Some thoughts and reminders from the Atkins Center...
If you are having problems losing here are some things from the Atkins Center that is worth revisiting.... I hope this helps!
Firstly, do your best to be patient with your weight loss. You have nothing to be concerned about. While some lose weight consistently on Atkins, others lose in stages. You are in ketosis so you are burning stored fat for fuel.
You could be eating too much fat. While fat is necessary while following Atkins, eating too much fat can delay weight loss. Your body burns the fat you eat first, then the stored fat. If you're eating too much fat, you will not give your metabolism a change to burn the stored fat in the body.
Try reducing your fat intake slightly and see if that helps.
You could be eating too much. Even protein will turn to glucose if consumed in large amounts. We recommend no more that 6-8 oz of protein per meal.
Are you exercising? Exercise will not only help with fat burning, but the more you exercise, the more carbohydrates the body can tolerate. If you are not exercising, start as soon as you can.
If you measured your chest, waist, hips, upper arms and thighs with a tape measure before beginning to do Atkins, you should see a loss of inches, which sometimes occurs when weight loss is only marginal. Also, your weight can fluctuate from day to day, even from hour to hour, depending upon fluid balance, hormonal cycles and the effects of medications, to name a few things. And vigorous exercise can actually cause some weight gain because it increases muscle mass, which is denser than the fat it displaces. Even if these various factors cause you to lose pounds more slowly than you want, your tape measure will reveal that you are slimming down all over. But, as with the scale, don't become obsessed with the tape measure. You'll know the inches are disappearing because of the way your clothes fit.
To be sure you are following Atkins correctly, here is a list of common mistakes to avoid:
1. NO CAFFEINE- Excessive Caffeine can cause an insulin response leaving you craving sweets, and throwing you out of ketosis.
2. NO ASPARTAME-Aspartame may impact blood sugar levels which will cause an impasse in your weight loss. Watch for items such as diet soda and sugar free Jell-O.
3. CHEESE-4 oz per day maximum.
4. VEGETABLES-Remember, the 20 grams of carbohydrates that you consume per day should mostly come from vegetables. You can have 3-4 cups of salad or 2 cups salad, 1 cup cooked vegetables per day using only the vegetables on the acceptable food list. This is very important. Eliminating the vegetables may shut down your metabolism and your weight loss will stall.
The following list of common mistakes to avoid during Induction will be helpful:
1. Do not skip meals or go more than six waking hours without eating. If you are not hungry, eat four or five smaller meals (or healthy snacks) instead of three larger ones.
2. Do not omit natural fats. Butter, mayonnaise, olive oil, safflower, sunflower and other vegetable oils, and the fat in meat and fish will actually help you lose weight.
3. Do not eat more than 20 grams a day of carbohydrate, at least most of which must come in the form of salad greens and other acceptable vegetables.
4. Eat absolutely no fruit, bread, grains, starchy vegetables or dairy products other than cheese, cream or butter. Do not eat nuts in the first two weeks. Foods that combine protein and carbohydrates, such as chickpeas, kidney beans, and other legumes, are not permitted at this time.
5. Eat nothing that is not on the acceptable food list. And that means absolutely nothing! Your "just this one taste won’t hurt" rationalization is the kiss of failure during this phase of Atkins.
6. Adjust the quantity you eat to suit your appetite, especially as it decreases. When hungry, eat the amount that makes you feel satisfied but not stuffed. When not hungry, eat a small controlled carbohydrate snack to accompany your nutritional supplements.
7. Don’t assume any food is low in carbohydrate; instead read labels to check the carb count (it’s on every package) or use the carbohydrate gram counter in this book.
8. Watch out for hidden carbs in gravies, sauces and dressings.
9. Avoid foods or drinks sweetened with aspartame. Instead, use sucralose, saccharin or the herb stevia. Be sure to count each packet of any of these as one gram of carbs.
10. Avoid coffee, tea and soft drinks that contain caffeine. Excessive caffeine has been shown to cause low blood sugar, which can make you crave sugar.
11. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to hydrate your body, avoid constipation, and flush out the by-products of burning fat.
There are a number of dos and don'ts you must adhere to for successful weight loss.
Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of pure water daily. This can be filtered, mineral or spring water (not seltzer). You may also have unlimited amounts of herbal tea (without sugar), but these do not count toward your total of eight glasses.
Drink only decaffeinated coffee and tea and use only acceptable sweeteners (see below).
Treat aspartame (NutraSweet® or Equal®) with caution. Avoid whenever possible. This includes products sweetened with these ingredients, such as diet sodas and diet Jell-O. Instead use sucralose, (Splenda®) or saccharin (Sweet'n Low™).
Check labels on other products that purport to be low- or controlled carb.
When eating out, be careful you're not consuming "hidden" carbohydrates in sauces or breaded products. Tell your waiter that you would like your food prepared free of sugar, flour and cornstarch.
At a minimum, take a good daily multivitamin with minerals, including potassium, magnesium and calcium, but without iron.
Unless you are physically unable to do so, exercise every day, even if it's just a walk around the block. This is an important part of the program in all phases and will certainly increase the rate at which you lose weight. That's because exercise not only causes you to burn calories, it also accelerates your metabolism.
Have a snack of a permissible food an hour or two after a meal if you wish.
You must not:
Overeat. You may have heard that you can eat as much as you desire of the acceptable foods. No so. Stuff yourself with steaks and cheeseburgers, and some of that protein will convert to glucose in your body. Instead, simply eat the amount that allows you to feel satisfied.
Drink alcohol in any form.
Use more than three packets of sucralose (Splenda) daily. (More and more products are being made with Splenda so if you use any, don't forget to include those grams in your tally.)
Cheat. It takes two to three days for the body to switch from burning carbohydrates (in the form of glucose) to fat burning. One cheat and you're back to a glucose-burning metabolism, and you can lose the effects of two or three days of fat burning.
You must not eat any of the following:
Sugar (in any form, including corn syrup, honey and maple syrup)
Milk or yogurt (cream is allowed in limited amounts)
Fruit and fruit juice
Flour products (breads, pasta, crackers, etc.)
Grains or cereals
Beans and legumes
Starchy or high-sugar vegetables (potatoes, yams, corn, peas, parsnips, beets, carrots)
Sweet condiments (such as most ketchups, barbeque sauce and balsamic vinegar)
French dressing, Thousand Island dressing (check labels for carb count)
Cottage cheese, farmer's cheese and other fresh cheeses
Nuts and seeds
Here is a detailed list from Dr. Atkins regarding slow weight loss and plateaus:
First, recognize that there may not be a problem at all. Different people will respond to Atkins differently; some consistently lose weight while others do so in stages. Don’t watch the scale and become overly concerned with short-term results. Also, make sure your expectations of weight loss are realistic. Atkins is designed to lead you to your natural ideal weight. For many people, that may still be more than they wish to weigh. We strongly recommend that you manage your expectations in a real and healthy way.
Second, remember that success on Atkins should always be measured by more than just the scale. Consider the following questions and think about how they apply to your experience on Atkins:
Are you experiencing more energy and vitality throughout the day?
Are your clothes fitting you better?
Are you experiencing less between meal cravings and hunger?
Have your blood tests improved?
Are you still losing weight, but just at a much slower pace?
Have you lost inches in your body measurements?
Continue to stick with it, modifying it as you go along to make it work for you, and you will continue to see suitable health enhancing results.
Given all of the above, there are a number of key factors that may inhibit a person’s ability to have success on a controlled carb program like Atkins. Listed below are the difficulties people experience most frequently:
Consuming Too Many Carbohydrates
It’s amazing how frequently this is the source of most people’s problems. Some people can get away with higher carb consumption and still experience success on Atkins, but many (especially those who are overweight to begin with), need to be more vigilant in keeping carbs controlled.
Check to make sure you are completely aware of all the sources of carbohydrates you may be eating. For example, lemon juice, excess vegetables, and low fat substitute products can contain those few carbs that could disrupt your success. Keep a complete food diary for a few days to see exactly what you are consuming. You may be surprised, Also, even if you think you’ve caught every carbohydrate, check the ingredients on any processed food you are eating (if a serving size contains less than 1 gram of carbs, it can be listed as 0 carbs. If you are consuming a lot of this product, the hidden carbs can add up fast.)
If you’ve done a full investigation and believe you’ve caught all the carbs, try a week at a lower carb level (e.g. If you’re on an Ongoing Weight Loss Level, go back to Induction) to see if that might restart your success.
While it is true that calorie counting is not necessary on Atkins, this is not a license to gorge yourself at every meal. The Atkins Nutritional Approach is most effective when you eat until you are satisfied, not until you can’t eat another bite or you’ll explode. Also, try eating slower to allow your body to signal when it is full before you overeat. Think about this over the next week and see if it helps you to start/restart your weight loss.
Just as overeating can cause your body to resist weight loss, so can undereating. If you’re hungry, eat; if you’re starving, you should have eaten 30 minutes ago.
Trying To Do A "Low-Fat" Version of the Atkins Nutritional Approach
Some people with very fast metabolisms can get away with this and experience success on Atkins. However, for most, it will inhibit your weight loss and keep you hungrier throughout the day and thus more susceptible to sugar/carb cravings.
Nutritional Deficiencies Caused By Previous Diets
Many people who have been on a diet high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates, as well as low in fat (which is almost everybody) prior to beginning Atkins, will have nutritional deficiencies that may not be fully addressed by the Atkins Nutritional Approach. Readers of Dr. Atkins’ books know that he is a firm believer in nutritional supplementation. His key recommendations for everyone include a broad-based multi-vitamin program (preferably not a "one-a-day", but one consumed through the day for optimal absorption) and an essential fatty acid formula (which can boost your metabolism and enhance fat burning). For additional supplementation, refer to Dr. Atkins’ books including his latest Vita-Nutrients Solution to develop a program that meets your specific needs.
Virtually all medications will inhibit weight loss to some degree, with prescription medications being the most problematic. For more information on this subject, please review the questions concerning medications.
Yeast Overgrowth/Candida Condition
Re-read the yeast chapter in New Diet Revolution, and go on a yeast/fermentation-free version of Atkins (e.g. no cheese, vinegar, mushrooms, etc.) for two weeks to see if that precipitates weight loss.
Re-read the chapter on food intolerances in New Diet Revolution.
Lack of Exercise
While Atkins doesn’t require you to kill yourself on the treadmill or in an aerobic class everyday to see results, the importance of regular exercise can’t be overlooked. Make sure you are engaged in some form of exercise at least three times a week, or as directed by your doctor. If you can increase that to four or five times a week, all the better. You will definitely see the results on Atkins if you increase your exercise routine.
Lack of Proper Water Consumption
If you’re not drinking enough water, your body is operating inefficiently. An inefficient body will not respond as well to weight loss efforts. Basically, by the time you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Do yourself and your body a favor and drink at least 8 glasses of water a day (preferably filtered), and more if possible. You may go to the bathroom more, but your body will love you for it. Note: This means water, not decaf coffee, tea, diet soda or anything else that may include water but is not water.
Low body Temperature
This would indicate a possible sluggish thyroid. Refer to New Diet Revolution for how this can impact weight loss and how you can test for this condition in your own home.
Consumption of Artificial Sweeteners
For many people, products such as aspartame and saccharin are not a problem, especially when consumed at low to moderate levels (remember that all sweetener packets contain a gram of carbs). However, some people can experience a weight loss impasse from these products. For many Atkins followers, these products have been a "necessary evil", since they are better than giving into sugar cravings. Our advice: If you are having trouble losing weight on Atkins, refrain from these artificial sweeteners for a week to see if it helps.
Consider trying Stevia, a natural product that people use as a sweetener. Sucralose, recently approved by the FDA and used safely for years in countries throughout the world (many of which ban the use of aspartame), may solve the problem for all Atkins followers. We do not believe it will cause weight loss impasses for any Atkins followers, and are now using it as the sweetener in all Advantage Bars, cheesecakes and other Atkins food products.
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