It’s the rare person who doesn’t lose weight on Atkins, so the two most important pieces of advice to offer patients are to fully comply with the program and to be patient. Occasionally, those first few pounds are maddeningly slow to disappear. If, after the first week or two a patient is not getting results—despite thinking he or she is doing everything thing right—ask these questions—and offer the following answers:
- Were your expectations unrealistic? A loss of more than 2 or 3 pounds (some of it water weight) means a person is succeeding. From here on in, weight lost will be primarily fat. Although some people do experience more dramatic results, a loss of just a few pounds is definitely within the normal range.
- Are you eating too much protein? Protein is essential to fortify the body, but overindulging can interfere with fat -burning and stall weight loss. Men should cut Cut back to a maximum of 6 ounces at each meal and petite women should consume only 4 ounces per meal.
- Are you not eating enough or holding back on fat? Eating too little or skipping meals can interfere with weight loss. If calorie intake dips too low, metabolism slows to preserve organs and muscle mass. Eat three meals a day, or, if you’re simply not hungry, have a small snack that includes fat and protein. Once you’re eating sufficient quantities of both, you should start shedding pounds.
- Are you consuming too many calories? Although you don’t have to count calories on Atkins, overdoing the protein and fat means you may be taking in too many calories. Women should shoot for a range of 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day, while men should aim for 1,800 to 2,200. Advise your patients to eat less if they’re not losing weight.
- Are you eating 12 to 15 grams of Net Carbs in the form of foundation vegetables? If not, constipation, which impacts both weight and inches, may be a factor. The fiber and moisture in vegetables also aids in satiety. Recommend incorporating more foundation vegetables into meals.
- Are you consuming hidden carbs? Advise them to read the labels on all sauces, condiments, beverages and packaged products to avoid ingesting added sugars and other carbs.
- Are you overdoing Atkins Advantage shakes or bars? If they’re having three or more shakes and/or bars a day, cut back to two. (This almost certainly means that they’re not eating enough vegetables.) If they’re eating two, cut back to one.
- Are you using more than three packets a day of noncaloric sweeteners? Sweeteners themselves contain no carbs, but the powdered agent that prevents clumping contains somewhat less than 1 gram of carbs per packet. Those small amounts can add up quickly when the total is 20 grams of Net Carbs a day. Cut back to three packets.
- Are you drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water and other fluids? Liquid helps with satiety, making overeating less. Suggest they track fluid intake and aim for a minimum of 64 ounces.
- Are you skipping meals? One reason we recommend a morning and afternoon snack in addition to three meals is to avoid the internal gauge that signals.
Resistance to Weight Loss
If, after two weeks on Induction, an individual has lost no weight or merely the 2 pounds that typically constitute water weight, despite doing everything right, he/she might simply be metabolically resistant to weight loss. This is more common among women and individuals who have recently lost and then regained weight.
Other Measures of Success
It’s worth reminding your patients that whittling off pounds is not the only way to measure success. Other markers such as loss of inches, more energy, improved blood sugar or blood pressure levels or reduced bloating also indicate that this new way of eating is producing results. Sometimes people may be losing fat but simultaneously building a little muscle, which may not show on the scale, but will appear in their measurements. Tracking measurements weekly allows your patients to see whether their body composition is changing. Soon the scale will soon catch up with the measuring tape.