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Old 08-08-2014, 08:09 PM   #1
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Carb ladder and post-induction stall

Hi everyone! I'm a newbie, I started on Atkins on 7/15 (so just over 3 weeks ago) and have been really pleased with it so far. I've been lurking the boards a lot lately, so I know there are some really wise people on these forums! Hopefully you can help me

I started Atkins (NANY) with the induction phase - but including nuts & seeds, since I thought I might extend it (okay, and also because I wasn't sure I'd make it without them ... ), and by day 13 I was down 7 pounds and safely into the 130s, at 138.8! Woo!! But it seems I've fallen victim to the dreaded Post-Induction Stall Syndrome, as I've been bouncing up and down between 138.8 and 140 since that day, up and down (like the world's lamest roller coaster), but never any lower than 138.8. Because I don't have a whole lot to lose - I'm about 15 lbs from my goal weight - I feel it's important for me to move into OWL so I can learn my CCLL, which foods work for me, etc.

But my question is: because I'm in a stall and don't know when it'll end (I know the last 10 - 20lbs come off slooooowly), how can I safely move up the carb ladder since I won't necessarily be able to tell if it's a particular food/carb level that's making me stall, or whether it's just a continuation of the stall I'm in right now? Any tips?

For the sake of complete information, an average day's food for me looks like this:
1 cup of coffee, 1.5 tbsp half&half (sometimes heavy cream), 2 splenda
4 strips of thick cut bacon, 2 eggs scrambled in .25 tbsp butter
~80g roasted chicken (breast or thigh meat); serving of green beans or asparagus (steamed or sauteed in olive oil)
~80 gr roasted chicken (usually wing, leg, and/or thigh meat)
Usually two snacks a day, most often 1oz almonds and 1oz cashews, sometimes sunflower seeds and (more recently) 1 or 2 tbsp all natural (no sugar added) peanut butter)

Edited to add: Since January of this year I've been strength training, lifting heavy, about 3 times a week. Since beginning Atkins I've fallen off a bit but have made it at least once a week, sometimes twice, plus a day of some light cardio (walking, etc.).

I track my food diligently, and have consistently been taking in ~1400 calories. I've read conflicting reports on whether that intake is too high or too low, or just right, so I'm not sure what direction to go in.

So, thoughts on how to move up the carb ladder while in a stall? Or, better yet, advice on how to break my stall?

Thank you!!

Last edited by Snackycake; 08-08-2014 at 08:14 PM.. Reason: more info
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:51 PM   #2
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One more thing! Somehow I forgot to mention, I never go above 25g of carbs a day. Day to day, I'm usually around 18 - 20g.

Thanks again for reading!
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Old 08-09-2014, 06:06 AM   #3
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I would try subbing hard-boiled eggs or cheese (less than 4oz) for the nuts, peanut butter and sunflower seeds you're eating as snacks. While almonds are generally ok, cashews have a ton of carbs. 1oz of cashews has 9g of carbs.

Again, I'd try it for a couple of days, see if it makes a difference, and if not you can go back to eating the way before and try eliminating something else.
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Old 08-09-2014, 08:38 AM   #4
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First of all, you are not in a stall as defined by Atkins. One week of bouncing up and down is not even close to the 6 weeks with no loss in lbs or inches that Atkins describes.

Secondly, it is true that with less to lose, your weight loss will probably slow down after that initial LC whoosh, much of which is typically water weight. And, in addition, the weight lifting will effect the scale as often as you do it, muscles hold on to water in the process of re-building themselves after a work out.

Sure, you could drop down to less than 20 carbs again, or cut your calories further, but imo what is sustainable is very important. In short, maybe the one thing you need to add to your woe now is patience. Keep on keepin' on, and if after another 3 or 4 weeks, at a minimum, you are still not dropping, then consider tweaking a bit and seeing what happens.

You're still very new to this woe, and you body is going through a lot of adjustments. Again, patience, which is carb free
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Old 08-09-2014, 03:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies!

Blue Skies - You're right, this isn't technically a "stall" - sorry to misuse the terminology! I'll start thinking of this as a post-induction "pause" instead.

dcmike, I have been thinking about cutting out the nuts. I'm not really that into cheese (at least by itself) or hard-boiled eggs though, so I'd have to come up with some other snack ideas.

Any more advice, anyone?
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Snackycake View Post
Thanks for the replies!

Blue Skies - You're right, this isn't technically a "stall" - sorry to misuse the terminology! I'll start thinking of this as a post-induction "pause" instead.

dcmike, I have been thinking about cutting out the nuts. I'm not really that into cheese (at least by itself) or hard-boiled eggs though, so I'd have to come up with some other snack ideas.

Any more advice, anyone?
I like this Snackycake---"post induction pause." Those of us who have had more weight to lose than you have experienced many "pauses."

Because you have so relatively little to lose, your LC experience will probably not be as dramatic as those who have had a lot more to lose. If you read here often enough you'll find that those last 10 to 15 pounds are the hardest to lose, and that's where you basically started.

Having said that, Dr. Michael Eades, who has made a career of treating overweight folks on a LC diet says that when weight loss stops for his patients, and AGAIN, that means over the long haul, not over one week, the culprit is usually cheese and nuts.

Cheese isn't a problem for you, but nuts are. I don't think you have to "cut them out" IF you can cut them back. Pre measure your nuts into smaller portions and see if that works before you cut them out. Always good to know where we can moderate and where we can't.

As for other snack ideas, I enjoy GOOD pork rinds (couple of threads on how to find those here) w/dips or a small amt of salsa, and I also like a nice "meat roll up." A good deli sliced meat, spread w/cream cheese, add a cucumber slice or pickle.

Don't know how much of a sweet tooth you have, but I also enjoy a Hanson's Black Cherry or Mandarin Lime diet soda (no caffeine, no aspartame, no preservatives) over ice with a couple tablespoons of HWC. Like a liquid dreamsicle for almost no carbs.

And one last thing, part of the LC journey, imo, is discovering foods you may have dismissed in the past, when happy w/your carbs. Like a good hard boiled egg on its own, or spread w/a dash of mayo, or made into a deviled egg, or chopped up in tuna fish salad, or sliced up and eaten w/liver pate and onions or salmon and onions.

It's a great journey of discovery imo, don't be afraid to step outside "your box."
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:43 PM   #7
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Maybe you'd like deviled eggs instead of hard-boiled. I like eggs but agree that popping a plain old hard-boiled egg is kind of blech.
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Old 08-09-2014, 10:46 PM   #8
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Five week stall, finally broke through. Stayed on plan, upped the exercise a bit. No idea. I think my body was just adjusting? Just stick to plan!!!! It will happen!
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:26 AM   #9
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If you started out eating nuts and seeds, and hardly no veggies, then you already are on OWL. Regardless of how many carbs per day you're eating. It's my understanding that NANY Induction requires a minimum of 6 cups of veggies.

In 1992, nuts were allowed on Atkins Induction, and one was free to eat anything they wanted provided they stayed at or below 20 total grams per day (not net). Your menu is closer to that plan than it is to NANY. But that's not a big deal. You don't have to start with Induction when you only have a few pounds to lose.

I'd definitely drop the nuts and seeds for a few days though. Feeling like you couldn't go even 2 weeks without them is a "sign" of a food sensitivity. Food sensitivities cause inflammation which will sometimes manifest themselves as bouncing.

But it's only been 3 weeks, and sometimes the water/glycogen drop during the first two weeks causes the body to panic. To deal with the dehydration, it will stuff water into your shrinking fat cells. That's one of the reasons why Dr. Atkins didn't recommend adding more carbs unless the body was losing weight. There is no honest way to tell what's happening. In addition, with so little to lose, the fat loss can easily be masked by the increase in water weight from all of that exercise.

Folks with only 15 or 20 pounds to lose are not very insulin resistant, if at all. I'd probably try adding some vegetables and salads to your meals and snacks, and re-evaluate in another week. The body can "pause" if you're not eating enough protein or carbs. Atkins recommends eating 4 to 6 ounces of meat/eggs/cheese per meal. And standard strength-training protocol for protein is at least 1g of protein per lb of lean body mass you have. That's a lot more than your menu is saying.
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:38 AM   #10
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I usually get ~100g of protein every day, according to ************. I've been wary of going any higher than that because I've read that excess protein can stall people because it just converts to glucose.

As for the nuts/seeds, it wasn't so much that I felt I couldn't go without them in the sense of cravings - I actually didn't eat them much before I started Atkins. Rather, it was more that without them, I just wasn't sure how I'd manage to get in enough fat and calories. But in any event, cutting them for a few days does seem like it couldn't hurt.

As for insulin resistance, I'm probably a good deal more insulin resistant than you might expect for someone who began at the weight I did. Diabetes runs in my family in people who are either not overweight at all or only very slightly so, and actually it was a very disturbing A1c test result earlier this year that led me down the road to LC in the first place. Does that change the calculus for me at all, in terms of what I need to be doing or what results I can expect?

Thanks!
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Old 08-10-2014, 07:10 AM   #11
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Okay. 100g of protein is good. I was looking at your menu and comparing it to how little protein I was getting when I ate 100g of chicken breast twice a day on one round of Hhcg a couple of years ago. I don't know if the body actually converts "excess" protein to glucose or not. A lot of low carbers believe that, but scientific studies haven't backed up that idea. In my own experience, it's my hyperthyroidism that causes an excess of glucose for me.

I'm glad to hear that you are using the nuts for fat and calorie content, rather than cravings. In 1992, a lot of folks were eating 1 to 2 oz a day on Induction and doing okay. So it's hard to say.

Diabetes runs in my family too. But we are prone to Type 1 and Type 1-1/2, not Type 2. That family defect is that we don't make enough insulin, rather than too much. No one is my family who is overweight has diabetes. Only the thin ones do. Type 1-1/2 doesn't always cause overweight. But it can. Just like hyperthyroidism. Most people with that problem lose weight due to the high metabolism, but in my case, the body freaked out and now I'm severely heavy again. Hyperthyroidism makes you severely insulin resistant, and it gets worse the fewer carbs you eat, so I'm guess I'm the odd ball in the family now.

Your responses definitely change the calculus. I think I'd keep doing what you're doing and just wait it out for a couple more weeks. It takes 3 to 6 weeks to adapt to the state of ketosis. With insulin resistance the point is to lower basal insulin levels. Until that happens, weight loss can be virtually nonexistent since the body will have trouble accessing body fat stores. But I would also keep track of your body measurements. Loss of inches sometimes comes before weight loss on the scale does. Then when the weight loss does show up, you can lose 2 or 3 pounds over night once the body dumps the water.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:28 AM   #12
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Thanks, Lioness0455!

As luck would have it, things got moving for me again over the weekend, and as of this morning I've actually dropped down .6 lbs below my previous low! Maybe complaining on an online forum has some magical weight-loss acceleration effects?

In all seriousness, over the weekend I didn't cut out nuts entirely but I did cut way back - no cashews whatsover, and only 1 serving of almonds across 2 or 3 days. Maybe that contributed. I'll just continue being patient since I know this will be a slow process.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:27 AM   #13
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Cutting down on nuts is likely a good thing to do. Just be aware that results are not always immediate. You look a little high on the protein to my eyes, but maybe not so mcuh given your weight lifting. At some point you might consider cutting that back, but I'd not go there now as long as you are losing. It's good to see that some of your chicken is dark meat, so you are getting some fat along with your protein. As you go into OWL, consider an extra serving of veggies and maybe a bit less protein. But this looks pretty good to me while you are in the early days. Congratulations!
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NanaMary View Post
Five week stall, finally broke through. Stayed on plan, upped the exercise a bit. No idea. I think my body was just adjusting? Just stick to plan!!!! It will happen!
Congratulations on your break through! These make me crazy. I'm currently in the third week of bouncing around +/- 2lbs of 271. I add calories, I take away calories, I exercise, then I worry exercise is making me stall so I take a break, I change what I'm eating, all while staying under 20g of carbs. I know I'll break through at some point (at least I pray that I will), but it's frustrating.

Last edited by dcmike; 08-11-2014 at 06:44 AM..
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:42 AM   #15
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I would nix the nuts - at least for now. Remember, what stalls you in weight loss mode now will keep you comfortable in maintenance later!
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:01 AM   #16
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My comment about protein was based on grams of protein not grams of meat.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:11 AM   #17
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Got it, Patience. Speaking of protein/weight lifting, it may be that cutting back on lifting in the second half of last week helped get things moving as well, since muscles may retain water trying to repair themselves after a workout. I've been having some trouble keeping up the frequency of my workouts because of the soreness/stiffness/cramps in my calves that seems to pop up after some workouts. But I'm not sure if that's from the lifting or the more cardio-esque days with jump squats and jumping lunges . . . In any event I'd hate to start losing out on fitness after being so consistent all year, so hopefully I can find a way to continue without getting too sore and without stalling myself on the scale.
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:47 AM   #18
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I think we're in the same boat--started low carb 5 weeks ago, had a pause with no loss, only 12 pounds more to go. I also did nuts during induction without much problem.

my pause had me sitting exactly the same, getting into the 130's-- bouncing 138-140 after an initial 5 pound drop. I mostly ignored it (because I had to go out of town for 1 week), but during my trip, I dramatically increased my salad and greens everyday. Like 6 cups of salad for lunch everyday! huuuge salad. I just got back from my trip and have been ecstatic to see I'm down to 135.5!! I was very worried I'd be in trouble for finding low carb food while away from home. but I think increasing salad really helped the entire situation. Plus I just really love a good salad.
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Old 08-14-2014, 09:32 AM   #19
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Interesting, Metallux! That sounds like the exact same boat I'm in. Congratulations on your loss so far! I'm actually going away for a week myself soon, so maybe I'll have a similar breakthrough if I manage to stay on plan. This will be my first vacation since starting LC, and I'm a little nervous . . .
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Old 08-15-2014, 07:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Skies View Post

Sure, you could drop down to less than 20 carbs again, or cut your calories further, but imo what is sustainable is very important. In short, maybe the one thing you need to add to your woe now is patience. Keep on keepin' on, and if after another 3 or 4 weeks, at a minimum, you are still not dropping, then consider tweaking a bit and seeing what happens.
LOVE this advice, Blue Skies!!! Well said.
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