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Old 08-12-2004, 04:12 PM   #1  
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Default An article for those of us in a rut!

This was just what I needed to read! Take a look.......

Breaking Through Your Low Carb Plateau
By: Kate Street

I know I don’t need to convince you, dear reader, that low carb diets work. Thanks to the countless studies that are now concluding that low carb diets really are safe and effective, the only people who still claim they’re a passing fad are unenlightened nutritionists, physicians who just can’t admit they were wrong, and Slim Fast manufacturers.

Low carb diets DO work and not only for quick weight loss. They help us control our hunger and portion sizes. They also help with our energy levels and sleeping habits. Most importantly, they also do a lot to improve our relationship with food.

Low carb diets are doing a lot more for us, physically and mentally, than any other diet in the past. Unfortunately, there is one thing that low carb diets have in common with other diets…sooner or later they stop working.

We usually refer to this occurrence as “reaching a plateau.” And millions of low carb dieters know there’s nothing more frustrating than this motivation-robbing plateau. What’s happened? Has our low carb diet, who used to be our best friend, now failed us?

Actually, it’s the other way around. We’ve failed the diet. If we look closely enough at our lifestyle and habits, chances are we’ll find the REAL reason we stopped making progress. It may seem a little harsh blaming ourselves instead of the diet, but by doing that we also put responsibility back where it should be (unlike those who sue fast food chains!) and the good news is: we can actually DO something about it.

The following are common reasons why our low carb diets have stopped working and what we can do to fix it:
You Follow “Phase One” Too Long. Phase One of most low carb diets is usually the most restrictive part of the diet. This is where we’re supposed to eat little to no carbs at all for one to two weeks. This is an important part of the diet as it’s retraining our metabolism and our taste buds. And the best part is, this is where we initially lose
A LOT of weight. I’ve known people to lose up to 11 pounds in the first week alone! Because we lose so much weight in Phase One, it’s tempting to continue following it even when we’re told we should start adding carbs back in. We figure, “if two weeks are good, then four weeks must be better!” However, this just isn’t true. Diets are designed a certain way for a reason and if they say we should start adding in more carbs, we should. Failure to do so may actually SLOW DOWN our metabolism and this isn’t our goal when we’re trying to lose weight. So stick to the rules of Phase One – no more than two weeks at a time on ultra-low-carb.

You Aren’t Eating Enough. We really do have to EAT to LOSE ( I know this may sound counter-intuitive, but bear with me.) Even though part of the beauty of a low carb diet is that we’re not nearly as hungry as we used to be, the fact that we’re only eating 2 to 3 times a day is NOT a good thing. Each time we eat we’re speeding up our metabolism, and when that happens we facilitate fat-burning. Small meals (4 or 5) spread out throughout the day ensures that our metabolisms are running in high gear all day long. We need to make sure we eat a healthy protein-based breakfast within an hour of waking up and after that, make sure we don’t go longer than 4 hours without eating.

You’re Skimping On the Vegetables. Perhaps we’re being overzealous with our carb-counting and becoming afraid to eat too many vegetables because that will send us over our carb limit. One BIG downfall with most low carb diets is that they even count vegetables as carbs at all! We need to understand that vegetables (especially raw ) have fat-burning properties, meaning that we’re actually using up MORE calories ingesting and digesting them than we’re taking in (you may have heard of certain foods containing “negative calories” and that applies here). Once you take into account fiber and fat-burning properties (not to mention all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) contained in vegetables, it becomes clear that vegetables should be considered a FREE food (except for corn and potatoes) and the more we eat the better! Be sure to eat vegetables at most, if not all, meals and aim for at least 5 servings a day. And just think of all the other carbs this will free up for you since you don’t have to count vegetables as carbs anymore!

You Aren’t Being Creative Enough. This happens more often than not to most people. We get stuck on the same low carb foods, so much so that we lose interest and
1.) Inevitably go back to eating more carbs just for the sake of variety or 2.) We stop eating due to lack of interest. Obviously we know what happens with the first scenario—we gain back all the weight we lost. But it may be less obvious that the same thing will happen with second scenario. We now know what happens when we don’t eat, right? Say it with me: Our metabolisms slow down! So, again, make sure you’re eating at least 4 small meals a day and experiment with new low carb recipes. There are tons out there nowadays and many of them are simple. In order to succeed we must be creative and eat a variety of different foods.

Now, all of the above are common diet mistakes that we’re making, but there is one non-diet mistake that MOST people make that really hinders success. Changing this one mistake can make all the difference in your long-term success. If you’re new to low carb dieting taking care of this mistake right away will ensure that you never hit that frustrating plateau and it will also get you faster results. If you’re a low carb veteran, correcting this mistake will be just what it takes to get you over that plateau and get you even better results than before. Do you know what I’m taking about? I bet you do! The most common mistake low carb dieters make is…Not Exercising!

Now, I know that the promise to lose weight without exercise was one of the big attractions of low carb diets. And look how far you got without exercising! But chances are, you’re anywhere from 10-50 pounds away from your goal weight and you’ve been adhering to your diet like a champ. Except for the occasional treat, you’ve probably been doing everything right. It’s time to introduce a new stimulus to your body and there’s nothing like exercise to get that ol’ metabolism revved up like a furnace.

Before you stop reading in disgust, let me tell you something. Exercise isn’t as hard as you think. In fact, low carb dieters don’t have to work as hard to get results from their workouts. It’s true! We don’t have to burn through all those carbs first like other people do. As soon as we start to exercise, we’re burning fat baby! We’re burning fat the whole time we exercise. And if we do the RIGHT type of exercise, we’ll even burn fat all day long. Now that sounds worth it, doesn’t it?

Exercise will also do so much more than help you lose more weight and inches. It will reshape your body, smoothing out those bumps and bulges you may not be partial to. It will give you more energy than ever before and help you sleep more soundly. Exercise will also increase your self-confidence. With each workout you do, you’ll feel stronger and more alive. You’ll find yourself trying new activities that you thought you’d never do. You may even find yourself taking new risks and finding greater rewards. You’ll really be uncovering a new you and a new life. Can you really say the same about a diet?

If you’re still unconvinced that exercise is the answer for you, think about this – when you start to exercise you actually NEED to eat a few more carbs in order to sustain your activity and energy level. This means you can even get away with a couple of “treats” without the repercussions! If that doesn’t convince you then nothing will!

So, think about it and give it a try. Ask yourself – are you fine settling for the status quo or are you ready to take the big leap and find never-ending success. Exercise really can make all the difference in your diet, your body, and your life. Now eat some extra veggies and go do it!
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:20 PM   #2  
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Wonderful article, Jane! Thank you!

Pair this article up with the one I posted on the daily about that Florida woman and I've got all the motivation I need to get my fanny off the couch and take care of myself!
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Old 08-12-2004, 04:34 PM   #3  
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Call it my own little prescription for "I don't want to diet anymore"
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:28 PM   #4  
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GREAT article Jane! I totally loved it! I agree with the veggie part too. I don't mind going over my carb count with vegetables. I am going to stop counting them (within reason) and start including them in every meal. I usually only eat them once or twice a day to stay within carb count. What would I rather have? The healthy benefits of veggies with a higher carb count, or a lower one without? I'll go for the higher any day

A great motivator to get movin too!.

Good find!
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Old 08-12-2004, 05:57 PM   #5  
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Thanks for posting that Jane. I especially like the exercise part. I had never thought about burning through the carbs before burning fat. Very interesting.
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Old 08-13-2004, 04:40 AM   #6  
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Yup, I have to agree with everyone. This article sure did re-teach me a few things. Like I should spread my meals out instead of just having one big meal and 2 smaller meals. And of course the exercise thing is flipping through my brain. But I really DO hate to sweat--but maybe that's what I need to kick start me back into this WOE!?!
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