For low-carb diets to be sustainable, it is crucial to include plenty of "yummy." I use bell peppers, especially red or orange or yellow, eating them with cream cheese or with, say, almond butter -- both of which add significant carbs if I am not careful -- or just plain, on a broiled burger, along with a hard cheese melted on top, or in salads. The crunch of the fresh peppers is very appealing to me.
I would say I am addicted to crunch, I crave it, and it can lead me to have a few chips, especially high-fiber chips like bean chips or other more interesting kinds, and then, well a few more won't hurt, will it? Just another while I finish this post. OMG! where did the bag go?
No, it won't hurt, A few more pounds also won't hurt, or not very much. But if I do this more than rarely, it adds up.
I'm 75, and weight loss stalled maybe a year ago. Just age, yes? No. The metabolism does shift, this is well known, the body becomes very conservative, wants to keep every pound, after all, never can tell when the next famine will come along!
I needed to start looking at those little exceptions. I love my coffee with heavy cream. Heavy cream is not "high carb," same as cream cheese. However, I cannot eat "as much as I like" of these. The carbs add up. Fairly recently, I decided to get strict and cut out most of the little exceptions, such as a small piece of toast, 8 g net carbs, with my eggs, (with lots of butter). Just to see what would happen.
Weight loss resumed, as much as a pound a week.
I've reduced the amount of cream I put in my coffee. I don't drink much coffee, one or two cups a day.
Very important part of a low carb food plan: experimentation. While we are alike each other in some ways, not in all, and we are also at different stages of life. Experimentation was core to Atkins maintenance. Many people simply dropped the attention. No surprise that weight then came back.
But going for pleasure is what keeps low-carb diets sustainable. They are not "deprivation." Rather, we make choices that work both for pleasure and health.
So, yes, if you love stuffed jalapenos, by all means! Watch the stuffing, that's all, measure the cream cheese and be aware of the carb count. Look for foods you love, and make satisfied noises, both in anticipation and when you are eating and after!
(That's a transformative training trick: acknowledge what you love, and the love will increase. The language programs the amygdala. You will notice this in salivation as you think about eating.)
It will also make you a more fun person to be around!
You can give up -- or suspend for a time -- eating a food you love, but instead of focusing on what you are missing, focus on what you choose to eat!
Once you are in ketosis, hunger is suppressed, that "need to eat or else" instinct and drive, because you have plenty of food, carried around in your fat cells. So then, eat for nutrition and pleasure.
Trust your appetite, that makes eating so pleasurable! Watch out for habit, that will continue the behavior when it is no longer so pleasurable. Eating to distract from boredom is a formula for gaining weight, inexorably.
Can one gain weight on a zero-carb diet (what Atkins called very low carb)? I don't know. I suspect one would have to continue eating even if it becomes uncomfortable. I'm not planning on finding out.