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Old 01-04-2011, 06:05 AM   #1
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How would YOU end a stall?

I've been stuck at 211/212 for 5 weeks. I'm going crazy. I've tried to just stick to plan but it's still not moving. I'm ready to lower/raise something and I'm not sure where to start. I've been VLC for the last 2 weeks. Basically meat/eggs and one serving of broccoli or cauliflower a day. Starting to think maybe it's not enough carbs, but too much protein. Here is my menu for the past 3 days.

B- 3 pcs think sliced steak
L/D - 12oz prime rib with 2 sides broccoli (outback steakhouse)
probably 50 oz of water, I don't drink as much when I'm home

B- 2 porkchops
L- hamburger patty
D - steak and 1 cup broccoli
64 oz of water

B- ground beef w/mozzarella
L- hamburger patty
D- crabcakes (3) and cauliflower
4 liters water


Today I made a minute muffin using coconut oil and spread with 2 tablespoons cream cheese. I'm going to try and lower protein and see what happens.

Any suggestions or ideas?
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:09 AM   #2
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READ ATKINS DANDR.

even if u are not doing ATKINS. he has a whole chapter on stalls/plateaus. It may not be about the food per se. Read it!!! Love & Profits: FLATFERENGHI
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:12 AM   #3
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Since it's been 5 weeks and you have posted you have hypothyroidism and are taking an antidepressant I would look at my health and any meds I am taking. Are you medicated for your hypothyroidism? Paxil is also a weight staller for many.
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:13 AM   #4
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Hi Jenna, I know how frustrating this can be from personal experience. Last winter, someone posted this article and it really made sense to me... Aside from that, I remind myself that I am not gaining, I believe I am eating in a healthy manner and I love my food so there is nothing to do but wait it out.

WHY THE SCALES CAN LIE

A biologist at Berkeley shared something very revealing on the low-carb BBS system about 4 years ago that helps us all through the erratic weight fluctuations you invariably encounter: Fat cells are resilient, stubborn little creatures that do not want to give up their actual cell volume. Over a period of weeks, maybe months of "proper dieting", each of your fat cells may have actually lost a good percentage of the actual fat contained in those cells. But the fat cells themselves, stubborn little guys, replace that lost fat with water to retain their size. That is, instead of shrinking to match the reduced amount of fat in the cell, they stay the same size! Result - you weigh the same, look the same, maybe even gained some scale weight, even though you have actually lost some serious fat.

The good news is that this water replacement is temporary. It's a defensive measure to keep your body from changing too rapidly. It allows the fat cell to counter the rapid change in cell composition, allowing for a slow, gradual reduction in cell size. The problem is, most people are frustrated with their apparent lack of success, assume they have lost nothing, and stop dieting.

However, if you give those fat cells some time, like 4-6 months, and ignore the scale weight fluctuations, your real weight/shape will slowly begin to show. The moral of the story - be patient! Your body is changing even if the number on the scale isn't.

PATTERNS OF WEIGHT LOSS

Common patterns of weight loss from tracking a lot of people who become assimilated into the low carb lifestyle, a pattern emerges.... the 2 week induction is pretty heady...weight lost just about every single day, enormous and unbelievable amounts of weight loss are reported. This is often followed by complaints that weight loss "stalls" or that the rate drops to only 1 pound per week.

Many people just don't know that fat-loss ...the actual goal when on a weight-reduction" diet, is rate-limited. In other words, the human body has factors that prevent more than a certain amount of fatty-acid release from storage...and even more factors that prevent those released fatty acids from being used up instead of stored back into the fat cells.

A priority of the human body is survival. Anything that threatens its survival results in the cascade of events to maintain the previous status quo. Water fluctuations are one way the body does this. OK...so you done good on Atkins' during induction...lost 10 pounds the first 2 weeks. Maybe 7 the first week and 3 the second. But, whoa! Weeks 3 and 4 there is NO loss! And weeks 5 and 6 is only 1/2 pound each!

So... what gives? Initially, the body jettisons the water attached to the glycogen stores that we diligently deplete to get into ketosis...this accounts for about 3-5 pounds of water. In addition, muscle stores of glycogen are not being replaced when used...which will account for the rest. All in all...MAYBE 1/2 pound of fat was metabolized during the first week... and MAYBE 1/2 pound of fat was metabolized the 2nd week. Of that 10 initial pounds, only 1 pound was fat and 9 pounds water...

The body senses this lack and sirens start shrieking: Warning! Warning! Losing water... new thing...got to get back to the status quo! Brain tells body to produce and release that vasopressin anti-diuretic hormone....more water is retained, and no weight loss noticed. Fat loss is still occurring, MAYBE even 2 pounds per week, because ketosis is firmly established and appetite suppression is in effect...but water retention is hiding that continuing fat loss. The body is preventing dehydration with this mechanism, and that's a *good* thing.

From the perspective of the scale, it can be discouraging. Which is why the mantra: Water retention masks fat loss (repeated frequently to oneself) is helpful. Water retention will mask ongoing fat-loss for as long as the body retains the water. We can combat this by drinking more water...but we aren't going to totally overcome this mechanism during the initial water-loss phase of the Atkins diet. By weeks 5 and 6, things start to get back in balance, and the scale will begin to reflect the true fat-loss...which, as mentioned before is rate-limited.

Individuals vary, but max weight loss runs about 2 pounds per week...under extremely optimal conditions... or 1% of body weight (whichever is the lower number). So don't use the scale as an excuse to undermine your progress. Even when the scale is in a stall, fat loss can be occurring.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

We've been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can't resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can't bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it's readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body's water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don't understand what's happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it's water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it's easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn't have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts.

The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That's why, when it comes to eating, it's wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it's packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it's stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates.

As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it's associated water. It's normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you're prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it's wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It's the actual weight of everything you've had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you've finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it's not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it's likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in.

Generally, it's only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it's physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you're really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale's sneakiest attribute. It doesn't just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesn't necessarily mean that you've lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you've lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you're just sitting around. That's one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn't differentiate between the two. It can't tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat.

There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn't appeal to you, don't worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don't be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride.

It's a matter of mind over scale.
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"The energy content of food (calories) matters, but it is less important than the metabolic effect of food on our body." Dr. P. Attia

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Old 01-04-2011, 06:40 AM   #5
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It's not a popular idea here, but perhaps you don't have a calorie deficit. VLC is very calorie intensive, and it's possible that you can't lose on the amount of food that you're eating.

I'm writing from experience because I actually gained on VLC until I restricted my portions.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:15 AM   #6
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Since it's been 5 weeks and you have posted you have hypothyroidism and are taking an antidepressant I would look at my health and any meds I am taking. Are you medicated for your hypothyroidism? Paxil is also a weight staller for many.
Yep. I second that about the Paxil. I gained SO much weight while taking it through my college years. Like a puffer fish LOL!
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:39 AM   #7
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It's not a popular idea here, but perhaps you don't have a calorie deficit. VLC is very calorie intensive, and it's possible that you can't lose on the amount of food that you're eating.

I'm writing from experience because I actually gained on VLC until I restricted my portions.
I'm tending to agree.

And another not-so-popular suggestion would be trying to track your food for a few days -- just to be aware -- of how many cals, carbs, protein grams you're consuming each day. A map, if you will, to help you find your way out of the abyss.
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:45 AM   #8
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Try to assume it is not the Paxil. You have already lost a lot of weight while taking it correct? I hate when the topic of meds come up and people adamantly declare "I ganined 50 lbs and it was all because of the medication." Yes, certain meds can cause gain weight. However, I would assume it is not an option for you to go off the meds right now, and if so, certainly not suddenly.

I need meds, and am avoiding them right now to get my weight where I want. When you're suffering, and need them, having people explain to you how awful they are can cause great anxiety and worsen your state of mind.

I lost 50 lbs taking medication ALOT of people here said was the reason they gained ALOT of weight. Everyones mileage may vary in this respect and you have done great so far. Good luck!
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:47 AM   #9
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It's not a popular idea here, but perhaps you don't have a calorie deficit. VLC is very calorie intensive, and it's possible that you can't lose on the amount of food that you're eating.

I'm writing from experience because I actually gained on VLC until I restricted my portions.
Another one quietly agreeing with this. I have to "watch" my calories to a certain extent. That doesn't mean I RESTRICT them necessarily, but higher fat foods pack a whallop calorie-wise.

I was tracking my food yesterday and (after the fact) realized how much 3 TBS of ranch dressing cost me in calories! JEESH! It was really good homemade stuff, but I could have easily gotten away with less than that. 200+ calories in a non-food item was just silly for me.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:07 AM   #10
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Is there any flour or meal in the crab cakes ? I can't do ANY wheat or corn meal. I retain water like crazy.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:22 AM   #11
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I wouldn't think that a calorie deficit would be the problem here. Maybe if you were towards the end of your weight-loss phase I could see it, but not still weighing 211. (I am NOT at all trying to sound snarky here, I am just saying that to maintain 211 lbs you would have to be eating a lot of calories, if calories matter-some don't agree).
Whenever I have had a stall I found that by switching it up my stall would break. Either doing the fat fast for a few days, or going completely zero carb (cutting out EVERYTHING that doesn't come from an animal), changing up my workout routine either by cutting back or amping it up, etc.
If you are on medication and have lost this well so far, I wouldn't look into that as your problem.
Good luck! I hope you figure out what's been stalling you and you start losing again soon.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:33 AM   #12
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I have tried apple cider vinager to my water, cla/gla combo and not sure if it helped but dropped 3 pounds from eating a lot of jalapenos yesterday. I just posted about it a minute ago.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:33 AM   #13
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Simple answer to a simple question, hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, tuna, hamburger , cut the cheese, cut the cream, very few veggies lots of water, I've never seen a scale that didnt move in two or three days eating CLEANLY like this.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:38 AM   #14
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I, personally, do much better when I eat chicken, and fish and stay away from the beef. I love beef, but I lose more weight when I avoid it.
Try reducing your beef for a week and see what happens. Just my two cents!
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:39 AM   #15
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Simple answer to a simple question, hard boiled eggs, fried eggs, tuna, hamburger , cut the cheese, cut the cream, very few veggies lots of water, I've never seen a scale that didnt move in two or three days eating CLEANLY like this.
Thanks Ron, I am going to give it a try. So no dairy and vlc but how about mayo?
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:50 AM   #16
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Answers

Yes I'm on Prozac not paxil and I've been on it for a while with no weight gain, and lost 30lbs while on it.

I also take synthroid but according to all my lab work it's ok dosage wise and I feel pretty good, I can usually tell when it's out of whack, I've been on it for almost 20 years.

I have been eating very cleanly, but it could be calories. In order to lower those, I need to raise carbs a bit. I am going to try that for a couple days and see what happens.

Oh and I made the crabcakes and all they had was mayo/mustard/eggs and old bay, nothing else.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:53 AM   #17
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This won't be a very popular opinion, but honestly, I would do a high-carb off-plan weekend. Just Saturday and Sunday. Then, first thing Monday morning go right back on track.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:53 AM   #18
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Yes I'm on Prozac not paxil and I've been on it for a while with no weight gain, and lost 30lbs while on it.

I also take synthroid but according to all my lab work it's ok dosage wise and I feel pretty good, I can usually tell when it's out of whack, I've been on it for almost 20 years.

I have been eating very cleanly, but it could be calories. In order to lower those, I need to raise carbs a bit. I am going to try that for a couple days and see what happens.

Oh and I made the crabcakes and all they had was mayo/mustard/eggs and old bay, nothing else.
Please let us know how this works for you. I am sick to death of my stall and am looking for solutions.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:54 AM   #19
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if you cant do the tuna right out of the can, then by all means add some mayo, but the real mayo, not reduced fat crap.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:26 AM   #20
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I wouldn't think that a calorie deficit would be the problem here. Maybe if you were towards the end of your weight-loss phase I could see it, but not still weighing 211. (I am NOT at all trying to sound snarky here, I am just saying that to maintain 211 lbs you would have to be eating a lot of calories, if calories matter-some don't agree).
Whenever I have had a stall I found that by switching it up my stall would break. Either doing the fat fast for a few days, or going completely zero carb (cutting out EVERYTHING that doesn't come from an animal), changing up my workout routine either by cutting back or amping it up, etc.
If you are on medication and have lost this well so far, I wouldn't look into that as your problem.
Good luck! I hope you figure out what's been stalling you and you start losing again soon.

Yes, but she IS toward the end of her weight loss phase - only 20 lbs away from goal and things slow WAY down the closer you get to goal. Just another 2 cents.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:33 AM   #21
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Yes, but she IS toward the end of her weight loss phase - only 20 lbs away from goal and things slow WAY down the closer you get to goal. Just another 2 cents.
Sorry 190 isn't my real goal, just a mini one I guess. I haven't been under 200lbs in about 5 years.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:38 AM   #22
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Yes, but she IS toward the end of her weight loss phase - only 20 lbs away from goal and things slow WAY down the closer you get to goal. Just another 2 cents.

But unless she is 6' tall, that is still over-weight by most standards.

Oops, I see now that that is a mini-goal. Even if it was her final goal, at 211 I wouldn't be looking at calories yet. JMO.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:03 AM   #23
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But unless she is 6' tall, that is still over-weight by most standards.

Oops, I see now that that is a mini-goal. Even if it was her final goal, at 211 I wouldn't be looking at calories yet. JMO.
Okay!

I am 205, and absolutely HAVE to watch calories. We are not all built the same and the secret is knowing our own bodies well enough to figure it out. We can't really figure this out for her.

Even though the books don't say restrict, Dr. A himself advises that calories do count (not to COUNT them, but that they do count). I can guarantee you there are many people on this board, following LC to the letter, and still have to be mindful of their calories. Most just wouldn't be willing to speak up because they will be accused of doing it "wrong" and that calories can't POSSIBLY be the reason.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:09 AM   #24
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Even if it was her final goal, at 211 I wouldn't be looking at calories yet.
I would, because it doesn't matter what anyone else is able to eat at that same size. There are plenty of formulas, charts or websites telling a person she should be able to eat X number of calories, or that she burns X number of calories doing her regular exercise, but all of that is just ballpark guessing and most of it is inaccurate when applied to a specific individual.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:32 AM   #25
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Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it's not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it's likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in.
I have followed this very carefully for myself, and my basal metabolism is less than half of what the charts say.

It takes me only about 400 extra calories to gain a pound, over the 1500 I seem to maintain at. For my weight, I "should" be losing like mad at 1500 calories a day, especially staying under 20 net carbs. (I am 6'1" and still quite heavy.)

I have gained ten pounds in a week and had it NOT go away as I continue at 1500 calories and 20 net carbs, just from eating a bit extra, say 2000 a day.

These things really are just wild generalizations.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:40 AM   #26
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Jenna,

I'm not sure I have enough detail here to help, but here are some ideas.

1) IF you are overeating protein (I don't know if you are), your body can convert 58% of it to glucose. On the otherhand, it can only convert 10% of fat to glucose. You might need to tweak the protein to fat ratio. We are able to eat a lot of protein while restricting carbs and not gain weight, but losing weight is another matter.

2) You might consider adding more vegetables--mashed cauliflower (steam it a long time until soft--really good), some lettuce, some spinach, some seaweed! Expect to gain a little weight from the extra weight of food at first, but then you will feel better with more potassium minerals, etc and will help avoid eating too much protein

3) If you like shopping, try shopping every night for a week with your IPOD playing your favorite music. Walk for hours through the malls. Just being on your feet burns a lot of calories and does not overtax the body (no stress chemicals to interfere with weight loss). Music adds pep to your step

4) Switch to liquid drop sweeteners if you use them to avoid maltodextrin.

5) Check meds or vitamins for sugar
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:49 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ravenrose View Post
I have followed this very carefully for myself, and my basal metabolism is less than half of what the charts say.

It takes me only about 400 extra calories to gain a pound, over the 1500 I seem to maintain at. For my weight, I "should" be losing like mad at 1500 calories a day, especially staying under 20 net carbs. (I am 6'1" and still quite heavy.)

I have gained ten pounds in a week and had it NOT go away as I continue at 1500 calories and 20 net carbs, just from eating a bit extra, say 2000 a day.

These things really are just wild generalizations.
Yes, very true. I was speaking in generalities but I think it is wise to point this out. I don't buy into the whole basal metabolism charts - far too general. I am one that certainly does not fit into them.
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:37 PM   #28
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don't have time to read though all responses.. sorry if this is a repeat response


for me.. I had to start watching calories, not just carbs to break a stall. I did not realize I was still eating like 2500-3000 cal a day.. I was not gaining any weight.. but I was not losing for like 2 months. When I lowered my cal to to like 1800 a day.. I started losing again.. and then when I hit a stall again after that.. I would eat my 1800 (or less a day) cals for a few days.. then eat like 2500 cal for a few days.. then back to 1800 or less. that broke my stall again.
And you would have to figure out what cal you need to be on.. everyone is different eh. I've always been able to eat pretty high calorie.. but not sure what you would be

Also.. adding exercise has helped me too I did not lose much scale wise.. but body shape totally changed.. lost fat/gained muscle


Good luck and hope you break your stall!
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Old 01-04-2011, 01:46 PM   #29
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Jenna,
1) IF you are overeating protein (I don't know if you are), your body can convert 58% of it to glucose. On the otherhand, it can only convert 10% of fat to glucose. You might need to tweak the protein to fat ratio. We are able to eat a lot of protein while restricting carbs and not gain weight, but losing weight is another matter.
This is what I was going to suggest. I had a several months of not losing weight and it wasn't until I dropped my protein almost in half that I started steadily losing again. Now my fats are around 60% and my protein is 30% with carbs coming in somewhere around 30.

It also could be the calories. I'm still almost 100 pounds from goal and I absolutely have to watch calories or I stop losing, or worse, gain.

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Old 01-04-2011, 02:24 PM   #30
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I forgot to ask--VLC, does this mean very low calories? If this is what you are doing, you might be making yourself lethargic.

Some people don't believe that very low calories will cause a problem. I think it is extremely problematic. Check out Gary Taubes' information about zucker rats and you might change your mind. These are obese rats. If they are calorie restricted, they put on even more fat. How is it possible? They become lethargic. If done from birth, they don't grow to full size but become even more obese.

If you don't want to read his books, it is on youtube as well in various series of lectures.

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