How Fast Will I Lose?

One of the most common question asked by a newcomer on any lowcarb forum is “if I follow it exactly, how fast will I lose?”

Of course, no one can tell you that, because it’s totally up to your body and every darn one is different!  And, honestly, there is really no such thing as “following Atkins exactly.”  That has to be different things for different bodies, that’s part of the learning.

I can tell you that usually the first “layer” of your weight will be relatively easy to lose, the middle “layer(s)” will be less easy, and losing the final “layer” will be challenging.  Keeping it off will be even more challenging than all of that was.

I can tell you that fast weight losers generally don’t end up keeping any of the layers off, especially if it’s their first time at weight loss, and that slow losers quite often get so frustrated they quit before they get anywhere near goal.

And, here’s something that others may disagree with.  Assuming this is your first time trying lowcarb (and even if it’s your 20th attempt), I would be very careful about “trying” this.  First, there is the “One Golden Shot” phenomenon which is perhaps part of what my bigger general concern is about.

Keep in mind that this can be the beginning of a lifetime of lowcarb yo-yoing, which I am coming to see can be a dangerous result of trying to eat this way but never quite being willing to stay with it or do it right, especially if you never get to the lowcarb “healthy eating” mindset.

Any yo-yo dieting brings eventual weight gain.  But unlike “normal” yo-yoing, on-again-off-again lowcarb seems to result in increasing weight-loss resistance and bodies that sadly end up like abused and worn out punching bags.

In other words, this really needs to be a lifetime commitment not only to weight loss, but to healthy eating and a move toward more simple, natural foods. It needs to be a commitment to learning as well as losing.  Learning (by leading with the diet) that food needs to take a very different place in our life, a physically supportive role that can and often needs to be severed from our underlying emotional entanglements with it.

If not approached in this way, not only will lowcarb not help, I think it can harm—even more than yo-yoing on and off other diets.