Your body when eating low carb is like a well-oiled machine. The weight starts falling off and your body is running like a sports car—but what happens if that car stalls? If your weight loss goal is closer than it has ever been, but you hit your very first plateau?
When your weight just won’t budge—what then? Well, then it’s time for a tune-up. There’s no need to panic. Just think long and hard about the foods that you have been eating and pinpoint where you made a wrong turn.
Everybody is different, but when I am asked for help in these situations I rattle off the following list of possible culprits:
-Hidden sugars and starches in purchased food, vitamins, and medications.
-Hidden sugars and starches in restaurant food if you eat out often.
-Sugar alcohols. And many “so-called” low-carb products, especially sugar-free candy and ice cream are made from these corn syrup alternatives like maltitol, sorbitol and most anything ending in -tol that they claim can be subtracted from the total carb count.
In a handful of people, overindulgence in more specific things like dairy, caffeine, alcohol, sugar substitutes, diet sodas, soy flour, low-carb fruit, nuts, tomatoes and onions can slow or halt weight loss, though my family never had a problem with any of them.
If you have no idea what’s causing the plateau, the best thing for you to do is to strip your diet down to the bare bones of low-carb. To all those healthy fresh foods. You may see stalls as your worst enemy, but getting back to basics is never a bad thing. In fact, you may find yourself losing as fast or faster than ever before! When you have your eye on the prize, every little bit counts.
When it comes down to those last stubborn pounds standing in your way, calories can catch up with you. I don’t advocate counting them, but eating more reasonable portion sizes may be the boost you need to see that magic number.
Always keep in mind that maintenance is waiting for you at the finish line, and not every change you make has to be forever. Those same small steps you take to get to your goal can be taken in reverse toward a more satisfying, effortless maintenance—for life!
Keep On Low Carbin’!
Chef George Stella