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Low Carb Diet Mistakes Cause Plateaus

Updated on October 30, 2009

How/Why Low Carb Diets Work

Like any other diet, Low Carb dieters can hit plateaus.

Common Reasons For Plateaus In Low Carb Diets

  1. Too Much Sodium
  2. Not enough Protein
  3. Too Much Fat
  4. Not Enough Fat
  5. Dehydration
  6. Alcohol (learn how to drink alcohol on a low carb diet)
  7. Low carb diets limit carbs, so you don't put very much insulin into your system, your body burns any fat you eat as fuel, and if you need more, your fat cells freely release fat into your blood stream to be burned as fuel.

Why are other weight loss programs so hard?

On other diets. because you're eating carbs, you crave more carbs, and then you deliberately limit how much you eat. So you feel hungry. And anyone who has tried to eat less for a long time has discovered it is very difficult. What you're eating is making you want to eat more, and then you make yourself eat less. It's tough. It can be done, but it's tough.

As anyone knows who has tried simply limiting calories or eating very little fat, it is very difficult to sustain it. You can do it for awhile, but then you can't stand it any more and you eat a lot. You lose weight only temporarily because you can't keep it up for any length of time without a lot of support or self-discipline. It's too hard to sustain. And whatever you do to lose weight has to be sustainable or you'll just gain it right back.

One of the reasons a low carb diet works is that protein and fat satisfy your hunger. When you eat protein, you do not crave more protein. If you had a huge plate of chicken, you would not continue to eat it after you had enough. You would eat a certain amount and then you wouldn't want to eat any more. You don't need a cheering section to keep you from eating any more. You're done. You're satisfied.

With carbs, you can never get enough. You can be full, topped off, completely stuffed, and you could still go more! Eating carbs makes you crave more carbs.

Limiting carbs is still difficult, but much easier than eating low fat or low calorie. after awhile, you aren't craving anything at all. And your fat cells steadily release their fuel to be burned. Instead of getting more difficult over time, low carb eating actually gets easier as the lust for carbs subsides.

Once you reach your goal weight; you should first add fruit, then whole wheat while continuing to monitor your weight. The low carb way can be a way of life. Insulin has three effects you don't want:

1. Converts sugar in the blood to fat in the cells — tells the body to store all the fat it can while the sugar is available

2. Tells the cells not to burn any fat, since there are plenty of sugar molecules to burn

3. Makes you crave more carbs

Fat doesn't cause your body to make insulin. Protein doesn't either. Only carbs do.

"When there is very little insulin, your body has to burn fat. That becomes its main fuel, and your body actually gets better at burning fat the more it has to do (because your cells make more fat-burning enzymes and fewer sugar-burning enzymes)."

If you want to lose weight quickly and keep it off, and improve your health, a low-insulin/carb diet is the best way.

Like any other diet, Low Carb dieters can hit plateaus.

Common Reasons For Plateaus In Low Carb Diets

  1. Too Much Sodium
  2. Not enough Protein
  3. Too Much Fat
  4. Not Enough Fat
  5. Dehydration
  6. Alcohol (learn how to drink alcohol on a low carb diet)


Low Carb dieters depend on protein and fat to satisfy the cravings. Salt + fat = pounds of bloat

There are 4 common **sodium culprits in Low Carb Diets

A) Processed foods B) Adding salt C) Pork D) Carbonated Beverages

A) Avoid processed foods by cooking fresh as much as possible. In the first few days/weeks of your diet avoid eating out and using processed (prepared or frozen foods). They are loaded with sodium used as preservatives and flavor enhancers.

B) Don't use table salt. Instead use Morton Lite Salt (not salt free salt) which is a combo of Sodium / potassium salt and acts like a diuretic. Also experiment with salt free seasoning like Garlic powder, Mrs.Dash and Tony Chachere's Creolesalt-free seasonings.

C)Eliminate all Pork products including - ham,bacon and sausage

D)Soda both regular and diet are loaded with sodium. Also look for sodium content in powder drink mixes like Crystal Light lemonade, Salad dressings etc.

**A healthy adult needs between 1500 and 2400 milligrams of sodium per day Even just one teaspoon of salt contains approximately 2300 mg of sodium, and a single item from a fast food restaurant can have almost as much (a KFC chicken pot pie has 2160 mg)

2) Not enough protein.

Most women especially do not eat enough lean protein. This would be grilled or broiled whole chicken breast, lean steak, even hamburger, without carbs or sauces as in soups and casseroles. Protein is one of the basic building blocks of the human body, being about 16 percent of our total body weight. Muscle, hair, skin, and connective tissue are mainly made up of protein. If you want firm,toned look, you must consume enough protein.

A person weighing 150 lbs. should eat 55 grams of protein per day, a 200-pound person should get 74 grams, and a 250-pound person, 92 grams but if you exercise regularly you may need more.Get a Carb counter that includes a protein counter.

Another fact is that it is difficult to get lean protein without too much fat/salt; etc. High protein,low carb snacks accelerate weight loss, and keep you satisfied!

3)Too Much/Too Little Fat

Always trim excess fat from meat. I prefer to do this after cooking so the fat adds flavor and keeps the meat moist.. Remove 'yellow fat from chicken before cooking as it contains toxins and hormones. Don't eat the skin on chicken.
Do eat plenty of fatty fish and consider taking EFA's (essential fatty acids)the good fats in capsule form.

4. Dehydration/ Not Drinking Enough Water

If you don't drink 80 ounces of water a day your body is storing water along with toxins. You will bloated,constipated and sickly.

5. Alcohol

Any alcohol will slow weight loss but some will completely plateau or reverse weight loss. This is because alcohol doesn't need to be digested so it supercedes all food calories, and, it is loaded with calories, but, some alcohol is carb free. If you have to drink on a low carb diet choose any of the white liquers including vodka and gin and low carb mixers.

Again this may still slow your metabolism as it taxes your liver but not nearly as much as high carb wine, beers and liquers (sweet syrupy or creamy alcoholic beverages

Be Blessed!!!


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      cpa 8 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

      Great Hub ! The other reason that some mess up on the Atkins diet is they do not know all the rules. For a free copy of the Atkins diet go to .