the rest of your life. Think in terms of feeling better, controlling your appetite so that you can find the “right” amount of food that works for you, and put your scale away. Managing your weight and your health is not a sprint—it’s a marathon.

There are many other strategies you can use. Be creative. You have nothing to lose but the unwanted weight. Better strategies lead to better outcomes.

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