Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Don't Underestimate The Importance Of Low-Carb Induction

Lisa Shea from BellaOnline wrote this excellent article today about the purpose of limiting yourself to less than 20 grams of carbohydrates during the first two weeks of the Induction phase when you begin livin' la vida low-carb.

I heard every question in the world from people about the Induction phase:

- Why do I have to limit myself on so many "healthy" foods during the first two weeks on low-carb?

- Can't I just have a little more carbs than just 20 grams?

- If I start to feel terrible, can I eat so I can feel better again?

- It's just too hard to limit yourself and be so strict on Atkins!

Have you found yourself asking any of these questions? If so, then you will definitely want to read what Lisa wrote in her column.

She writes: "If you're starting out in low carb dieting, in the induction phase, you are staying below 20g of carbs a day. This is to jump start your weight loss quickly."

I agree that the all-important Induction phase can and will bring you incredible weight loss during those first couple of weeks. But that's not the main purpose of eating no more than 20 grams of carbs. Rather, it is to get your body into the fat burning stage of ketosis so you can begin the process of permanently losing weight. No matter how hard you try to do low-carb, if you do not get into ketosis you are going to fail at it. Get some ketostrips to see whether you are in ketosis or not and check it daily. If you don't see a color that is pink or darker, then you are not in ketosis.

Lisa continues: "Note that low carbing never says to STAY at 20g for your entire lifetime. This is primarily to help you shake off your old addictions and clear your body of sugar.

She couldn't be more right about this secondary aspect of the Induction phase of doing low-carb. Your body will go through some drastic changes that absolutely must be done so you can move forward with your ultimate goal of weight loss and restored health. It will likely be an unpleasant experience for a few days as your body purges itself of all those years of bad habits. But hang in there! Pretty soon you will start to feel a lot better as a result of enduring through a few days of anguish. If I could do it, then I know you can do it!

Recommending that you "mix and match" your eating choices, Lisa explains that you should eat what you want to eat within the parameters of what you can have on low-carb. She provides an eating plan for an entire week in this article that will give you some hints about the kinds of foods you should be eating on Induction. If you are stuck and don't know why you can't anything to eat during those first two weeks, then follow Lisa's guide to help yourself get through this.

Some more sound advice from Lisa includes: "Snack often - and drink a TON of water. Your weight loss should NOT be water loss. You should drink ample water to keep your system well hydrated."

This girl knows what she's talking about! People have said how hungry they got doing low-carb. I look at them like they're crazy when they tell me this and I respond by saying, "So eat and never allow yourself to be hungry!" We have become so conditioned to think we have to portion control on low-carb because that's what we've always been taught. That is a common mistake people make who are doing low-carb. Don't worry about how much you are eating, just keep the carbohydrate total to less than 20 grams per day during the first two weeks. It's not rocket science.

As for water, you should drink, drink, and drink some more. I devote an entire chapter to this subject in my upcoming book because it is such a vital part of what made me successful in my weight loss and weight maintenance. Staying well-hydrated is just as important as eating less than 20 grams of carbs per day during Induction.

If you are considering starting Induction or are in the midst of this extremely important phase in livin' la vida low-carb, take heart! We've all been there at one point or another and most of us survived it without a hitch. Commit yourself to do whatever you have to do to get through those first two weeks no matter what and you will be well on your way to eventual low-carb weight loss success!

05/18/2005 UPDATE: I got the following response from Lisa Shea today after she read my blog entry about her article.

Interesting! Actually I've been writing this exact message for almost 2 years now. Read through the other content on my site and I go into induction in GREAT detail. It's not just about breaking the sugar addiction. It's about breaking ALL addictions and watching for allergies. Many people for example are really allergic to wheat products - but they never even know until they cut them out for a while. Then when they add them back in after 2 weeks, it is super obvious that they bloat when they eat them. So a lot of it is about learning about food allergies you developed over time and never realized it.

Lisa Shea, Low Carb Host

THANK YOU Lisa for championing this lifestyle that is so near and dear to our hearts. We will stand with you in promoting it as a great way to end addiction to food once and for all. YOU GO GIRL!

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Solitary Dancer said...

I just can't say enough about your blog. I just love it and am becoming quite dependent on you to bring me the latest LC news.

Keep on LC'ing it's the only way to go.

5/18/2005 10:56 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Solitary Dancer! I'm so privileged to have you and many others make this forum a daily part of their Internet experience now. I have tried very hard to provide articles and information that would interest people on low-carb. I'm glad I am somewhat succeeding at that goal. THANKS for your encouragement and for what you are doing to help spread the word about livin' la vida low-carb!

5/18/2005 11:53 AM  
Blogger DietKing said...

Have you heard about anyone doing Induction using the amino acid L-Glutamine to help stave off those horrible sugar cravings one experiences in the beginning? No reason to go to war unarmed, no?
-Adam Wilk/Diet King

5/18/2005 2:26 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I had not heard of that, Adam. I know Dr. Atkins recommends something similar, but I never found the need.

5/19/2005 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can anyone out there comment; I've been on a veeeery low carb diet for one week(20-30 grams daily), I have not lost one pound. This is very discouraging to me. What is happening? I need some veteran advice pleeeease!

6/29/2008 11:56 AM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

I'm sorry you are going through this. Email me the plan you are following along with your menus the past few days. Send that to

6/29/2008 12:42 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home