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Yoopergirl77 01-27-2013 07:55 AM

6lbs down & "stuck" already??
Hello all! I have done LC in the past, paired with some pretty massive exercise and I lost 81 pounds. I have never read any of the LC books, I just pretty much researched recipes online and kept away from sugar, starches, etc. I am currently following the same mantra. I don't count how many carbs I am eating. I do use ketostix to test my urine and have been in ketosis since Jan. 1, 2013.
My question is...why have I not been losing consistently? My fiance' also started LC on Jan. 1st, 2013 and we both lost about 6 pounds during the first 2 weeks and now the scale just goes up a pound and then back down. Could we both be hitting a plateau this early on?
Also, I just began light exercise (walking). I am a mother of two, a full-time student (finishing my last semester; Social Work), I am at my internship 15 hours a week, and I have 2 dogs and a house to take care of, so it's not always easy to find time to plan, shop, cook, or exercise.
Thanks ahead of time for all of the support. I plan to come here often and educate myself through you guys! :)

thealything 01-27-2013 08:46 AM

How much weight are you trying to lose?

I do find that I can be in ketosis and not lose weight, especially when I am eating too much cheese and cream. I don't pay too much attention to calories right now but I know it's easy for me to consume way too much in the form of, say, HWC. Eating lots of it still keeps you in fat burning mode, but then you're burning DIETARY fat, not body fat. So your weight stays the same.

It might be worthwhile to pick a book (or three) and read through it. Even if you don't end up picking a specific plan, you will learn more about the science behind each. That will help you make decisions about what to eat. I found it was far easier to tighten up my diet after really digesting the Atkins book rather than relying on random people on the internet (although I trust this particular bunch of randoms more than most!). I was able to see errors in my eating that others didn't pick up on, and answers to questions I didn't even think to ask.

cfine 01-27-2013 08:53 AM

I agree. You need to read a book or two. I encounter people all of the time who "say" they are doing or tried LC without success. Without fail, NONE of these same people ever read a book about how to do it correctly to lose weight. It may(as in your case) work for a while, but the smaller you get, the more you have to pay attention to protein, fat, carb ratios.

Yoopergirl77 01-27-2013 04:46 PM

Thank you to both cfine and thealything for your responses. I sort of expected that I would be referred to "read a book!" I have read a little bit of several, but not even close to completely. I will try to read one when I've got time, maybe before bed!I am currently at my (almost) highest weight (259lbs.) and I would REALLY like to get to a healthy weight of around 150. I am 5'6", 35 years old and trying REALLY hard to get my mindset back into taking care of my health. I need all the help I can get and appreciate every word! Again, THANK you so very much! xo

omgtwins 01-27-2013 05:02 PM

As much as I hate this - every time you do Atkins, it gets harder. You will never see weight loss like you did the first or 2nd time (some get another change or 3 before they stall)
Thats me - I've been on Atkins too many times so it's hard to work so hard and not loose - but it is better than a steady gain.
Age has a lot to do with it.
Ketone sticks are worthless IMNSHO but is something others stand by - eh.
The scale and measuring tape does it better.

I;ve read the book (older version) and need to get back into them - maybe I;ve forgotten something because I lost 3.5 lbs the first week, 5 the next the gained 3 last week! (I only weigh on Mondays so have my fingers crossed for tomorrow) Who knows why except me and I aint tellin - even myself.
I know I can cheat (have more almonds than I shoulda or cheese ) even "good cheats" can affect people badly - everyones system is different tho

thealything 01-28-2013 11:57 AM

Yooper, you can totally do this. I haven't been 150 since high school but I'm close to you in height and I know I look awesome at that weight :) best of all, it's totally doable on LC.

In the meantime, if you haven't gotten any books yet, mind telling us what you eat day-to-day?

I know you said you don't count carbs but you should. You can still be in ketosis around 50g-60g carbs per day, but many of us don't lose weight unless we're below 30g per day. Perhaps a good place to start is with 20g and then start going up from there after you've noticed weight loss. That's pretty much the premise of Atkins.

A good baseline to start with is to focus on animal proteins and vegetables, with added fat in the form of butter, veggie dressing, cooking oils, etc. Go unprocessed whenever possible and watch for added sugars and starches in dressings and sandwich meats. Focus on green veggies, salad veg, and don't eat starchy vegetables or higher-sugar veg like carrots. Avoid potatoes, peas, and corn, as they're tubers and grains. Keep cheese limited to a condiment or an occasional snack in the form of cheese strings or Babybels.

creseis 01-28-2013 12:29 PM

I would also like to add that it is possible to be burning fat, in ketosis, but not losing weight if you are eating more calories than you are processing. So, you might actually have to count calories a little.

Yoopergirl77 01-28-2013 06:32 PM

Thanks to you both. I was really hoping to not have to count calories (I've done it in the past with moderate results, but it has proven to be too time consuming for my lifestyle at the moment; full-time school, fiance' is full-time grad school/thesis, two kids-one with a disability, part-time internship, dogs, house, etc.). Thealything, thank you for your words of encouragement....I look pretty good too, at 150 and also haven't seen that weight since about 20 years old! I am looking on Amazon for a used copy of the newest Atkins?? The only other book I had prior was South Beach cookbook and read the little snipet of info in the beginning of the book. I've never "jumped fully" into Atkins and honestly the time thing is hard for me....also the proportion of fat, carbs, calories (or whatever it is) looks difficult for me to try to figure out at every meal. Not difficult because I am uneducated, but just time-consuming. When I first tried LC (and not using any books as a guide) I did keep track (loosely) and when I tried to keep my carb intake around 30g per day I felt sick...like the induction flu but all the time...bad headaches, nauseas, unhealthy, etc. I will start by trying to keep track of my carbs. I know that I eat too many nuts and cheese...sometimes. I tend to try and eat a LOT of salads with either homemade Italian (oil and vinegar dressing) or Hidden V. Ranch, with cheese. Not a lot of cheese, but parmesan on my italian salads and shredded cheddar or something similar on my "ranch" salads. I try to put lots of veggies on my salads when I have time, like: tomatoes, hard-boiled egg (I know an egg isn't a veggie, lol), cucumber, green onions, fresh mushrooms, etc. I never use carrots or eat potatoes, breads, sweets, etc. However, my fiance' makes a killer LC cheesecake that has a TON of fat but he makes it around my PMS times....
Sorry I am so long-winded...I truly appreciate your feedback and wish you all the best of luck also!! :-)
P.S. I don't have a CLUE as to what some of the acronyms are on here :-/ Please fill me in for awhile until I get the hang of it! Thanks!

Yoopergirl77 01-28-2013 06:34 PM

Like "DANDR" after Atkins...I have NO idea what that means, lol!

svenskamae 01-28-2013 06:54 PM


Originally Posted by Yoopergirl77 (Post 16225716)
Like "DANDR" after Atkins...I have NO idea what that means, lol!

DANDR: Doctor Atkins' New Diet Revolution--an early, stricter version of Atkins than the "New Atkins for a New You" that is the latest version of the Atkins book. You should be able to find either in a library or cheaply as used books.

Sting 01-28-2013 07:30 PM


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.


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.

Yoopergirl77 01-28-2013 08:17 PM

Diego, THANKS for ALL of the valuable information! I've read about a lot of these things in some of my health classes at my University, although it seems that I easily forget it when the scale doesn't move downward right away! Maybe I just need more motivation! Again, thank you for the in-depth information!! I will try to remember that normal fluctuations happen and are actually good and I WILL NOT LET IT DISCOURAGE ME AND I WILL NOT GIVE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

creseis 01-29-2013 06:12 AM

Diego, thank you for posting. Can you cite your sources? Thanks!

Sting 01-29-2013 06:21 AM

Google: healthdiscovery Why The Scale Lies

creseis 01-29-2013 11:37 AM

hm doesn't say who wrote it

Sting 01-29-2013 03:18 PM


Originally Posted by creseis (Post 16227059)
hm doesn't say who wrote it

yeah i'm not sure who wrote it

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