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Old 11-30-2012, 09:00 AM   #1
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Normal Weight Loss?

I began a no white carb or processed sugar diet on Tuesday. When I began, I weighed in at almost 165 pounds. Today is Friday and I weighed in at almost 160 pounds. Is 5 pounds a normal amount of weight to lose in the first 4 days of this diet? I usually eat a ton of white carbs and sugar, so I can see why this diet would be an extreme change for my body, I was just shocked when I got on the scale this morning. I did Weight Watchers a few years ago and lost 20 pounds total, but it all was very slow. I am thrilled about this, I just want to make sure I won't be disappointed next week if this is the kind of diet where you lose a lot the first week, but then gain or stay where you are from that point forward. I still eat whole wheat and whole grain carbs-- like bread, pasta, etc. But I only do one meal a day and it is a small portion. I am not ever really hungry, so I am not starving myself for sure.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:06 AM   #2
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When you strict carbs, your body tends to stop retaining water. Also, as you deplete muscle glycogen, you also lose more water weight because glycogen is bound with water. The weight loss is real and expected but will not continue at that rate. It is mostly lost water.

It takes 3500 kcal to burn 1 lb of fat. Stated differently, 1 lb of fat will fuel 3500 kcal worth of activity. Unfortunately, that is thermodynamics. It is a law of nature and it applies to the fat in our bodies. Putting aside the question of a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, once the calorie is stored as fat in our bodies, the only way to get it out is to metabolize it and each lb is worth 3500kcal of work.

In order to lose 5 lbs of fat in 4 days you would have to be in a 4375 calorie per day deficit. Of course, you are not in that kind of deficit which would require serious aerobic exercise (like running 20 miles every day) while water fasting. So, you will not lose 5 lbs every 4 days. However, with some diligence two lbs per week is doable (1000 kcal daily deficit) and 1 lb per week is very doable (500 kcal daily deficit).

I lost 135 lbs, but not on NK. I lost it through good old calorie reduction eating good quantities of complex carbs, protein and fat. Probably 60% of my calories were from complex carbs. However, I maintained a daily deficit of between 500 and 1000 calories per day and I totally stopped eating refined sugar, recreational sweets or any wheat products. As a result, I think my insulin levels were low and the weight came off slow and steady.

Now I am about 30 lbs from my goal weight and I have become an avid runner/triathlete. I have had no success getting the last 30 off eating high carbs. I read Phinney's performance book and so now I am on the NK bandwagon. I am scheduled to run a marathon next weekend, so that will be very interesting since resisting carbs pretty much goes against all of the prevailing endurance sports logic. However, even while running, I now find my hunger and food preoccupation much lower than it has been. I have always believed that the main reason people have success on LC diets is because they consume fewer calories. I still believe that. I think there is something about the carbs that throw the whole closed loop hunger/fuel/satiety feedback loop into chaos. I am starting to think that Phinney may be right. Our engines may have been designed to run primarily on fat with glucose intended only as a backup fuel source. It would make sense from an engineering standpoint since our fat fuel tank on super lean athletes (10% BF) holds 50,000-75,000 kcal of fat and, at most our carb fuel tank holds 1400-2000 kcal of glycogen.

Last edited by panabax; 11-30-2012 at 10:31 AM..
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
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If you haven't been dieting prior to starting this one, then yes, it is pretty common to have an initial whoosh. It doesn't sound like you are doing anything very extreme so my guess would be that your body is releasing water from tissues. Be sure to drink a lot of H2O to wash away the fat and toxins, and so not to get dehydrated.

Oops, was typing while pan posted.

Last edited by cici52; 11-30-2012 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:33 PM   #4
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Thank you for your help, Cici.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:47 PM   #5
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Mrs. Sparkle, as other people have noted, people who have been eating a high carb diet lose a substantial amount of water weight during their first week of eating low carb. After that, it's fairly normal to lose around 2 pounds of fat per week, on average, though some lose less and some, like me, generally lose more slowly.

I think it's great that you are logging your food intake and have cut your calories down to around 1200 day, and I expect you will get very good results with that approach. Certainly eating no white carbs and no sugar, as stated in your signature information, is a great thing to do for your health. At the same time, you might be able to lose with just a general lowcarb/limited calories approach, and not have to limit your protein intake, as most of us doing the nutritional ketosis approach are doing. I feel great doing NK, but if I could lose successfully by just limiting carbs and calories and eating as much protein as I wanted, I would do that instead of NK. Have you tried just the carb and calorie restriction, without doing the protein limitation, too--or is that your current approach?

I want to note a small personal divergence from panabax's conclusions--when I personally eat low calorie but not low carb, as a very insulin-resistent person, I DON'T lose weight--even eating under 1000 calories a day, and exercising up to 3 hours/day. So some people lose fine restricting calories, but for some of us, severely limiting carbs (and even protein) is essential to keeping insulin levels low enough to lose weight. I recognize that my experience here is different from the vast majority of people, who lose fine with just restricting calories, but it is true for some of us that limiting just calories, or limiting just calories and carbs without also limiting protein, is not adequate for weight loss. It's very definitely a YMMV thing. In your case, Mrs. Sparkle, I'd see how your current approach works; the odds are very good that what you plan is going to work fine for you.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs.Sparkle View Post
Each day I have around 1200 calories.
Unless you are a very short, very small framed person or have some medical condition, 1200 calories is probably too few calories. Phinney has said that someone of your weight goal should be eating about 2200 calories a day - and that is a deficit amount because it is for 140 pounds not your current weight: 35kCal per goal kg ---- (140/2.2)*35 = ~2200.

I think he said it in the long term stalls podcast with Jimmy Moore. He also said that he wouldn't recommend 1200 calories a day for anyone without clinical supervision.

Jimmy Moore did a podcast with non-LC doc Matt LaLonde - a calorie expert - and he mentioned that 1200 figure that we see a lot on LC forums and LaLonde was shocked that anyone would so restrict their calories.

Google 'long term stalls phinney jimmy moore'.

Google 'all things calories matt lalonde'.
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Old 12-01-2012, 01:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panabax View Post
It takes 3500 kcal to burn 1 lb of fat. Stated differently, 1 lb of fat will fuel 3500 kcal worth of activity. Unfortunately, that is thermodynamics. It is a law of nature and it applies to the fat in our bodies. Putting aside the question of a calorie is a calorie is a calorie, once the calorie is stored as fat in our bodies, the only way to get it out is to metabolize it and each lb is worth 3500kcal of work.
Hi panabax,

Thermodynamics won't allow you to create fat from nothing. But metabolizing fat with no increase in activity -- themodynamics has no problem with that. For example your body can up the amount of metabolic heat it is producing.

In general your body can and does drastically increase or decrease its baseline caloric burn rate in response to environmental cues -- like what you eat.

Also the amount of weight one loses as a result of decreasing caloric intake has a strong genetic component. Actually someone (Jeff Volek?) in a recent "low carb cruise" talk on Youtube showed the results from a twin study. This study showed that while different people varied drastically in the amounts of weight they lost in response to less calories in their diets, twins lost similar amounts of weight.

--
Phillip

Last edited by NKSL55; 12-01-2012 at 01:50 PM..
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NKSL55 View Post
Hi panabax,

Thermodynamics won't allow you to create fat from nothing. But metabolizing fat with no increase in activity -- themodynamics has no problem with that. For example your body can up the amount of metabolic heat it is producing.

In general your body can and does drastically increase or decrease its baseline caloric burn rate in response to environmental cues -- like what you eat.

Also the amount of weight one loses as a result of decreasing caloric intake has a strong genetic component. Actually someone (Jeff Volek?) in a recent "low carb cruise" talk on Youtube showed the results from a twin study. This study showed that while different people varied drastically in the amounts of weight they lost in response to less calories in their diets, twins lost similar amounts of weight.

--
Phillip
cool
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NKSL55 View Post
Hi panabax,

Thermodynamics won't allow you to create fat from nothing. But metabolizing fat with no increase in activity -- themodynamics has no problem with that. For example your body can up the amount of metabolic heat it is producing.

In general your body can and does drastically increase or decrease its baseline caloric burn rate in response to environmental cues -- like what you eat.

--
Phillip
This reminds me of Flip The Switch by Robert Cooper, Phd. who advocates tuning the thermostat down, among other things, to signal your metastat to stoke your inner furnace and burn more calories.
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