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-   -   I need help - Not losing weight or inches in Induction (http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/atkins-induction/802190-i-need-help-not-loosing-weight-inches-induction.html)

Social11 04-15-2013 11:47 AM

I need help - Not losing weight or inches in Induction
This is my first post. I have done Atkins Induction many times in my life and have had great results. In the past I was always a smoker (and no longer am - for the past 3 years)...and of course I was younger. I'm on the same medications that I was last time I was on Atkins Induction so I can't blame them. I'm 40, 5'8" and weigh 178. I have been on induction for 8 days now. My ketostrips have been at trace or small since 48 hours after I started and continue to be in trace or small every time I test. I have not lost a single pound. In the past when I have done induction I had no problem dropping 13-15 lbs in the first 2 weeks. I'm officially concerned.

I'm heavier now than I ever have been. I have been stuck at this weight for about 1.3 years. Before that I was 10-15 lbs lighter. My thyroid has been checked and is fine.

The first week I was trying to keep between 1500-1800 cals since it says to make sure your cals are up so your body doesn't go into starvation mode. Starting yesterday I decided I'm going to try to stay between 1200 - 1500 cals.

Current meal plan: I drink only water or seltzer between 80 & 120oz/day. I eat eggs (3-7/day), meat (chicken, beef or pork) at lunch and dinner and for snacks, 3 cups of salad (either cabbage or spinach) daily, and 3-4 oz. of either cheddar cheese or parmasian cheese daily (since they are lowest in carbs). I was using a lot of mayo (no sugar) and a decent amount of oils for the first week but I'm thinking that may be part of my problem. I was using them to boost my calorie intake and to meet the 60-65% of daily intake of fats.

I use no cream. I use a little bit of sour cream but never more than a serving in one day. Iím not eating any processed meats. Iím checking the carbs on everything and counting all of the net carbs.
I did take one dose Miralax (for constipation) on the 3rd day of induction but it is 17g of fiber and no additional carbs.

I am not a cheaterÖ.so I have not, nor will I cheat. Iíve learned in the past on Atkins that cheating ruins everything I have been working toward so I am committed.

My appetite has reduced, as have my sugar and carb cravings. I also have more energy and am sleeping better. This is not enough reason though, for me, to stay on this diet if Iím not going to lose weight or inches.

Please give me any advice that you may have for me as I am frustrated. I have not lost any inches either. I will continue induction for the next 2 weeks but if there is no weight loss or inch lossÖI will consider going off of this diet onto a lo-cal diet.

Thanks for any feedback and suggestions ahead of time!

-Deb :)

LiterateGriffin 04-15-2013 06:40 PM


Originally Posted by Social11 (Post 16374407)
I did take one dose Miralax (for constipation) on the 3rd day of induction but it is 17g of fiber and no additional carbs.

-Deb :)

First -- you realize that constipation can prevent you seeing loss of weight or inches, right?

Seriously -- I've seen it "keep" an extra 5lbs on there that disappeared once things worked through. Obviously, it can also cause added abdominal/pelvic inches, as it takes up space.

OK... You've done this before... Have you re-read the book, this time around?

I'd had great success in 2003. Then got pregnant and went off... Tried to start up again several times, and never had success until this last time. The difference? I re-read the book!

Seriously -- I know you know all this stuff cold. Read it again anyway.

One of the keys to Induction is to not count calories AT ALL. Not just keep them high, but NOT COUNT them. To count carbs, and to eat something fatty every time you are hungry.

Are you urine-testing, and if so what are your results looking like? (Urine testing doesn't work for everyone. Some people can be deep in ketosis and still have the strips show negative. Still, if they work for you, that can be some useful information.)

One thing I've discovered, being on these forums, is that coconut oil is really useful. Not only is it more effective for me than fiber as a laxative, but it adds some vital fats. (My breakfast, these days, is based around fat-bombs or bullet-proof coffee, both of which rely heavily on coconut oil. If I begin to feel "backed up", I'll have a little more CO, and things start moving again.) I also find I'm hungry MUCH sooner when I don't have coconut oil for breakfast...

I've also discovered that the more of my calories come from fat (as opposed to other things), the better my losses.

A final thing to consider is where are you in your cycle? Most of us have a weight-bounce once a month, that's unrelated to fat-levels. (WHERE that falls seems to vary a bit. For many, it's around ovulation. For others, it's shortly after.) If you happen to be hitting that stage, it could interfere with seeing results.

Initial losses are going to be more visible on the scale than tape-measure. Picture a roll of paper towels. Peeling off that first towel doesn't really make it look smaller... but when you're down to 1/4 roll, peeling off one towel makes a HUGE difference in how it looks. Same principles are at work on our bodies. It's a volume-over-surface-area thing...

Social11 04-16-2013 08:55 AM

S/C/G: 178/178/150

Thanks so much LiterateGriffin!!!

I'm not that focused on losing inches. Way more focused on my weight. The only reason I put that I'm not losing inches is that on some of these threads some people say "you may not be losing weight but you may be losing inches"...so I wanted to make it clear that I'm not losing either.

Since the beginning of my 3rd day on Induction my ketostix have been between trace and small (I think because I am drinking sooooo much water). The results of the strips are the same every day at all times of the day...as I've been testing frequently.

I will re-read the book :). Thanks for that suggestion because you are right, I FEEL that I know it all but I'm sure there are things I've forgotten over time.

Also thanks for the CO suggestion!! I have had "IBS/primarily constipation" for 20 years so I am used to being backed up. I've been backed up for 20 years. The CO is a great idea for this problem and for hunger issues on this diet. I will get some today!!

Because of the birth control that I use, its only "that time of the month" every 3 months and I've got 1.5 months before my next.

I will stop counting calories immediately because I know that I'm not supposed to...it's just a hard habit to break. I always think: "calories in/calories out or they will stick to my bones".

Fat and keeping my calories between 1500-1800 cals/day was my focus the first 8 days because that is what I remember about what is necessary about this diet and is confirmed on the Atkins website (as I have a tendency to eat between 1200 & 1400 cals/day while not on Atkins...so I felt I needed to try hard to increase my cal intake-also because I'm always feeling so full on Atkins Induction there needed to be a focus on eating more and I chose to count calories to ensure I was not messing Induction up by not eating enough). The reason I don't really have to focus on the protein and on 20 carbs/day is because that is the part of this diet that seems so easy to me after doing Induction so many times in my life (with complete success in the past).

If I'm not hungry but I haven't eaten 3 large or 4-5 smaller Atkins Induction meals in a day...what should I do????

My problem (that I will have to overcome immediately - from what you are saying) is that my brain is telling me that my lack of weight loss may be due to this excessive fat and calories which is why I even mentioned lowering my fat and calories.

I'm going to continue induction for a few more weeks, with a focus on eating something fatty with protein when I'm hungry and to avoid even thinking about calories.

Thanks a million LiterateGriffin!!!
Any other thoughts or suggestions????
Everyone have a great day!!

Patience 04-16-2013 09:06 AM

Seems what literategrif says is good advice. I've taken much of this to heart.
I gradually increased CO over about a week from having never using it to a few tablespoons.
Fat bombs and adding some CO/Butter in my morning coffee are really getting me from break till lunch with no hunger and no additional snack. It's too soon to say much about weight loss but I know my clothes are fitting a bit looser and, as I am in this for the long term, I am prepared to be patient. So far, so good.

LiterateGriffin 04-16-2013 11:17 AM

Note on the CO -- START SLOWLY! Hubby and I both found that our bodies really wanted it when we started, BUT... we kinda over-did it, and that was unpleasant. Start with a teaspoon per day and work up. ;)

Some basic rules of induction: If you're hungry, eat something fatty. (That's the one you remember, right?) The half that people forget is, When you stop being hungry, stop eating. If you haven't eaten the "right number" of meals, and you're not hungry? Have a glass of water as your "meal"!

To paraphrase Gary Taubes (which I also recommend! Start with "Why we get fat"), here's what's wrong with "Calories in/calories out":

Imagine, for a minute, we're not talking about people who get fat. Imagine we are talking about rooms, and why some rooms get crowded but others don't.

Now imagine someone says, "Well, it's simple. If more people walk into a room than walk out, the room gets crowded. That's it. We understand it. What more do you need to know?"

What scientific studies show is that if you take a creature whose body is fattening, and restrict calories, they will become lethargic, and expend less energy.

Restricting calories does not change your metabolism from one where you put on body-fat to one where you lose or maintain body fat. Changing your diet does.

Now, as you CHANGE that metabolism, your hunger will naturally decrease. Mine sure has! But on the days where I have more calories, I don't sweat it.

And frankly, on a typical day, I'll eat a high-fat breakfast, MAYBE lunch, and then dinner. I'm more likely to eat lunch if I didn't have enough fat at breakfast. (Basically, if I have "traditional breakfast food" instead of the fat bomb/coffee breakfast)

I hear you on the IBS. Some good news: Atkins seriously helps clear that up -- even BEFORE I discovered the joys of CO.

Social11 04-16-2013 01:07 PM

LiterateGriffin: THANK YOU!! You are very good at finding my "week spots" in my thinking and helping to explain them away. It's wonderful that I don't have to eat if I'm not hungry!! A glass of water sounds lovely ;)! Thanks for explaining what your experiences have been and helping to debunk my funky brain!!!!

I look forward to moving forward with these new mind-sets!!! I really appreciate the way you have explained things back to me about my specific issues. My brain really clicked when I read your last post and I'm really looking forward to continuing Atkins until I see results. I have faith now!! I'm excited about the next few weeks and what they will bring!! :jumpjoy: I will message you in a week or 2 to update you!!

Everyone have a great day!!!

I love this forum and I've only been a member for 1 day. YAY :hugs:

LiterateGriffin 04-16-2013 05:08 PM


It's not like I haven't been there myself!

I've been a "fan" of Dr. Atkin's work for years, even when I was off-plan and gaining. Thought I knew a lot. Same when I got back on track and started losing again.... and came here. Then I picked up and read Gary Taubes, and my mind was kinda blown. He's got a more in-depth book ("Good Calories/Bad Calories") that I want to read, because I'm a technical-minded sort of gal... but yeah, he really puts things into perspective well.

Hang in there. Go do your reading, and follow your hunger cues. Remember, the weight doesn't have to come off quickly, it just has to come OFF rather than going on. I'm betting that if you tweak just a bit, you'll start seeing it come off.

I know you can do this. :up:

tinamanni 04-16-2013 06:34 PM

Side note to all that has been said - I tend to stop losing in Atkins Induction when I don't actually follow the induction rules. This is from personal experience so I can't say it works for everyone but...

For example:

-If I am not getting enough salad veggies. I don't know about the newest versions of Atkins but what I follow does not have cabbage as a salad veggie ( I think it has 3 carbs per cup)

- It doesn't seem like you are eating many carbs in general - especially from veggies - induction says 2-3 cups of salad veggies and up 2 1 c of other veggies - this can cause constipation and def causes water retention for me

-I am pretty sure sour cream and maybe parm are not induction friendly because of the higher sugar count.

-I have recently cut out most cheese - I am eating maybe 1-2 oz a day and that is helping me. Its really easy to eat more cheese than you think you are

Just some thoughts :) Keep us posted!

LiterateGriffin 04-16-2013 07:40 PM


She's eating 3 cups of salad per day...

Parmasean, as a hard-cheese with VERY low carb count -- is allowed on Induction, as are small quantities of sour cream (2 TBS).

Personally, when I talk about my food intake, I tend to glide over the green veggies. Unless it's something exceptional (like the time I cooked up some collard greens in pork fat -- it was amazing-good, and then we were too full to eat!), they're not what stands out. It's a "given" that dinner comes with broccoli (or whatever is in season and looked good when we were shopping).

So given the way she talks about what she's been eating -- listing foods, not meals, and specifying the 3-cups of salad -- I've been assuming she's getting her veggies.

Of note: One of Dr. Atkins recommendations if you can't get the weight-loss started on induction is to cut back the salads. I don't have the book on hand, so can't look up the details, but this is something she will find if she re-reads. :)

Every version of Induction I have read has listed cabbage as an induction food.

And a lot of people seem to do better without the cheese. There are some valid arguments there... and some of us who aren't willing to give it up. ;)

tinamanni 04-16-2013 07:58 PM

As I said - they are things that have stalled me - messed me up or are things to look at in general

If you re-read what I said, I did not say that cabbage isn't an induction food - I said it might be too much since she's using it as her 3 cups of salad veggies - I purely meant to mix things up.

And while parm may not have high carb count - it doesn't mean it doesn't hinder weight loss for some people. Some people skip that level of introducing foods because it stalls them

You may not have to have a variety of veggies to lose but I do. Which...Again - I prefaced my post by saying these are ideas that I have experienced "I can't say it works for everyone but..."

Leo41 04-17-2013 02:19 AM

All of us can only speak from personal experience, but the advice about 'keeping your calories up' I totally disagree with, not only from my own experience but those of my friends.

Most of us, as we age, have to beware of calories. How we could eat when younger doesn't provide the caloric deficit necessary for loss as our metabolisms slow with age (a natural process).

Personally, whenever anyone is following Dr. A's guidelines and NOT losing, the culprit is almost always calories--as he himself noted. No matter what plan your following, there can be no loss without a caloric deficit.

My advice would be to try to lower your calories to about 1200 for two weeks to see if that's the issue. If you begin to lose, you will know that's the level you need to eat at. IMO, 'starvation mode' is a mythical monster. I lose most of my weight eating <1000 cal a day because age (post menopausal) and hypothyroidism, along with what my endo calls a 'genetically slow metabolism' dictated that was what was necessary. My endo monitored my loss, and he told me that he has some patients who cannot eat more than 750 cal to lose weight because of their medical issues.

My point is that there is no universal number that people should not eat below. It all depends on the individual. When we're not losing or gaining, our calories are at 'maintenance' level--that is, our bodies get all the fuel they need from our food and have no reason to tap into our fat stores.

The only other suggestion I have (and this comes from reading these boards since 2007) is to ask if you have been taking the same birth control brand since you lost weight in the past. My reason for asking is that many women discovered that their birth control was preventing loss--even when their doctors told them that was 'impossible.'

kempmuhlbauer 04-17-2013 06:01 AM

This is all good advice. The one big thing I see missing is a little thing called exercise??? I scanned all the post so I may have missed it. Exercise is the key to this way of eating if you want to see solid results. Also you are in your second attempt and that means you have lost your golden shot, but not your shot at losing weight. I had to make major adjustments to continue losing like I did before.

In my experience the "keeping up the calories" is a good thing. I eat between 1600 and 2100 a day and am averaging almost a pound a day when working out and eating high fat and high calories just like the book says. However I have lost weight steadily keeping the calories down and the fat low but lost lean muscle mass. The trick is continuing a plan you can stick with and I can stick with high fat and only eating till full. (I count calories because I am ocd like crazy) After a few weeks on plan you stop eating so many calories because you are just plain full that is the way this thing is designed. It eventually becomes a low calorie diet because you are not that hungry. this is in the book.

I do not care what any body says it is "CALORIES IN TO CALORIES OUT PERIOD" the advantage of the Atkins plan is you burn more calories while in ketosis. Meaning sleeping, typing this response, walking to the car, you are burning more calories than someone who is on a low fat low calorie diet. This is my opinion and if it is wrong please let me know because I live by these ideas. And they seem to work I have lost 45 pounds as of this morning and have multiple cheat weekends, cheat weeks and days due to various reasons. But I am losing about a pound a day when on plan and exercising.

Social11 04-17-2013 08:21 AM

Thank you so very much ALL OF YOU!!!! You all provide much insight!!!

I'm willing to try anything and everything!! I've added 1 tomato to my daily regimen & have switched to romaine. I have also added celery, olives and artichoke hearts.

I do get exercise at work, being a public school counselor in a large elementary school with 700 students and 45 children who have severe autism. This school is also in a dangerous area so there are widespread behavior issues building wide. I am the crisis response person in the building and am frequently running up and down stairs, hallways & unfortunately have to physically restrain children when they are in danger of hurting themselves or others. With 45 kiddos with severe issues this happens almost daily and can last for hours or may happen multiple times per day. I also live on the 3 floor of an apartment building and go up and down at least 5 times/day (usually carrying things that are be heavy). I feel like I get tons of exercise every day but I know that you are not supposed to count daily living or work related exercise as real exercise. I do have a herniated disk which is aggravated by my job tasks.

I am usually exhausted physically by the time I get off work...and doing chores after work is all I have the physical energy for. I am about to move across the country so I will be expending much energy packing starting this coming Saturday and ongoing for the next month or so....but that will be packing and going up and down my stairs to the dumpster...not specific exercise.

This may be my downfall but I see no way to work exercise into my schedule, especially with the move coming. My energy and time must be devoted to that. Hopefully that will be enough exercise to "get me going."

I will watch my calories on days when I don't have an hour or more of packing.

I know this is bad timing to ask...but I have been dying for a glass of wine. I have not cheated one bit....and don't plan to unless someone out there thinks I can have one cheating night (it will be day 12 of induction for me - this Friday....but won't unless someone says I can get away with it). When would it be okay for me to cheat. When I cheat I promise it will only be for wine. Maybe I will just wait until day 21...which is when I will stop Atkins if I have not lost any weight.

Again, thank you so much to all of you for all of your suggestions, ideas and thoughts!!!

I appreciate all of you greatly!!!!

Congrats to all of you and your weight losses!!!!!

Terra2721 04-17-2013 08:40 AM

One thing I will add is that on my restart I too saw slow, little, or no loss in the beginning. Another poster (trillex) posted an article about how it can take as long as 6 weeks to truly be in ketosis....for me at the 6 week mark, the weight began falling off.

pinkcadillac 04-17-2013 08:47 AM

dont cheat!!! it will set you back a week or so...

Leo41 04-17-2013 09:03 AM

I was actually able to work a glass of wine into my carb/calorie count and it never hampered my weight loss. It was not daily--or even weekly--but about once or twice a month, I'd have a glass of wine for dinner.

I didn't regard it as a 'cheat' because I wasn't doing Atkins but just my own generic low carb.

I also wouldn't worry about exercise. All experts agree that losing weight is 90% what you eat (or don't eat). Exercise is great for overall health, but it is not essential to weight loss.

Also keep in mind that some experts will say that all 'movement' is good--housework, etc., not just going to the gym.

kempmuhlbauer 04-17-2013 10:50 AM

Once I am in the zone, getting in exercise and have lost some weight I will enjoy a wine or low carb beer.

Usually every 5 pounds I lose, so about every weekend I will have a beer or wine or a couple of each. Just depends, it usually does not stall me or make me gain.

As far as your post about exercise at work it sounds like you are getting plenty. Wow you are to be commended for doing that job, kudos to you. I have a ton of respect for teachers, counselors, or anyone who helps out children with special needs. I just always try to stay in motion, I park at the farthest spot at the grocery store, push in a basket, take stairs instead of elevators, little things like that at up to a whole lot of fat off my behind. Good luck.

Trillex 04-17-2013 11:13 AM


Originally Posted by Terra2721 (Post 16378495)
One thing I will add is that on my restart I too saw slow, little, or no loss in the beginning. Another poster (trillex) posted an article about how it can take as long as 6 weeks to truly be in ketosis....for me at the 6 week mark, the weight began falling off.

It can take that long to become "keto-adapted" -- which is the metabolic shift in muscle tissue fuel metabolism away from burning glucose and ketones as fuel, to directly burning fatty acids as fuel. Clinical studies of low-carb dieting, fasting, and complete starvation consistently show that it takes the human body a minimum of several weeks for the muscle tissue to re-engineer the systems to directly burn fatty acids without converting the fat into ketones.

The human body almost always produces *some* level of ketones on a daily basis, even if you're eating a large amount of carbs. Ketones are a by-product of fat metabolism, so it's common to find testable levels of ketones in the bloodstream after vigorous exercise, for example, or any period of food deprivation or exertion that will cause the body to pull fuel from the fat stores.

"Ketosis" -- basically a high blood-level of ketones -- should begin whenever liver glycogen is depleted. Bodybuilders who test their blood ketones often find that they can still have large stores muscle glycogen and yet produce a high amount of blood ketones once liver glycogen is depleted. The liver determines the body's overall fuel preference, whether for fat or glucose. Some bodybuilders even find that they continue to produce high levels of blood ketones DURING the high-carb re-feed on a "cyclical ketogenic diet" (CKD). And there is research evidence to support this.

This highly-influential clinical study was among the first to show subjects stocking incoming carbs as muscle glycogen while the body continues to use fatty acids as fuel because the liver is still in fat-burning mode:
Low-carbohydrate diet alters intracellular glucose metabolism but not overall glucose disposal in exercise-trained subjects.
Low-carbohydrate diet alters intracellular glucos... [Metabolism. 1995] - PubMed - NCBI
The subjects were put on a very low-carb diet (~8% carbohydrates daily) for three weeks before carbohydrates were re-fed. Three weeks is the standard benchmark for keto-adaptation -- studies show that the average human metabolism takes about 3 weeks to fully keto-adapt. So glucose metabolism, glucose pathways and storage were tested during a re-feed following a period of keto-adaptation. This study has been super-influential on the past two decades of bodybuilding ketogenic diets because this testing demonstrates *how* CKD re-feeds can continue to burn bodyfat as part of the ketogenic process while stocking the muscle tissue with glycogen for workouts.

I know that none of this info actually addresses the original poster's issues! But I just wanted to clarify this point because it's really confusing stuff and it isn't very well defined in most of the literature. I only know about these processes because my entire life is filled with obsessive bodybuilders.

I will say, in response to the original poster's disappointment with initial losses, that I didn't have huge losses on the scale when I first started Atkins. I lost a grand total of 10 pounds in my entire first month. But now I've lost more than 75 pounds on Atkins so, overall, it's worked really well for me despite the fact that I didn't drop a lot of pounds right off the bat. I didn't make any suggestions or anything to this thread because I don't really have any "tips." I've just literally followed the instructions in Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution exactly as they're written -- eating only the foods on the lists -- and I've just stuck with the diet long enough for it to pay off.

I had a month where I only lost 1.5 pounds. But I didn't *tweak* when my losses were slow because Atkins, as it is in the book, is something I can comfortably live with. But if I had to start counting points or balancing fat macros or whatever, it would make me hate the diet and I figured I'm better off sticking with something I like and can sustain for the long-term rather than doing something I hate that would probably drive me entirely off the diet wagon. But that's just me!

Social11 04-18-2013 09:05 AM


I lost 1 pound YAY!!! :D Thank you all so very much for answering my questions and giving me ideas and information that will definitely keep me going!!

I am older now than I was all of the other times I have done Atkins Induction (first time I did it was almost 20 years ago and have done it 4 times over the past 20 years) so I'm going to give it more time, now that I've heard more from all of you. The one pound loss was so nice to see this morning.

I will not cheat for a while (and of course only for wine when I do). I will wait until I see my body responding well before I try to mess around with cheating. I really appreciate the comments from everyone regarding that issue!!

Thanks for the compliments about my insane job and what I do. It is a painful task after 15 years of doing it (very high burn-out) but I feel that it was always my calling (even when I was 5 years old according to my parents).

I'm glad that it sounds like I'm getting exercise to you....because I certainly feel like I get exercise even though I don't "cut out time for specific exercise". I do always take the stairs and will start parking as far away from stores as possible - GREAT TIP!!!

I really love this forum and all of your help!!!!!!!! :jumpjoy:

Y'all are GREAT supports!!! :hugs: I really needed it and you all really touched on what I needed to hear to get my mind straight and reinvested in Atkins.

Everyone have a great day!!!!

MtherGoos 04-18-2013 06:19 PM

Social11, you've gotten tons of great advice here, and there's not much I can add to it, other than to reassure you that I've also found that as I've gotten older, the weight does come off so much slower! It's coming off, but nowhere near as fast as it did when I was in my 20's, or even in my 30's. So hang in there, and know that it WILL happen. You've got to trust the process and let it work for you. It sounds like you're already doing just that!

cfine 04-19-2013 07:04 PM

I didn't read every post but I skimmed them and saw where you added a whole tomato daily. Tomatoes are a fruit and should be avoided except in tiny amounts. They are high in carbs.
Also, I have to watch my calories to lose, but please don't be afraid of the fat. If you have to lose something, my recommendation would be to moderate your protein. 60-70 grams is what I aim for.

LiterateGriffin 04-20-2013 05:31 AM


Originally Posted by Trillex (Post 16378829)
I had a month where I only lost 1.5 pounds. But I didn't *tweak* when my losses were slow because Atkins, as it is in the book, is something I can comfortably live with. But if I had to start counting points or balancing fat macros or whatever, it would make me hate the diet and I figured I'm better off sticking with something I like and can sustain for the long-term rather than doing something I hate that would probably drive me entirely off the diet wagon. But that's just me!

Here's my take on "tweaking":

Unless you're eating exactly the same meals daily -- which study after study has shown is the path to nutritional deficiencies -- you're constantly tweaking.

"Gee, I'm craving beef really bad. I probably need iron -- better have some broccoli with it."
"Gee, my pipes are backed up. ~add another teaspoon of CO to coffee~"
"Gee, I'm not really hungry, but I'm craving salt." ~ go open a seaweed~
"Gee, I've got a dinner at my son's school tonight, and I've got a bad feeling they won't serve anything I can eat. Better make some fat-bombs today, so I can eat a couple before I go, and not be hungry." (That one is my reality today.)

I consider all of these "tweaks" -- small adjustments to fine-tune one's eating to one's current needs.

This is why advice not to "tweak" always confuses me: Why on earth WOULDN'T you? Forbidding making these adjustments just seems so restrictive -- I certainly wouldn't be able to live that way! We all form HABITS in our eating, and thus risk those habits taking over our eating -- and hurting our progress. We all have bodies whose nutritional needs change over time. So I flat out don't believe people who say they never tweak their diets, and literally do not understand why that would seem a good thing!

And to the OP: CONGRATULATIONS on weight lost! Keep doing what you're doing, it's working! :up:

Trillex 04-20-2013 11:23 AM


Originally Posted by LiterateGriffin (Post 16383960)
Here's my take on "tweaking":

Unless you're eating exactly the same meals daily -- which study after study has shown is the path to nutritional deficiencies -- you're constantly tweaking.

"Gee, I'm craving beef really bad. I probably need iron -- better have some broccoli with it."
"Gee, my pipes are backed up. ~add another teaspoon of CO to coffee~"
"Gee, I'm not really hungry, but I'm craving salt." ~ go open a seaweed~
"Gee, I've got a dinner at my son's school tonight, and I've got a bad feeling they won't serve anything I can eat. Better make some fat-bombs today, so I can eat a couple before I go, and not be hungry." (That one is my reality today.)

I consider all of these "tweaks" -- small adjustments to fine-tune one's eating to one's current needs.

This is why advice not to "tweak" always confuses me: Why on earth WOULDN'T you? Forbidding making these adjustments just seems so restrictive -- I certainly wouldn't be able to live that way! We all form HABITS in our eating, and thus risk those habits taking over our eating -- and hurting our progress. We all have bodies whose nutritional needs change over time. So I flat out don't believe people who say they never tweak their diets, and literally do not understand why that would seem a good thing!

And to the OP: CONGRATULATIONS on weight lost! Keep doing what you're doing, it's working! :up:

I think I was a bit vague and unclear in defining my terms in the earlier post. However anyone else chooses to define the term "tweaking" I think is absolutely valid, but when I say "tweaking" I am specifically referring to the application of conscious changes to the composition of dietary intake, while on a weight-reducing program, in pursuit of a specific outcome. You could certainly argue that I was *tweaking* my diet back when I was eating a lot of Taco Bell because I sometimes had crunchy tacos with my chalupas and volcano burritos, but sometimes I didn't have crunchy tacos, which could be considered a sort of dietary *tweak*. I can certainly see the point of that argument, but I'm simply not referring to this type of dietary variety when I'm talking about *tweaking* while on a weight-reducing plan. In what I'm referring to, there has to be some level of intent and an expected outcome because I'm specifically referring to strategies for weight loss, and I personally wouldn't consider it a "strategy" in cases when the dieter isn't consciously applying particular choices and expecting a particular outcome as the result of the application of changes.

My basic point in the quoted passage is simply that, except for following the guidelines in the book Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution and weighing and measuring and tracking all portions of my dietary intake to ensure I'm being compliant with that plan, I have personally not made any additional level of changes in pursuit of specific macros or made changes to my dietary composition or calorie level in the pursuit of any level of additional weight loss. I've never had cravings or constipation -- neither before nor during the diet -- so I haven't applied any dietary changes to address those issues. And I've never actually had a "fat bomb" because I'm just not a huge fan of grease. I really like the Atkins plan because I have found it to be quite flexible and sustainable for me, however, adding an additional level of guidelines to the diet plan would make the diet less enjoyable and less sustainable for me.

I've found it super easy to give up carb-rich foods (per the Atkins plan) because they were never my favorite foods, anyway. But if I felt like I had to watch my fat intake -- adding less as on a Weight Watchers type of plan or even adding more as on a Nutritional Ketosis type of plan -- it would drive me absolutely bonkers and I don't think I would have been able to eat that way for the past 11 months. Maybe the Atkins diet wouldn't work as well for someone else. But simply following the book, and tracking my food intake to ensure compliance, has worked really well for me. As I mentioned earlier, I've had months where I didn't lose many pounds, so I can't say that the diet has worked like *magic* for me. But I'm extremely grateful to have found this enjoyable diet! And to me, the *magic* is in the diet's long-term sustainability. I think Dr Atkins was a genius because I don't believe I have a great deal of willpower, yet this plan has been amazingly easy for me to stick with, without a single bite of off plan food, for almost a year.

LiterateGriffin 04-20-2013 02:08 PM


That's why I made each one something specific: A craving due to a dietary need. (Women in my family DO tend to run a little anemic if we're not careful, so this is one that's been common for me since I was 16.) A "complication", a lack of hunger (which sometimes stresses folks who think they need to eat a certain number of meals), and a potential "diet emergency". (I REALLY have a feeling they're serving pasta tonight.)

Personally, a couple months back, out of the blue, my fat needs went through the roof. It takes a higher percentage of fat in my meal to leave me feeling satisfied, and I went through about 36 hours where it felt like there wasn't enough fat in the world... and made my first fat bombs. (It's not like eating grease. It's more the CONSISTENCY of a bar of chocolate.)

You know me -- far I'm too lazy to calculate percentages or anything like that! I simply cut (or eliminate) carbs from my meal, and then build that meal around my needs at that moment.

I do feel there are certain "traps" that are common to folks starting off on Atkins, and that one of them is trying to eat the same low-fat diet that's been failing them, only without the carbs. It's almost reflex, sometimes -- it's been pushed on us so long!

And I agree -- I can happily eat like this for the rest of my life.

DairyQueen 04-20-2013 02:10 PM

There are about 5 carbs in a medium tomato. That's too many for me. you can have tomatoes when you're doing induction; just remember to count them. I stay away from them because they are generally bland and watery - although in the summer i keep a cherry tomato plant and they are delicious at about 1 gram per tomato.

You can have a little sour cream on induction -- the atkins site sez 1 ounce. That's not a lot, but you can always up it after your two weeks. I love sour cream --2T = 1 carb.

Parmesan cheese is generally about 1gram carbs per ounce. I love cheese, but those carbs and calories DO add up, so i try to keep my cheese eating to a minimum.

Do you have a scale? It's very depressing to see how little one ounce of cheese is, unless you're a mouse, and then it looks HUGE!!!

KEEP it going and you will keep losing. As for cheats, i do drink wine, but i make sure that they are in my 20 carb allotment. It is also psychological - as long as I can drink wine (champagne), mich ultra or miller lite, i can stay totally on plan. That's my key!!

Punkin 04-20-2013 08:46 PM

The induction phase does have some flaws in it that causes some people problems. But it should work for most people. My recommendation is to extend it for a few weeks and roughly count calories, but not restrict your calories. You just want to get a sense of your eating patterns and what causes you to over and under eat. Then maybe try something like a fat fast after about 8 to 10 weeks of induction with no cheating. And then see what happens as a result of that. If you are still stalled after that, you may want to test your blood ketones and see if you are going in and out of ketosis.

kempmuhlbauer 04-22-2013 06:56 AM

You guys are serious about this diet. I have found that counting everything helps. Even though the book says to only count carbs.

Trillex you have to be the most will powered person I have ever met. 11 months not one cheat. The is incredible. No constipation, or hunger pains, you have one well trained will power. I have constipation from day one of the start of this plan. I am craving the foods I cannot have all the time. Even when completely full. I love this plan for what I can have however, not what I cannot have. I have never gone more than 44 days without a cheat. I unfortunately remember how awesome a doughnut taste, or the greatness of a nice pasta dish with homemade french bread. Yes I love food. All foods. I am a food addict. I am also a great cook. I do this plan to lose weight, it is a plan that works well for that. I hope to one day be able to switch to the OWL and the pre-maint. then maintenance. I feel that if my CCL is high enough this diet could be satisfying enough for me. I just never seem to be able to go to the next levels without blowing it out.

I am having success with switching to the other steps however this time around because I am in no hurry. There is not a beach trip planned, no vacations, just me and my thoughts and tired of yo yo dieting and being fat. I hope this plan will be my lifelong plan, I just have to be able to have doughnuts and and pasta and homemade breads as treats. I love reading the post on these threads and learning so much. If this plan is done by the book it should work great, however I do not have the required willpower to stay on plan with no cheats.

Patience 04-22-2013 07:38 AM

My only worry, Kemp, if you are truly a food addict that the occasional treats might be a reward that you really don't need, even though you have convinced your self that you do. Not saying this is your situation, just adding a cautionary note.
I cleaned out all of my alcohol addiction books and only kept a couple that were really useful to me. One was entitled something like "Willpower is Not Enough." The point is that desires for willpower or control rarely (I never say never) work in the case of true addictions. It's about acceptance and getting support and changing structures and habits.
Just some thoughts today . . . I understand the food and alcohol are not the same, we can live without one but not without the other, but seems there are many parallels if we are talking about food addiction (which I am very less knowledgeable about that alcohol additiction, so I always stand to be corrected).

LiterateGriffin 04-22-2013 08:27 AM


3 months into Atkins, I started baking bread for my household. Basically, I went to buy a loaf of bread to make my kids' sandwiches, and read the label. And then bought a 50 lb sack of whole wheat flour and some yeast.

So, here I was... on Atkins... with the smell of fresh baked bread in the house once a week!

Truth? I went off-plan for about 2 weeks. I figured it was reasonable for me to be able to EAT what I was making, to determine if it was any good. By the end of 2 weeks, I had the baking down.

Since then? I admire bread. I enjoy the smell -- the same way I enjoy the smell of a rose or a good cologne. What I DON'T enjoy is the way I feel after eating bread (or pasta, or any of the classic starch-y dishes).

Seriously. I feel SICK afterwards. Not upset to my stomach, but ILL, like I'm getting the flu. My body aches. My brain is foggy. I'm lethargic... and the IBS ~shudders~ Let us not forget the IBS! (Or better still -- let me stick to LC and forget the IBS FOREVER! :jumpjoy:)

When I'm craving something that's traditionally carb-y, I find a way to LC it. From veggie-mashers instead of potatoes to flax-seed and nut crackers, to chocolate cupcakes... There's very few things that I can't make an LC version of. (There's even several bread recipes on this site!) (PLEASE NOTE: Most of the things mentioned in this paragraph and the next are NOT induction foods!) Far, FAR better for me to indulge in one of these treats than to eat something full of carbs that's going to hit my gut like a ton of lead and leave me feeling like crap afterwards... AND set all my hard work back by two weeks!

My husband isn't LC -- but he HAS lived with me for the past 8 years, including since I started back on Atkins in Jan 2012. As a result, he's been consciously reducing his carbs, in the interest of overall health. For the past 2 weeks, Work was providing lunch for all employees. One day, it was pasta.

Hubby complained to me, about this... and about how crappy he felt. Tired, and just NOT GOOD. And then 2 hours later, he was hungry again. He didn't have any nuts left, so he had no real choice but to go back for more.

It's not a matter of willpower. It's a matter of not liking how it makes me feel.

(Side-note: I don't think I've made bread since Thanksgiving. :) Only bread this household has had has been when away from home.)

kempmuhlbauer 04-22-2013 09:45 AM

Bella: I know I do not need them, I want them, big difference.LOL I know I can survey without doughnuts I just want some every now and then. I have some experience with addiction, unfortunately personally. A hurt back turned into a Vicodin addiction over time. Anyway that is all in the past. I feel that I am addicted because even though I know I should not eat wrong foods I do. Even knowing it will make me feel bloated or FAT. I still eat it. I wish I could convince myself to stop eating those craby treats. Anyway your post has made me question if I am truly addicted or not. I kinda joke about it sometimes. I will be doing some research on the subject and let you know what I find out. Either way I am going to learn something new. I have been to plenty of addiction meetings would not hurt to try and eating one.

Griffin: I really enjoy all your post all over the LCF. You really seam to have your knowledge down. I would love to get some recipes that you post about sometimes. I have been low carbing this time since Jan. 21st 2012. This is the longest I have stayed on plan including cheats in a while. I have, and have had incredible success. I usually average a pound a day over the long run when on plan. Of course I only do the strictest of induction plan, and never seem to go to the OWL. This round I am forcing myself to go to OWL. Just to see if I can do it. I will lose 50 pounds and have 30 to go. Then I do not want to stop the awesome results i am having by switching plans. Which means I get to goal quickly and then back to the big fat ass weight just as quick. So I have been hovering around the same weight now for a month,(with quite a few cheats thrown in). Now that I have taken 45 pounds off I plan to hit the induction hard to take off the bloat and another 11 pounds. At that time I will switch to the OWL for the final 25 pounds then pre-main. to try and keep the weight off this time. You know follow the actual atkins plan as it is written. This is a lot easier to type than follow but I will do my best. I also agree that is not about willpower, it is how you feel. I also feel that you cannot do this alone it takes some sort of higher power, what ever that may be for each person. This website is one higher power that is helping right now. Thanks again.

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