View Full Version : How long can I stay in the induction phase ?

03-20-2009, 01:52 AM
My goal is to lose a significant amount of weight( *135 lbs.*) I would like to burn the fat and loss the weight in the induction phase for a longer period of time than the 2 weeks suggested. Is it safe to extend the induction phase for a longer period of time ? If so, how long could I stay in the phase ? Can I extend it several months ?
Any advise will be appreciated ! :-)

03-20-2009, 02:01 AM
It is safe to stay in induction much longer than 2 weeks. I am in the same situation, where I have a lot of weight to lose, so I too will stay in the phase until I am ready to slow down my weight loss.

You can stay in the first phase as long as you would like and need to, just be SURE once you move on, that you do follow the next phases as well. I made the mistake of losing weight and not going to the final stage of maintenance (many years ago). I thought I was fine, and eventually let myself get back into my old habits.

My advice: don`t make the same mistake I did. This time around I am going to be sure to stick with it completely and be sure I follow each stage once I`m ready to move on.

Just be sure you are eating enough and taking vitamins. :) and continually drink TONS of water :)

03-20-2009, 05:32 AM
You can stay on induction longer than the 2 weeks but you may find you hit a stall where your weight loss slows dramatically and this often indicates that you should move on to OWL. It is the OWL stage where you will lose most of your weight. Most people find that induction is a bit restrictive after a while and really hanker after some different foods. This puts them at risk of eating off plan and ruining their hard work. Most of the weight apparently lost in induction is actually fluid weight the major fat burning engine usually kicks in when you move to OWL.
Of course when you move is entirely up to you some people have stayed on induction for ages but you should aim to move through all the Atkins stages to ensure that the weight loss in permanent.
Good luck with your choices.

03-20-2009, 09:52 AM
The book says it doesn`t matter how long you stay on induction......some stay on for 6 months or more. You are going to lose the most amount of weight on induction so don`t drop it too fast or you may become discouraged when the lbs are not coming off as quickly. Good luck and stick to it.

03-20-2009, 09:59 AM
OK, I`m going to just chime in here! I am one who believes Induction should be done only for 2 weeks no matter how much weight you have to lose.

I would be a rich woman if I had a nickel for every person who came back here - having gained back all their weight because they stayed on Induction for too long and never learned how to properly move through the phases.

Induction is only about readying your body for weight loss and most of your weight should be lost in OWL. Yes, the book says you can stay on for 6 months, yes, Induction can be done safely for longer than 2 weeks. But, I have just seen too many times where it backfires for people.

Just my 2 cents worth...


03-20-2009, 10:01 AM
You may find that your weight loss will stall even while induction if you do it for an extended period of time. I lost 9 pounds my first week of induction only 2 the next. When I moved on to OWL and added more veggies I lost more steadly.

I`m one of those who believe that induction should only be 2 weeks. Induction is really about cleansing your body and getting it ready for OWL which is where most of your weight will be lost. The initial pounds lost on induction are mostly water anyway.

I think there is also a mental boost that you get by moving to OWL. Induction felt like a diet to me. OWL feels like a lifestyle. OWL is all about learning how to eat correctly and still lose. That isn`t a part of induction to me!

But the decision in yours!


03-20-2009, 10:01 AM
Sorry to disagree, Rookie, but the majority of weight loss should be on OWL.
Induction may be followed for more than 2 weeks, but it is the most restrictive phase of ANA. The possibility of feeling deprived or bored with the limitations leads many to slip back to old eating habits.
The purpose of induction is to get the body ready for weight loss. The purpose of OWL is to lose most of your weight while learning the foods your body tolerates and learning your carb limits.
When you are within 5-10 pounds of your goal, you move to pre-maintenance.
I started with a goal of losing 80 pounds. Induction jump-started my journey, but I stalled when I tried to overstay my welcome. Starting OWL, which is only adding 5 more net carbs of veggies in the first rung, got my loss started again. I have traveled from 215 to 178 since December.
The goal of ANA is not to lose, but to be healthy and maintain long-term weight loss. Keep your eyes on the ultimate prize and don`t rush the journey.

I hope this helps.


03-20-2009, 10:02 AM
Paula!!! You`re home!! YEAH!!!

Welcome back... Good to see you :-)

03-20-2009, 10:07 AM
I am in agreement with the 2 week induction limit.

If you remain in induction and you hit a stall or a plateau you cannot drop down a level.

Plus you get a greater variety of food if you move on and apparently that is thr spice of life ;)

Owl is your own personal experiment into what food your body can handle and what level of carbs.

So go on, experiment on yourself.

03-20-2009, 11:22 AM
Gotta say, all you ladies know exactly what you`re talking about.

Take the Induction training wheels off and learn to _ride!_

Hi Paula, glad you`re back and hope you`re well.


03-20-2009, 11:24 AM
It all depends on metabolic resistance and how much you lose in the 2 weeks. I belive with 135 lbs to lose you can stay in induction for a while. I stayed 4 weeks, my metabolic resistance is Average.

03-20-2009, 12:18 PM
So glad to see this question come up. I asked the same one a while back, only worded differently, and got two responses that didn`t tell me much.

I`ve wondered about staying on induction longer as well, because I have 74 pounds to lose. But, I`m wondering if I should move on because during induction, I`ve basically eaten between 20 and 25 carbs a day. So, maybe I`m sort of in OWL already.

Moving to OWL seems scary. As for the two weeks and out people, I can see where that makes sense, get on with it and really learn to eat to lose (and be healthy).

03-25-2009, 01:48 PM
Well ! I am so thankful for all your input. I am overwhelmed with all your suggestions and opinions. THANK YOU so much for caring enough to write me a note.
I must now confess to you that this is my SECOND go around on the Atkins Approach. I am currently 62 years old and approx. 5 years ago I went on the Atkins for the FIRST time. I weighed in at 320LBs. over the next 12-15 mos. I lost 120Lbs reaching my lowest weigh of 200 Lbs. . Most of it in the induction phase. I can tell you this, I also worked out at the gym at least 4-5 days a week. The weight just rolled off me. My energy was up and I looked and felt like a completely different person. I made a big MISTAKE that most all of you have already identified to me. I abused the induction phase for over a year. Over the last two years, in particular, I have gained all my weight back plus another 13 pounds. To say that I am upset with myself is an understatement ! I want and MUST do it right this time. You have confirmed to me that induction phase serves a start-up purpose and only that purpose. In order to change my eating life style permanently I must follow the program to completion (Phase 1 thru 4 ). .
For anyone out there that is just beginning the program DON`T do what I did and abuse the induction phase thinking that it will accelerate the weight loss and will be permanent weight loss. It doesn`t work that way. I can personally testify to that theory. A painful lesson.
Once again, Thank You to all that provided me with your suggestions. This time around I`ll follow the four phase program to achieve my goal and permanently change to a life time of healthy eating habits permanently.

03-25-2009, 01:51 PM

Glad to hear it! I`m one of those "Induction = 2 weeks" kind of people with only very limited (did I say VERY limited) exceptions.

Atkins doesn`t equal Induction, so overstaying your welcome there just doesn`t make sense to me. Feel free to take your time climbing the rungs of OWL - but do start the climb!


03-25-2009, 02:01 PM
Wow, all this is so good to hear. I have over 100 pounds to lose and had planned on staying induction a bit longer too. (Part of my issue is fear of slow loss due to my thyroid issues - but I am on medication - I am GOING TO BE OK!

03-25-2009, 02:03 PM

While it`s "safe" to stay in Induction longer, I don`t think most people "need" to do so...

If slow weight loss is your concern, you might try moving to OWL, first rung - and then hanging out there for a while. 25 net carbs with 15-20 coming from veggies isn`t too big of a step past induction and gives you somewhere to go when you want to try some higher rung foods...


03-25-2009, 02:07 PM
Great answers! Good job.

The only danger of staying in Induction too long is that you have no place to go when that dreaded plateau comes around and you never find your carb tolerance. You need not worry about health risks, but we need to work on moving you up the ladder and finding your carb tolerance.

It may be very low since you lost and gained a lot of weight, 25 or 30 or 50 grams daily, but we need to find it.

You can do Induction longer than two weeks since you have a lot of weight to lose, but don`t get stuck there or use it as a crutch and don`t be afraid to add another 5 net carbs. 8 asparagus leaves will not cause you to gain weight.

You have a great team here of veterans to help you through. Nice to have you on board and a permanent Atkins lifer.