The Veggie Rule

If there is one thing that is misunderstood about Atkins, it is how many veggies are allowed, and the important role that veggie intake plays in health and weight loss. It’s not hard to be confused, it is not stated very clearly in the book at all.


The rule is 20 net carbs for induction, and more than half—or at least 11–of those are to come from induction-list veggies. (After induction, the carbs added are also to be primarily from veggies.)

The confusion comes because the example is given as 2 cups of veggies. To get 11 carbs from just romaine lettuce, you would need to eat about 13 cups in a day. That’s a tad more than 2 cups! But of course when he talks about salads, the assumption being you will be adding some other higher carb veggies to that. If you don’t, then you need to eat a lot more than a cup of other induction-allowed lowcarb veggies to make that 11 carbs.

I think it’s especially important to make sure you’re getting enough carbs from veggies and that you’re being careful to not get too many carbs from dairy/cheese and processed foods. That turned out to be one of the key reasons why I didn’t lose well on lowcarb at first—not enough veggies.