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Plateau - after 11 days

I've been on SCD for a few of weeks now. I was feeling rather tired and drained at the beginning - so tried a couple of days on 4 meals per day instead of 3 - this just pushed my weight up so I went back to 3 - but I did manage to go from 88kg to 85kg in the first 11 days!

However I have stayed at that weight for over a week now. I have been strict on the diet, and no I haven't lost inches or %fat either. And tomorrow is a cheat day! So frankly I'm feeling like giving up. The first week's results were great, but it doesn't feel like its worth the denial if it only works for the first week.

Umm... and I've been boasting quite a lot too :(


The Best Answer

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The reason why everyone plateaus after the first 10 days is because cutting out simple carbs reduces water retention, so you shed a lot of water weight in the beginning. The heavier you are, the more dramatic the weight loss. That's why it's so important to begin by measuring in inches/body fat rather than weight. This way you don't get easily disenfranchised, as you'll be making small gains consistently rather than one dramatic drop and then nothing afterwards. People think that the fast weight loss will continue, but that's a false expectation to start with. Losing body fat takes time, there's really no magic bullet. Slow carb worked for me because it was easy to maintain and didn't feel like a diet. I also didn't go crazy for cheat days, as that also sets up false expectations that you can eat whatever you want without any consequences. Many people get lazy with this and forget the cheat day exercises and other recommendations in the book, thinking they can 'get away with it'. So reset your mindset, and forget about the specifics of the diet. Rather, just buckle down and prepare yourself to be committed to losing weight by eating consciously, whatever that diet or exercise program may be. Just stick with that commitment and the weight loss will surely follow.

  • Maria Rider commented Nov 23rd 2011:

    Well said, Laura!

  • Pinky commented Mar 30th 2012:

    What about alcohol on cheat day...planning a night out with the girls falls on my first cheat day...I have an 8 mile run that morning was going to maintain my same 3 meals and water intake for that day ....but that night looking at having 6 or more drinks usually beer or wine...is that still ok ...I am nervous don't want to erase my work from last week.....please give me your feed back....thanks.

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I had a month-long plateau shortly after starting. I'm posting up my chart here so you can see for yourself that it lasted a super long time, and finally broke again. I'm pretty glad I didn't just quit after a few weeks of stalling.


My mindset during it was that I have to eat something. I could either go back to eating how I did before which I already had proved caused me to gain weight, or I could stick with this which was proven to either a) lose more weight, or b) maintain the weight-loss I already achieved. Looking at it that way helped.

Plateauing is a good time to experiment with tweaking. I know I don't drink enough water, that's an area I will tweak if and when I get desperate enough. I know I have sleep issues and our bodies release more fat burning hormones when we hit a deep sleep. For me that means I lose maybe a half pound during the first 6 hours of sleep - which is more sleep than I get most nights. But when I can sleep in on weekends, I will lose another full pound or more during hours 7-8. I didn't know that until a month ago. Have you tried tracking that?

You can also look at monkeying around with starting kettlebell swings and cat vomit exercises if you aren't already, and whether you are doing any cardio or perhaps too much of it.

  • AmberRose commented Oct 15th 2011:

    Wow, Jake, thanks so much for posting your chart! Mine has been looking like that recently too, and I will admit it's a bit discouraging (though I do still see a slight loss in inches), but that sharp drop after a long plateau is really encouraging!


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I agree with Jake and Laura though my experience is limited as compared to theirs.

I decided to follow SCD in the 1st place to help me over a a weight loss plateau that I'd been at for 3 or 4 months after having lost about 30 lbs in more "traditional" methods over a 12 and a half long very slow weight loss. That said, I had read Tim's blog and sort of followed some SCD philosophy even before deciding to follow it for real since I agree with less starch more protein/greens and beans.

I am going into week 3 tomorrow, and I have lost maybe 2 or 4 lbs (which is good since I got past my non SDC diet plateau.) It's been slow for me... BUT I have lost about 2 inches from my waistline though, which is AWESOME (for me.)

All this jibber jab to say, eating this way is healthy, and even if it results in "tiny changes" in the short term, over the long run it will pay off, so I'd say stick to it.

One other thing I noticed on this diet - and it's not about weight or inches or bodyfat...it's about feeling good, both mentally, and physically. I cannot speak for the others, but since starting SCD, I have more energy AND I am so much less irritable (a lot more serene these days.) I also always know what to eat.

I noticed this after my first cheat day.

So, for the mere sake of feeling good, I will continue; cause feeling good feels good


Good luck!

  • themiller commented Oct 17th 2011:

    Well, I had been concerned as to whether I was pooing enough - so I've added a lot more veg, and after a rather troubled night :| I lost a couple of lbs. I also looked back at my first week meals and have added more protein at breakfast and am drinking lots of water. I've also been looking at my before photos. Eek. Thanks for all the advice guys.


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Everytime I feel like quitting, and/or throwing my box of stupid cooked chicken breast at the wall, I look at this thread and the encouragements.

It makes me rethink why I'm doing this: 1.) For my health, 2.) So I can buy clothes I like instead of clothes that are just available in the bigger sizes, 3.) Confidence, 4.) For the achievement factor so I can say, "Yeah!! I lost ___lbs.. Read this book by Tim Ferriss, it'll change your life!!"

My stomach has definitely shrunk (my mum said last week, "What? That was you binge eating? You ate nowhere near as much as you used to"), and I feel fitter and slightly hotter ;-D

It's cooking intensive, but it's the only diet I've been on so far where I don't feel like I'm starving, or depriving myself.

I'm 2 days away from my 5th cheat day now. I've also plateaued, but I'm carrying on to see what happens next week :)

I ate less beans this week, but that's not helped, so next week I'll experiment with the amount of protein and veg mixture.

Good luck, and thanks all for the support.

  • Ramonastar commented Mar 31st 2012:

    I had to shop for new work clothes and felt it was a waste to buy everything in my current size. I bought a pair of hot red pants one size smaller that I am so excited to fit into. I am going to wait a couple of weeks before I try them on but in the meantime, I feel better than I have in years.

  • Jake commented Mar 31st 2012:

    I had the same problems, I'd buy new clothes in a smaller size, then a month later they were a little saggy and unflattering and I'd have to get smaller ones. I started hitting salvation army on Fridays or Saturdays when they have the 5 items for $5 sales. For $20 I can buy a wardrobe that FITS, and not feel bad about shoving it in the attic or redonating it when I'm down to the next size. That's my reward for losing more weight and I'm not spending stupid amounts of money for something I only wear 5-10 times.

    The only problem is a small sense of tragedy when I buy something I love and get attached to and then in two months I can't wear it any more because it fits like a potato sack.

  • Charley commented Mar 31st 2012:

    Hej LikkleNitty, well said! Point 2 on your list is one of my goals, too. I want to by clothes in M.

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