How to overcome quick weight loss plateaus

All quick weight loss diets have plateaus, even the astonishingly effective low-carb diet The usual advice to up the exercise and cut back on the treats is the first line of defense, but when that doesn’t work, you need more help. Here are some possibilities and suggestions to help get you back on track and losing weight again.

Check your actual carb level. Write down every morsel that goes into your mouth and check it on the charts. If you drink a lot of coffee, for instance, you could be adding some surprise carbs – a cup has only .8 grams (these are beans, remember), but if you have six cups a day you’re getting almost 5 grams of carb, plus whatever you add to lighten it.

If you’re heavily invested in artificial sweeteners, it may come as a shock to learn that they all contain a little sugar – fractionally less than a gram per packet, true, but If you have a lot of them in a day it adds up.

You may think those little pink and blue packages are free, and they are, in moderation, but if you’re overdoing it you could be sabotaging your diet.

Consider cutting out all artificial sweeteners, especially if you’re drinking a lot of diet soda. There’s a possibility that for extremely sensitive people even the sensation of sweetness can trigger a release of insulin – the same way that some people think that merely stepping into a bakery makes them gain weight. It may be true, in the sense that the anticipation excites an insulin release.

Check your thyroid. Low thyroid and insulin problems are old comrades, and they could be ganging up on you.

My personal very slow rate of weight loss speeded up once my deficiency was corrected. I discovered this myself, though my famous low-fat doctor had earlier diagnosed a goiter – but told me I didn’t need to take thyroid if I didn’t want to.

Since I was completely clueless at the time, I decided not to. But thyroid deficiency is a very serious problem that often accompanies the metabolic disorder of hyperinsulinemia; it has a role to play in preventing heart disease, infertility, and a number of other serious conditions as well. And if you go on a low-carb diet plan, you’ll be requiring even more thyroid from your body just to deal with the extra protein, so you can easily become deficient.

You can check thyroid deficiency yourself using the Barnes Basal Temperature.

Method: for four consecutive days, before you get out of bed in the morning, put a glass thermometer under your armpit for 10 minutes (shifting hormones can skew the reading, so women should do this beginning the second day of their period).

Anything below 98.2 is low. For further Information, call or write the Broda Barnes Foundation, a nonprofit organization that works with physicians and patients to further the work of Dr. Broda Barnes and other pioneers in the field of hormone research.

According to Dr. Barnes, if you have red hair, you’re by definition low-thyroid (due to a missing chromosome).

Consider adding some supplements: Atkins recommends CoQ10 at the 100 mg level (also good for your heart and gums, and widely used in Japan). If you’ve been off your quick weight loss diet recently, you may need to take chromium picolinate to curb cravings.

Sometimes when nothing will budge, a radically different diet will help. The low-carb gurus focus on a single food group for these adventures in metabolic chaos. Atkins has a Fat Fast – at its most basic, it involves eating only five handfuls of macadamia nuts throughout the day (about 1,000 calories) and nothing else – but warns not to do it for more than five days.

The Atkins diet also likes the Fruit Fast; eating nothing but fruit for a few days, especially if you’ve been feeling fruit-deprived. You’ll probably gain a little weight, but you may satisfy your longing for fruit and shake things up when you go back on the diet. The Eadeses like a lean protein fast. Try eating just tofu and salad for a couple of days – again, this will be less than 1,000 calories.

Drink more water. The more you drink, the more you’ll lose. You may think you’ll spend your life in the bathroom, but not so; the body adjusts after a couple of weeks.

If all else fails, just hang in there. Eventually you’ll start to lose again, and in the meantime you’re getting all the health benefits of the low-carb diet, so don’t worry too much about it.

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