Guide to the Atkins Diet Phase Four Maintenance

What to Expect in the Maintenance Phase of the Atkins Diet

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The Atkins Diet is a four-phase program that is easy to follow but entering maintenance mode can be daunting. Once you reach your goal weight, you enter phase four with a full understanding of how your body responded carbohydrates in the diet's first three phases. The Atkins' premise is that armed with that knowledge, you can maintain your weight loss permanently thereafter. At this fourth and final stage of the Atkins diet, because weight maintenance is the goal, the food restrictions are low, but the diligence and attention to detail to stay on track is higher than when you first started out. The boundaries set during induction phase protected you from over-indulging in anything that would jeopardize your weight loss, however in maintenance, that is replaced with self-discipline and self-control. Here's how to rock the maintenance phase for life.

The Need for Motivation on the Atkins Diet Maintenance: Phase Four

As mentioned above, being in a phase where there's no weight to lose and fewer restrictions than you started with, your biggest obstacle is you. Not the old you, or the new you, just the you who wakes up every day. You will have to deal with your daily struggle to find meaning and motivation in the maintenance phase. When you started on this weight loss journey, you had plenty of stimuli around to motivate you to lose weight. Whether it was the mirror, the scale, friends, family or doctors, or even how you felt about yourself, you had a regular reminder that you needed to change.

Now that you've lost the weight, paid your dues, and exercised great self-discipline to reach your goal, you may feel ripe for a reward. To stay motivated you will have to find a reason to stick to the Atkins' Diet. It could be a monthly fitness challenge, buddying up with someone who's just starting the diet or any number of things that will keep you on track, but find something, a weakness in yourself to remind you that there's still more to reach for. Without motivation to stay the course and realize new heights, you may falter during this maintenance phase. It is indeed the hardest thing to work toward something and not have many visual results, but you must endure to preserve the investment that your weight loss was for your health.

What You Eat in Phase Four of the Atkins Diet

Now that you know you need to be motivated, let's talk what's for dinner. Basically, it's a continuation of the end of Pre-Maintenance, where the carbohydrate level "balance" is found - the most carbohydrate that can be safely eaten without gaining weight. Atkins presents this pyramid as a permanent eating guide.

Length of Phase Four in the Atkins Diet

You are expected to remain in maintenance mode as you maintain your weight. So the length of the phase is supposed to be forever, however, if you regain the weight you may have to go back to the earlier phases of the program to get back to a proper maintenance weight. Either way, don't beat yourself up and stay true to yourself. See our Pre-Maintenance info here if you need to go back. If you're going full steam ahead, stay the course.

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