How Should You Eat When Low-Carb Weight Loss Is Over?

Filed under: Low-carb Tips — @ April 8, 2007

I recently received an e-mail from a man who wanted to know if at some point he needed to switch from his Atkins low-carb diet to a low-calorie/low-fat diet to “keep the weight off.” Read what he had to say in his e-mail:

Hi Jimmy:

I stumbled upon your web site and read with interest your comments on low-carb diets. My brother-in-law lost 50 pounds on the Atkins diet several years back, but eventually put it back on plus many more pounds to spare. I’m sure some of this was due simply going off the “Atkins Lifestyle” and most was due to actually overeating tremendously, not exercising, and eating a lot of carbs.

I am concerned, however, that almost everyone I know who has done the Atkins diet has eventually regained their original weight. Some even continued to restrict their carbs in a modest fashion, yet still put all their weight back on.

My primary question to you is: Can a person use the Atkins diet to lose the weight that they want to lose and then switch to a moderately low calorie and low fat diet (without a lot of refined carbs) and still expect to keep most of the weight (fat off)?

Other questions if you have time:

1) It’s generally thought that overeating by 3500 calories will cause one to gain a pound of fat. Does this equation still apply to a person who has gone off the Atkins diet or is there some kind of “rebound effect” when upping carbs that causes people to put on more than a pound per extra 3500 calories. I ask this because I have seen some people put on weight rapidly after going off the Atkins diet when they weren’t overeating grossly.

2) I enjoy weightlifting and working out and would like to avoid losing muscle. Some claim that they have lost a lot of muscle and strength on the Atkins diet. What are your thoughts? Is much of the weight lost muscle?

My own experience with the Atkins diet was about a 9-pound weight loss in about six weeks on the diet. Much, I believe was water. I didn’t care for the restrictions much, but would certainly try it again if I thought the results would be better with a longer try. I suspect that I did not eat enough fat.

I sure would appreciate your response–especially to the first question.

Awesome questions and I’m pleased to address each one. Click here to read my responses.

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