Tearing my hair out!

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Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 10

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 11:31
Okay people, help me out here. I have read the Atkins book, and I know weight loss can vary from person to person, but here's my story....

I started Atkins 3 weeks ago with the induction phase. Much to my delight, I lost 6.5 lbs in the first week. After week 2, I lost a measly 1/2 lb. I thought that was oddly low, but I was on my period and figured I was carrying extra water. Given my poor results the second week, and that I was still not within 15 lbs of my goal, I decided to do induction for one more week.

I weighed in today and was up 1/2 lb! WTF!?!??! I have been following this stupid diet to the letter. My clothes are fitting better and I no longer have the cravings like I did before, though I am getting a little bored with my food choices. It's getting harder and harder to keep from eating a freaking sandwhich... you know, like normal people do.

The atkins book says that you can get smaller without loosing weight...but I don't understand how that is possible if you are not actively lifting weights to gain muscle. I have not been doing anything other than my normal fitness routine of teaching Spinning 2x per week, and then another form of cardio 1-2 other times per week.

Has anyone else experienced this? Is this normal? Or am I cursed or something? Sometimes I really think my body just wants to be fat. No matter what I try, it seems to figure it out and put a stop to any weight loss progress after about a week.

I am so frustrated right now. I am about ready to go have me a big ole' cookie and wash it down with a 32 oz diet coke if this nonsense continues!

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 408

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 11:36
Get rid of the Atkins bars-they tend to stall a lot of people. I noticed some days your NET carbs (I assume you are counting net) are at 11 then 22...try to be more consistent and get 12-15 carbs from veggies. This was my problem, not enough veggies. I changed that 2 weeks ago. Also, you don't have a lot of weight to lose so it will be slower, maybe you should move up to OWL? Don't eat the cookie-you'll feel even worse after that Smile

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 3

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 11:40
I agree! This stuff does not go according to plan. When I was really on top of the plan, I generally loose about 2 pounds a month, but I will go up and during that month?! Its hard to keep my eye on the forest.
Although, for right now I am finding that I really did not calcualate my net CHO right, so I am sure that is a big part of my problem right now. Back to the basics and I have to track everything! I hate that, I already feel like my days are too short.

Try to remember that nothing taste better than skinny! Not sure exactly we have to do but we all know that cookie is not going to us to were we want to be. Hang in there! I'm trying to.

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 4

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 11:42
hang in there...I found I had a really big weight loss the first two weeks then it backed off and then I lost just like any other diet 1 to 2 lbs a week. I agree with msamy034 that posted above. Women lose inches first...did you measure at the start? Lots of water..Drink Drink Drink!! And remember sometimes the body needs a moment to adjust...after a big weight loss.
Make it a Great Day!! Karen

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 69

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 12:02
SarahC--You Have to eat veggies! 12-15g of your carbs have to be from veggies, at every level of Atkins. Good Luck! DON"T give up! OH and if you want a sandwich, make a MIM in a cereal bowl, slice it in 2 and use it for your sandwich.
MIM--Muffin in a minute
1/4 c flax seed meal,
1 tsp baking powder,
1Tbls. parmesan cheese, Mix in a small bowl.
Add 1 medium egg, 1 tsp butter,oil or bacon grease.
Mix well with a fork. Microwave for 60-90 sec.
Slice and load it with meat cheese & VEGGIES, mayo OR toast it and spread with cream cheese and avocado.

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 648

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 12:04
sarahC0612 wrote:
Sometimes I really think my body just wants to be fat. No matter what I try, it seems to figure it out and put a stop to any weight loss progress after about a week.

I am so frustrated right now. I am about ready to go have me a big ole' cookie and wash it down with a 32 oz diet coke if this nonsense continues!

It is very clear to me that your body must be different from that of everybody else. You've been chosen as the person to which the laws of thermodynamics do not apply. You're destined to be overweight forever. Obviously, since you can't do anything about it, you might as well go and get that cookie and coke combo. Why stop there? Have you tried the chicken sandwich that uses two doughnuts as a bun?


How ridiculous am I sounding right now? Well, It's not even noticeably ludicrous in comparison to this pillar of absurdity you've dreamed up.

It's getting harder and harder to keep from eating a freaking sandwhich... you know, like normal people do.

Really? What normal people? You mean the obese Americans we're surrounded by? Way to pick a great role model. Isn't the point of your dieting to separate yourself from the pack, to no longer be one of the fast-food-gobbling sheep that continues to put on pound after pound, feeling sorry for themselves?

Your problem is that you're trying to do something you clearly have no desire to do. You used phrases like "stupid diet" to describe the experience. Obviously, if you're already that fed up with it, atkins probably isn't for you. The carb cravings subside with continued devotion, but it's still not for everyone.

You acknowledge water weight probably caused your week 2 results. Well, sorry to say, but it most likely contributed to your latest results as well, assuming you really did follow the book. The thing is, 6.5 pounds in one week is the one you should be weary about. Almost all of that 6.5 pounds is water weight. I'm no atkins expert, but I do know that the ketones your body produces due to your low-carbing take a while to develop, so you wouldn't actually be burning a lot of fat at that point. Rather than bore you any more about this 'stupid diet', I'll just give you the quick summation:

Water weight was the culprit for all of your results. Chances are, you lost fat the last two weeks, but also gained enough water to make it not show up on the scale. You agree that your clothes are more loose, and that's because atkins works. Scale measurements are an incomplete metric. You're not paying attention to the whole story. The scale means nothing. If I told you someone was 300 pounds, would you tell me immediately that they're fat? If so, you'd have a huge chance of being wrong. Body type is what matters. Take weekly measurements and use the scale to confirm. On my first two weeks of low carbing, I went through the same weight fluctuations as you (down 3, up 2.5, up 1), but my measurements kept decreasing.

Regardless, it's probably time you switch diets. You cannot sustain something if it makes you miserable. Just do something you're comfortable with. Just about all diets work as long as you stick with them. If your heart is set on some sort of carb-reduction plan, just carb cycle as opposed to doing atkins (google it). Try a calorie counting procedure, possibly. Find something you can do without providing too much of a hassle. Personally, I carb cycle, and I never have to think about it. It's a perfectly passive thing, I love the food I eat, I don't starve myself, and I'm confident that if I needed to, I could sustain this form of eating indefinitely (although I wont, because I have varying goals).

Lastly, cut out this nonsense attitude. It's weighing you down more than your fat ever could.
If you think my post is too abrasive, harsh, or offensive, you're:
A) Wrong.
B) Too sensitive.
C) Not going to receive an apology for pointing it out.

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 20

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 12:44
Let me start by saying it is never healthy to completely cut carbs out of your diet. Things I would ask would be what do your workouts look like? How many calories are you eating? burning? Are you currently involved in some sort of resistance training along WITH the cardio?

All are very important questions and can have an effect on your weight loss/gain. Of course it varies person to person as far as success goes, but I have worked with a WIDE variety of people, all of whom have had success attaining results. It is about a combination of nutrition, cardio, and resistance.

I would be happy to help if you have any more questions.

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 10

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 15:04
Your post made me laugh out loud, well parts of it anyway. I may have come off as having an attitude, but I really don't and I have no intention of giving up or changing diets. I was just venting. I really like Atkins and know that it will work. I am just having a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of getting smaller without the number on the scale going down. The fact that you had a similar experience is very creassuring, and why I posted this vent in the first place. I needed to know I was not alone! I get very frustrated when it starts to feel like it's not working.....That's all. I have tried calorie counting and it just did not work for me. I have found that on Atkins, I wind up eating fewer than my RDI on most days, without even trying. I LOVE how I am not hungry all the time like I used to be so I do think Atkins is the right thing for me... However, I am going to google this Carb Cycle idea. I had not thought about that and I don't know much about it. Thanks for the tip!

Fairmamma - That MIM sounds delightful! I am totally going to try it! Thanks!

To everyone who replied, thank you! You are all the best! This is why I post/vent my frustrations, because this woderful support system keeps me focused and motivated.

I admit, my veggie intake is lacking. That is because I generally do not like veggies. I've never been a huge fan. I am surprised (and bummed) to hear that the atkins bars could also be part of it my problem. I really like them alot! Not only do I like the flavor, but also how convenient they are. But I will cut back on them and see if that also helps.

I also made the mistake of not taking my measurements when I started Atkins. I know the book said to, but again, I figured if I loose inches, my weight would change. I know I am smaller though because my clothes are looser.

As for my water intake - I drink water like you would not believe! 64 oz a day at a minimum, usually closer to 80 oz. I was also drinking iced tea (unsweetened of course), but stopped that about a week ago in case the caffine was causing a problem.

Thanks again all for the feedback and helpful tips. I appreciate it very very much!!!!!

Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 648

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 15:15
Great, I'm really glad you took in the correct way. Good luck.
If you think my post is too abrasive, harsh, or offensive, you're:
A) Wrong.
B) Too sensitive.
C) Not going to receive an apology for pointing it out.

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 157

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 16:29

I can't help you much as I couldn't manage Atkins. I couldn't keep my calories up and my carbs down. But I can offer support. Hang in there, you can do it!!!

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 704

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 18:45
Here are two articles someone posted a while ago, that will help you understand a bit more about what is going on and some things to keep in mind as you progress.

Please understand that I'm posting them to encourage you, not to discourage you. "Keepin' it real," as they say. Please take your time and read it carefully, because this information is really helpful for knowing what to expect.



A biologist at Berkeley shared something very revealing on the low-carb BBS system about 4 years ago that helps us all through the erratic weight fluctuations you invariably encounter: Fat cells are resilient, stubborn little creatures that do not want to give up their actual cell volume. Over a period of weeks, maybe months of "proper dieting", each of your fat cells may have actually lost a good percentage of the actual fat contained in those cells. But the fat cells themselves, stubborn little guys, replace that lost fat with water to retain their size.

That is, instead of shrinking to match the reduced amount of fat in the cell, they stay the same size! Result - you weigh the same, look the same, maybe even gained some scale weight, even though you have actually lost some serious fat.

The good news is that this water replacement is temporary. It's a defensive measure to keep your body from changing too rapidly. It allows the fat cell to counter the rapid change in cell composition, allowing for a slow, gradual reduction in cell size. The problem is, most people are frustrated with their apparent lack of success, assume they have lost nothing, and stop dieting.

However, if you give those fat cells some time, like 4-6 months, and ignore the scale weight fluctuations, your real weight/shape will slowly begin to show. The moral of the story - be patient! Your body is changing even if the number on the scale isn't.


Common patterns of weight loss from tracking a lot of people who become assimilated into the low carb lifestyle, a pattern emerges.... the 2 week induction is pretty heady...weight lost just about every single day, enormous and unbelievable amounts of weight loss are reported. This is often followed by complaints that weight loss "stalls" or that the rate drops to only 1 pound per week.

Many people just don't know that fat-loss ...the actual goal when on a weight-reduction" diet, is rate-limited. In other words, the human body has factors that prevent more than a certain amount of fatty-acid release from storage...and even more factors that prevent those released fatty acids from being used up instead of stored back into the fat cells.

A priority of the human body is survival. Anything that threatens its survival results in the cascade of events to maintain the previous status quo. Water fluctuations are one way the body does this. OK...so you done good on Atkins' during induction...lost 10 pounds the first 2 weeks. Maybe 7 the first week and 3 the second. But, whoa! Weeks 3 and 4 there is NO loss! And weeks 5 and 6 is only 1/2 pound each!

So... what gives? Initially, the body jettisons the water attached to the glycogen stores that we diligently deplete to get into ketosis...this accounts for about 3-5 pounds of water. In addition, muscle stores of glycogen are not being replaced when used...which will account for the rest. All in all...MAYBE 1/2 pound of fat was metabolized during the first week... and MAYBE 1/2 pound of fat was metabolized the 2nd week. Of that 10 initial pounds, only 1 pound was fat and 9 pounds water...

The body senses this lack and sirens start shrieking: Warning! Warning! Losing water... new thing...got to get back to the status quo! Brain tells body to produce and release that vasopressin anti-diuretic hormone....more water is retained, and no weight loss noticed. Fat loss is still occurring, MAYBE even 2 pounds per week, because ketosis is firmly established and appetite suppression is in effect...but water retention is hiding that continuing fat loss. The body is preventing dehydration with this mechanism, and that's a good thing.

From the perspective of the scale, it can be discouraging. Which is why the mantra: Water retention masks fat loss (repeated frequently to oneself) is helpful. Water retention will mask ongoing fat-loss for as long as the body retains the water. We can combat this by drinking more water...but we aren't going to totally overcome this mechanism during the initial water-loss phase of the Atkins diet. By weeks 5 and 6, things start to get back in balance, and the scale will begin to reflect the true fat-loss...which, as mentioned before is rate-limited.

Individuals vary, but max weight loss runs about 2 pounds per week...under extremely optimal conditions... or 1% of body weight (whichever is the lower number). So don't use the scale as an excuse to undermine your progress. Even when the scale is in a stall, fat loss can be occurring.


We've been told over an over again that daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can't resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can't bring yourself to toss the scale in the trash, you should definitely familiarize yourself with the factors that influence it's readings. From water retention to glycogen storage and changes in lean body mass, daily weight fluctuations are normal. They are not indicators of your success or failure. Once you understand how these mechanisms work, you can free yourself from the daily battle with the bathroom scale.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Normal fluctuations in the body's water content can send scale-watchers into a tailspin if they don't understand what's happening. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink, the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang onto it's water supplies with a vengeance, possibly causing the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt (sodium) can also play a big role in water retention. A single teaspoon of salt contains over 2,000 mg of sodium. Generally, we should only eat between 1,000 and 3,000 mg of sodium a day, so it's easy to go overboard. Sodium is a sneaky substance. You would expect it to be most highly concentrated in salty chips, nuts, and crackers. However, a food doesn't have to taste salty to be loaded with sodium. A half cup of instant pudding actually contains nearly four times as much sodium as an ounce of salted nuts, 460 mg in the pudding versus 123 mg in the nuts.

The more highly processed a food is, the more likely it is to have a high sodium content. That's why, when it comes to eating, it's wise to stick mainly to the basics: fruits, vegetables, lean meat, beans, and whole grains. Be sure to read the labels on canned foods, boxed mixes, and frozen dinners.

Women may also retain several pounds of water prior to menstruation. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Pre-menstrual water-weight gain can be minimized by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high-sodium processed foods to a minimum.

Another factor that can influence the scale is glycogen. Think of glycogen as a fuel tank full of stored carbohydrate. Some glycogen is stored in the liver and some is stored the muscles themselves. This energy reserve weighs more than a pound and it's packaged with 3-4 pounds of water when it's stored. Your glycogen supply will shrink during the day if you fail to take in enough carbohydrates.

As the glycogen supply shrinks you will experience a small imperceptible increase in appetite and your body will restore this fuel reserve along with it's associated water. It's normal to experience glycogen and water weight shifts of up to 2 pounds per day even with no changes in your calorie intake or activity level. These fluctuations have nothing to do with fat loss, although they can make for some unnecessarily dramatic weigh-ins if you're prone to obsessing over the number on the scale.

Otherwise rational people also tend to forget about the actual weight of the food they eat. For this reason, it's wise to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before you've had anything to eat or drink. Swallowing a bunch of food before you step on the scale is no different than putting a bunch of rocks in your pocket. The 5 pounds that you gain right after a huge dinner is not fat. It's the actual weight of everything you've had to eat and drink. The added weight of the meal will be gone several hours later when you've finished digesting it.

Exercise physiologists tell us that in order to store one pound of fat, you need to eat 3,500 calories more than your body is able to burn. In other words, to actually store the above dinner as 5 pounds of fat, it would have to contain a whopping 17,500 calories. This is not likely, in fact it's not humanly possible. So when the scale goes up 3 or 4 pounds overnight, rest easy, it's likely to be water, glycogen, and the weight of your dinner. Keep in mind that the 3,500 calorie rule works in reverse also. In order to lose one pound of fat you need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in.

Generally, it's only possible to lose 1-2 pounds of fat per week. When you follow a very low calorie diet that causes your weight to drop 10 pounds in 7 days, it's physically impossible for all of that to be fat. What you're really losing is water, glycogen, and muscle.

This brings us to the scale's sneakiest attribute. It doesn't just weigh fat. It weighs muscle, bone, water, internal organs and all. When you lose "weight," that doesn't necessarily mean that you've lost fat. In fact, the scale has no way of telling you what you've lost (or gained). Losing muscle is nothing to celebrate. Muscle is a metabolically active tissue. The more muscle you have the more calories your body burns, even when you're just sitting around. That's one reason why a fit, active person is able to eat considerably more food than the dieter who is unwittingly destroying muscle tissue.

Robin Landis, author of "Body Fueling," compares fat and muscles to feathers and gold. One pound of fat is like a big fluffy, lumpy bunch of feathers, and one pound of muscle is small and valuable like a piece of gold. Obviously, you want to lose the dumpy, bulky feathers and keep the sleek beautiful gold. The problem with the scale is that it doesn't differentiate between the two. It can't tell you how much of your total body weight is lean tissue and how much is fat.

There are several other measuring techniques that can accomplish this, although they vary in convenience, accuracy, and cost. Skin-fold calipers pinch and measure fat folds at various locations on the body, hydrostatic (or underwater) weighing involves exhaling all of the air from your lungs before being lowered into a tank of water, and bioelectrical impedance measures the degree to which your body fat impedes a mild electrical current.

If the thought of being pinched, dunked, or gently zapped just doesn't appeal to you, don't worry. The best measurement tool of all turns out to be your very own eyes. How do you look? How do you feel? How do your clothes fit? Are your rings looser? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don't be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Fluctuations are perfectly normal. Expect them to happen and take them in stride.

It's a matter of mind over scale

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 3

Posted: 05 Oct 2010, 21:09
I think as many have pointed out that everyone at some stage in their goal to lose weight finds themselves at a plateau where they either don't lose or seem to gain a little weight over a week or two. My wife and I actually decided that it was time to invest in a body composition scale. They typically aren't cheap and can run between $100-$200 for a good one. Again you have to remember that while they are an advance over a regular scale that just measures body weight they may still show varied results from day to day as they have an +- % of accuracy.
We personally purchased an Omron scale that we were able to find at Bed Bath and Beyond, but do some reading and investigation of your own to find if there is a product out there for you.
Essentially here is what a Body Composition Scale does that is different than a normal scale. They have programmable settings that allow you to enter you birth date, height, and sex. The scale itself should have a hand held display and plates on the surface where you feet are placed. The Body Composition Scale uses a small current after it weighs you to estimate your % of muscle vs body fat as well as computing you BMI and depending on the quality of the unit your visceral fat. Because the scale does a decent job of measuring muscle vs fat it can be a good way to beat down feelings from stepping on the scale and seeing your weight not change or go up when step on the scale and see that your muscle mass has increased and your body fat has decreased. Remember muscle weighs more than fat. Sometimes we don't realize that we gain muscle even if doing cardio and since Atkins also tends to boost your protein intake which any bodybuilder will do to gain muscle mass you can be helping your muscles recover faster which could reflect in a muscle gain. I can personally tell you that since buying this type of scale it has helped me stay focused on my goals. I will caution that you could still see day to day fluctuations. It is always best to pick a time of the day and always weigh yourself at that time.

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 10

Posted: 06 Oct 2010, 12:26
I've been weighing myself once a week, always on the same day of week and time in the nurses office at my work. It is one of those balancing scales like what they have at the doctor's office. I have a body composition scale that I have not been using at home because I swear that it is either broken, or the fact that I live in a very old house with hardwood floors that are probably all a little uneven is causing it to miscalculate. I mean, we are talking a variance of 10-12 lbs everytime I get on it. Even if I get on, get off, then get right back on again, I get a completley different number, usually + or - about 10-12 lbs. I have always assumed that if the weight is wrong, then the other measurements must be too. I suppose I could try moving it downstairs onto the area rug in the living room and seeing if anything changes.

Hbkim - I loved those articles. Thank you so much for sending! Very informative!

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 523

Posted: 11 Oct 2010, 14:17
I have a body composition scale too, but it does not measure muscle. The problem with mine is that the fat % fluctuates up to 6%. Also in the directions it lists the average hydration %, but people like me, who have an excess fat % the hydration will be lower. I am noticing, as the fat % decreases, the hydration % is increasing, therefore, as I lose fat, it is being replaced with water. I do wish the fat percenage was a little more accurate, since at my weight 6% is about 15 lbs of fat. But am noticing the average percentage has dropped about 5% since I started, which is consistent with the lbs lost, and when weight goes up, so does water hydration percentage

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 96

Posted: 11 Oct 2010, 17:29
I really think that you may want to reconsider Atkins, if just for a while. We are heading into holiday season, which is already hard, and adding a super-restrictive diet right before may not be a wise choice. I have nothing against Atkins, but it takes a really long time for the cravings to go away. I would advise that you do some sort of calorie counting through the holidays, and restart Atkins in January, after the parties and dinners are over.

I did Atkins for about six months before I became vegetarian, and you have to watch your protein and fiber. Your weight loss really does slow down with it, and you reach a point where you only lose a lb or so a week.
I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night - Galileo

First goal: 149 by 10/31/10

Second goal: 139 by 11/31/10

Final goal for 2010: 129 by 12/31/10

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 523

Posted: 12 Oct 2010, 14:30
a lb or two a week is a normal loss, more than that are your body has its own defenses to prevent losing too much all at once. For those of us that are carb intolerant, there is no other choice. If you were lactose intolerant you wouldnt drink milk, same with carbs, some of us just cant eat them without getting FAT

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 10

Posted: 14 Oct 2010, 15:38
And I am one of those people. Case in point, I went on vacation this past weekend. I do not think I "pigged out" by any means, but I did cheat on the Atkins diet a bit. Other than 1 or 2 days, my calorie count was very low, but I gained 3.5 lbs! In one week! Of course part of that has to do with eating refined carbs and sugar after abstaining from them for 3 weeks, but I also think it speaks to the fact that I am carb sensitive.

As for waiting till after the holidays, I was actually thinking about that today. But I decided to stick with the diet now because there will ALWAYS be a reason (excuse) to put off dieting. I would rather nip this in the bud now and then try my best to make good choices at Christmas time (when my mom bakes her famous cookies!) Also, I am unhappy with my weight NOW, so why put off trying to fix it? I don't want to go through the holidays feeling chubby and uncomfortable. So, I am going to stick with it and keep trying. I think that, other than the Christmas cookies, I will actually be fine over the holidays.
Brenda Groth

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 190

Posted: 19 Oct 2010, 10:26
i believe carbohydrate weight settles in around your stomach, and burning fat rather than carbs removes that belly fat. I have remained stable with my weight for several days now and I'm on day 16 of Atkins, but I'm not worrying cause I read in the book that this was what I should expect.

Make sure you are eating enough foundation vegetables.
Lowering my sites for 2011 to losing 1 pound a week or 52 pounds in 2011 having 82 pounds to go I should be 30 pounds from my goal this time next year.

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