7

votes

Why does LC/VLC stop working as a weight loss tool for some people when restarting?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 11, 2011 at 5:00 PM

Does anyone happen to know the science behind the fact that many people (including myself unfortunately) have lesser degrees of success with weight loss when restarting a low carb diet after a short time of falling off the wagon (not completely, in my case), keeping in mind they are again strictly following the same protocol as they did previously?

This happens to be a phenomenon I've personally encountered and have witnessed others accounts of the same on many LC messageboards as well.

This is not a matter of carb creep or calorie creep as I religiously log my dietary intake into Fitday and have for years and can see that even when restricting further (or increasing to shake things up) my body is quite content to stay near the weight I started at.

Why does the body seem to "figure out" what's going on and know to prevent the weight loss from happening again?

29686e6867f73a7deee8bf0578cb2107

(68)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Thanks, folks! More reading to do now...

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 11, 2011
at 07:10 PM

@invisible ink: See Shari's comment to Luckybastard's response re: carb cycling.As she says, this can be very tricky, but, it can also be very helpful.A book that can be especially helpful with how to do this well is: The Carbohydrate Addict's Deit by Heller and Heller. I aslo rec their workbook that goes along with it - The Carbo. Addict's Program for Success. You can tailor the specific info and "how to" to you, accounting for degree of cravings you have, any eating d/o issues, etc. Lots of TOOLS. Authors=psychologists who lost and maint. 200lbs between them.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 11, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Thanks, Shari. And I haven't forgotten responding to your latest FR comment in the other thread. I got distracted ...will get there later tonight. Lots of interesting stuff to read in commnents on Stephan's blog. Lots I agree, mildly disagree and vehemently disagree with! ;)

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Excellent response as this was the sort of information I was looking for. I'd still like to find out more about the specific chemical responses in the body which make it "learn". It would be fantastic if someone would write a scientific blog post or article to go into this sort of thing.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Trust me, I've been VLC for a long time but it doesn't help. My question is more in the vein of trying to understand how one's body actually knows the difference between the first time trying LC and subsequent attempts so that it loses its efficacy.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:46 PM

Good info mem as always.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:45 PM

The body wants to keep that fat and will do outrageous things to do just that. The idea that bodies want to be thin is a myth. Once it has that fat it wants to hold on to it. I don't think we know the exact mechanisms but yes this does seem to be true for some people. You can push through but it requires greater attention to detail and some conscious manipulation of macros (I know that's a dirty thought in paleoland these days but none the less the dirty truth for some of us.) One thing you might try is going VLC to the bone then raising them slowly over time to a more comfortable level.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:40 PM

Eva it's a slippery slope but you can do it and not fall off the wagon. It has to be tightly planned. It's not an "eat what you want" thing necessarily although it can be for some who can handle that. You could simply add some sweet potato to your regular diet one day every 7-10 days. I do experience the stimulation of appetite so I try to save mine for late in the day then go to sleep a few hours later. It's good that you recognize the dangers of something like this and that will serve you well if you decide to try it but I know of no other way to reset hormones that is as effective.

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:36 PM

you can try the quilt's leptin reset and read around about how that works for leptin sensitivity.

29686e6867f73a7deee8bf0578cb2107

(68)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:14 PM

I'm distrustful of carb cycling because eating most carbs stimulates my appetite and can lead to a major "off-the-wagon" experience, taking even longer to recover from because now I've added significant body fat. Are there other ways one can increase leptin sensitivity?

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3 Answers

best answer

2
Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 11, 2011
at 06:32 PM

There are reasons above and beyond any specific diet change for why with each subsequent attempt, weight loss can get harder. Here's some tip of the iceberg stuff to check out -

http://www.drsharma.ca/obesity-will-losing-weight-make-you-fat.html

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/06/compensatory-adaptation-as-unifying.html

As per both articles, I believe very strongly that our bodies "learn." This is also echoed in sherpamelissa's post to some degree.

Repetivie weight loss attempts (with actual wt loss and regain) through younger years especially are linked with more and more and more and more resistance by the body to attempts at weight loss and more what I would call "push-back" when weight IS lost as the body reacts and adapts and "pushes-back" toward high weight set point.

This doesn't mean that you cannot be successful and that low carb will not work for you. But, you may need to be more patient and perhaps more rigorous with things like water intake, elimination of sugar subs etc. This can also include, and has for a number of folks, the need to cut carbs to the bone and/or do a form of cycling where they cycle down to zero or near zero carb for a few days at a time and them up again to 20 -50 whatever and do this for extended periods of time. Each person is different.

Dr. Eades has two posts on his site re: restarting.

One thing I'd say is: take the yo-yo stuff SERIOUSLY.

Only between 3-5% of all weight losers MAINTAIN that weight loss. Some 95-97% go on to not only regain all that they lost, but also gain additional weight, also with additional brain/body resistance to weight loss.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:46 PM

Good info mem as always.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:57 PM

Excellent response as this was the sort of information I was looking for. I'd still like to find out more about the specific chemical responses in the body which make it "learn". It would be fantastic if someone would write a scientific blog post or article to go into this sort of thing.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 11, 2011
at 07:10 PM

@invisible ink: See Shari's comment to Luckybastard's response re: carb cycling.As she says, this can be very tricky, but, it can also be very helpful.A book that can be especially helpful with how to do this well is: The Carbohydrate Addict's Deit by Heller and Heller. I aslo rec their workbook that goes along with it - The Carbo. Addict's Program for Success. You can tailor the specific info and "how to" to you, accounting for degree of cravings you have, any eating d/o issues, etc. Lots of TOOLS. Authors=psychologists who lost and maint. 200lbs between them.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 11, 2011
at 07:00 PM

Thanks, Shari. And I haven't forgotten responding to your latest FR comment in the other thread. I got distracted ...will get there later tonight. Lots of interesting stuff to read in commnents on Stephan's blog. Lots I agree, mildly disagree and vehemently disagree with! ;)

5
66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

on August 11, 2011
at 05:16 PM

i've had this happen before too when i went lc several years ago. diminishing rate of return is a common phenonenon. i think that the body is adapted to leptin levels dropping from low-carbing and therefore when you reinstitute it, the levels drop even quicker causing you to plateau quicker each time you do it. you can trick the body once or twice but if you don't fix the underlying problems and work with the mechanisms(cycling carbs is great for leptin sensitivity from my experience) then it can be a frustrating ride for many people.

29686e6867f73a7deee8bf0578cb2107

(68)

on August 14, 2011
at 12:23 AM

Thanks, folks! More reading to do now...

29686e6867f73a7deee8bf0578cb2107

(68)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:14 PM

I'm distrustful of carb cycling because eating most carbs stimulates my appetite and can lead to a major "off-the-wagon" experience, taking even longer to recover from because now I've added significant body fat. Are there other ways one can increase leptin sensitivity?

66e6b190e62fb3bcf42d4c60801c7bf6

(12407)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:36 PM

you can try the quilt's leptin reset and read around about how that works for leptin sensitivity.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 11, 2011
at 06:40 PM

Eva it's a slippery slope but you can do it and not fall off the wagon. It has to be tightly planned. It's not an "eat what you want" thing necessarily although it can be for some who can handle that. You could simply add some sweet potato to your regular diet one day every 7-10 days. I do experience the stimulation of appetite so I try to save mine for late in the day then go to sleep a few hours later. It's good that you recognize the dangers of something like this and that will serve you well if you decide to try it but I know of no other way to reset hormones that is as effective.

3
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on August 11, 2011
at 05:21 PM

I think there are certain set points along the way and as you reach each one and your body adjusts it takes something different to push past it. To me, it's as though you have to fix a different problem with each set point. First for me it was as simple as calories, then protein, then carbs. I'm sure I was resetting/fixing metabolic damage, leptin and cortisol along the way, I just didn't know it at the time.

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