Sunday, March 12, 2006

Perseverance Pays Dividends On Low-Carb

I just love reading a happy ending to a story where the person thinks they are in such despair that they don't know whether they can go on or not. And this is one that I had the privilege to be a part of.

You might recall this reader who wrote to me worried about why her weight loss had stopped.

Here's what she wrote to me in that agonizing e-mail at the end of January:

I'm staying about the same on exercise and it's all I have time to do. I've tried to up the intensity but still nothing. I'm getting desperate now. Did you stall? If so, did you do the fat fast, or try carbing up or what to get the loss started again?

At the time, I encouraged her that weight loss stalls do indeed happen and that mine lasted for 10 straight weeks during my weight loss. But my advice was for her to persevere and stick with livin' la vida low-carb as if nothing was wrong.

Here's what I wrote in response to her:

Don't CHANGE a thing! It's tempting to back off on fat or carbs and increase your exercise, but resist the urge. Your body is adjusting and it has to go through this process to reach the next level in your body's transformation. Don't let it discourage you because you are MUCH better off now than you ever were at your starting weight. Right? Right?

Hold your head up high and know that the plan is working. You'll be just fine. Write me back at the end of February and let me know how much weight you've lost since you put the scale away! You will probably even surprise yourself!

Almost like clockwork, I received a follow-up from this once "desperate" low-carber telling me how much she appreciated my gentle words of sticking with it even when it seemed like the plan wasn't working.

You might notice a SLIGHT change in attitude from her this time around:

Back in late January I wrote to you about the difficulty I was having losing weight. I had gone 8 weeks without losing any weight at all and I was really getting discouraged.

You wrote me a very encouraging e-mail saying not to change anything but just keep on doing the plan and hold my head high. That gave me the incentive I needed and I followed your directions.

Amazingly, within a week I started losing again and I have now reached my goal and have even gone a little under it. I think you were right that my body was just adjusting to the loss and needed time to catch up.

You asked me to write and let you know so here you go.

Thanks again for your encouragement! I want to tell anyone else out there who is not losing to just hang in there with low-carb and don't go on the fasts, shakes, or any of the other tempting ideas you hear.

Believe me when I say this, LOW-CARB WORKS!

P.S. I'm in maintenance now and hope you'll be writing more about how to gradually add back in more carbs. I'm so worried I'll gain the weight back.

Isn't that EXCITING?! I am so proud of her for sticking with low-carb at a time when too many people easily give up their weight loss efforts. It's a testament to her determination to make the low-carb lifestyle work for her.

Now that she's reached her goal and wanting to keep it off, she has questions about whether she will be able to do that. That's completely natural and is something that even I have to deal with all the time.

Here was my response to her:

THANK YOU for your e-mail today. You just made my day!

I am soooooo very proud of you for sticking with your low-carb program even when it seemed like all hope was lost. While most people hit "the wall" where our weight won't budge, you triumphed over that by allowing it to spur you on to the eventual success you have now attained.

CONGRATULATIONS on making livin' la vida low-carb a permanent part of your healthy and long life. Your rugged determination to not allow anything to get in the way of your weight loss is to be commended. People are always asking me what my "secret" was to losing weight. I tell them that it's not a secret that you need to stick with whatever you are doing to lose weight FOREVER. It REALLY is that elementary.

As for worrying about gaining back the weight, trust me, you are not alone on that one either. And perhaps I will share a few more columns in the next few weeks on that topic. Just in case you missed it, I addressed this issue directly recently with the blog post "How Do You Stop Low-Carb Weight Loss?"

Gradually adding back those carbs until you reach a level where your body can comfortably maintain without gaining. When I was losing weight, I stayed around 40g carbs per day, but now I eat about 100g carbs per day. It will vary from person to person so just add back a few carbs at a time until you find your personal threshold.

THANKS again for sharing your success story with me. I am excited for you and wish you continued success as you keep on livin' la vida low-carb. God bless you!

She started low-carb with the right frame of mind to make it work for her. When she hit a slight bump in the road, her will was strong enough to keep on keeping on until she reached her goal. ANYBODY can do that as long as they never lose faith in livin' la vida low-carb.

This way of eating DOES work and you merely need to convince yourself of that fact. Then DO IT for the rest of your life. The long-term dividends are definitely worth it!

CONGRATULATIONS once again to my reader for making it happen for herself! I KNOW she feels so much better now and serves as an example to everyone around her that low-carb is NOT dead and works beautifully.

Are you STUCK on your low-carb diet and feel like nobody understands your dilemma? If so, then e-mail me with the issue you are facing and let's see if we can't help get you out of your funk. I don't know all the answers, but I'll share what has worked for me. Let me hear from you TODAY!


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