Why Am I Still Not Losing Weight Eating Low Carb Food?


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Why am I not losing weight eating low carb food?

Egg muffins with spinach, bacon and cheese

It has been two weeks into my low carb journey. Although I am not losing weight eating low carb food yet (more about it later), I can report several positive shifts in the way I feel:

 

1. The “brain fog” has now gone.Β  Are you familiar with what it feels like? In case you are not, it is a heavy, muddy and sticky feeling. I used to get so frustrated with it that if I could “vaccum” my brain of the “fog”, I would. It’s the most unpleasant feeling where a mild headache is combined with inabilty to think clearly. I guess there is a reason it is called “brain fog”! πŸ˜›

 

2. I no longer have headaches every other day. Where I live we have the atmospheric pressure going up and down all the time. So I used to think that this was affecting me the way it did, and explained my headaches. Now I think that the real reason was my blood sugar highs and lows.

 

3. I have more energy these days. Blood sugar fluctuations used to affect my energy levels. Once I stopped eating sugar replacing them for fat, my blood sugar seems to have stabilised, so my energy is more constant throughout the day. I no longer have ups and downs. Even drinking coffee doesn’t affect my energy anymore. I love coffee and drink about 3 cups a day on average. I believe there are lots of benefits in real, ground coffee (not instant).

 

4. My stomach feels “lighter” and is not sticking out as it used to. I believe that I had candida overgrowth which used to show itself more when my immune system was down. Othewise known as yeast, candida thrives on sugar. When we eat sugar and refined carbohydrates, candida starts overgrowing and infecting not just the intestinal tract, but other organs as well. When it infects the colon, it robs the body of vital nutrients and energy, which is why it is so important to cleanse the body of this nasty fungus. People can carry several kilograms of candida in their body. Since I stopped eating carbs, the symptoms of candida are no longer there.

 

5. My knee feels better. Sugar and refined carbs promote inflammation in the joints, which is why it is so important at least to cut down on them if we are to stop the cycle. I attribute much of the change to applying magnesium oil on my knee several times a day, but cutting sugar out of my diet has undoubtedly made a difference.

 

6. I am generally feeling lighter. Even though I haven’t lost any weight, the feeling of lightness is unmistakable. I hope it continues! πŸ™‚

 

Why am I still not losing weight eating low carb food – two weeks on?

 

I have been thinking about it ever since I started, and believe that I have found out why. While I have been excluding carbs, I was not aware of their content in “non-suspect” foods. The thing is, according to Lynn Terry who has herself been highly successful in bringing herself back to health and amazing weight loss, in order to see a real shift in the low carb lifestyle, our food needs to consist of at least 70% good fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs. There is another way to determine the content of total carbs in our daily meals – by grams. So we need to be eating no more than 20g of net carbs a day (total carbs minus fiber). That’s perhaps the easiest way to keep track of carbs.

 

So why am I not losing weight eating low carb food? This is where tracking comes to play. I have not been tracking what I have been eating, so did not even know the amount of carbs each food I was putting in my mouth contained. For example, I ate two flat peaches last night, without knowing that they contained 12 net carbs! The same goes for berries. One medium strawberry contains 1 carb. Had I known it, I would not have eaten 400g of them the other day! πŸ™

 

Today is my first day I have been tracking my nutrients. I am using MyFitnessPal.com to do it. They have a free option, and it is pretty straightforward to set up, despite what I thought initially (the main reason for my delay using it!). If you decide to start eating low carb and want to see quick results, set up an account with them and start using it straight away. Don’t do what I have been doing – guessing! Lynn Terry explains in her blog how to set it up and use it. There is a link to an excellent webinar on the same subject in the post too. Check it out.

 

Mindful eating – what is it?

 

The other important thing is to enter the foods into the MyFitnessPal diary BEFORE they are eaten, not after. This makes us plan our meals and apply thinking to eating. Would you agree that much of the time we eat without thinking, often on an autopilot? I do! Entering meals into the diary BEFORE we have eaten them makes us think – and plan what we eat. This also makes it so much easier to track nutrients – or as they are known in the low carb circles – macronutrients (macros for short). In turn, it leaves little room for error in calculating our intake of carbs.

 

Should you calculate your calorie intake? Lynn says she doesn’t pay much attention to calories, as long as her carbs are within the daily allowance. She also says that it is hard to overeat while on low carb, since a high intake of fat “kills” the hunger. I have experienced it myself, and can say that it really works. You simply don’t want to eat too much with fat being the main part of your diet! (by ‘fat’ I mean fatty foods – avocados, nuts, oily fish, seeds, coconut oil, etc), so the body regulates calorie intake naturally.

 

Water & exercise

 

Am I drinking enough water? Hmmm… I don’t think so. I forget to drink water unless a glass with water catches my eye! So mindful eating should include mindful drinking too! And MyFitnessPal takes care of it. You can track how much water you drink. I haven’t been tracking it well today, so there is definitely room for improvement! πŸ™‚

 

As for exercise – believe it or not, MyFitnessPal takes care of it too! I can’t believe how good the software is! I used to pay Β£27 a month to Weight Watchers only recently to track my food and exercise. Had I known about MyFitnessPal earliner, I would have saved myself a lot of money (I didn’t go to Weight Watchers’ meetings, since I like doing things independently). Even if you don’t want to try low carb, you can use it for whatever nutrition and exercise plan you follow. It’s just amazing.

 

Possible weight loss “stallers”

 

From Lynn’s webinar I have found out that there are foods which can stall weight loss if we are not being careful . They are cream cheese, processed cheese, sauces, nuts and artificial sweeteners. There are others too of course – you just need to keep track of what you are eating and the nutrients contained in in the foods. With MyFitnessPal it is easy.

 

Why would sweeteners be stallers? The theory behind it is that sweeteners aim to “cheat” our brain into believing that what we are eating is real sugar. But the brain is not so easy to cheat. The taste buds send signals to the brain, but these signals are not followed by the feeling of satisfaction which results from consuming real food. So the brain seeks further satisfaction, which results in craving for real sugar and food, leading to overeating. You can read more on why it happens here.

 

Things that I will keep doing

 

  1. I will continue taking my magnesium supplements.
  2. I will keep applying magnesium oil on my body every day. I have been rubbing it on my stomach to help with elimination. It also makes me relaxed.
  3. I will continue drinking diatomaceous earth again – to help eliminate toxins more quickly. It’s a good appetiete suppressant too!
  4. I will keep cycling. It’s great execise, and I don’t need to sweat in a gym which I don’t enjoy at all!

 

 

Things that need changing

 

  1. I need to record what I eat – before I eat it, and keep track of all the nutrients diligently – using MyFitnessPal.
  2. I need to make my meals more interesting – there are plenty of ideas online (Lynn’s blog is one excellent source). This will hopefully eliminate boredom which sets on when I eat low carb.
  3. I should look to buy food with as few ingredients as possible, and where possible – cook from fresh produce. This will make tracking much easier.
  4. I need to walk daily – add it to my cycling routine, so I have 2 sets of exercise a day.
  5. I need to track my water intake. Water is the key to eliminating toxins effectively, and with ketosis there will be a lot of toxins that will need eliminating. I might invest into a good water filter jug.
  6. I will keep looking at new recipes to make my meals more exciting. My goal is to cook 3 new recipes every week. I have just ordered almond flour and am really looking forward to cooking with it.

 

I will leave it here and will update you about my progress in a few days. Now that the reasons for my lack of weight loss have been established, everything depends on my choices and discipline! πŸ™‚

 

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