I have previously been on a low carb diet and lost 4 kilos in the first 2 weeks, but after i noticed that i wasn’t losing any more weight, so i ended up quitting the diet and went back to my regular diet. I’m planning on starting the atkins diet again but am worried that i won’t lose more than 4 kilos again. I was consuming 30g of carbs a day, with plenty of water. Have i done something wrong? How can i maintain my weight loss on the atkins diet?
The body loses weight very easily the first 6 weeks on Atkins program. The body readjusts for up to 2 weeks at this point, which freaks a lot of people out. They make the mistake of cutting calories (which slows metabolism) or quitting. I assumed my body had lost all it was going to lose. (I never thought I could lose weight & wasn’t even trying, I just had to quit gaining weight. I was scared of low calories so forced an extra 1000 calories a day & still lost massive amounts of weight.) So I increased my calories & carbs another 5g and a few days later “poof” I lost 10# overnight. I didn’t think that was even physically possible, but the weight lost continued albeit, much slower thereafter.
Lowering calories has the body in full conversion mode to slow metabolic process & preserve the fat stores while “releasing” lean tissues (which become extraneous). Low carb works by “releasing” excess fat stores, while low calorie works by catabolizing the body’s lean tissues & fat stores. So the body adjusts occasionally, makes sure there is plenty of food & sees there is no reason to continue holding onto excess fat stores. People think low carb is for weight loss, when in fact it is for normalizing a body & excess fat stores are not normal. Carbs force fat storage with a high carb diet & that is not normal either.
It takes the body a full 6 weeks to become fat adapted. The brain uses glucose & it takes 6 weeks for it to fully convert from being fueled by glucose to being fueled by fats. So during this (I believe, once in a lifetime) period your body is using glucose & converting excess protein to glucose. After the conversion, the body has a choice to either lower metabolic functions or release excess fat stores & your diet dictates which direction the body will go.
I lost lots of weight the first few month & then weight loss stopped. It didn’t matter what I did, the body wouldn’t release any more fat stores. Since I never planned to lose weight in the first place, I was glad to just maintain this weight loss. I continued on with low carbing for the health benefits for several years with no change in weight. I finally quit weighing altogether. I started on thyroid meds & was shocked to find that I lost 60# in the next 2 years. I didn’t even notice til someone I hadn’t seen in a year mentioned that I had lost so much weight. I didn’t think it was possible with what I thought was maintenance level carbs (& quite a few cheats).
It’s been almost 7 years now & every year I’m smaller than I was the year before & much smaller than I was 20 years ago.
Low carb is different but what it’s done to my health has been miraculous, the weight loss was just a nice bonus. It takes awhile to discover different foods but I can have (low carb versions of) pizza, ice cream & cheesecake & still lose weight. High carbs are so seriously detrimental to health, I guess with my health problems, I have a greater incentive to stay on plan.
The greatest tip I can share is to increase your carb levels 5g net carbs every week after induction til you reach a comfortable level that you have foods you enjoy & still lose weight & not worry about weight loss. It may not happen as quickly, but you create a lifeplan.
Visit the low carb forums, learn new recipes & foods. Before low carb, I hadn’t tried 90% of the vegetables at the grocery store. Vegetables, seeds & nuts are the bulk of my diet now.
I highly recommend chia seeds (getchia.com), ground flax seeds & shirataki noodles to greatly expand the diet.
The brain gets its energy from ketone bodies when insufficient glucose is available. After blood glucose is lowered for 3 days, the brain gets 30% of its energy from ketone bodies. After 40 days, this goes up to 70% (during the initial stages the brain does not burn ketones, since they are an important substrate for lipid synthesis in the brain). In time the brain reduces its glucose requirements from 120g to 10g per day.
Ketones have been described as “magic” in their ability to increase metabolic efficiency, while decreasing production of free radicals, the damaging byproducts of normal metabolism. The heart and brain operate 25% more efficiently using ketones as a source of energy