In order to follow the Atkins Diet plan, you must begin monitoring and controlling your carbohydrate-intake. There are specific foods that are allowed and not allowed during certain portions of the plan. In particular, you must refrain from eating "bad" carbs such as processed, pre-packaged foods and junk foods like cookies in favor of a protein-rich diet.
The Atkins Diet consists of four stages: induction, ongoing weight loss, pre-maintenance and maintenance. Induction requires limiting carb-intake to 20 grams a day. Ongoing weight loss allows you to increase your carb intake by five grams. Maintenance (having hit your goal weight) means you may introduce more carbs back into your diet -- you must choose healthy carbs instead of refined carbs (like white bread). If you re-gain weight, you can restart the plan again at any time.