Atkins - Newbie :) Need some help / advice!

01-03-2014, 09:20 AM
Good morning!!

So I went ahead on my first day of induction (1/1/14) and jumped into the Valentines challenge :) Here's my story though in a nutshell.

In 2011 I lost about 50 lbs on Ideal Protein (which is a very strict / prepackaged LC diet). I loved it, felt great, and have maintained most of the weight loss but I need to go ahead and finish up what I started. I read the Atkins book last fall and started for a couple of days but I wasn't in the right place mentally to restart so it didn't last long.

Two days ago I restarted on induction and I'm not having nearly the success I had last fall when I was on it, or when I've done very low carb diets in the past. I thought I would appeal to those of you who are pros at this for some advice, to make sure that there aren't any glaring issues that stick out that I need to change. Not only have I not lost any weight since I started, but I've gained 1.5 lbs! Yikes right?

Here's what I've eaten:

3 eggs cooked in butter
Lunch: (kind of crazy but I was on the go)
1 oz cheese w/Turkey Pepperoni (no carbs listed and no added sugar in ingredients)
1 Bell Pepper dipped in Ranch Dressing
3 Pieces Bacon (afternoon snack)
Steak, Avocado, Jalapeno poppers, broccoli with butter

3 eggs with butter
1/2 bell pepper w/ranch
Chef salad (1oz cheese, turkey, lettuce, blue cheese)
1oz cheese with Turkey Pepperoni
Taco Salad (taco seasoning homemade, Atkins friendly)
Meat, Lettuce, 1/2 avocado, light sprinkle cheese, Fresh Pico de Gaio, sour cream

Both mornings I've had coffee with a splash of heavy cream and 1 Splenda, lots of plain water (10+ glasses) but also lots of herbal tea (unsweetened).

I'm also going to go get the book again from the library today, I thought I remembered but I want to double check everything, I thought I would appeal to the wise ones here as well. Thank you so much for any information or input you can give me!!

01-03-2014, 09:41 AM
Hi, and welcome

Congrats on your prior loss, and bravo for your accomplishment of keeping most of the weight off.

With the info you provided, and the menu you posted I don't see any immediate red flags. We're the jalapeņo poppers low carb? Are there carbs hiding in your ranch dressing? The processed meats (pepperoni, bacon)? Some brands have more or less than others...

This is my 5th or 6th go at low carb and I never lost as fast again as I did the first time, and from what I've read that's pretty common - there is a kind of beginner's luck effect the first time. Weight still moves other times, but less quickly for many of us.

Have you been counting carb grams? That's the first thing I'd suggest, to count your carb grams. You can follow the Atkins program of 20 net carbs for induction, but some people need to restrict to 20g total carbs (not subtracting the fiber) to lose (the original 1972 Atkins plan, and Dr Westmans's plan in his clinic, follow this level). Again, since you're starting out, you can try the 20 net level, and if it doesn't work you can cut to total carb level.

Also, were you already eating low (or low-ish) carb before starting? If so, I wouldn't expect a big dramatic drop when starting Atkins - that's water weight that comes with the switch from carbs.

Finally, I think with age my body is much more sensitive to smaller variations in carbs and also excess protein. (I'm 45). So I eat two eggs for breakfast, not 3. I try to dial down all portions of protein and I've found I lose pretty consistently if I keep a lid on both protein and calories, as well as keeping carbs as close to 20 as I can. (average is probably around 25, but plenty of days below 20). Hopefully you won't need to be that strict, but from what I've read my experience isn't that unusual for a middle aged woman...

Happy to give further input - you'll get there!

Lulu NH
01-03-2014, 09:52 AM
Hi Navymommy First of all congratulations on maintaining the weight loss you have already attained!! Second of all congratulations on recommitting to your journey!!

I'm hoping Jerseygyrl will comment on your intake....but ask yourself.... Do you think you are eating enough vegetables?

I've only been on this forum for one year but most posters fluctuate up and down until the ultimate down and 2 days is not enough time (in my opinion). It's what you do everyday that counts and I am confident you will see the results you want with Atkins but it takes time....

01-03-2014, 10:32 AM
If you weren't drinking much water before, or if the processed meats are raising your sodium levels higher than your body is used to, it could be water retention. Keep up what you are doing and see what happens :)

01-03-2014, 10:57 AM
Thanks for all of the input! I am going to track carbs today and see exactly where I'm at. I wasn't expecting induction losses like I have seen in the past because I've also heard that going back on induction you don't have the same results, but I wasn't expecting to GAIN weight, KWIM?

To answer a few questions, no I haven't been anything resembling low carb since my last attempt at induction last fall. Mainly I used calorie counting, exercise, and portion control and while that allowed me to maintain my losses I haven't been able to lose any more. My body really likes low carb and in the past reacts well to it and I feel great once I'm actually in ketosis.

The ranch has 2 carbs, but I thought I remembered anything 2 or lower was induction friendly as far as full fat dressings go. I was measuring it and only having 1 serving. Yes, the poppers were low carb (pepper, cream cheese with seasonings, bacon). Not a usual item but I was trying to find something fun to celebrate the new year with hubby. All the meat I've bought I've read the labels and they don't have carbs or added sugar. I had to be hyper vigilant on that while I was on IP so I am used to scouring labels for hidden / added sugars.

I was just a bit discouraged with the gain after 2 days. I've always been a daily weigher and know how different things affect the scale (TOM, exercise, water, alcohol, ect.) and since the diet is the only thing I've changed I was a little bummed. I do realize it's only 2 days though, I have no plans of stopping I just wanted to touch base with some people more experienced and make sure they didn't see anything huge I was missing. Thank you so much again for your input!

01-04-2014, 09:01 AM
Ok, well, count the carb grams and maybe also count the calories to see where you are. It sounds like you've been dieting pretty steadily for over a year (including the maintenance period) - if your calories are way above what your body has gotten used to, you could end up gaining, low carb or not. I've never done IP but I believe it's an extremely low calorie plan, right? Going to Atkins / general low carb could be tripling or more the calories from what your body has gotten used to...

I'm guessing it's just the adaptation period, though, and a few days of continuing will get things sorted. If not, you might need to do one of the low-carb "extreme" things for a few days to really get into ketosis (fat fast, or meat-and-egg fast, for example).

Keep at it, though, I really think it's likely your body will just realize the switch and get used to it.

01-04-2014, 09:38 AM
Navymommy - have other things been stressing you lately? Sometimes that causes the body to store too.. That loss will happen.. It just will. Something to take your mind off the scale... (and I don't know if you have done this so I apologize if you have) Take your measurements.. Because even in a month you will see a difference. I did a silly thing and took different colored ribbons for each body part and cut it to the measurement that those parts were. I tell you... it is so cool to see the overlap! :)

We all are here for you. If you need any questions answered too.... Jerseygirl is our resident Guru and she will answer. Just (I know its hard.. I know) try to ignore the #.. How are you feeling?? HUGS to you ... you have done it and can do it!

01-04-2014, 09:47 AM
Congrats on your low carb move! I have been doing it for a few months now and I am in LOVE!

Here a few things I have run into:

I agree with the calorie counting in addition to the carb counting. I have trouble with portion size, I am ALWAYS hungry. If I don't watch the calories too I only maintain.

Too much protein can create a gain. If we eat more protein than our bodies need our body can turn this extra protein into carbs. I reduced my protein portions and increased fat slightly while keeping calories roughly the same and the scale started moving in the right direction.

VEGGIES VEGGIES VEGGIES!! I also take a fiber supplement. These are what keeps things ... um, "moving". Trying not to overshare ....

I have also heard that some people have issues with milk products and cheese. It can cause a stall or prevent weight loss. Not sure of the science behind it (I'd love to know if anyone can assist!) but I know if I have more than a serving a day I don't lose.

If you have blood sugar issues like me, that can make it more difficult to lose in general too.

01-04-2014, 09:54 AM
I was just coming back in here to check in! Thank you so much for the ideas and support!! I finally realized it was probably all of the damage I did over NYE and the holiday just catching up with me. While I haven't been on a 'diet' really in a long time I do keep track of my calories but before this my typical calories were about 1700 - 2000 so I can't imagine I'm doing much more than that even with all of the fat.

Today I finally saw a loss, nearly a pound from the start. :broc: I've been a daily weigher forever and I know the daily numbers can fluctuate so normally I take them with a grain of salt but I was concerned after restarting this program with so much fat, that I was messing up and carbs were sneaking in or something.

I did carb count yesterday, I was at 11 before dinner and had 1.5 cups of broccoli :broc: with my dinner so I feel like I'm on the right track. I also had a bit of the carb withdrawl headache last night so I at least think I'm heading into ketosis. Today will tell I'm sure.

wannaskipandlaugh- That ribbon idea is awesome!! I do measure but man having a bunch of pretty ribbons sounds much more fun than my list of numbers! I may have to try that!