I’ve been re-editing/tidying/updating various articles for republication recently, and as I was revamping the FAQ article, I realised something…
I suddenly figured out why so many people stick with the Dr Atkins’ “induction” carb level – it’s because of the 3rd week stall phenomenon!
Dr A suggests the initial “induction” of 2 weeks at 20g/day, then moving into “OWL” by adding another 5g/day per week until you “stall”, and so finding your own CCCLW at 5g below that point.
However, as a huge amount of people add their 5g in the third week to make 25g per day and then stall due to the 3rd week stall phenomenon, because they don’t know about that phenomenon, and because Dr A says “it’s ok to stick with 20g” they are then thinking that their CCCLW is 20g, that they won’t lose above that, and so carry on in the same vein.
And whilst this logically makes sense from a plan perspective, leaving your carb intake at 20g per day can lead to long term maintenance troubles.
Decreasing carb consumption to this low a level short term, whist not at all harmful to the body, will cause insulin sensitive to increase. If carb consumption is then kept at this level over a period of months, the body will carry on healing and increasing its insulin sensitivity to potentially over-sensitive levels.
This is why I am a strong advocate of not going too low for too long. Whilst increasing insulin sensitivity is a good thing, and leads to a healthier body, changing the balance into over-sensitivity is not good for living life where above 40g of vegetable and other natural carbs causes a fat gain! 🙁
Not eating veggies, nuts, seeds and other more carby natural foods cuts out masses of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. If you did stop adding carbs again and have stuck at “Induction” levels, do consider gently easing your carb levels upwards, to at least 50g per day. It will make your life so much easier, both in the now and come the day you hit goal and want to increase further up to 70-100g so that you maintain!