Saturday, January 28, 2006

How Do You Stop Low-Carb Weight Loss?

So many people are fascinated by how well the low-carb lifestyle works to help them lose weight when they are overweight or obese. I must admit I was one of them and still marvel at how eating the foods you are allowed to eat on a low-carb plan can cause your body to lose weight and keep it off for good.

But I got an e-mail from one of my readers on Friday that wanted to know how to STOP low-carb weight loss. To be honest with you, I never thought about it before. When my body reached a certain point that I felt was enough weight loss for me, I moved into the maintenance phase of the Atkins diet and have been there ever since.

Here's what my reader wrote in her e-mail:


I have been low-carbing since April 2005 and have lost 58.5 lbs. Just 11.5 more pounds to go to reach my goal weight.

My question is, once you reach your goal, how do you maintain your weight and stop losing more? I have been a yo-yo dieter my entire adult life and have lost significant amounts of weight before, on both low-carb and low-fat diets. I always end up gaining the weight back, and then some.

I am afraid that if I continue low-carbing indefinitely, I will just keep losing weight. But if I add carbs back in my diet, I end up gaining weight. I don't understand how to maintain my weight living la vida low-carb.

Please explain how you maintain your weight loss, without losing or gaining weight. I appreciate you help! Thank you.

P.S. I faithfully read your blog every day, and love it!

Since many of you might have wondered about that question as well, I thought you might like to read my response to it:

WHAT A GREAT QUESTION!!! THANKS so much for writing and for your very kind comments about my blog. :)

So what you are basically asking is, "How do you put the brakes on your weight loss once you've hit your goal?" Right?

Here's how: Increase your carb intake (SLOWLY!) until you stop losing weight. It's that simple.

When I was losing weight, I ate about 30-40 carbs per day along with my regular cardio workouts. But I started adding back more carbs into my new lifestyle change (still staying away from the sugar, white flour and starchy foods) and with the increase in my workout length and intensity I found I could get away with eating between 100-125 carbs per day. That's what I do today.

Is that what YOU should do? Not necessarily. We are all different and our bodies will respond in various ways to the addition of more carbohydrates into our system. I would try adding back 10g carbs a week for those first few weeks to see if you are still losing weight. If so, then keep adding them back until you find the carb level where you can maintain your weight.

But even if you do lose a little more weight in the meantime, that's not such a bad thing. I believe the body responds positively to healthy eating and will shift and adjust as needed. I was amazed at the end of 2004 after I lost 180 pounds how my waist size had gotten down to a 46. But then one year later my weight was only slightly lower and yet my waist had shrunk down to a 38. WOW! How'd that happen?! The body is an incredibly resilient masterpiece, isn't it?

I can certainly appreciate your concerns about gaining it all back and don't you know I think about that every day of the week. But I KNOW livin' la vida low-carb works and have dedicated myself to this way of eating forever. If the scale starts creeping upward, then I know to get back into Induction to get it back under control before it is too late.

YOU CAN DO IT and I am so proud of your weight loss accomplishment. Keep up the excellent work and never forget this miracle you have been given because of the low-carb lifestyle. Share with others how your life has changed -- forever! Because it has and you will never be the same again.

The simple answer to the headline of this post is this -- ADD MORE CARBS! But the key is to be selective about the KIND of carbohydrates you consume and make the most out of them. Don't go pigging out on sugar, white flour, starchy foods, and processed junk. Stick with great-tasting whole foods, fruits and vegetables, and sugar-free delights. The result will be weight maintenance that will stay that way for the rest of your long and healthy life.

THANKS for the e-mail! Keep those questions and comments coming. You can e-mail me anytime at


Blogger Philena Rush said...

Great Post. Yes.. You have to SLOWING increase your carb intake.. or you will blow up. I tried it, but low-carb is not for me. But there are days I eat a low carb meal without even thinking about. That's the best, when you do things instinctively, instead of trying to force or remind yourself to do it.

Weight Loss Survey

1/28/2006 8:17 PM  
Blogger Newbirth said...

Usually adding carbs until the weight loss stops is the way to go. I've discovered I can maintain quite wqell at 60g a day, but if I want to lose I need to cut back to about 40g.

1/29/2006 4:33 PM  

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