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Step Away from the Edge: Revisiting the Dreaded Plateau

June 2, 2011

It’s bound to happen. At some point during your journey on Atkins, your progress may stall. This is perfectly normal, and nothing to worry about. Of course, that’s easier said than done when you are actually experiencing this. First you need to determine if you are just going through a temporary stall in your weight loss, or a plateau. If you have gone over a month without losing inches or scale weight despite following Atkins exactly the way you should, then you may be experiencing a plateau. If you visit the Forums, you will find that this is a very popular discussion topic for many Atkins Community members. And I’ve written plenty about this before as well. But it’s definitely a topic worth returning to. If you have determined you are indeed in the midst of plateau, try these suggestions:

Don’t give up. It’s easy to stick with the plan when you are losing weight at a steady pace. The true challenge is sticking with it when the going gets rough. But don’t use this as an excuse to just give up and dive into a pile of French fries. Be patient. Look at this phase in your journey as a time when your body is readjusting to the weight it has already lost. Stick with it, and you will start losing again.

Be honest with yourself. Watch out for “carb creep.” If you stopped counting carbs, maybe it’s time to start again so you can get an accurate idea of exactly how many you are consuming. It may be more than you think. Pull out your journal, and get back into the habit of writing everything down so you have a realistic idea of what you are actually eating.

Cut back on carbs. If you are beyond Induction, decrease your daily intake of Net Carbs by 10 grams. You may have exceeded your tolerance for carbs while losing and inadvertently stumbled upon your tolerance for maintaining your new weight. Once your weight loss resumes, add your carbs back in 5-gram increments.

Getting stuck in a phase. On the other hand, it is possible that you may have lingered too long in a particular phase of Atkins. Just moving to the next phase may be all your body needs to jumpstart weight loss again.

Watch the fat. Add a little more fat to your meals and snacks, or change the type of fat you are eating. Cut back on processed meats like cold cuts for a week or two to see if that makes a difference. Try olive oil instead of Mayo or add avocado to your salads.

Drink up. Make sure you’re drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Carry a water bottle with you at all times so you can keep up with your intake.

Look for Food Intolerance. Try doing an elimination and challenge test. You may need to cut out dairy, or soy, or peanuts, which are all common food allergies.

Get moving. Although it doesn’t work for everyone, some people find that increasing their activity level will get the pounds dropping again. Park farther from your destination, take the stairs instead of the elevator or go for a walk with the family.

Talk to others. Visit the Forums [http://community.atkins.com/discussions/new/viewMessageBoard.jsp?messageBoardId=1198] and talk to other Atkins Community members. You will find plenty of people who have overcome plateaus who are willing to share their tips and stories.

Share and Share Alike

Have you ever experienced a plateau? What did you do to move on? Please share your thoughts with the Atkins Community and also let me know what you’d like to hear about in the future.

Register with Atkins today for additional tips, low carb recipes, and ideas on how to overcome your weight loss plateau.

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