Overstaying Induction and the KIND of Carbs We Eat

Be very careful about staying on induction–or at carb levels of 20 net and below–for too long.  There are a lot of reasons why that seems to be a generally  bad idea.

The reason so many people stall and then give up when they move from induction to ongoing weight loss is because they don’t really or totally follow the rules for adding carbs, they start adding problem-ish carbs (sometimes slowly, sometimes practically overnight) and the diet starts morphing into 20-40 low-quality carbs of cheese, processed meats, nuts, a little fruit, and almost no veggies.  They move to the land of cream cheese and Splenda dietary methadone.

If you do it correctly, by getting at least half of your daily carbs from veggies, and then increase the amount of veggies as you continue, in most cases it will actually work better to add more of these good carbs.

To keep hedging your bets toward steady success, I recommend getting and keeping the percentage of your daily carbs from veggies as high as possible and that you’re especially careful about sticking to the limits on cheese and the “special category foods” (cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, etc.).  And be as truthful as you can with yourself about how you really do with nuts, if you decide to add them.  Be aware that the lowcarb food choices that eventually end up running the majority of folks into the ditch are foods with cream/cheese, artificial sweeteners, nuts and grains.  These are foods that seem to be especially difficult for some of us to limit.

Grains, especially the gluten-containing ones, just seem to be problematic for virtually everyone with bodies that otherwise thrive on a lowcarb way of eating. If you really want to hedge your bets, I’d recommend against adding lowcarb or grain products (such as bars, crackers, lowcarb breads/tortillas, anything that contains rice, millet, corn, wheat, barley, spelt, quinoa, etc.), until you are much further along in this journey, preferably all the way to goal and well into maintenance.  I recommend this because of what seem to be the overwhelming odds that most of us (~80-90%) are what I would term addicted eaters.  Not trying to single anyone out here, just that it sure seems like the vast majority of people who end up significantly overweight do fall into that category. And one of the traits that addicted eaters seem to have in common that puts us into this category is that we were either born with, or somewhere along the line we developed, a physical intolerance to grains. After we’ve eliminated them for a long time, we find they bring on a lot of the symptoms that lowcarbing “magically” eliminated—water retention, bloating, swelling, cravings, skin problems, digestive problems, and weight loss stalls/gain.

Most long-term successes I know never eat grains or sugar, even in maintenance.

Unfortunately, I believe it is way too easy to get the (mistaken) impression from the Atkins books that this is all about the number of carbs.  It is not.  It’s most often about the kind.