Atkins Diet: Phase Two: Ongoing Weight Loss

Raspberries and blueberries
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Carbohydrates are slowly and carefully added to the diet. Weight loss slows to a recommended 1-2 pounds per week. Dieters figure out how much carbohydrate they can eat and still lose weight. This point is called their Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CCLL).

What You Eat:

Each week, dieters raise their carb level by 5 grams per day until the appropriate level is reached. Since more carbohydrate will be progressively added to the diet during this phase, Atkins recommends it be done in a priority order he calls the “Carbohydrate Ladder”, where more vegetables are the first foods to be added, and whole grains the last.

Atkins provides lists of foods in 5 grams increments to help dieters figure out their daily menus.

Length of Phase:

Phase Two is continued until the dieter is 5-10 pounds from their goal weight.

Goals of OWL:

1) To determine the Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CCLL).
2) To expand food choices, and learn to make wise ones.
3) To continue weight loss at a safe rate.
4) To continue to eat at a carb level low enough to limit cravings and appetite.


Menus depend upon carb level. At first, you would just add 5 carb grams of vegetables to your day. Then, you might have some berries with breakfast or as a dessert. As your diet broadens, add foods from the ladder. Atkins for Life has examples of menus at various carb levels.

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