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ss1 01-11-2013 11:44 AM

help :(
Im new here, but constantly read this forum an now i need help. I started low carb in september at 156 pounds. initially i lost rather quickly but found myself cheating A LOT, so it is now january and i just hit 142 pounds. I would like to lose another 10 pounds but the weight is coming off pretty slow despite me being more strict with my carbs. I find that my scale is telling me that most of the weight loss is muscle loss. I dont workout much but I do a dance team that meets once every 2 weeks, I gain muscle from that practice then any weight loss i see is all from the new muscle! Im trying to eat as much protein as possible but it still doesnt help. for example, in terms of protein, yesterday i had an atkins protein shake, a chicken breast for lunch and a steak for dinner. can anyone help me burn fat quicker and not muscle? :cry:

grannysmith 01-11-2013 11:52 AM

How does the scale tell you that you're losing muscle?

ss1 01-11-2013 11:55 AM

it has a body fat %. i can go online and it says how much is fat and how much is muscle.

ss1 01-11-2013 11:56 AM

I know its not the most reliable thing but it does seem to coincide with my weight loss.

svenskamae 01-11-2013 12:02 PM

Scales that measure body fat percentage are notoriously inaccurate. You would need to use a more reliable method, such as the water immersion Dexascan or "bodpod" methods (maybe through a local gym or university recreation center), to be sure of what is happening with your fat versus muscle percentages.

A bit of advice: drop the Atkins preprepared products (bars and shakes). They contain sugar alcohols which stall many people, since they can cause increases in blood glucose/insulin levels. Eat real foods like non-starchy veggies and meat instead of processed food.

What do you consider "pretty slow" for weight loss, when you stay on plan? Few people lose more than 1 or 2 pounds per week, after the initial loss of water. I don't eat off plan, count calories, eat very clean (no preservatives, junk foods, or sweeteners), eat only 300-500 calories every other day (JUDDD), limit carbs to under 30/day, and lose maybe 6 pounds in a good month. The closer you are to your goal weight, too, the harder it is to lose weight. Sometimes we just have to be patient and keep our expectations realistic, in terms of the rate of weight loss.

If you specify what plan you are following and post a few days' menus, others may be able to give you further suggestions.

ss1 01-11-2013 12:21 PM

ok thanks, I think i was under the impression that I should be losing more. I was stuck going up and down between 146 and 144 for about 2 months, i knew i wasnt sticking to plan but i didnt think i was too far off. I also travel a lot and on the road fast food is the only option. I just started recording what i eat.

Im not following a set plan like atkins or anything right now im just trying to keep my carbs under 20.

I thought those shakes would be fine since they are so low win carbs but high in protein but ill lay off them, I also drink 1 diet coke a day (sometimes only half) just to make myself feel like in not suffering but ill cut that out too.

Thank you for the advice! I was getting really down but now have the motivation to keep going, and remind myself to be PATIENT!

(my past week menus has been pretty much the same, protein shake or eggs, chicken breast, 1 whole zucchini or salad, handful of nuts, and some type of meat and vegetable for dinner. sometimes i also snack on cheese or skinny pop popcorn)

svenskamae 01-11-2013 12:38 PM

It is challenging to eat low carb when you have to travel a lot. I bring lowcarb food options with me when I travel--flax crackers, nut butter, individually wrapped single-serving cheeses, boiled eggs, vaccuum packs of salmon and tuna, almonds, etc. In a hotel, I often eat a big breakfast with a lot of protein and fat (say, scrambled eggs or omelet, bacon or sausage), and then can eat just salad or skip lunch. You may be able to get sandwich fillings in a bowl of salad (Subway, Chipotle) or in a lettuce leaf (Jimmy Johns) or eat burgers without buns or added "special sauce."

It sounds like you aren't eating very much fat, and fat can be your friend in helping you feel satisfied and healthy, so long as you keep your carbs very low. Put full-fat dressing on salad, butter on the vegetables, eat chicken thighs rather than skinless chicken breast.

I find it easier to eat lowcarb if I follow a plan and know the logic of why this way of eating works for weight loss and maintenance. I strongly recommend reading Gary Taubes' book Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It. The older Atkins diet, Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution (DADR) is easy to find used and has worked for many people here. With Atkins, you can slowly add different types of carbs (working up the carb ladder) and see if your weight continues to drop or not.

Since you are not very heavy (at 142 pounds) and only have 10 more pounds to lose, your weight loss will be especially slow. I don't know how tall you are; make sure that you aren't going for an unrealistically low goal that will be unhealthy and/or impossible to reach or maintain for your body. As we approach goal weight, many of us find it helpful to use an online tracker to track carbs and calories jointly.

Good luck!

ss1 01-11-2013 12:53 PM

ah, thanks, those are some very good ideas! i have never brought low carb food on a trip before, we always just stop and eat somewhere, didnt realize i didnt HAVE to eat a sandwich if everyone wants to go to subway. Also didnt know i wasnt eating enough fat!

I am 5'6" but have always been fairly thin, I was around 130 maybe less a few years ago but was working out so much so a lot of it was muscle. in high school (im 22 now) i was about 139, but again had a lot of muscle from sports. I think around 130-135 is reasonable for me, i cant see me weighing any less, i never have. I also store most fat on my thighs and stomach/ love handles, and i surely can loose some more fat from those places! lol thanks though, i know i wont be a size 0 and i dont want to be, just want to be more comfortable with my body :)

svenskamae 01-11-2013 02:17 PM

Thanks for the reassurance that your goal is reasonable and healthy. Here's a thread with some ideas of how other people cope with making fast food relatively low carb: http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/ma...you-enjoy.html

If the people you are travelling with want to go to a place specializing in pizza, eat the toppings and leave the crust behind.

Punkin 01-12-2013 04:40 AM

Completely ignore anything BF readers tell you about your % body fat. NONE of them are accurate. I can tell you from experience that the only way to lose muscle mass is to severely undereat while trying to lose weight. It happens with people who try to eat under 1000 cal a day and exercise a lot. If you are losing slowly that is a really good thing because it means you are losing BF and not anything else. Rapid drops in the bathroom scale are due to water weight changes and glycogen depletion. Some people can lose a lb a week but for most it is more like 1/2 lb to 1/4 lb a week. Anything more than that and it isn't BF you are losing.
To reduce your body fat takes a long time, and it seems to take forever but if you go slow and steady you will retain your muscle mass. It takes many months/years to pack on the fat, and that is generally how long it takes to reverse the process.
My point is take time to enjoy the ride to now living a healthier lifestyle because you are in it for the long haul, once you get closer to your goal weight you will start feeling like a million bucks! It is worth the wait 8)

Taxbane 01-12-2013 05:40 AM

Strength Training is more effective at builidng muscle mass. Recently, I myself stopped weight training but still maintained Martial Arts classes 3-4 times a week and noticed my muscle mass levels dropping slightly. So back to gym for me; actually going this AM.

I think as little as twice a week, work your major muscle groups (Legs, Back, Chest, Gluts, shoulders - not all on same day) with heavy weights (80% of your max), 3-6 Reps in good form, 3 sets per muscle group. Should take no more than 15 minutes.

avid 01-12-2013 05:47 AM


Even if heavy lifting is not for you, why not add exercise to your routine?
It's great to lose weight so we look better, doing a half hour or so of moderate exercise a few times a week can do wonders for how you feel.

LoriWants2Lose 01-12-2013 10:15 PM

I'm not sure what your ultimate goal is, but if you only have another 10 or so to lose, you will probably slow down a lot. I have heard everyone say that last 10 pounds or so is the hardest.

creseis 01-13-2013 06:18 AM

It is incredible, for one thing, that you lost so much weight in this amount of time especially since you do not have a huge amount to lose. You should only be losing 1lb of fat per week, tops, at this point, and maybe as little as 1lb per month. This is what you should expect sticking to low carb. You must stop the cheating, eating carbs and having binges is not ok. 1 dance workout every 2 weeks is more detrimental than no dance class and it certainly won't help improve your dancing. If you care about dancing, you should be doing small workouts every day for strengthening. 1 workout every 2 weeks is doing this: breaking down muscle because you are putting a huge effort that your body is not used to and it is doing damage to your muscles. This causes swelling and water retention, not muscle gain. If you do a little bit every day, it will help. Building muscle and gaining weight that way is good, and the only way to do this is to get onto a regular weight training program that starts off very slow and moderately and continuously builds in order to keep pushing you. Also, you should do some cardio, start off slow like 20min per day 2-3 days per week, then add to that over time.

Basically, if you do a hard infrequent workout, you will end up doing more damage than good. It is worse to drop all workouts and I encourage everyone to add a little cardio and weight training in every week with a gradual build-up.

ss1 01-13-2013 10:09 AM

thanks for the feedback!, ive been thinking about working out between practices to build up my stamina for competition but i just get worried that eating low carb will somehow hinder my workouts. As for my practices, the team 18 and up so with everyones schedule we can only meet once every 2 weeks, and we usually work on choreography for our next competition so im not looking to improve my dancing right now, its just a fun thing to do. But i see what your saying, i didnt realize that could be hurting my body more than helping it.

Taxbane- 15 minutes a few times a week actually sounds pretty good! and I think im also going to do some cardio too. I have always hated cardio but i need it for competition :(

my ultimate goal weight right now is 130. I dont think i have ever weighed less than that. Ill start slow and build up the days i work out and the intensity. Thanks for all your help everyone!

creseis 01-13-2013 11:01 AM

You should check out Peter Attia's blog, The Eating Academy. He eats VERY low carb, he documented all of his stats--blood work, ability to do work, etc., and he is a very strong triathlete. He has really helped me through a lot of the same questions you have, I wasn't sure that I would have the same energy for cycling on LC, particularly during ketoadaptation. There is an adaptation period, but the benefits of going through it and continuing whatever workouts you can outweigh eating a higher carb diet. You definitely get more endurance in the end, and better muscle strength and toning.

ss1 01-15-2013 01:15 PM

wow, thanks! that blog is so helpful and has so much info!

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