Have you reached your desired weight on a low-carbohydrate diet and now want to maintain it?

Slowly incorporate healthy carbohydrates into your diet until you get to at least 160 grams daily (that's three servings of dairy or calcium-fortified soy, five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables and four servings of whole grains, such as whole wheat, brown rice, barley).

Week 1

Add high-fiber, whole-grain cereal and milk for breakfast.

Week 2

Add two or more fruits as mid-morning and afternoon snacks.

Week 3

Add two slices of whole grain bread for a sandwich at lunch.

Week 4

Add a yogurt snack.

Week 5

Add a couple of high-fiber, bean-based vegetarian meals to your week.

Remember: If you add carbs back too fast, you risk gaining a lot of water weight. If high cholesterol is a problem, reduce saturated fats, which are found mainly in animal products. Switch from fatty meats, dairy products and butter to fish, poultry, lean meats, fat-free or low-fat dairy products and oil.

Many on the Atkins diet lose weight without exercise, but if you want to maintain your results or lose even more weight, adding physical activity to your routine will give you the boost you need.

-- Katherine Tallmadge