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Bummer...this diet for women?

Well, I am one week into following this diet exactly (and exercising burning 500-750 calories a day) and I have only lost a measly 4 pounds. Really bummed out as I read about men dropping 10+ pounds in one week. I have 25 pounds to lose. Is this diet not for women? I lost more weight on Atkins....


The Best Answer

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Forget about what other people are losing. We brag when we get great results and if we get average results we are quieter about it so you don't hear about those cases as often. Tim's not gonna devote a chapter to someone who followed his diet and dropped a pound a week, because although it's healthy and would be considered a success, it's not remarkable. I guarantee even the men aren't dropping 10 pounds a week on average, and also the people (male and female) who drop weight the fastest are ones who have way more than 25 pounds to lose.

4 pounds in a week is awesome. In future weeks you should expect it to slow to 1-2 pounds probably as part of your future weeks will be dropping the cheat day weight. Would you be happy if you lost 2 pounds a week? What about 1 pound a week? Would that be better than whatever led you to gain 25 excess pounds?

You mentioned you were on atkins. I did atkins maybe a decade ago, dropped some weight fairly quickly, craved carbs the entire time and hated having to count carbs, and when I went off it I gained back that weight and more. I learned from that that there's no point in me starting a "diet" if my plan was to do it short term. I need something I can live with longer term, maybe with some tweaks, but still it has to be a long term change in the way I eat.

So that's the question - not whether you should ditch the diet because men get faster results. It's about why you quit atkins, and if you will quit this for the same reasons, if you think either one of them has potential for you as a way of life.

We all want to get to our target weight with immediate results, but slow movement in the right direction (whether it's this or another diet) is fine, and better than quick losses that you can't maintain. If it takes you 13 weeks to drop the weight ... well, it's like that old line about starting a college degree when you're in your mid 30's. Some people would say what's the point, I won't even get the degree until I'm nearly 40. A better attitude is: "In a few years, I'll be 40 no matter what. I can either be a 40 year old with a degree, or a 40 year old without one."

  • marymay commented May 14th 2012:

    It's true I know I have slowly started to get my head around this whole diet(making mistakes and learning) I use to do atkins once a year drop kgs and then put them all back on but the great thing on this diet is that its like I'm having a long conversation with my body that I'm not just bailing out on when my willpower fails. The more informed I'm becoming on how these foods affect my body the more able to use self control I am. I'm grateful that this process isn't just dropping weight but totally changing how I think about food. I think staying connected to each other is a vital part of staying on track.

  • schmano commented May 14th 2012:

    Jake is bang on the money!!

All Answers


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Smiley -- I agree with Jake completely. You have to think in terms of what YOUR successes are and whether YOU feel it's a struggle or not. The bigger questions are: how do you feel physically, and how much do you like the foods you're eating? If you feel it's a horrific struggle, you're not going to keep it up very long, no matter HOW much you lose in a week. Right?

But if you enjoy the foods you're eating, you can keep it up indefinitely, and the pounds will come off when they come off. I've been doing SCD for a year now. I have lost 52 lbs. Yep, that's one pound a week. Not a "headliner" rate of losing, but it doesn't matter, because I LOVE the way I feel and I LOVE the foods I eat! I can, and will, eat this way forever, I am very sure. So, the rest of the weight that I want to drop (78 lbs) will go when it goes. Simple as that.

Forget what the scale says, for one thing. It's a LOUSY measure. Look at whether you're having cravings or hunger, and what your energy levels are like.

Worth asking: how are you "burning 500-700 calories a day" with exercise? It's not needed and it may hinder progress. It can, for some. I haven't exercised once this whole time. Not once. I'm basically a lazy old broad. LOL! (54)

This -- or any change to eating habits -- has to be REALISTIC for you to do long term, and it has to be enjoyable. Otherwise, it's a lousy patch on a well-worn tire....at some point, it's just gonna blow.

Find your groove in this. It's a wonderful way to eat, and, as someone who has tried many times through her life to lose weight, and always gained it back, I am CONVINCED that this is the way to do it once and for all. It's about becoming healthy. And THEN the weight can start to come off. This way of eating gives us the nutrients we need for HEALTH.

  • Smiley commented May 9th 2012:

    Thank you both for the replies! Jake, what a very thoughtful post!!

    I guess I just expected more as Tim kind of sets you up for this whopping weight loss.

    In terms of liking the foods, I am already sick of most everything I am eating (except the grilled chicken). For example, this morning, the thought of having refried beans and egg whites one more time is making me sick.

    I don't mind suffering through the diet if it works. I am pretty sure the 4 pounds is water weight.

  • Smiley commented May 9th 2012:

    I don't feel fine. I am craving foods, lightheaded, and grouchy. I know I am hydrated based on my urine so that's not the problem.

    I am not sure I can do this longterm.

    Jake, you asked about my Atkins experience. Well, I didn't do it right. I stayed on induction to the point that I finally went crazy eating. I didn't add the small carbs gradually.

    I wonder if I combine Tim's diet with a bit of Atkins..like add a slice of cheese to my eggs if that would help? I feel like I am not getting enough fat in this diet. Do women need more fat to succeed (or is that just my delusional starving self speaking..:-0)?

    I'll try to keep plugging along.........

  • Jake commented May 9th 2012:

    I wouldn't have used the word "starving" but since you brought it up ... I suspect you aren't eating near enough and you are working out way too much and are going to run into regain problems as a result when you stop. This is based on having very limited knowledge of what you're doing - but the hints are the amount of cardio you must be doing to burn so many calories daily, feeling hungry or deprived, and eating egg whites instead of whole eggs. Eat the whole egg! Add fats, cook your eggs in some butter or coconut oil. Add avocado to your salads. Google "the case against cardio" and make sure you are eating enough calories. Without obsessing over them daily - can you give us a rough estimate based on a typical day of how many calories you are eating?

  • Maria Rider commented May 9th 2012:

    Smiley, you are craving foods probably because your body is so addicted to those carb-filled/sugar foods. As far as light-headed and grouchy, I'd definitely eat more protein(it will help with hunger and cravings) and also get at least 1 cup of legumes per day. It seems like your mind is not committed to this lifestyle or any diet for a short period of time. Time to re-assess your reasons WHY you are even trying to lose weight because being healthy is a 24/7 thing. It isn't "go on a diet, lose the weight" go off and eat how you did before. Because I can GUARANTEE you you WILL gain it back even with all that exercising. Diet AND Exercise TOGETHER is what you need to keep it off. If you eat poorly and exercise, chances are you will still gain weight. Good Luck!

  • Smiley commented May 9th 2012:

    Jake, Yeah...I didn't think of that. Here is what I have been eating.

    Breakfast: 1/4 cup refried beans with 2 egg whites mixed in and water

    Snack: carrot sticks and water

    Lunch: protein shake (light and dairy free with 100 calories)

    snack: 10 almonds and water

    Dinner: grilled chicken and a vegetable and water

  • Smiley commented May 9th 2012:

    I am exercising daily burning between 500-750 calories and I just added weights a couple days ago. I walk at a moderate pace over trails with my dog for an hour and I run/sprint/walk on incline on treadmill or do stair master thing for 45 minutes.

    So, you think too much exercise and not enough calories? Thank you for your continued help!!

    Akane, you are right. I am at that middle age point in my life that I need to accept I can't eat whatever I want and still look great. Damn..it sucks getting old!! *smirk*

  • hyperzx commented May 9th 2012:

    I don't think you are breaking 1000 calories with that menu. Try eating whole foods for lunch and add protein to each of your meals (about 30g) per meal will help you stay full. More beans throughout the day will help too.

    Good luck!

  • Smiley commented May 9th 2012:

    Hyper...ok, thanks! I will try your suggestions!

    Sherryl, that's ok..you're only human! Shake it off and you'll be fine!! Good luck!!

  • Jake commented May 10th 2012:

    OMG, you really ARE starving yourself! You need to feed your body in the right way so that it's building muscles while burning fat. You need protein for that.

    Right now your breakfast is about 11g protein, and you're supposed to be getting 30 at a minimum. Breakfast should be more like 1/4 cup beans plus about 4 whole eggs and a big serving of vegetables for the fiber - but not carrots because they are high in sugar.

    Lunch - the same.

    Your dinner is okay if portion sizes are decent.

    That's the minimum, not even taking into account your exercise. If you don't make some changes, you are setting yourself up for a horrible rebound when you stop the diet - which you will because nobody can sustain what you are doing long term.

  • Maria Rider commented May 10th 2012:

    Jake speaks the truth....I concur...you arent' eating enough for the amount of exercise you are doing. If anything you are eating away at your muscle and not burning much if any fat. :( Get more food in...more protein! more veggies and keep legumes to about 1 cup per day. Drink at least 3L of water or more if you sweat quite a bit after exercise. You can do it! :)

  • Smiley commented May 10th 2012:

    Jake and Akane, thanks so much. I don't know too much about the health components of nutrition. I figured if I didn't eat a lot than I would get skinnier...I didn't realize that it could backfire and eat my muscles. I have never had to work at looking good so this is new for me. I am realizing that my high activity level and youth kept me slim when younger but I guess I never really ate properly.

    I will add more protein at each meal. I know I also need to eat more beans....yuck.

    Thank you again for your support, you guys!!!!

  • Jake commented May 10th 2012:

    A good read:

    "his team recruited 50 obese men and women, and coached them through eight weeks of an extreme 500-to-550-calories-a-day diet ... (my note: this is LESS extreme than your diet with your cardio)

    ... [their] hormones were .. making them react as though they were starving and in need of weight-gain. Their levels of an appetite-stimulating hormone, ghrelin, were about 20 per cent higher than at the start of the study. ... their levels of an appetite suppressing hormone, peptide YY, were unusually low.

    ... levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger and raises the metabolic rate, also remained lower than expected.


  • Smiley commented May 10th 2012:

    ok, thanks, Jake! Tonight for dinner I had 2 whole eggs mixed with 1/2 cup pinto beans and 2 handfuls of spinach. So, I am working on eating more!!!

  • Jake commented May 11th 2012:

    That looks like 240 calories which isn't near enough. If you had that for all three meals of the day, that's 720 calories, and you said you are burning up to 700 a day in exercise.

    Putting that in perspective, it's like a person who doesn't work out trying to live on 20 calories a day - or about a third of one boiled egg a day. It literally is a starvation diet.

  • Britbird commented May 12th 2012:

    Oh, I agree. You are NOT eating enough food. One of the most beneficial rules to this diet (and as I recall it only has 5) is the rule that says 'Do not count calories. Eat unil you are full'. For somebody who has spent their life under or over eating that is a very hard rule to follow. Your body does send out signals when it s satiated. Eat slowly. Don't count calories. Enjoy your food. Stop when you are full, not when you think you should be! Let your body tell you what it needs.

  • Darqnezz commented May 13th 2012:

    I agree with all these responses. I didnt realize until a couple of days ago that I wasn't eating enough. I started tracking my weight, nutrition, & workouts using the Daily Burn Tracker. Its free, easy to use, & has an Iphone app. http://dailyburn.com/

    I hope it helps.


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I am into week 3 and have only lost a couple, so I would say you are doing great!!

I did have a horrible day today, and along with it, ate really bad. I may just have to switch my cheat day.

Men always lose weight easier/faster than women, its frustrating, but fact :)


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Did you try the other approach to exercise in the book?- Russian Kettle Bells... you will build muscle and burn some of the fat inside your muscles (marbling). You MAY be over exercising... check chapter on most common mistakes.

Let me know if it works for you!


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So you think 4 pounds a week or 16.8 pounds in 30 days isn't enough?

if you keep that up you are only 5 weeks from your goal (assuming you started with 25 pounds to lose).

Based on what you are doing I'd advise-

Reading the slow carb diet chapters again, or for the first time.


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Just wanted to say. I'm 28 and 4 weeks in, I wasn't overweight to begin with, just a little skinny fat and I'm down 6lbs since I started the Slow Carb Diet! I started out like you, losing 4 lbs in the first week. I've been exercising every week and gaining muscle. I'm down 1 pants size so far, and can fit into the size 2 down, but it's just a little snug. My weight loss has tapered off since the first week, but I have a scale that measures body fat and I'm down from 27% bodyfat to 23% which feels like a whole lot more progress than the 6lbs. Try to measure your success on more things than weight, measure your waistline and track inches, or get a scale that shows you bodyfat percentage. You'll see the change in 4 weeks I guarantee it and you'll stop caring about the pounds lost and focus more on how you feel.

Also, I saw the posts about your eating and I agree. Higher protein is a MUST! It will help you so much!


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Smiley, you sound just like me after one week - I expected faster results and was impatient and frustrated. My advise, relax, stay with it. You will start seeing results soon, trust me! I'm 8 months into the diet and lost 24 lbs. I got so skinny people thought I was anorexic, I put back on 4 and I'm just right. No small feat since I'm 62 (I now have a svelte 24 inch waist!) This really works and, better yet, it is sustainable (I think Atkins, not so much). I'm on this "diet" forever, it is a way of life. Best thing, I don't feel hungry or deprived. Be patient, you will be amazed!


http://4hourpeople.com/monkey/8003/Pennywise-1975 Pennywise has a great story of slow progress. Yes, he's a guy but there is a sense of the difference that can be made by sticking with the SCD. I'm 2 weeks in and my stats haven't really changed at all but I've given myself a goal of 2 months and then I will reevaluate. You deserve to give it a good solid, honest try. If you follow the rules and really dig into your cheat days, you can only have positive results. If you knew me you'd know that that optimistic tone is just NOT me. Good Luck!!

  • Smiley commented May 14th 2012:

    Thank you, guys!! I am going to stick with it. Eating my breakfast now as I write...2 eggs mixed with onions and spinach and refried beans. I am definitely going to take everyone's advice and eat more protein!

    I did get frustrated last week and had an extra cheat day..but I am back on track this week.

    I am going to cut back on cardio and increase the strength training.

  • Smiley commented May 14th 2012:

    I guess I should buy the book you all keep talking about. I didn't even know there was a book! I found this site from a google search after visiting an old Blog that Tim had created:


    Thanks again for all the support! I am really overwhelmed that people I don't know have taken the time to care and try to help....weird in today's world! Thanks a bunch!!! :-)

  • Jake commented May 14th 2012:

    Definitely read the book - everything will make so much more sense then, instead of being a bunch of random rules! If you don't want to buy it, at least get it from the library.

  • Smiley commented May 14th 2012:

    Jake..I will!!!

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