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Started low carb, haven't lost weight, but other symptoms have cleared-??

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I posted this four days ago in the weight loss forum, but I haven't gotten any advice yet.  So I decided to re-post it here.




Okay, this is a bit convoluted, so here it goes.


I'm desiring to lose some weight.  I think I look just fine but it's getting difficult for me to be active, I hate having to buy new clothes, and I don't want to size up my wedding band.  I'm 5'7" and I'm currently (according to the neighbor's scales) 195 pounds.  According to the doctor's scale from 2.5 months ago I was 185 lbs.


About 3.5 weeks ago I started a low carb diet, loosely based on Atkins and Primal Blueprint.  I eat between 25-35 net carbs a day, focusing on dairy products, meats, fats, and non-starchy veggies.  I am not eating any grains.  I will have an occasional drink, 0-2 times a week using diet ginger ale and vanilla vodka.  I had two big cheat days this last weekend, but I've cleaned up my diet again and I don't feel too guilty.  My average calories are 1600-2000 a day.


A lot of my health issues seem to have resolved.  I don't get heartburn anymore, I haven't had a migraine this month (I usually get 2-10 a month), my nasal congestion and post-nasal drip have basically dried up, and my anxiety has been way, way lower.


However, I haven't lost any weight.  This is discouraging to me since I was expecting some sort of loss in three weeks.


As far as other health issues, I'm on Zoloft (started a couple months ago for anxiety) and I've been tested thoroughly for thyroid conditions and some major deficiencies.  My doctor suspects I have PCOS, and my mother does have PCOS.  Recently we got a car but prior to that we didn't own a car for over a year.  I would walk or bike everywhere, including hauling a bike trailer with my two kiddos (35 and 45 lbs) and sometimes groceries.  I would often take the kids to school and would bike or walk 8 miles a day.  During this I was still gaining weight.


I'm discouraged because I was vegan (for ethical reasons) after my firstborn and I easily got down to 125 lbs by the time he was 9 months old.  I couldn't stay vegan, though.  After nursing so much and going through another pregnancy and then tandem nursing I was totally burnt out and couldn't function.  And, yes, I was a good vegan, I did everything I was supposed to do.


My current theory is my body is trying to balance out, as evidenced by my other symptoms lifting.  After everything balances I'll be able to shed some weight.  I'm curious is anything like this has happened to anyone else.

post #2 of 18

Are you trying to get into Ketosis to burn fat? If so, the cheat days are going to kill you because every time you consume enough carbs that your body goes back to burning glucose rather than fat, it takes a couple of days to get back to burning fat. If you are trying to get into ketosis, I suggesting getting some ketone strips and checking your urine. The strips only cost like $6 for a pack of 50.


Here is a web site I find extremely helpful:



Also, if any of the foods you are eating cause *your* body to be in a state of inflammation, you most likely won't loose weight. For me, the problem food is dairy. This could be a different food for you, but it might be worth going without a certain food for a several days and see if things get better, and then trying to add it back in to see if things get worse.


one more thing -- did your doctor do standard blood work to check for a medical cause of the weight gain/trouble loosing, such as thyroid tests?

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

He did do thorough thyroid testing, especially since my mother has hypothyroidism.  Everything came back clean, and he tested for multiple factors.  We also tested for deficiencies, like vitamin D.  I don't have any issues with what we tested for.  All of the testing was geared toward figuring out my depression, but I was complaining about weight gain at that point, so he was aware of it.  He's a really great doctor, he doesn't medicate if he doesn't have to.  When I finally broke down and started the Zoloft I was still having really bad migraines, and he wanted to see if the Zoloft would help with that before prescribing me migraine medication.


Since The Hubby has Type I diabetes we have plenty of ketone strips lying around and I am in ketosis.I only cheated those two days, so...shrug.gif  I wouldn't think that two cheat days would completely stall all my weight loss, especially after being in ketosis for 3 weeks.


I may have a dairy problem, when I eat cream cheese I get an itching sensation in the back of my throat.  I could try cutting out dairy.  Thanks for the tip.


I'll have to check out that link after the kiddos are in bed.  Thanks for posting it.

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Oh, I wanted to add that I'm also following my measurements (I like to sew my own clothes, sooooo, yeah) and they haven't changed, either.

post #5 of 18

How is it going without dairy?

post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

I ate some cheese today and some butter.  oops.gif  I need to go grocery shopping because I'm basically out of veggies.  Since I've been relying a bit on dairy products I need to pick up stuff to substitute, like canned coconut milk for my egg creams.


I've been eating 1-2 large salads a day:  a head of romaine or other lettuce, cukes, raw zukes, mushrooms, radishes, red bell pepper, green onion, etc., dressing (usually mayo) and some protein.  It's more veggies than is recommended by Atkins for induction (<20 g of carbs), but I was thinking since they're all very low carb that it can't be bad.  I just don't feel satisfied if I stick to meat.

post #7 of 18

How much fat are you eating? I'm finding that it really helps with staying satisfied, and from what I've read, it helps the body in achieving optimal ketosis. Foods like avocado and olives would be great additions to your salads, and using LOTS of oil based dressing. Another option is to stir fry your vegetables. I have vegetables in some format for most every meal -- this morning I had mushrooms sauted in olive oil with my breakfast. Nuts and seeds are a wonderful, too.


I think that the number of carbs that one can eat and burn fat is very different for different people. For me, it is pretty low - 20-25 grams per day. My DH is doing this with me, but he can  more than twice as many carbs per day and stay in ketosis and lose weight. I think that the numbers that get repeated over and over are the ones that are true for pretty much EVERYONE, but that it doesn't follow that for a specific person it is what is needed.


Since you are working on rebuilding your body, are you including organ meats or bone broth? We are starting to incorporate them.


I read your other thread as well. For a social drink, I like nice herbal teas. I even got a beautiful tea pot with matching cups and its going over very well with others. It doesn't feel like I'm missing something, rather than I have something special (the store Teavana is divine).


I think that since you are still craving something sweet, your body hasn't really adjusted, and that perhaps the best thing you could do would be to go cold turkey and just feel the misery for a day or two so that you could get free of the cravings. It wouldn't take that long. The beautiful of doing that is that then you will be truly free to eat and drink based on true hunger and an intellectual decision, rather than by your chemistry craving something that isn't good for it.  I found that once I bit the bullet and got past my cravings by going straight through them, I ate a lot less food overall.


I totally agree that FEELING GOOD and being healthy are far more important than the number on the scale, but I also believe that when everything else is in balance, the number on the scale will reflect that. I think if we are overweight and the numbers aren't gradually moving to reflect better healthy, it is a sign that we haven't figured out what really works for us.



post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Well, here's an update.  I measured myself tonight and here's the results:


Previous measurements:


Bust:  44"

Natural Waist:  36"

Hips (fullest part):  48"




Bust:  43"

Natural Waist:  35.5"

Hips:  47.5"


This was after dinner, so, yeah.  It's something!  I can't believe I've lost so much in my bust, that's crazy.

post #9 of 18
Do you have another update? smile.gif I feel like i am in the same boat. i think i should try cutting dairy, too.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 

I'm off and on the wagon.  I have a definite increase in migraines and heartburn when I eat carbs.

post #11 of 18
i get migraines, too. i was paleo for a while and did gaps and my migraines were much fewer then, but i never lost weight. neither of those diets are low carb per se, and so i think that may be why. i have the mthfr gene mutation and insulin resistence, but i really want to lose some weight. i am starting hflc in earnest! i ordered some ketone strips.
post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 

LunaLady, that's interesting.  What does "mthfr" mean?  Sounds intriguing.  I seemed to have lost a big of weight with HFLC, but I got really bored of the food.  I would eat eggs, bacon, meat, etc. for breakfast and two enormous salads for lunch and dinner.  And I stilll love all that, but I get burned out on food prep easily.


Aright, I was starting to get ramble-y, so I'm going to leave off now.

post #13 of 18

MTHFR is a genetic mutation that is involved in a whole host of things... for my specific mutation my body doesn't process folate efficiently and that leads to many issues for me. I take an active folate supplement to help.


I fear I'll get bored of the food, too... we did GAPS for three months and that wasn't nearly as restrictive as HFLC and I got bored! But I really need to lose about 50-60 pounds.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Whoa, LunaLady, my sister's been telling me about that gene mutation!  Although, I have a hard time believing it's a mutation if 70+% of the population has it (according to her).  I guess it's time for me to do some more research.

post #15 of 18

Here's a good resource: http://mthfr.net/

post #16 of 18

How are your energy levels in ketosis?  I get extremely weak and lethargic and sickly feeling when I go low carb and can't work out AT ALL.  


I love working out and I love cardio...I just switched to the paleo diet after 8 years of veganism and am having trouble figuring out how many carbs I need to eat as I still want to stay active but I also want to lose a few pounds.   (sorry to threadjack!  But appreciate the discussion)

post #17 of 18

Maybe try things like winter squash, onions, tomatoes, sweet potato? Those all have a few carbs. :)

post #18 of 18

Personally, I find it basically impossible to lose weight through diet alone. It might just be my body type or whatever, but I have to work out hard to change my body composition. Even then I don't really lose pounds so much as change how it is distrubuted (more muscles, smaller pant size, but still the exact same weight). Lifting weights (real weights, none of that 3 pound dumbbell pointlessness) is probably one of the biggest lifestyle changes you can make to change your body composition and measurements. Eating better is fantastic, but you might have to challenge your body more physically if you want more significant changes. 

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