If addictions do reappear-in the form of food obsessions and cravings-you're probably indulging too much in the foods that got you into trouble to begin with. The vicious cycle of hyperinsulinism and resultant low blood-sugar levels, combined with the possibility of specific food allergies or intolerances, can create an addictive situation. When you go back to bread, fruit or fermented foods, you may suddenly discover that you must have these foods, that no day or meal feels right without them. Observe yourself carefully. You are engaged in a real battle for self-control as your defenses crumble. You'll notice that the need that develops is genuinely physical. It isn't simply that you know pasta tastes good, and you'd like to have it. No, your body absolutely roars with anxiety and passion for that pasta. You are under its spell. When this happens, you'll know.
Such addictions aren't shameful; they're physical, biochemical, metabolic-and that's precisely why you must avoid them. Most of you already know that for a significant portion of your life, excessive quantities of carbohydrates have been stronger than you. Don't trifle with them now.
As soon as you suspect your carbohydrate cravings are returning, you are confronted with a true health emergency that demands immediate action. You must cure them by returning to the Induction phase for several days until you get your cravings under control. Carefully doing Pre-Maintenance will help prevent you from once again being controlled by your cravings.
By the time you finally reach your goal weight, you are by definition officially in phase four, Lifetime Maintenance. As we move into this next phase of Atkins, you absolutely must ease into your Lifetime Maintenance regimen, rather than make an abrupt transition. The next chapter will explain how to do just that.
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