On our LC Facebook page, I’ve noticed a rash of people complaining about low carb weight loss stalls. I’ve written about what to look for when you’re not losing weight before, but a quick rundown of the hitlist as a reminder may be helpful.
- How long has it really been? Two days does not a stall make! Two weeks is annoying, but utterly normal. Two months or more is an actual stall, provided you have more than 10 pounds or so to lose. Don’t make mountains out of molehills.
- Are you tracking? That’s the place to start. Little things add up and guess-timating won’t cut it when something is not working. Also be on the lookout for hidden carbs if what you’re eating and how your body reacts just doesn’t add up.
- Are you eating Frankenfoods? low carb specialty foods are great…sometimes. They may look and taste just like their high-carb counterparts. Unfortunately, they can also stall out people’s efforts just like their high-carb counterparts. Foods with sugar alcohols especially can be tricky.
- Are you consuming a lot of heavy cream, cheese or nuts? Calories impact losses. Just because most people don’t have to count calories with this way of eating, doesn’t mean you won’t have to or that you’ll never have to. It’s not as simple as “calories in, calories out” for sure, but those little buggers do still matter.
- Have you recently added any new foods or had changes in medication, routine or stress levels? Bodies are funny things. Sometimes stuff you wouldn’t expect to make a difference does.
- What do your other progress indicators look like? I’m talking about how you feel first and foremost, energy levels, measurements and how your clothing fits. If this stuff is doing fine, stop obsessing over a damn number on a dictatorial little machine. It’s not worth it!
- Are you drinking enough water and getting some movement in? I know, I know, I sound like your mother or something. Just sayin’ this helps!
- Are you following an actual LC plan? I shouldn’t have to ask, but I do. People do better who follow actual, established LC plans. There, I said it!
These may or may not address your concerns, but they are a place to start. If these kinds of suggestions don’t help, you may consider discussing it directly with your doctor to see if something else needs attention. Some people have special concerns that make weight loss especially difficult. If LC has worked pretty well for you until now, though, you may just be going through a plateau phase. This too is normal!
The question to ask yourself here is that even if you knew you’d never lose another ounce, would you still want to low carb?
Think hard about this. Weight loss is a lovely byproduct for many, but having a specific number show up on the scale on a specific day is not the be-all end-all of Low Carbing! Being as healthy as you can be, feeding your body good fuel that helps it run well, and living an active life is the prize here. Looking better doing it is just a bonus.
What’s your experience with stalls?