Tweaking Too Soon

If you are new to lowcarbing and you visit the message board regularly, you might get the (mistaken, I think) idea that you should start tweaking your lowcarb diet to make it work faster or better.

But generally, you really shouldn’t even be thinking of tweaking your lowcarb diet until you’ve gone at least 6-8 weeks with absolutely NO cheating and you have stopped losing weight (and you are not at or very near a healthy weight and bodyfat percentage for your body).

And if you’re not exercising regularly yet as part of your journey, then that is the first “tweak”. Atkins says exercise is non-negotiable. If you’re not exercising, you’re not doing Atkins. There is no lowcarb plan that says it’s okay not to exercise.

The biggest problem with tweaking unnecessarily or too soon, is that it can tap into that all-or-nothing mindset that most of us have, which really needs to be addressed/tamed as part of long-term success with this journey. We have to slowly learn to be calm and stop trying to force this way of eating to work the way we want/expect it to. (I know, we all just hate the word slow, right?)

If you haven’t lost in 6-8 weeks, you’ll have a much better reason to believe your body really is in need of a change. And more importantly, you will have learned a valuable lesson about patience and holding your eating steady even without exciting results, even when you are fairly frustrated. We can never get too many lessons in that!

Also consider this: if you tweak too soon and it appears to work, in a few weeks you’ll very likely come up with the notion that hey, maybe it wasn’t REALLY the tweaking that worked, maybe it was just that you were being impatient, and maybe you can go back to untweaking. That’s dragonspeak, and that can lead to some wobbly eating. Be honest, isn’t that a long-term pattern in the process of starting to repeat itself?

Wouldn’t it be better to take these steps mindfully and gradually, as you are sure you need them, as you are sure you are ready to commit to them?

Now all that said, I do think it is important to keep track of your eating at Fitday and to make sure you are sticking to ALL the rules of Atkins, most especially the limits on cheese carbs, the limits on “special category foods,” and the requirement that the majority of your carbs are coming from the induction allowed veggies. Especially in chronic, induction-abusing, re-starting lowcarbers, induction has a way of morphing into 20 carbs or less of just about anything. Fitday will also help you get and keep your calories even. I know I can still tend to overeat on lowcarb and my body will start to gain weight if I do that consistently. The moment my weight drifts up 3-4 pounds, I am back on Fitday, facing every bite I put in my mouth.

If you ever need to address tweaking your diet, join my message board, and I’ll be glad to guide you in that slow process.