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lucylectric 06-19-2013 09:48 AM

On and off Atkins Induction Phase but not "losing it"
Hi everybody,

I am in the 1st phase of Atkins since January 1st 2013. I did fall off the wagon a couple times, but got back on, usually, the very next day.

I review my daily intake of food on my phone, so I know I eat about 60-80% fat and under 20 net carbs, almost every day.

My Ketones are being measured every day by Keto sticks and I have been in Ketosis almost the whole time. I even started measuring with a blood meter recently, because I thought that might be one of the issues why I did not get better results. (Turned out it probably was not.)

Admittedly, I am not a big fan of exercise, especially, of working out in a gym. I have three dogs, though, who get their daily walks with my husband and another 45 min. to an hour walk with me, once I got off work.
I do know that might not be enough for huge results, but I was under the impression that with Atkins not as much exercise was needed to get, at least, minimal results.

I had good results when I tried Atkins for the first time in 2006. I lost 12 pounds in about 3 months and thought - after quitting smoking last year in March and gaining a good 20 pounds since then, I would be able to repeat this success.

Does someone have any idea what could be going on here?

I am very grateful for every answer, since I am starting to become a little desperate.


Aleina 06-19-2013 09:56 AM

Meike, do post a menu please. On the face of it as you say everything is looking good but you might have your fat protein ratio out of synch or something. What does your food log say for how many grams of each you eat every day ?

lucylectric 06-19-2013 10:02 AM

Example of my food diary
Hi Aleina,

Thanks for the fast reply.

Here is a food log example for what I consumed just yesterday:

Total Fat 119g
Protein 63g
Net Carbs 13g

This is exemplary of what most of my days looked like in the past. The carb intake varies up until 25g, in exceptions, but I am making sure the total fat is higher than the proteins.

Aleina 06-19-2013 10:19 AM

It looks picture perfect. A few shots into the dark. Many processed foods of the cold cuts type ? Cheeses? Do you drink wine? Any chance that you do have carb creep ? I mean that food logs are often generic. I had German sausage today with 1 g carb, the one in the other packet had 5 .
Out of ideas,over to everybody else.

lucylectric 06-19-2013 10:34 AM

I cut out alcohol completely, but eat cheese and cold cuts, like salami or ham and gouda or swiss cheese.

I am having cravings for sweets a lot, so I bought Atkins bars and CarbSmart Vanilla ice cream.

My daily breakfast consists of almonds and bacon. I also snack on almonds during the day. Cheese is another snack and I love to eat a piece right before bed time.

peanutte 06-19-2013 10:35 AM


I am in the 1st phase of Atkins since January 1st 2013. I did fall off the wagon a couple times, but got back on, usually, the very next day.
I don't know whether these incidents consisted of having a few Triscuits and an apple and getting right back on, or having a full day of indulging in sugary, starchy carbs and getting back on. I also don't know whether a "couple times" means two or three times, or half a dozen times. In any case, interruptions in your weight loss efforts will result in interrupted weight loss. It's good that you're able to get right back on-plan, though. Try to think about why/how these incidents happened, and work on preventing them in the future. You don't want to set yourself back any further.

How many calories are you eating, generally? You must be able to see this, because you're tracking the other stuff.

At your starting weight, which is lower than a lot of people's goal weights will ever be, you are in a different "weight class" than people starting over 200 with many more pounds to lose. All I can tell you from my own experience, and from the experience of other women I know who are around my size, is that you may have to do things differently than the "bigger losers". Basically, what you're setting out to do is what a lot of people end up doing toward pre-maintenance and maintenance, if they get there. So it's tougher. It may be slower.

Personally I base my menus on protein and veggies. You can get plenty of fat in eggs, avocados, olive oil, and other whole foods. There is no need to add oils and fats, and lots of dairy, in order to try to hit a certain percentage.

When we take in more calories (including fat) than our bodies need for fuel (whatever that personal amount is, for our individual body), we aren't going to burn our stored body fat. Slashing our carbs to a very low Induction level forces our bodies to do that. That is really the whole idea behind lipolysis, as Dr. Atkins explains. People seem to think low-carb means high-fat, but the entire emphasis of Dr. Atkins' plan was a reduction in carbs, not reaching a certain percentage of fat. He said we shouldn't be afraid of fat, but he also said calories matter, and if we're following the plan and not losing, then overeating is something to be aware of.

I'm sure you'll get plenty of other opinions, but this is my experience, and it's not unique to me. I also think you should forget about your previous weight loss of 7 years ago, because it's been long enough that you're starting something new, from a different age and probably different circumstances (such as quitting smoking, for which I congratulate you).

It's not a level playing field, and losing 20 pounds at your weight is going to be different than someone else losing her first 50 at a much higher weight.

Patience 06-19-2013 10:35 AM

are you losing inches, do your clothes feel looser?

Aleina 06-19-2013 10:47 AM

The cravings for sweets should have gone by now. I think that there is definitely something in your menu that is setting you off. I would throw out all atkins bars and the icecream (sorry) and go back to basics like making cheesecake yourself if you are worried about sweet cravings for example. Aspartame stalls me,others have troubles with sugar alcohols and your Carbsmart does have them.You might want to experiment which sweeteners suit you.
Cold cuts: My favourite "meat" but I limit them. The phosphates in all things and especially in salami can stall you. (water retention)
Cheese: contains casein . In general not a showstopper,but in excess it can cause water retention.

Almonds: No almonds on Atkins induction. As you are on an extended induction you could possibly allow some. From your comments you snack on them during the day. Do you know how many a day ,as in actually count them? If you estimate there could be a problem .

Tiffany62590 06-19-2013 10:50 AM

I suggest you try cutting out the low carb snack foods/sweets and see if that helps. Most Atkins bars are sweetened with a sugar alcohol called Malitol and that can cause weight stalls (as well as inflammation, cramps and major bathroom issues). Splenda can also stall people or cause a bad reaction (and actually make you crave sugar more!). And even if you've been having these items for a while and feel they are safe, intolerance can spring up suddenly.

If you need a sweet fix, I suggest you try some stevia and add it to coffee or tea (or make cream cheese clouds or some other low carb treat with it). Just make sure to get the stevia that has as little fillers and other stuff in it as possible - the stuff you typically find in the grocery store is made with tons of fillers and unnecessary things, so you'd need to check out a health food store for a good brand.

nolcjunk 06-19-2013 11:03 AM

You are pretty close to goal and at a smaller starting weight, so calories will matter more for you. Nuts and cheese are super calorie dense and the calories in them can add up fast. An ounce of cheese looks tiny but it has around 100 calories, same with nuts. Your protein looks a little low to me. I would lower the fat and get more protein.

peanutte 06-19-2013 11:07 AM


I cut out alcohol completely, but eat cheese and cold cuts, like salami or ham and gouda or swiss cheese.

I am having cravings for sweets a lot, so I bought Atkins bars and CarbSmart Vanilla ice cream.

My daily breakfast consists of almonds and bacon. I also snack on almonds during the day. Cheese is another snack and I love to eat a piece right before bed time.
I would say no bars, no fake ice cream--those are stoking your sweet cravings and are full of hidden "magical non-counting carbs".

Cheese should be watched--a couple of ounces a day, not several.

Snacking on almonds, or really snacking a lot on anything, is something to reduce as well. One of the biggest favors I ever did for myself was learning not to snack.

I can't help but notice that you are getting over 1000 of your daily calories in fat. Not only is that not at all necessary for low-carb to work well, it's counterproductive, in my opinion, for a woman your size.

You could be having 1000-1200 calories of whole foods--do you eat salads and veggies? Or do all your carbs come from nuts and bars? Do you eat fresh meats, like steak, chicken, fish, ground beef--or mostly these cold cuts and bacon? There's a lot of sodium in cheese and lunch meats. Do you not eat eggs? They contain a lot of nutrition.

lucylectric 06-19-2013 11:17 AM

Wow! Thank you so much! That was eye opening, indeed...

I do consume tons of Splenda loaded items on a daily basis. For example Fresca (my very favorite "water"), Crystal Lights and such. I will definitely cut out those for a change. Atkins bars and ice cream will be hard, but hopefully doable.

The biggest challenge is going to be the nuts and cheese, though. But, I guess, if I want to see results, I will have to follow through with everything that can stall. I ate about 60 almonds during the day.

Water retention is a very big problem, especially once a month, but maybe eating less processed meats can help with that.

@peanutte: I know 20 pounds doesn't sound much, but I am fighting the things to come, I guess, since my whole family is very overweight. It is basically in my German genes to eat a lot of carbs with every meal and this fight is a tough one. :)
I splurged about 4 or 5 times, since I started. But that I did wholeheartedly, with overeating on my grandma's cuisine and Kinderschokolade, on my last visit home.

@Aleina: 1300 - 1600 calories a day is the most I have. January to April I was completely living off of 1200, until someone told me that might be too few.

peanutte 06-19-2013 11:32 AM


@peanutte: I know 20 pounds doesn't sound much, but I am fighting the things to come, I guess, since my whole family is very overweight. It is basically in my German genes to eat a lot of carbs with every meal and this fight is a tough one.
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in what I was trying to convey. What I am saying is that 20 pounds for a woman your size and with your starting weight is often harder than a lot more pounds at a much higher starting weight. When I started losing weight it was "easier" in the sense that I could eat more food, regular snacks, and certainly more fat than I could once I started edging down to a healthy BMI. I lost the first 48 between Jan. and Oct. 2009; it took until the following November to get to my current weight of 118. So I'm sympathetic to your particular challenge.

The other thing is that 20 pounds feels and looks like a lot when we're talking 146 to 125--it's 13% of your body weight that you're seeking to lose. So I get it. But, that's why we have to be even stricter and more mindful about it. It doesn't bother me because I've gotten so used to eating this way.

lucylectric 06-19-2013 11:42 AM

@peanutte: I got really tired of eggs for a while, but have added them back on my daily plan now. I make a whole muffin sheet full in the oven over the weekend and take the hard baked eggs with me to work. Again, as a snack.

Unfortunately, I am getting bored very easily. Especially at work (I am looking for a different job already), so I do snack way too much.

To the veggie intake.... Meat is my vegetable, so to speak. I eat some peppers or green beans, but salad is something I really have to convince myself to eat once in a while.

lucylectric 06-19-2013 11:46 AM

Yep, that is where I want to get, eventually. I want it to not bother me anymore, as well. :)

I understand that I have to make adjustments, now. Especially in the sweets department and fat/protein ratio.

peanutte 06-19-2013 11:54 AM

Being somewhat bored with food can actually be a good thing. We don't need every meal to be that interesting--most of my meals are more functional than anything. It's not that my food doesn't taste good; I eat things I like, but I don't need a whole lot of variety, I don't seek out new or exciting ways to prepare my food, and I find that a more indifferent attitude toward food is fine with me. There are plenty of other things in life I can do to engage my interests.

Patience 06-19-2013 12:04 PM

Almonds may be doing a number on you. For breakfast and as a snack.
They are not on the induction list and for good reason.
My feeling is you would do better with an egg with your bacon for breakfast instead of the almonds. If you feel you must snack on them, try to do in smaller quanities than 60. No sure what the carb load is for 60 but I am guessing it is considerable. You can add them back, but for losing now, I'd lose the almonds along with the fake foods.

lucylectric 06-20-2013 12:37 PM

Thank you all!
This is very good advise and I started following a couple of your suggestions today.

Has anybody have any experience with Monk Fruit sugar substitute, instead of Splenda? It says on the Monk Fruit In The Raw it is sugar free.

I also use Stevia, but haven't really found a brand that I really like, yet.

cfine 06-20-2013 03:27 PM

Nunaturals liquid stevia is the best! I use it in my iced tea and LC treats along with erythritol.

I don't think that nuts are a problem, just the amount that you are eating. 1/4cup or 28grams per day should be your maximum amount per day. I think the reason most people have trouble with nuts is because they don't measure and can't stop at one serving. I eat nuts several times per week with no problems because I follow this rule.

Someone may have already said this, but powdered Splenda is not carb free.

Aleina 06-20-2013 05:39 PM

When you say the monkfruit sweetener do you mean Nectresse ? I cannot get it here, so I looked into whether the actual fruit is available in the Chinese stores or the actual original Chinese sweetener.
It turns out that the fruit itself is slightly bitter and in order to mask this in Nectresse they use sugar alcohols,sugar and molasses. If that is the product and they advertise it as sugar free it must be due to labelling laws because on their website they list sugar as an ingredient.

Pami 06-20-2013 09:37 PM

From Colette Heimowitz, M.S, VP for Nutrition Communication & Education with Atkins Nutritionals, Inc :


Originally Posted by cheri (Post 9271278)


I am eating without cheating. I weigh and measure everything.
4 oz protein and 3/4c vegge are my serving size I cut back dairy and fat is only a little evoo or peanut oil.

I have barely lost five lbs in two and a half months.

Dr took a metabolic blood test.
If a blood test for metabolisim shows I am normal why such slow fat burning?

In a situation such as this what else can I do to make the fat burn away? Perhaps cut the protein serving down to 3 oz.


When individuals follow very low-calorie diets their basal metabolic rate will slow down to compensate for the low caloric intake. This is the body's survival response to preserve its internal organs and muscle mass. If someone is following the Atkins protocol correctly, he or she should not be taking in fewer than 1,800 calories daily from protein, natural fats and vegetable sources. This energy supply should not cause a drop in the metabolic rate, but rather maintain the rate while using primarily fat (instead of carbohydrate) as a fuel for needed energy.

I would advise counting calories for a few days to do a reality check, make sure you are not starving yourself.

True, too many calories can stall weight loss as well, but some folks shoot too low for an Atkins type approach and go into a starvation mode.

If you are on a weight-loss plateau, cutting back on or omitting food intolerance like cheese and nuts altogether may be all it takes to get you back on the road to weight loss. You will need to experiment to determine which foods may be the culprit.

Don't get discouraged. Exercise is by far the most profound way to break a plateau. If you are not exercising, start, if you are exercising, step it up a bit.

peanutte 06-21-2013 05:25 AM

Well, that is completely disappointing--and unhelpful--advice. How can anyone decide that 1800 calories is a number appropriate for everyone? No fewer than "1800 calories" for whom?--a woman starting at 160 with a goal weight of 110, and a woman starting at 275 with a goal weight of 190? An man starting at 300 with a goal weight of 200? A man who is 6'2", a man who is 5'8"? Muscular, less muscular? A 22 year old woman who's never had kids, a 65 year old woman who's post-menopausal? I mean, come on, that just defies reality. People are not in danger of "going into starvation mode" by eating fewer than 1800 calories. Exercise is not "by far the most profound way to break a stall". It sounds like she is just repeating the same old lines.

This nutritionist is right about one thing: give the body all that dietary fat and reduce your carbs and sure, you'll be using fat for fuel--you'll be using all that fat you're eating. Yes, metabolism slows a little with a drastic reduction in calories, but that's going to happen with weight loss, regardless. It's not a dangerous "slowdown". It's natural and normal that a 125 pound woman is going to have a lower calorie needs than she did at 200. That doesn't mean she's "damaged her metabolism", it means she's smaller now.

Unfortunately this is coming from the official Atkins site, so people will nod solemnly and give it more authority than it deserves. I can tell you for a fact that many, many women would be gaining and not losing on 1800 calories a day. It just makes no sense to give blanket recommendations like that. You might as well say all cars' gas tanks should hold X gallons of gas and should all get X MPH. Not gonna happen.

I think people here ought to read lots of posts and look at what is actually working for real people with real, individual differences in the real world. We all have heard well-intended but overgeneralized recommendations about "plenty of healthy whole grains" and "the food pyramid" and "eat less, move more", and all that stuff--unfortunately, some of that simplistic one-size-fits-all advice is present with low-carb "authorities" as well.

Aleina 06-21-2013 09:43 AM

I do not quite agree with the analysis you gave Peanutte. At one point we defended the 1200 cal low fat diet with just as much vigour as you are now defending the 1200 cal locarb one. A woman who has always weighed 120 lbs has never known the "wellbeing" of being overweight in survival terms. Our survival instinct makes our body feel great about being so well equipped regardless of what our brains THINK and thinks that you have gone around the bend to want to give up its current state of wellbeing for whatever reason. So if you reduce your calorie intake that drastically your body is fighting you all the way as it has known better times in its own survival terms. That is where the weight set point theory comes in.
Do you need to reduce calorie intake as you get slimmer ? Yes of course ,but it is also a case of tricking your bodies instincts into believing that everything is okay that you are taking care of it and letting it survive. View it the same way as breathing. If our body had the confidence in our brain ( cognitive behaviour) to realise the need for oxigen at ALL times it would not regulate it via an automatic process .
If as a kid you have ever tried holding your breath with a friend to see who can go longest you will remember the feeling of all pervasive "desperation" and the relief when it was finally over.

Watching people here is good advice, but you need to see their total history . I am eating 1253 calories per day and I lost 4.47 pounds does not tell you much about the longterm success of said person if they are not religious about their updates. If they cycle and hide their "bad" weeks you get a false average.

A final word slightly unrelated, but along the same lines. Often people say they are happy to be free of cravings, need to eat etc . While the excessive,obsessive need for food gratification is damaging to body and psyche, there will always be a need for these signals. Yesterday I had a powerful need for olives. I mean I like them but a need?? Watching what else was happening in my life I noted the recurrence of muscle spams in my leg on waking yesterday, but not today. So my need for olives was actually a need for extra sodium. The magnesium and potassium I had covered, but apparently I had neglected the sodium. If I had recognised it at first I could have just added salt to my tea or something to make it non caloric, but the need bypassed my brain. It came from "somewhere else". Next time I will know to watch for it instead of being forced from "somewhere within".

In all honesty I think the 1800 calorie advice is more responsible than anything else. The pressures of being slim are enormous and the focus on calories and cutting them is ingrained. Atkins relies on natural reduction however long that takes. It is the impatience that is trying to set rules, so that losses are maximised. We can indulge that impatience, but may pay with weight loss stalls during losing or a constant battle to maintain. The latter is my assumption. It might be that there are people who do not. Do they not because they are less metabolically damaged or am I wrong in my assumptions. I will tell you if it works for me when I am there. If you will in a nutshell we are talking about the difference between a diet and a WOE. Slim people do not count, they "know". We are looking for that natural balance to "know" again.

I am currently too lazy to check where I read it as I have been reading a lot lately, but if anyone is interested and cannot find it themselves I will try and get over being lazy ;).

peanutte 06-21-2013 12:53 PM

I'm not defending anything except the fact that people of different ages, heights, sizes, genetics and with different weight histories are going to require all sorts of different calorie and carb levels. It doesn't make any sense to me to recommend a certain number like 1800, as if you shouldn't fall below that number or something bad will happen to your metabolism.


Atkins relies on natural reduction however long that takes.
I think it relies upon a deliberate and strict reduction of carbs. That's an effort we made to change our style of eating. It didn't come to us naturally, but there's nothing wrong with the fact that it didn't.


It is the impatience that is trying to set rules, so that losses are maximised. We can indulge that impatience, but may pay with weight loss stalls during losing or a constant battle to maintain.
Of course we all want our losses to be what we want them to be, but that doesn't mean we're necessarily rushing to get there as fast as we can. One could say it is a constant battle to maintain, but being much heavier had its constant battles as well. Losing weight requires consistency, focus, and dedication, and so does maintenance.


Slim people do not count, they "know". We are looking for that natural balance to "know" again.
I think that's an often-mistaken assumption about slim people. Some thin people never count anything or think about their food portions, but it's because they don't have to, because they don't gain weight...until they do start gaining weight, which many, many women find happening as they enter their 30s and 40s. We might assume a slim woman eats heartily, freely, and intuitively, but we really don't know what they do for all their meals, on all their days. We don't know if they aren't giving it a second thought, or if they actually are aware and making choices. It could also be said that a lot of obese people never count anything, and just eat what feels natural to them, but they get a different result.

I am not intending to argue, but to discuss this. Points of view will vary, but it's good to hear different ones.

Aleina 06-21-2013 02:03 PM

Great debate. No arguing from me either, just brain fodder. Will write whem I am back home.Hate typing on pseudo blackberry. :hug:

lucylectric 06-23-2013 01:17 PM

@Bella: I did not loose inches. Once a month the clothes get a little tighter (like probably everyone of us girls experiences) and then back to how it was before.

I went back to the original Atkins Induction and kept to it for the last couple days. I can not exercise a lot, because I strained my ankle two weeks ago and am wearing a walking cast for the next two months. So this is basically all I am doing - walking. Up to an hour every day.

According to a calorie calculator I can eat up to 1500 calories a day with this sedentary life style, and this is what I am aiming for.

I bought a book on Fat Fasting and am trying to get about 80% fat in my intake to get the fat burning going. I also bought a Blood Ketone meter and managed to get up to 0.9 as of today. I understand that 1,5 - 3.0 is the optimum, so I have a few more adjustments to make.

@Aleina and Cfine: The monk fruit sweetener I use is Monk Fruit In The Raw. I tried it once this week, but went back to liquid Stevia and Truvia. I cut out Splenda since it makes me gassy when I have too much.

peanutte 06-23-2013 05:54 PM


According to a calorie calculator I can eat up to 1500 calories a day with this sedentary life style, and this is what I am aiming for.
Calorie calculators don't know you. They don't know all your particulars, they don't know your physiology and they don't know what really works for you.

At your weight, 1500 sounds more like maintenance calories to me. To get to 125, I think you're going to have to go lower than that to create the necessary deficit.

I don't personally believe that 80% fat is necessary or even helpful for a person your size. Adding more fat does not "make" us burn more stored fat. Reducing carbs does.

I hope you find what works!

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