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Old 01-12-2013, 10:40 AM   #1
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Why did you quit low-carb?

Reading through the forums, I see a lot of people who quit eating low-carb - often regaining weight - and are starting over. Some people have done this a couple of times.

I'm wondering - why did you quit?

I don't mean to criticize anyone. I was just thinking that if I knew what kind of obstacles other people ran into, I might be better prepared when I faced the same thing.

Any comments are appreciated!
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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I quit after my first attempt 15 years ago because I didn't read the book and thus made my random menu choices in accordance with whatever I'd heard Atkins was in the media at the time ... and didn't lose an ounce after a month as a result, even with walking an hour a day, 7 days a week. That's my pathetic story!

Fast-forward 3 years later: I actually bought the book, read it this time, and was down half a pound the next morning and 7 pounds the first 2 weeks, cutting my cardio in half. Made goal 4+ months later & have remained there since. The moral: know what the heck you're doing. It sure helped me!
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:04 AM   #3
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You know that squishy red thing in your mouth? It has taste buds on it. And dag nabit, those taste buds REALLY REALLY like the taste of sugar. Then that stimulates your brain to release some "feel good" endorphins and you are compelled to eat MORE sugar. The spell can be broken, I've done it before and I'm sure thousands have. But those taste buds will always have a desire for sugar, so it's VERY easy to relapse, at least for me. Also, boredom can be a factor. You better get a good knife set, cutting board, pots and pans and prepare to become a pretty dang good chef on this diet. Prepackaged stuff? Out the window. Everything from scratch, baby. It gets to be a daily grind after a while. Sorry, not trying to be snarky in the least, I'm just saying. Those are the things that always happen to me.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:08 AM   #4
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The first 4 or 5 times I started it - I could not even get past the first week of induction. It evidently wasn't the right time or I wasn't in the right mind set to be serious about it.
This time like Sheila, I read the book and decided it would be a permanent lifestyle change from day one. Made it to my goal weight in 9.5 months and have now ended up 7lbs under goal and have been maintaining for 4 months. I really believe thinking of it as permanent lifestyle change has been key for me, it is how I plan on living the rest of my life and I am very happy with that decision!!

Last edited by sfmom; 01-12-2013 at 11:09 AM..
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:11 AM   #5
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It's hard to break an addiction. You make it sound as if quitting is how one ends up eating carbs again, but that implies a choice. I don't think I've ever made a reasoned decision to start eating carbs again, anymore than a heroin addict decides to get high again.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post
It's hard to break an addiction. You make it sound as if quitting is how one ends up eating carbs again, but that implies a choice. I don't think I've ever made a reasoned decision to start eating carbs again, anymore than a heroin addict decides to get high again.
This is true for me too - I am addicted to carbs AND I have a history of overeating/binge eating. Every single day is a fight for me. Often I win, sometimes I lose and when I do lose, it can be a slipperly slope and a whole load of pounds before I manage to regain control.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biancasteeplechase View Post
Reading through the forums, I see a lot of people who quit eating low-carb - often regaining weight - and are starting over. Some people have done this a couple of times.

I'm wondering - why did you quit?

I don't mean to criticize anyone. I was just thinking that if I knew what kind of obstacles other people ran into, I might be better prepared when I faced the same thing.

Any comments are appreciated!

With me it was more like quitting the diet mindset. I didn't know carbs were the problem. If you have a serious problem with carbs, and that is the case for a small portion of the population, you might not be able to return to a HC or even a moderate carb diet. That is where it fell apart for me. It turned me into an exercise junkie trying to maintain my weight, instead of just staying LC.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post
It's hard to break an addiction. You make it sound as if quitting is how one ends up eating carbs again, but that implies a choice. I don't think I've ever made a reasoned decision to start eating carbs again, anymore than a heroin addict decides to get high again.


Although, for me at least there are times when carbs are:
(1) accidentally eaten (mislabeled items, misprepared foods, etc...),
(2) deliberately eaten as "self medication" to combat stress,
(3) deliberately eaten b/c of poor planning, convienence, or unavailibility of LC options
(4) reluctantly eaten b/c of Peer Pressure: Bday Cakes, Dinner Parties, social expectations ans such,
(5) deliberately eaten as a self reward for whatever acheivement

Then the unfortate sugar addiction brain wiring takes over, and gets you to throw all reasonableness out the window, leading to intense cravings, binges, etc... which can last for days or sometimes more, but it is a slippery slope, and before you know it, you can be back on the main stream diet/woe because it is the most easily available.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:54 PM   #9
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for me I lost 30-40 pounds easily on Atkins in 2004.
But I could never accept the fact or even understand that carbs were my problem.My maintenance plan was go back to whatever I did b4 atkins.Then I had some health issues totally unrelated and everyone and their mother tells me it is all Atkin diet's fault,meat cannot be good for you,fat is the devil etc.
I was scared and turned to the food pyramid.Weight slowly kept creeping up and there were food allergies too.At this time I was frantically looking for a cure for my allergies and ended up with a book called Ultrametabolism by Dr Hyman.This guy is an ultra fraud all I can say.I fell into his 'science' that once we start eating regular food,carbs and all ,our carb sensitivity will go away.So I faithfully followed his plan and gained 20 pounds.After I learnt my lesson,there was unwillingness on my part to go back to low carbing,bcoz I felt too restricted and addicted to sweets.Then I did a lot of reading and research and finally understood and accepted that my metabolism is different and I am insulin resistant,and I simply cannot eat like my thin ,high carb junk eating friends who make me feel bad for eating LC-sorry had to vent.
Anyway I think the biggest key is acceptance that only LC works for some of us,and then I think we may never again go back to regular SAD diets.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:11 PM   #10
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I don't like preparing food or cooking. My best success is clean eating, foods prepared from scratch, and focusing on the outer walls of the grocery store (avoiding the aisles). When I am tired or in a hurry, it is too easy to grab something chock full of who knows what and pop it into the microwave.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amber_Baby View Post
This is true for me too - I am addicted to carbs AND I have a history of overeating/binge eating. Every single day is a fight for me. Often I win, sometimes I lose and when I do lose, it can be a slipperly slope and a whole load of pounds before I manage to regain control.
Yep, my bingeing came back with epic force. For about 6 months of 2012 I ate everything that wasn't nailed down, averaging a weight gain if about 10 pounds per month.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:24 PM   #12
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Same as some others here, binge monster came back in full force. Big ? is why does it come back and how to stop it.
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Old 01-12-2013, 07:56 PM   #13
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BECAUSE I AM A FREAKING IDIOT AND NEVER SEEM TO LEARN FROM MY MISTAKES!!! Now I am trying desperately to get started again and keep blowing it....
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:00 PM   #14
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I am addicted to carbs!! That's without a doubt, I feel sometimes it's a drug for me. However, I know how good I feel without it and I know how well my body responds to being OFF of it. "Fall down 7, get up 8."
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:07 PM   #15
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Good question. I have quit and restarted many times. I also have a history of quitting any diet or way of eating and going back to eating crap and binge eating. I suspect it has more to do, for me, with emotional eating habits, my emotions, than it does to do with actual flaws in the way of eating itself. The key is, I always go back and try not to beat myself up. I went off plan for 8 months this year and only gained back 5-8lbs of the 20 I lost. I also exercise a lot, which helps.

I am sure a lot of people go on/off plan for different reasons. For me, it is mostly emotional, and basically, I love pizza. On low carb, I don't miss it much, but that first bite turns into a gateway!

And, honestly, I don't know how to prevent this sort of thing because it is so ingrained in my personality. I get stressed or I reach a personal goal, I binge eat. The only thing I can do is go with the flow, hope for the best, plan plan plan, and if I do go off plan, to understand that it's not the end for real. Plus, I'm really healthy otherwise, so I don't have any underlying health issues that might make it seem more important to stick to the plan, even though going off plan can lead to those problems.

Last edited by creseis; 01-12-2013 at 08:11 PM.. Reason: I wanted to add something to my answer :)
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:43 PM   #16
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People always talk about making a lifestyle change, but I always just wanted to lose weight in the past. It wasn't until my health was at risk because I was diagnosed with diabetes II that I got serious. But, this is where the lifestyle part comes in...

  • I get rid of all the junk in my house
  • We quit eating out so much, because it's just tempting. We used to eat out several times a week
  • We only have low carb items with the exception of some Special K cereal for my daughter. I dislike cereal, so this is not a temptation for me.
  • We used to lead a youth group, which is a recipe for disaster because you have to feed teens on a budget. We no longer teach, but had stopped before we started the dieting again.
  • I am more active. I park as far out as I can and have added exercise tapes and walk on my treadmill since it's cold outside.
I really think you have to change your lifestyle and that includes the lifestyle of those in your home. Otherwise, you will be very tempted to nosedive off the wagon.
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Old 01-12-2013, 09:58 PM   #17
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The first time I quit because I started getting to a weight that was no longer considered overweight (145 lbs.) I laxed off thinking I'd lost most of my weight, but also became very uncomfortable with withe attention when no longer heavier anymore. I put that comfort blanket of weight right back on. The second time, I just stopped losing. After stalling for over a year losing nothing on low carb I gave up on it, and did some days low carb some not and juggled the same 10-15lbs losing and gaining.

I really love this way of eating from the food to how it makes me feel and even if I don't lose weight I don't gain either. This time I approached it not as a diet or all about the number on the scale but what's going to make me most healthy.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:54 AM   #18
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This is the second time I've lost a significant amount of weight by low carbing. The first time, I maintained the loss for 3 years - and then I never actually 'gave up' eating low carb, I just gradually became more relaxed and complacent about what I could eat. The weight crept back on, with me in constant denial - until my clothes got tighter and I couldn't ignore the issue any longer. Cue depression and a head-first dive into carb consumption, which I just couldn't seem to stop. I'd wake up every day and tell myself that THIS was the day I'd get back to eating the way I knew I should - and 30 mins later I'd be tucking into toast with my breakfast, and not understanding why I couldn't resist it. I started hating myself for my perceived lack of control, but seemed powerless to do anything about it.

Anyway, my decline continued for a few years, until last August, when - I don't really know what triggered it - I found the strength to say 'enough is enough', and get back to eating low carb. 50 lbs off now, 19 to go, feel better than I have in years - and this time I'm prepared for maintenance and understand the dangers of carb creep and the aforementioned complacency. This will be my last weight loss phase, I swear. I will get to goal this year, and then I will maintain the loss.
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:52 AM   #19
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Second time here for me. 45#'s lost the first time.

I started a high stress job, sitting for 8 hours, sometimes 6 days a week. Over ate from stress. Five years later ended up weighing 220#'s w/high blood pressure, and diabetes 2

Quit the job, restarted Atkins. I've stayed with it. Food is no longer an obsession.

Just For Today, I Will Observe a Healthy, Low Carb Way of Eating
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Old 01-13-2013, 06:55 AM   #20
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After losing 40 lbs I gave myself permission to indulge a tiny bit. I did this for awhile with no gain, and it just carried on from there. BOOM Fatty-bo-ba-lattie again. I've done lots of half attempts since. I now have a clean week in, and I'm praying I can keep my head in the game.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:01 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeaniem View Post
Same as some others here, binge monster came back in full force. Big ? is why does it come back and how to stop it.
Binging is horrid. All I know from my journey is that it is a coping mechanism just like some have cigs others have alcohol etc. when we are in control it is good but at times of stress our brains will always revert back to their predispositioned preferred way of coping. This doesn't mean the end of the world though. Knowing this has allowed me more freedom as I don't beat myself up after a binge now I just try to get back on plan as quickly as possible and recognise it for what it is. Whereas before I would have binged and then spent the next however long carrying on binging because I was upset with myself.


Re the question about why quit.
I would not say that I have ever 'quit' as such. But I have had long periods where I have not eaten low carb, they have not been a conscious decision to stop the WOE but times when habit has crept back in or pressure from others has lead to a lapse but I do know that it is the WOE that my body responds best to and as such I always find myself coming back to it.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:13 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by SugarFreeSheila View Post
The moral: know what the heck you're doing. It sure helped me!
That right there is the key. Know what you are doing and you are a lot less likely to fail. Not just the mechanics - e.g. eat less than x grams of carbs and keep calories under x amount. It is important to know enough to handle sometimes contradictory advice so you can make a decision that works for you and makes sense to you.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:21 AM   #23
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Quote:
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Binging is horrid. All I know from my journey is that it is a coping mechanism just like some have cigs others have alcohol etc. when we are in control it is good but at times of stress our brains will always revert back to their predispositioned preferred way of coping. This doesn't mean the end of the world though. Knowing this has allowed me more freedom as I don't beat myself up after a binge now I just try to get back on plan as quickly as possible and recognise it for what it is. Whereas before I would have binged and then spent the next however long carrying on binging because I was upset with myself.

I can't pinpoint any specific emotional distress that sets me off. I just started a written journal yesterday where I am recording my moods, thoughts and satiety levels to see if I can stop the pattern. It does seem to be a hormonal effect, but I don't get TOM, so it is little tricky to predict. I have become a little better about not beating myself up, but the binging most certainly undoes any progress that I manage to make. Not to mention the horrible effects it has on my health.
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:26 AM   #24
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The first time (after losing about 40 lbs) I forced myself off the wagon because I was dating my husband and I didn't want to be too complicated lolol Looking back at forcing myself to consume regular soda's and french fries, I was such a dingbat. But it is what it is. Now we're married and he knows I'm a pain in the rear so I don't ever have to worry about that again

After I had the kids I hit my highest weight. I lost 80 lbs! Carb creep reared it's ugly head and I was pretty burned out. So I turned myself into a guinea pig and tried all kinds of diets. Ultimately nothing worked like LC/Paleo and I ended up confusing myself.

I'm really struggling now because I'm super stressed and the tiniest things seem like mountains to climb so cooking every single meal is heaps of work. I haven't been able to commit for more than 2 weeks in the past year. It's super frustrating.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:55 AM   #25
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Oh my gosh - threads like these strike terror into in my heart! I lost 100 pounds in 2010 and whittled away another 10 pounds in 2012. I've had a lifelong struggle with weight and now at 50 years of age I weigh what I probably weighed in 5th grade.

I really feel committed to LC - my house is stocked with low carb staples, I've learned to cook a wide variety of meals, I don't have the kind of social life that puts me in the line of fire in making difficult choices in what I put in my mouth. It would seem that I'm set up for continued success....

BUT I can't shake the nagging statistic that 95% of people regain their weight. That many of our friends here cruised along with great success and then suddenly fell off the edge. I was so looking forward to getting to a point in my life where I wasn't so fully consumed with my weight. I used to be anxious about being so heavy. Now I'm anxious about maintaining my loss. I'd love to relax and focus on something other than how I'm fitting into my pants but I suspect that fear and anxiety maybe the very things that keep me off that slippery slope. It's exhausting though....
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:55 AM   #26
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Personally, I just got complacent about what I was eating after I got to goal, and over the coarse of about 4 years, gained back about 25 lbs. That and we've had a lot of stress the past few years, and I'm a comfort eater. Then I got pregnant with my 3rd child and I gained a lot of weight that I didn't lose after he was born. I'm back to pre-preggo weight now, an hope to get to goal again and never look back.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:01 AM   #27
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For me, it was always a slippery slope:

First, I'd begin questioning the "health" of the WOE, even though I knew that all the rhetoric behind low fat dieting was bunk.

Then, I'd begin cheating because "a piece of HIGH FIBRE bread is GOOD for me"....

and finally, I'd have HUGE binges because all that high fibre bread was causing insulin spikes and mad cravings....

Someone else said it best--people love sugar. I ADORE sweet things. I'm a (hopefully) reformed one dozen per day cupcake addict.

Learn from my mistakes--don't cheat.
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:56 AM   #28
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When I am on point, I love planning my meals, writing down what I eat, tracking my weight loss, etc.

But - at some point it just becomes exhausting to always have to 'think about' what I can eat. Even thought I know it is a mind set, and never really about the food, don't matter. I really have to fight with myself to stay/get back on track.

Fortunately, if you can ride it out, the good mind set does come back.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:10 AM   #29
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Good question: I think the LC lifestyle can, if not properly approached, turn into a catch-22. Since starting, I find myself thinking/borderline obsessing about food more than ever before. Don't get me wrong, I think it is a very good thing to pay attention to how certain foods impact the blood sugar instead of mindlessly popping candy or chocolate for quick energy, but I've never constantly thought about food in as much detail as much as I did on my first month of induction.

I don't know if I'm making sense, but I began to realize that LC required a whole new way of thinking about food.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:17 AM   #30
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Ontario
Posts: 16,372
Gallery: clackley
Stats: 228.5/168/125
WOE: N.K.=vlc/hf/moderate protein & organic/pastured
Start Date: Restart Oct 18 2009
I never 'quit' but I allowed stress to over-rule me and it started with one intentional off plan meal. I then went on to years of 'off plan' all the while trying desperately to get back on plan. I have been on plan for 3+yrs. this go around and am determined to never allow that to happen again. I now know my parameters and don't mess with them.
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