It's common to see no loss on the scale in week 2, or week 3, and here's why

I’m asked this question so much that I thought it was important that I write a blog about it.  The question is about the slowing down of pounds lost in week 2 (or 3 for some). It can be frustrating when you’ve had a great weight loss in week one and then it slows, even stops or – even worse – you gain a lb or two! So, why does this happen and what can you do?

Firstly, don’t panic! It’s extremely common, which is why I bring it up. In week one of Atkins you lose body fat, but you’re also shedding excess water retention as carbs make you retain water. So, as you cut carbs, you lose that excess bloat and water weight. Don’t be duped into thinking “oh, it’s just water weight” though. As you know, there’s nothing worse than that horrible bloated feeling after a junk food meal or carb heavy meal so best to shift it and then get on with losing body fat.

By the time you reach week 2, you’re probably already feeling trimmer and less bloated and your body is switched to fat burning mode. However, after years of eating a high carb diet; or maybe even trying a series of diets that have failed; you have to give your body a break and time to adjust to this new way of eating, and it will!

Trust me; stick to Atkins and weight loss DOES re-start. Don’t let the number on the scale demotivate you from your ultimate goal.

So, what happens if weight loss doesn’t resume in a week or 2? Well you could consider these options:

  • How are your portion sizes? Make sure you’re eating until satisfied, not over-stuffed, at mealtimes.
  • Are you getting 4-6oz (115-175g) protein; such as meat, fish or poultry; at meal times? Over-eating protein can slow results too. 8oz (225g) is fine if you’re a bigger man.
  • Be sure you aren’t eating low fat too. When cutting carbs, you can’t cut fat too. Your body needs fat to burn fat so forget the low fat guidelines that you often read about. Eat fat to lose fat!
  • Are you constipated? If so, then this can add lbs on the scale. Increase your veggies, stay hydrated and consider adding a tbsp or 2 of ground flaxseeds each day, this helps greatly.
  • Are you losing inches? If so, the scale does catch up but losing inches is a great sign as you’re most likely to be losing fat from ‘problem areas’ like around the waist or your lovehandles area.

If you’re unsure about anything, or are concerned that this is more than a ‘blip’ in your weight loss journey, then pop onto our forum and I can take a look at your meal plan and give you some independent advice. You can post it here on our forum

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Posted by Linda O'Byrne
Atkins Nutritionist