One of the most challenging aspects of all low carb diets can be the availability of snacks.
On most other diets, ie those based on lowered calorific and fat intake rather than carbohydrate intake, snacks are readily available.
On low card diets however, especially in the induction phases where carbs are most strictly controlled, snacks can be very hard to come by. If you know where to look however there are a few snacks out there.
Pork scratchings will usually contain either no carbs or a very low amount, and for those not familiar with them are basically anonymous looking pieces of pork dried and salted. They also go by other similar names dependent on your location such as pork rinds, pork crackling etc.
There are also refrigerated snacks such as pepperoni sticks, processed and cooked chicken pieces, bite size cheeses and the like which can usually be found in low carb varieties.
Similarly preparing cooked meats yourself such as bacon or flavored chicken pieces to eat later on in the day is also another widely used method of having snacks at the ready.
There are also increasingly diverse specialist low carb foods such as chocolate bars available although they should always be thoroughly checked out before buying. In many cases although they are indeed low in carbs, they are usually still far too high to eat for example on the induction phase of atkins and are more suited to phases three or four. Frustratingly not every brand displays this infrormation on the packet however.
For those of us that like a drink once in a while, or more often given the right levels of stress, the low carb diets can at first glance appear to be rather limiting.
Beer for example contains high enough amounts of carbs in most cases to make it unfeasible in all but the smallest quantities.
Wine too for the most part contains far too many carbs to be considered a regular indulgence on most low carb diets. There is some variation between red and white, sweet and dry etc, although a typical serving of most remain at the upper limits of the amount of carbs you can consume and continue to lose weight.
Most traditional cocktails are off the menu simply due to the fact that they contain one or more ingredients high in carbs although similarly there are low carb options.
Truly carb free options do exist however in the form of distilled alcohol. To wit drinks such as vodka, rum, most kinds of whiskey, gin and brandy.
Mixers such as cola also contain carbs for the most part although in most cases the diet versions of these are carb free and are safe to use.
Although in general the rule for one kind of drink will tend to carry across the board, different brands will vary in the nutritional content of any kind of drink. Checking the carb content particular brand you intend to drink is therefore always a prudent move ahead of time when possible.
A common difficulty of low carb diets usually experienced early on is cravings. Some people will crave bread, some pasta and some potato chips but inevitably most will encounter them at some stage. Fortunately these cravings tend to dissipate after a few days and are usually at their worst the first few days after the diet is started.
Drinking plenty of water is essential to the success of the Atkins diet and if not done properly will hamper weight loss even if the rest of the diet is adhered to religiously. Consuming more water not only encourages the body to retain less water over time but is also needed for metabolyzing fat and expelling excess ketones from the body. In short significant weight loss is impossible without it!
As with any other diet, exercise is encouraged with the Atkins diet however certain forms may appear to hamper weight loss in the short term. Vigorous cardio exercise will cause the body to lose a lot of water and so in the short term, perhaps a day or two, will also cause it to retain more water for a short time afterward.
Weight gain through weight lifting similarly can tend to be accelerated somewhat when on the Atkins diet, although of course this in itself over the longer term helps with fat loss as well. The Atkins diet being particularly suited to gaining muscle due to the amount of readily available protein in the body.