Most people who follow Atkins see a great initial loss as the body switches to burning fat for energy and this then settles into a steady weight loss pattern which works wonders for moral and keeping you motivated. However, every so often you may have a week or two where you don’t lose any lbs and this can be really frustrating!

Most people who follow Atkins see a great initial loss as the body switches to burning fat for energy and this then settles into a steady weight loss pattern which works wonders for moral and keeping you motivated. However, every so often you may have a week or two where you don’t lose any lbs and this can be really frustrating!

So what could be the possible reasons for the stall?
  • Have you added nuts or berries? These can be added after 2 weeks on Phase one but some people find that they can’t stop after a handful of nuts. Although it’s not necessary to count calories on Atkins, if you eat too much, then weight loss will stop and nuts can quickly add a hefty dose of calories if you overeat them. Berries are the lowest carb fruit and this is why they can be introduced before other fruits but some people find even the high sugar content in strawberries, and other berries, is too high for them at this early stage in their weight loss. So try cutting back on one, or both, of these foods and see if this helps.
  • Are you cutting fat intake too low? It’s all too tempting to cut dietary fat, as well as carbs. Afterall we’re told over & over that low fat foods are best for weight loss. Many studies refute this claim and opinions are changing but the fact is, you need fat when following Atkins. Fat is great for making you feel full and I’ll bet if you increase your fat intake then your appetite will reduce, cravings will disappear and you’ll start seeing weight loss again. Remember fat, or any macronutrient, isn’t limit-less and you should stick to recommended guidelines, such as up to 115g cheese per day.
  • Maybe protein is the problem? It’s a misconception that protein is a ‘free’ food on Atkins and it’s not true. We give specific guidelines about how much you should aim for and having more protein than recommended can slow results. So stick to 115 – 175 grams per meal of foods like chicken, beef, fish and lamb.
  • Artificial sweeteners and sweetened foods are great for taking away your sweet cravings but, if you over do sweeteners then this may be a reason that weight loss slows. Have you been having an extra can of diet soda each day? Baking with low carb ingredients and sweeteners? These are fine in moderation but try cutting back if your weight loss stops.
  • Fibre is essential and part of the reason why vegetables are a mainstay from day one on Atkins (as well as the fact that they are nutrient-packed). So have you been skimping on veg and not getting 12-15g of carbs each day from salad & cooked vegetables? If so then try bumping up the veg in each meal, add mushrooms to your breakfast omelette, experiment with some celeriac chips or mash or have a side dish of cabbage fried with butter & bacon with your steak. If you are low on fibre then you could be constipated and this can add lbs on the scale too.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of sleep. When we’re stressed and not sleeping well, our bodies release cortisol, the stress hormone, and this can slow down results. So switch off your computer or phone a few hours before bed, listen to relaxing music or download a sleep App on your phone and try to catch up on some sleep
  • Patience. This is probably the hardest one to get across to people as we all, naturally, want weight loss right NOW and it doesn’t always work that way. This is why people switch from diet to diet and never really get results. Keep reminding yourself of WHY you’re doing Atkins, how much better you feel in yourself in terms of energy, the way your clothes fit and don’t let that number on the scale de-motivate you. Read up on some success stories or interact with people on the forum if you feel that’ll help to keep you on track. Atkins works, trust in it, the science and results speak for themselves and you’ll soon be your very own success story!
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Posted by Linda O'Byrne
Atkins Nutritionist