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"Praise does wonders for the sense of hearing."
As Fall sets in and the realization of holiday stress about to come hits us, we always get more
letters that deal with the frustration of dieting when an expected level of success is not
immediately seen. Here's one such letter, and some advice I hope many of you can use.
I'm feeling really frustrated with my diet. I started low-carb about 3 weeks
ago and have stayed FAITHFUL to induction for this long... No bread; no
pasta; no rice; no potatoes; no nothing other than salad and chicken or ham.
For breakfast I have a scrambled egg with cheese and maybe some bacon or ham
in it and sometimes I fix up some tuna with just tuna and mayo.
I expected to lose quite a bit in the first few weeks, but I haven't. I lost 8 lbs
then a few days later I'd lost 2 lbs now a few days after that I've GAINED 3
lbs!! And I don't retain water hardly EVER so I don't think that's it... I'm
almost to the point of forgetting it and going to the low-calorie diet.
I WANT to lose weight so badly but this doesn't seem to be working for me. Do
you have any words of encouragement or any advice that might help me? I'm
25, 5'8 and weigh 273 lbs. I want desperately to lose about 120 of that.
I just don't understand why Atkins isn't working. A friend of mine said
that The Zone has worked for her. Do you know anything about that one or how
well it works?
First, you have to leave your expectations at the door. Otherwise, you
WILL be frustrated. Many people go into this seeing that some drop
20+ pounds in a few weeks and think they will too. Your loss rate is
not dissimilar to mine when I started. And I lost well over 100 lbs.
Forget the 3 pound gain... if you are not cheating and your sticks
are purple (you didn't say if you are using them), the 3 pounds will
disappear. Everyone has fluctuations like this... often more in the
first 2 months of low carb than any other time. It will right itself.
Your body is making adjustments. It's not 3 lbs of fat, I assure you.
So in reality, you've probably lost 10 pounds in 3 weeks. That's not
bad at all. At that rate, you could lose 100 pounds in a little more
than 6 months. You won't of course, as it will slow, and you'll
encounter stalls, but it's a good guidepost to help you see the forest
for the trees. The day we stand there looking down on those numbers
on the scale, that's all we see. The future and the long term seem
like blurry concepts. Those "damned" numbers are your reality at that
If you continue, you WILL succeed. I am positive. But there ARE some
things you need to be doing:
That's it. And don't switch plans. I so often see people try a diet
for a few weeks and when they don't lose fast enough, they move on to
the next. It hurts their chances of success more each time they do
that. Your body has to keep fighting, and soon it will hang on to
every fat molecule for dear life.
- Get some adequate fiber. If you want to stay at very low carb levels
for the time being, that's fine, but eat a handful of almonds or
macadamia nuts every day. And some celery sticks would be great too.
Dip them in ranch if you like (but read the labels and do NOT use one
that contains High Fructose Corn Syrup... it will stall you MUCH faster
than plain sugar.) When your weight loss becomes more regular, please
add some low carb veggies back into your daily plan. Especially those
like broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower.
- Take your supplements. Take a good multivitamin WITHOUT iron. I take
2 One a Day "Antioxidant Formula" pills each day. Also take Acetyl
L-Carnitine, and CoEnzyme Q-10 (at least 75mg) each day. Since you're
eating so little veggies, I suggest taking Vitamins C & E as well.
- Drink your water. 64 oz a day. No exceptions. Soda doesn't count.
Tea doesn't count.
- Avoid Aspartame. It slows weight loss in MANY low carbers (me
included.) If you want a soft drink, select one sweetened with Splenda.
- Avoid trans fats (hydrogenated oils). Read labels. Don't use
regular shortening, margarines, "vegetable" oil, or corn oils. Choose
oils like walnut, macadamia, almond, peanut, or light olive oil.
Trans fats deposit themselves with your other lipids but defy breaking
back down. They'll keep you fat.
- Remember to breathe... Really. Take 5 minutes each morning and
evening to be aware of your breathing and make it regular and deep.
The extra oxygenation not only keeps you relaxed, but helps burn
- During the first phase of weight loss, do NOT eat items that contain
sugar alcohols (maltitol, lactitol, sorbitol, etc.)
- I know it's hard, but try not to weigh yourself more often than
every 3 days. I know others say each week, but I don't think any of
us have that much willpower.
- Keep track of your calories for a week. You might be eating so
little that your metabolism has slowed to adjust. You might also
be eating too MANY calories. While calories matter far less to low
carbers, they do still count. Shoot for between 1600 and 2000 calories
a day. You shouldn't have to keep counting... it's just so you
get a clear picture of how much (or how little) you're consuming.
I hope this helps, and that you'll continue. You need to be aware that
this is an eating plan for life, and not a short-term diet. Make it
something you love and can live with. Eating the same things day in
and day out are not a good idea. Remember that Slim Fast slogan, "It's
your life; feed it right"? They have the wrong food to be feeding it,
but their catch phrase is a valid one. Low Carbers have a world of
delicious foods that other dieters only dream of... and these ARE the
foods to keep us trim and healthy. Take advantage of that. :)
Copyright © November 2003 Lora Ruffner and Low Carb Luxury
Low Carb Connoisseur
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