Why Do Stalls Happen: Part 1: Opening Comments

Has your weight loss stalled, peaked, and puttered out? Have you reached a point in your diet where the scale just won’t budge no matter how hard you try, even though you know you are doing everything right? If you’re anything like me, you’re probably so frustrated you’re ready to chuck your diet and scale out the window—I almost did. But if I would have given up, and not taken the time to learn why these things happened, I never would have broken my 8-month stall, and gone on to nearly reach my goal of losing 100 lbs. As of this writing, I’ve lost 94 lbs.

This blog post is a culmination of my journey to figure out why stalls happen, and what can be done to get the weight loss moving again. I had originally posted this information on the Atkins forum on a thread titled, Why do Stalls Happen: What I’ve learned. The thread became very popular, but it also became very long, and was soon embedded with so many comments that the post grew to over 240 pages. It wasn’t long before I got numerous requests from people to condense this information into one easy to understand post without comments. The original thread got so discombobulated that only the very brave, and perhaps foolish, took the time to sift through the post to get to the heart of the information. Thus, because of the requests I’ve had, I’ve decided to posts this thread on my blog, but not in its entirety. Therefore, if something seems missing in my blog post—it is, I left out the comments. Consequently, some of the information might seem out of place, and repeated often. In editing this, I did my best to keep the flavor of the thread without changing it much. But it is my hopes that you will find this information readable, and as useful as the many others who have used these techniques to break their stalls have—including myself. More


Why Do Stalls Happen Part 2: Introduction: Plateaus Defined, and The Truth about Ketosis

What you are about to read is my quest for understanding of why stalls happen. While most of this topic will be referring to the Atkins Diet. that I have been on, it is still relevant to anybody on any diet. When I first started Atkins, I was quite successful, I lost 70 lbs the first 8 months on the plan, but then the weight loss stalled for the next 8 months. During this time I didn’t lose any weight, and would go up and down the same 5 lbs. This became very frustrating, and I was on the verge of quitting. However, I was lucky, I had the Atkins forum members, my support system, who refused to let me quit. In addition, Colette Heimowitz, Atkins nutritionist, helped save me from myself. She helped me come up with a plan, tweak my program, and explained to me about stalls, plateaus, and set points. With her guidance, I was soon losing again, but I wasn’t satisfied with knowing how to make changes, I wanted to know why stalls happen. Thus, the journey began. I spent several weeks pouring through books, and countless web pages on this subject; the problem was I could never find a definitive answer in one place. Therefore, I had to piece the puzzle together, and as I did, I gained a clearer understanding about why the body eventually refuses to let the weight go, and how to get things moving again. This puzzle is by no means complete; there are numerous medical reasons for a weight loss stall that I won’t be going into.  Instead, I will be focusing on how set points affect us mentally and physically. In addition, I’ll be talking about the importance of knowing your Basal Metabolic Rate, (BMR), and the role these numbers play in helping reach your goals. Also, I’ll be talking a lot about starvation mode on the body, and why eating less is not always the right solution when it comes to losing weight. In addition, I’ll show how hunger and compensatory behaviors sabotage our diet. Finally, I’ll provide 25 tips and strategies that I used to help break my stall. More

I’d Like to Teach the World to Eat

I’d like to Teach the World to Eat

Sing to the tune I’d like to Teach the World to Sing, as performed by New Seekers.

I’d like to teach the world a diet
A diet that I love
Grow thin like me, lose pounds they’ll see
And show what Atkins does.

I’d like to teach the world to eat
In perfect health they’ll be.
I’d like to teach them low carb-ly
And keep them company. More

I Lost it My Way

I Lost It My Way

Sing to the tune  My Way, by Sinatra.

And now inductions near
And so I face the final muffin
My friend I’ll say it clear
I’ll lose my weight, this much I’m certain.

I ate, till way past full
I’ve shoveled in each and every Carbohydrate
And more, much more than this
I ate it my way.
Florets, I’ve had a few
But then again to few to mention.

I ate what I wanted to
And saw my butt had grew
without Intention. More

Living The Atkins Style

In the style of Gilligan’s Island

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale,
A tale of a weight-loss trip
That started on the Atkins forum,
A board with many tips.

Atkins was a mighty fillin plan,
Good suppers that’s for sure.
The dieters signed up one day
For a weight loss assured
A weight loss assured.

The craving started getting tough,
The Atkins plan was lost,
Thanks to the food choices on this plan
The dieters showed who’s boss
The dieters showed who’s boss.

The tips they found on the Atkins forum
gave them all a smile.

Meet Grami Cin
And Georgie too
Here’s Jennifer and Fit 4life
A movie star
The moderator and

Livin–the Atkins Style.

So this is the tale of the waste-a-ways, they’re here for a long, long time.
They’ll have to make the best of things,
Up through owl they climb.

The first-rate friends are chipper too,
They’ll do their very best,
To make you all as comfortable,
On the forum I like best.

No toast! No grains! No Demon Carbs!
Not a one thing sugary,
Slowing down the Glucose,
You’ll lose fat you’ll see.

So join us here this week my friends,
You’re sure to get a smile,
As you watch the weight melt off…
Livin—the Atkins Style.

As always, comments are welcome and encourage.

Terry (whyguy)

Atkins: The Short Version

I am not going to reinvent the wheel by telling you all about the Atkins diet, but I will give you the short version.  Atkins is a lifestyle plan that will help you shed pounds, become healthier, and help you reach your weight loss goals in an easy to learn easy to follow eating plan.  I have been on this plan since January 2, 2009 and in two and one half months I have dropped 35 lbs, lost several inches off every area of my body, and went from a size 42 pants to a  size 38.  I also went from wearing X-large shirts to large shirts.  In addition, my energy is up, and my blood pressure is under control without medications.

But more importantly, I get to eat great food, and am never hungry.

Atkins is a low carbohydrate diet based on the principle of burning fat for fuel as you limit your intake of bad carbs, and increase your intake of good carbs, protein, and fat.  By limiting carb in-take the body goes in a state of ketosis, which is the optimal state for low-carb dieters to be in, when in ketosis your appetite becomes suppressed, and your craving for starches and sugars  are drastically reduced.

I no longer have cravings for any of the foods that made me fat in the first place.  ie, pizza rolls, fast food, chocolate, ice cream, Doritos, etc…

Atkins is flexible, but  it’s  not a one size fits all program.  You will learn what works for you and what doesn’t as you move through the four phases of Atkins…

The four phases:

Phase 1: Induction

This first phase of Atkins is meant to eliminate or drastically reduce your food cravings, and put your body into Ketosis where you will start burning fat for fuel.  This phase will last a minimum of two weeks, but some people choose to stay on this phase longer.  This is the hardest phase of Atkins, but it will jump start your success. This is what you will do on Induction:

  • Limit carbohydrate consumption to 20 grams of net carbs.  (Carbs minus fiber equals net carb).
  • Satisfy your appetite with foods that combine lean protein and fat, such as fish, poultry, eggs, lamb, pork and beef. While eating limited amounts of hard cheeses .
  • You will get eat 12-15 grams of net carbs from veggies.
  • Drink at least eight glasses of water daily.
  • Take multivitamin/mineral and fish-oil nutritional supplements.
  • It is also recommended that you exercise .  ( I don’t do much of this, but don’t tell anybody)

After at least two weeks, you will move on to OWL.  This is the phase I am currently on.  This  is the phase that you will lose most of your weight and learn the most about your food, and how your body reacts to certain food.  Feel free to experiment on this phase of Atkins.  You will stay on this phase until you are within 10 lbs of your goal weight.

Phase 2: Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL)

The first week you’ll increase your daily carb intake from 20 to 25 grams.  The following week you’ll move to 30 grams of Net Carbs per day, and so on.  You will increase your carb intake until your weight loss  slows to one to two pounds per week.  This is purely an individual choice.

During OWL, you’ll find out how many grams of  net carbs you can eat and still lose weight.  You’ll also discover your own Critical Carbohydrate Level for Losing (CCLL).

During OWL, you begin to add a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods back into your diet-such as more non-starchy veggies (e.g., asparagus and broccoli); berries, including raspberries and strawberries; nuts and seeds, such as hazelnuts and almonds; and soft cheeses (e.g., cottage cheese

Phase 3: Pre-Maintenance

When you’re within 10 pounds of your target weight, it’s time to move to Pre-Maintenance.  You’ll stay on Phase 3 until you hit your target weight and maintain that weight for one month.

Each week during Pre-Maintenance, you’ll add 10 grams of Net Carbs back into your diet until you’ve reached your goal weight.  Once you’ve reached your goal weight and have maintained it for at least one month, you will have found your ACE, or Atkins Carbohydrate Equilibrium. This will be the place that you neither gain nor lose weight.

Phase 4: Lifetime Maintenance

Once you’ve maintained your goal weight for one month, you will move on to Lifetime Maintenance.  In this phase, your average Net Carbs will range from 40 to 120 per day.  This number will depend on how your body reacts to food.

I’ve met people on the Atkins forum who eat 120 net carbs a day.  That’s a whole lot of food. I don’t know how they do it. But you gotta love a diet that let’s you eat like a pig.

Now that  you’re  ready to begin, if you want more information I suggest getting Dr. Atkins book Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution, 2002 edition or newer, also referred to as DANDR.  Also, check out the Atkins website at http://www.atkins.com/Program.aspx.  This is where I have found most of this information and it is a great place to learn and get support.  I also suggest you join the forum and seek support from those who are going through the same thing you will be.

I use the forum for support, to gain invaluable insights from those who are sharing my experiences, as well as from those who have been doing Atkins successfully for many years.  There are great people on this forum who are more than willing to help you, answer your questions,  and cheer you on.  I am honored to call them my friends.

When you stop by make  sure you tell them Whyguy sent you and that I said hello .  http://community.atkins.com/index.jsp

While my blog will mostly deal with my writing, I will devote a portion of this site to Atkins.  I am not affiliated with the Atkins Company, but I believe in it so much that I am willing to endorse it and give it my support.  As with any diet program, you should consult your physician.

If you have any question for me about Atkins feel free to leave a comment and I will share my experiences with you.

Yeah, I know, I said I would give you the short version, but as you get to know me, you will discover that brevity is not my strong suit.  So sue me.  LOL

Terry Elkins (whyguy)

P.S.  I will be adding tips and strategies that you can use for to help your increase your success on Atkins.  I am currently working on gathering 100 tips to help you succeed on Atkins. Also, I will be posting Atkins succes stories in a section called Snap Shots.  If you would like to be a part of this contact me on this blog page or at telkins7@comcast.net.

I will be posting this soon so make sure you subscribe to my blog and book mark this page.


I almost forgot, are you ready to change your life? Come on, what do you have to lose besides those extra pounds.

Do you smell like Butt? Ketosis: The Dark Side of Low Carb dieting.

What is Ketosis? In simplest terms, ketosis is the state you are in when your body is burning fat for energy. People on low carbohydrates diets want to be in ketosis;  when they’re in Ketosis they know the diet is working. The problem is, being in Ketosis has one serious consequence. Stinky Breath…and I mean S-T-I-N-K-Y. The following is my top ten lists for knowing when you are in ketosis: More

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