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  #1   ^
Old Sat, Mar-19-05, 16:15
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
Posts: 12,028
 
Plan: Bernstein Diabetes Soluti
Stats: 260/-/145 Female 5' 3"
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Michigan
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I know a lot of us are very anxious to arrive at our goal weights as fast as possible, but our bodies don't always seem to want to cooperate with us. It's a frustrating fact of weight loss that stalls can and do happen to most of us at least once during our weight loss journey and weight loss isn't always as fast as we would like it to be. Stall-busters are sometimes needed to nudge a resistant body into resuming weight loss, but they can be, and often are, abused. Sometimes all that is needed is to just be patient and wait it out.
So...before you jump into the latest fat fast, meat and egg fast, Stillmans, etc....here are some things to ask yourself:

1) Am I really stalled or am I just being impatient? A stall is defined as 4-6 weeks without loss of weight or inches. Going for 2, 3 or even 4 weeks without weight loss, while admittedly frustrating, is not a good reason to rush into drastic measures such as fat fasting or meat and egg fasts. Sometimes our bodies need some time to take a break, readjust or just plain put the brakes on for a while. Trying to override that may only prolong the stall and could wind up making your weight loss journey more difficult than it has to be.
Doing a fat fast (or any other fast) because weight loss isn't as fast as you'd like it to be (in other words, you're still losing, just not as fast as you'd like) is a bad idea and will more than likely backfire on you making weight loss even more difficult (slower loss, more frequent stalls, having to consume fewer calories due to lowered metabolism) even if it does result in the loss of a few quick pounds. We'd all like to wake up at goal weight tomorrow, but realistically weight that took us a lifetime to accumulate isn't going to be lost in a few weeks, months or even in some cases, years. Patience is definitely the name of the game. Weight loss of 1-2 pounds a week is considered realistic and safe weight loss and while a few lucky folks may lose faster, the majority do not and some will lose slower. See this link for some thoughts on realistic weight loss: Did you really expect all your progress to be losses?

2) Am I eating too much? While Dr. Atkins did state that most following his plan would not need to count calories, he never said that they don't matter at all. If you are unsure of how many calories you consume in an average day, consider using a free online program such as MyP.L.A.N here on this site to track what you eat for a week. The numbers may surprise you and reveal the reason why you have stalled. Another point to consider is that as we shrink so, too, do our caloric requirements. If you are getting close to goal and have now stalled it may be that the calorie level that you lost well on when you were 50 pounds heavier is too high for you to lose on now that you are 50 pounds lighter. If that's the case, you have a few options: drop your calorie level slightly, increase your level of activity or both.

3) Am I eating too little? Old low fat/low cal habits die hard. When weight loss slows, it's often second nature to start cutting calories even further in an attempt to keep the scale moving at the same pace it was. This practice can backfire, however, because when calories are cut too low the body responds by lowering metabolism in an effort to conserve what little energy is coming in. Many people have found that if they raise their caloric intake slightly, weight loss picks up again shortly after that.

4) Have I really been following the plan or have I been kidding myself into thinking "a little bite here and there won't hurt me"? If you've been indulging in little cheats here and there, recommit yourself to following the plan as written...no cheats! Dr. Atkins himself said, the "just one bite won't hurt me" line of thinking was the kiss of death to this WOE.

5) Have I been jumping from one plan to another without giving each plan an honest trial before deciding to try something different? Frequently switching plans every few days or weeks, especially if they are quite different from one another, only serves to further confuse your body.
Pick the plan that you think you can best live with long-term and stick with it for at least 4-6 weeks before deciding to try something different. If you aren't sure which plan would be best for you, see this link for a good comparison of the major low carb plans out there: Plan comparison
The same advice goes for making too many changes to your plan too often. If you make a change, give it a week or two before deciding whether it did or didn't work and only change one thing at a time.

6) Have I been overusing low carb treats and products? While low carb treats and other products can certainly make our busy lives easier, add variety and be a plan-saver when faced with temptation, many have found that using them too much (sometimes using them at all) causes weight loss to stall. If you have been consuming low carb bars, shakes, candies, breads, sauces, desserts, etc...several times a day and they have come to take a prominent place in your daily menus, consider setting them aside completely for a few weeks and note whether or not weight loss resumes. Once you do decide to add them back in again, choose a few that you *can't live without* and only have them a few times a week at most.

7) Is this my second, third, fourth attempt at low carbing with periods of high carb eating and weight re-gain in between? Yo-yo dieting (weight loss followed by weight gain) tends to make our bodies more resistant to weight loss with each successive attempt. If you have a history of yo-yoing, it's especially important to be patient with your body and not jump right into various fasts. See this link for a good discussion on the effects of yo-yo dieting. You may already have a slowed metabolism from yo-yoing. Tactics like fasts can potentially slow it even more (sometimes using a bigger hammer just does more damage!). You may also have to accept slower weight loss this time around and perhaps more frequent/longer lasting stalls. Once again, pick a plan that best fits you and what you think you can live with long-term and stick with it. Slow weight loss may test our patience, but it's better than no weight loss or, worse yet, steadily gaining.

8) Am I exercising? Yes, I know it's hard work, but choosing to skip exercising on a regular basis is not a good option when weight loss is desired unless your doctor has specifically told you not to. Along with aiding weight loss, exercise helps build fat-burning muscle, reduces stress, helps you sleep better, increases metabolism, builds cardiovascular strength and endurance and generally just makes you feel good. I've often said to my DH that I exercise because it feels so good when I stop; I mean that in more than one way.
If you're not exercising, start an exercise program before resorting to stall-busters. If you haven't done any regular exercise for a long time, check with your doctor before you begin. Pick something that you enjoy doing (or can learn to enjoy doing ). If you're already exercising, consider increasing the duration or intensity of your exercise regime. Shake things up a little; add some weight resistance to your cardio routine or some cardio to your weight resistance routine!

9) Have I ruled out all possible stallers ? Carb creep, food allergies, medications, thyroid, hormone and other medical problems, food additives and preservatives can all potentially cause a stall. Rather than immediately resort to stall-busting when your weight loss comes to a standstill for longer than 4 weeks, examine your menus closely for possible stallers, record what you are eating for a few days (be honest!) to make sure that you aren't consuming more carbs than you think and consider seeing your doctor for a checkup to make sure that there isn't a physical reason for your lack of weight loss.

10) Am I already at goal despite what the scale says? While we may not like the number that the scale shows us, our bodies often have other ideas about what is and is not a healthy weight. Consider also that weight loss through low carbing preserves lean body mass and can often add to it, leaving us smaller even though we are at a higher weight than previously at the same size since, pound for pound, muscle takes up less space than fat. If you are already at a reasonable weight for your height but still feel *fat*, consider toning and weight resistance training rather than trying to force the number on the scale lower. After all, the goal is to have a smaller body, not necessarily just a smaller number on the scale.

Okay...if you've read through and tried all of the above, given it a realistic amount of time to work and you're still stuck, then a stall-buster may be needed. Proceed with caution and don't stay on a stall-buster for more than 3-5 days. Have a plan in place for how you will transition back to your normal low-carb eating once you have completed the stall-buster diet and try to not be tempted to repeat the process too often (see all of the above before deciding to do it again).

Here are more links with further thoughts on stalls/plateaus/slow weight loss:
http://www.lowcarb.ca/tips/tips008.html
http://forum.lowcarber.org/showthread.php?t=30075

Last edited by Rosebud : Mon, Dec-21-15 at 00:08. Reason: Removing broken links
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  #2   ^
Old Sat, Jul-30-05, 08:55
kebaldwin kebaldwin is offline
Thank you Dr Atkins!
Posts: 4,146
 
Plan: Atkins induction
Stats: 311/250/220 Male 6 feet
BF:45%/20%/15%
Progress: 67%
Location: North Carolina
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Good list - I would recommend one more.

For guys that were athletic and then it all turned to fat, at some point your weight will stall while you are buring fat and building muscle. One pound of muscle is like 1/5 the physical size of one pound of fat.

Your waist (and other locations of fat) will be shrinking (so you can see inches change). But I have been stalled at 250 for two years now, but have gone through three belts and you can see the muscles getting bigger. And I typically eat like 3,000 calories per day with almost no aerobic exercise.

The low carb diet is great for building muscle. With all the protein and amino acids in meat and eggs -- if you take the "mega" multivitamins -- throw in some zinc and magnesium -- do some strength training -- it is a muscle building phenom (in addition to fat burning).

So you are correct in that it is not just weight. You have to look at inches - fat getting smaller in inches and muscles getting bigger in inches.

I would say that if you don't see any improvement (or you don't receive any compliments) for like 3 or 4 months -- then you might be stalled.

A lot of guys stop low carb diet at this point -- just when they will start to see great improvement.

People need to throw out the mindset that this is just a weight loss diet. Low carb diet is an all around, multi-purpose health diet. Weight is just one indicator of how healthy you are.
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  #3   ^
Old Mon, Oct-17-05, 11:19
Citruskiss Citruskiss is offline
I've decided
Posts: 16,864
 
Plan: LC
Stats: 235/137.6/130 Female 5' 5"
BF:haven't a clue
Progress: 93%
Thumbs up

Just wanted to thank you for this post - I've been referring to it often lately as I try to refine my WOE. I *was* tempted to try that meat & egg fast, but after reading this thread, I realized that I truly haven't been doing all that I can do on the Atkins plan anyway - it makes so much more sense to go back to induction and eliminate things that could be causing my stall.

I've stalled since April. I also stayed away from these forums for awhile because I was too busy dealing with some personal stress and didn't have the energy or motivation to post or read.

I've since returned, and after a couple of weeks of reading (and in particular, this post of yours), I've managed to:

1. eliminate nuts
2. eliminate Diet Coke
3. decrease coffee consumption (too much cream for me)
4. stop thinking, "Oh a glass or two of wine won't make any difference" - I've now cut that out too
5. stopped eating those Reese's 1 carb Peanut Butter cups
6. water consumption is up ever so slightly - still working on it
7. cheese consumption is down to more reasonable levels
8. I'm eating more regularly again (got into a habit of not eating till like 2pm there for awhile, now I'm eating my breakfast again)
9. I'm back to actually measuring the blue cheese dressing, caesar salad dressing, ranch dressing etc. Because these dressings are so thick, it's easy to overdo it on portion sizes. Now I just make sure I mix it into my salads instead of gooping it on.
10. eliminated pork rinds

So thanks a bunch - it was your post that made the difference in my decision to "get real" with myself.

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  #4   ^
Old Mon, Oct-17-05, 11:24
kebaldwin kebaldwin is offline
Thank you Dr Atkins!
Posts: 4,146
 
Plan: Atkins induction
Stats: 311/250/220 Male 6 feet
BF:45%/20%/15%
Progress: 67%
Location: North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Citruskiss
10. eliminated pork rinds


WHAT ??? I was agreeing with all your cuts (it is a good list of things to cut) - but why pork rinds?
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  #5   ^
Old Mon, Oct-17-05, 11:27
Citruskiss Citruskiss is offline
I've decided
Posts: 16,864
 
Plan: LC
Stats: 235/137.6/130 Female 5' 5"
BF:haven't a clue
Progress: 93%
Default

I was eating too many of them, and they are pretty salty - so I rationalized that perhaps the salt content (I was eating the extra spicy ones) were causing me to retain water.

Just a guess - I'm just doing everything I can to tweak this Atkins plan I was on back to normal, instead of some convoluted version of it.

Next up - exercise. When I get back from my trip (leaving tomorrow, returning Sunday), I'm gonna start just doing the exercise I should have been doing all along.

Now, I've said that to myself many times before, but I believe myself a bit more now because I've made all these mini changes in the past couple of weeks, so I seem a bit more credible to myself now...lol!
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  #6   ^
Old Tue, Nov-15-05, 16:39
wykitt23's Avatar
wykitt23 wykitt23 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 163
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 291/240/210 Female 5 feet 9 inches
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Illinois
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what is carb creep? =( I dont think i like him too much =) ehhe
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  #7   ^
Old Mon, Nov-21-05, 15:23
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
Posts: 12,028
 
Plan: Bernstein Diabetes Soluti
Stats: 260/-/145 Female 5' 3"
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wykitt23
what is carb creep? =( I dont think i like him too much =) ehhe


Carb creep is when you stop closely tracking your carb intake (for example, just keep a running tally in your head during the day) and wind up eating more carbs than you should without really being aware of it.
The only way to see if this has happened is to go back to more closely tracking your carb intake for a week or so. Honesty with yourself is really important here...count your carbs based on average meals and snacks that you have been eating for the past few weeks, not going back to induction and then counting.
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  #8   ^
Old Mon, Nov-21-05, 20:56
taming's Avatar
taming taming is offline
Still Wicked
Posts: 10,686
 
Plan: none currently (WFPB now)
Stats: 235/112/120 Female 151 cm (4.11 1/2)
BF:
Progress: 107%
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Good post Lisa. I wonder if it might be good to talk about the never ending induction somewhere in point 3.
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  #9   ^
Old Wed, Dec-07-05, 18:14
Lisa N's Avatar
Lisa N Lisa N is offline
Posts: 12,028
 
Plan: Bernstein Diabetes Soluti
Stats: 260/-/145 Female 5' 3"
BF:
Progress: 63%
Location: Michigan
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by taming
I wonder if it might be good to talk about the never ending induction somewhere in point 3.


Perpetual induction is a definite issue, but the tips above were meant to be broad low carb, not specific to Atkins.
That and it's hard to tell someone to get off induction when Dr. Atkins himself said that if a person had a lot to lose, they could safely stay on induction for 6 months or longer. Then again, Dr. Atkins also said that those with 20 pounds or less to lose could safely skip induction altogether and just start in OWL.
My personal opinion in the matter is that it's generally a bad idea to stay on induction or at very low carb intake levels all the way to your goal weight because you learn absolutely nothing about what your body can and can't handle or what level of carb intake (or sources of carbs) will be good for you to maintain on once you do reach goal. Losing weight is great, but the purpose of all those phases is so that by the time you reach your goal weight, you'll have a fairly good idea what you'll need to do to maintain those losses.
Staying on induction all the way to goal results in a lot of yo-yoing up and down with weight while the person figures out all the stuff that they should have figured out while they were losing.
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  #10   ^
Old Wed, Dec-07-05, 19:20
taming's Avatar
taming taming is offline
Still Wicked
Posts: 10,686
 
Plan: none currently (WFPB now)
Stats: 235/112/120 Female 151 cm (4.11 1/2)
BF:
Progress: 107%
Location: Alberta, Canada
Default

Don't some of the other plans also have an initial phase--not necessarily called induction, mebbe the advice would be to move through the plan, not stay in phase 1, whatever it is called, all the way to goal.
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  #11   ^
Old Tue, Jan-24-06, 10:20
MarieB MarieB is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 557
 
Plan: Atkins 220.5lbs Jan 2007
Stats: 250/220.5/150 Female 5'5"
BF:?/?/25%
Progress: 30%
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Default Induction addiction

What if you're one of those people who is HIGHLY sensitive to carbs? I have tried a few extra carbs for a few days and I actually have ended up GAINING weight. I was up to about 40 grams a day (not purposely, it was PMS carb creep) and I discovered that I gained about 4 pounds. Now I'm back on 20 grams a day and the weight won't budge, despite my exercise program. Is it possible for a woman to gain 2 pounds of muscle in less than a week of weight training?

Also, my waist seems to be bigger than ever. I was on low carb before, and got within a few pounds of my goal weight. Then I fell off the wagon, tried to lose, fell off again, and so on... until I gained back 40 of the 80 pounds I had lost. Now, it doesn't seem to want to come off after 2 years of yo-yoing. I know I need to stick with it, whether I lose weight or not, for my health. However, it can be discouraging to work so hard and not see the progress I feel I need to motivate me to continue.

P.S. The cream in the coffee is a BIG danger. I counted it as 1-2 carbs from cream, but when I noticed I was gaining despite being on low carb, I measured how much I was actually putting in my coffee and/or coca. It turns out I was adding 4-5 oz of cream EACH time I had it. During a few days of PMS, I was having 2-4 mugs of hot coca (0 net carbs) per day, which turns out to be an extra 8-20 grams of carbs, not an extra 3 or 4 like I was thinking! Needless to say, I now have my coca black.

Anyway, any advice or encouragement would be fantastic. Thanks for the thread, it's a very helpful reminder.
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  #12   ^
Old Fri, May-12-06, 01:00
Miss Katz Miss Katz is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 211
 
Plan: my own
Stats: 200/144/120 Female 5'4"
BF:?%/21.4%/15%
Progress: 70%
Location: NYC
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well it's possible to retain 4lbs of water. I use to worry alot about my stalls and water weight, but now I'm not worried, I stalled a month on this diet, but I kept doing it and eventually the scale moved. It's all about patience and covering your bases of course. Carb creep etc. Sometimes I think people get impatient because they have a specific goal date, I decided to be flexible with mine, I'd say by next Fall or end of summer I want to lose 20lbs. If I don't, I don't, but I'll keep trying if it takes me forever. Bad thing about falling off diets is that you'll have to go back to one eventually. Might as well stay on it. Oh and I don't think you can gain muscle that fast, but I read somewhere that V shaped bodies, like mine, gain muscle mass easily and I use to suspect that before. I know it can be discouraging, but the more patient and persistent you are, the stronger and wiser you become. I never thought I'd be this calm about the scale not moving so fast. I read that eventually people don't lose more than a pound or two a week (of fat) because the body is designed to store it, not lose it. Trust me, I know how frustrating this can be, be stronger than this moment or day, because that's really all it is, tommorrow hasn't happened yet. Glad you discovered that cream, I did too, eventually and gave it up. I can't stand only being able to have 2 spoons
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  #13   ^
Old Tue, May-16-06, 22:43
kbfunTH's Avatar
kbfunTH kbfunTH is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 1,240
 
Plan: UDS
Stats: 199/190/190 Male 69
BF:12%/11%/6%
Progress: 100%
Location: Pflugerville, TX
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Good read Lisa. Thanks for posting it.
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  #14   ^
Old Wed, Aug-02-06, 15:19
HtotheIzzo's Avatar
HtotheIzzo HtotheIzzo is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 36
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 320/205/170 Male 6
BF:
Progress: 77%
Location: Stockton, California
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Seriously thanks for the info!
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  #15   ^
Old Thu, Feb-15-07, 14:58
dividedsky dividedsky is offline
New Member
Posts: 19
 
Plan: Atkins/my own
Stats: 280/260/240 Male 77
BF:
Progress: 50%
Location: Portland, ME
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First of all, this is a fantastic list for people to check why they're stalling. One of the most complete lists I've ever seen, I think you hit just about every point.

However, kebaldwin makes a really good point as well, especially for guys that are doing a lot of exercise and weight training while they are on a low carb nutrition plan. Itís an excellent nutrition plan to build muscle, and youíre right Ė if your waist is shrinking a bit while your scale stays the same, thatís actually ideal for men.

There is a bit of a gender difference between the goals of men and women when it comes to changing your diet, and I think this touch upon one of them. Guys may want to look better just as women do, however if you ask most men, they donít want to lose muscle mass through the process, and for guys who lift, if there is even a hint that any given diet might reduce some solid muscle, they wonít even go near the diet. I realize women donít want to lose muscle tone, but women may not be as concerned with muscle mass and building muscle the way men might be. So to echo what kebaldwin says, if your waist band feels like it has some more room, and you donít see your weight going down Ė congratulations. Youíre looking better without becoming frail.
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