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Hometown: NYC, NY
Motivation: Helping people find a way of eating with low carb that promotes robust health outcomes and sustainable weight loss and maintenance.
Favorite Atkins Friendly Food: Cashew Trail Mix Bar
Tips for Success: Read your labels. Watch out for hidden carbs; to calculate the grams of carbs that impact your blood sugar, subtract the number of grams of dietary fiber from the total number of carb grams. Also double-check serving sizes on labels; some foods and drinks are actually two or more servings, so you need to add in those extra carbs and calories.

Not Much Lovelier the Second Time Around

August 29, 2011

Why Round 2 of Atkins Is Not Always the Same

I’ve seen this topic mentioned quite often within the forums; someone is complaining about how they tried Atkins years ago, successfully lost a lot of weight, but then fell off the wagon and gained it back. Since Atkins worked for them in the past, they figured they would try it again. But this second time around, it’s different. The pounds aren’t coming off as fast and the process is a lot slower. Why?

There are a lot of reasons. It’s likely you may have tried some quick-fix diets during your break from Atkins, where you lost weight and then gained it all back. All that yo-yo’ing could slow down your metabolism, which means your body stubbornly wants to hold on to the pounds you are trying to lose. Another reason? Your metabolism tends to slow down as you get older. If you tried Atkins in your 30s, and now you’re giving it another shot in your 40’s or 50’s, your body may react differently. An even bigger reason? When you do Atkins the right way, you start burning fat for fuel instead of carbs. When you go off of Atkins and re-introduce all those carbs back into your diet (and/or start cutting natural fats), you start burning carbs for fuel again. Switching back and forth makes it even more difficult to retrain your body to start burning fat again for fuel.

Eating too many carbs blocks your body’s ability to burn fat, so as long as you eat this way, you rarely tap into your body’s fat stores. Instead, they remain permanently attached to your hips, thighs, belly and all the other well-padded areas of your body. The over consumption of carbs acts as a roadblock standing in the way of burning (and losing) fat, just like that schoolyard bully used to block your access to the swings at the playground years ago. Not only are you unable to lose weight without drastically cutting back on calories (which leaves you perpetually hungry and vulnerable to falling off the wagon), you’re also plagued with a whole set of side effects from the blood sugar rollercoaster: uneven energy levels, feeling bloated, excessive hunger, cravings for foods and the inability to concentrate. Meanwhile, on Atkins, you now have access to a valuable tool that allows you to burn your own body fat for energy, and keep hunger at bay. When you cut back on carbs sufficiently, your body transitions to a primarily fat-burning metabolism, forcing the bully to step aside.

Scientists refer to it as a fat-burning metabolism, but we call this ally the Atkins Edge. It enables you to stop the metabolic bully in its tracks so you lose fat pounds without experiencing undue hunger, cravings, energy depletion, or any sense of deprivation. When you burn fat for energy all day (and all night), your blood sugar remains on an even keel. Without question, the Atkins Edge makes it easier to stay the course and succeed in meeting your goals.

Bottom line? I’m so glad you’ve decided to come back to Atkins. Be patient. Even if it takes longer this time around to regain the Atkins Edge, it will happen if you follow the program the right way. By encouraging your body to burn primarily fat for energy, you can lose weight and ultimately maintain your healthy new weight—all while feeling pleasantly satisfied by your meals.

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What has been your experience with returning to Atkins after a break? I’d love to hear! Please share your thoughts with the Atkins Community and also let me know what you’d like to hear about in the future. 

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