Carb Counters - Checked my stats...Atkins + IF works for me

10-16-2012, 12:26 AM
Just wanted to share this out there.

I was playing around on the Livestrong MyPlate website where I log my food, weight and measurements. I was entering today's weight when I saw a link to a chart of my weight loss since I started using the website (Apr 2010). I'm down 42 lbs since then. The weight loss chart showed my general plateau in the 320s weight range, and then in May 2011, a declining trend in weight.

Oddly, when I hit the link that superimposed the calorie consumption over that time period, it shows that I have been eating within a tight range (1750 - 2400 calories) during the entire time. (Ok, a few indulgent days were a lot higher and there were also days when I ate a lot lower.) I decided to look at what I was eating during the plateau and what I did differently in May that broke the plateau and helped me lose more.

It appears that eating lower calories in general didn't cause steady weight loss. I couldn't keep that up. There were short stretches of days when I ate around 1500 calories but didn't lose weight. Those seemed to be days when I ate more fiberous carbs too, around 200 gms. It wasn't eating lower carbs either, because there were stretches of days when I was definitely eating less than 100 gm of carbs a day. I had to be closer to induction levels, like under 35 gm of carbs a day to lose some weight. But the weight loss seem to be more consistent when I cut carbs and did intermittent fasting. That's what I had started that month, going 16 hours without eating and then concentrating calories during an 8 hour eating window. I would gain weight if I ate more than 65 gm of carbs in a day. I would gain weight if I was eating 5 to 6 small meals throughout the course of a day.

So for my body, induction-level Atkins plus intermittent fasting seems to work the best, even if I'm eating around 2100 calories a day, which seems to be my RMR.

It has taken me so dang long to put this all together! And I probably still don't have it all right, but this is what is working right now at age 51, menopausal, PCOS and type 2 diabetes, plus exercising five days a week (combination of Pilates, cardio and weight training).

I'm sticking with this until it stops working!

10-16-2012, 02:28 AM
I am so glad that you found what works for you!! Especially something you feel that you can stick with for the long term. I have PCOS as well. I am also doing IF and found that my weight loss was better when I had a certain feeding window. I am not super carb sensitive but I cannot eat breakfast and be successful. I noticed a trend that when I lost weight it was when I skipped breakfast and started my day with lunch. I am thinking of lowering my carbs for a short while to see if I can kick things up a notch. I hope I can copy your success ;)

10-16-2012, 04:48 AM
I noticed a trend that when I lost weight it was when I skipped breakfast and started my day with lunch.

Yes, Athena, that's exactly how my downward trend started, and it was soon afterward that I found Eat Stop Eat and the Anything Goes Diet.

In ESE the author sited multiple benefits of short term fasting. What drew me in the most was that after just a single 24-hr fast, increased insulin sensitivity and decreased insulin levels occured in healthy people. And then reading that our bodies can't burn fat unless insulin levels are really low. So staying in a fasted state for 24 hours seems to be what my body needs the most.

In AGD, the author talks about a study done on two groups of people eating the amount of food to maintain their weight but a different number of meals (3 squares vs. 1 meal). The 1-meal/day group lost fat and not muscle over 8 weeks while the other group maintained their weight and body composition. The researchers concluded that with more meals eaten people had more opportunities to overeat. Those in the study who ate just the one meal/day seemed to have difficulty eating all the calories at the one meal.

I can do that. I don't have to starve myself all the time, but I don't have to freak out about eating either. It seems so freeing.

So the only thing I have to deal with is my body being accustomed to higher blood sugar levels due to having overeaten for so long. It takes time for that to happen. I've tested myself when I thought I was hypoglycemic and I just wasn't. And there were other times when I tested my blood sugar and was at a level where I should have felt hungry or light headed and I didn't. So now I check my blood sugar when I'm feeling wonky and if it's low enough, I'll go eat. Otherwise, I try to ride it out. So far, I haven't been truly hypoglycemic ever!

Good luck to you, Athena. Let me know how things go for you too.