‘LCHF no longer seems to be working for me. What to do?’
What should you do if a low-carb diet no longer seems to be working for you? How should you go about restarting keto after a relapse? And how to manage having both sugar addiction and type 1 diabetes?
These questions are answered this week by our food-addiction expert, Bitten Jonsson, RN:
LCHF is not working for me
I wouldn’t call myself a sugar addict. My carb cheats were salty snacks like chips and cheezies and occasionally fries with a burger and maybe the bun. These were not daily cheats & I was still doing 16:8. I have not eaten breakfast since July 2017 when I started following Dr. Jason Fung. I must have plateaued for a long while last month. I am now down 10 lbs (4.5 kg) and have started a 10-day fast to get my blood sugars under control.
First of all eating salty snacks, like the ones you mention, are loaded with sugar. Starch is sugar, and the ones we have in Sweden have lots of hidden sugars in them. They are made that way so we overeat and become addicted. Fries is sugar and so are the buns.
Many people wanting desperately to lose weight end up on a plateau due to the stress over not losing weight and then they think “I must do more and harder work” like fasting for 10 days. If you are a sugar addict, my specialty, I find that will most of the time backfire and lead to cravings and relapse and you will be worse off.
I suggest “TRE”, time-restricted eating, in my world dealing with client’s that means three meals a day and nothing in between and never eating later than 6 pm, and no alcohol. So if you are not a sugar addict (if you think you are, learn more on my website) you need to discuss this with someone else.
Wish you great health,
How should I restart?
I am a 53-year old American of Dominican descent with the appetite of both countries 😁
Last year, I lost over 40 pounds (18 kg) following the keto diet plans on this site and absolutely loved it. Over the past few months I’ve gained back a considerable amount because I fell back into my starchy sweet diet (bread and ice cream). I also started eating three meals a day (instead of binge eating like I used to).
I am sure I want to do keto but I’m questioning how to kick start it again. I’m not feeling as confident. What would you advise?
This sounds like a very common problem. The start is great with several health benefits but then slipping back in to old patterns and having a hard time to restart. We say “to stop is easy, staying stopped is the hard part”. If you have developed sugar addiction (bread=starch=sugar) you will need to learn a lot about the disease concept and the addicted brain in order to use the tools necessary to recover and find a lifestyle to learn to live with the illness.
Addiction is a primary illness (not caused by something), a progressive illness (will be more and more severe with time, unless arrested), a chronic illness (we can not be cured, only recover i.e eating sugar in any form will trigger the illness) and a treatable illness (knowledge is extremely important in stopping it).
I first advise you to read Dr. Vera Tarmans book Food Junkies (latest edition) to understand more about this and join our support group on Facebook. Here you find professional help, which I encourage.
You might also want to join my first 4-day intensive in USA, information here, where I will provide the necessary tool box to start this journey. Once the relapse is starting it often progresses and the biochemical disturbance in our brain will take over and a new start can be very difficult to do alone.
Wish you a great recovery,
Type 1 diabetes and sugar addiction
How to manage sugar needs to treat lows and abstinence from sugars; any advice on where to start finding answers?
Nadine, this is complicated. If you have a sugar addiction and type 1 diabetes, the cravings and eating sugar creates havoc with the diabetes. I advise you to focus on addressing the addiction now and then handling your diabetes will of course be much easier.
In your case, I suggest you seek help from a professional. Contact my colleague David Wolfe at email@example.com he is addiction specialist and dietitian. There will be certain necessary adjustment in your food plan in order to handle both the addiction and the diabetes.
Wish you a great recovery,
LCHF no longer seems to be working for me
I started keto two years ago and lost 75 lbs (34 kg) in eight months, then this past winter, I ate some carbs & gained 15 lbs (7 kg) over four months. Since June 1st, I have been eating OMAD (one meal a day) and eating LCHF, but I have only lost 3 lbs (1 kg) and my blood sugars are mostly above 9 mmol/L (162 mg/dl). I am feeling discouraged and not sure what to try next. In my 3-hour eating window, I eat as much of the low-carb veggies as I want along with some protein and fat.
If you are a sugar addict and I assume you are, as you ask me, the first thing to focus on is healing the brain, not losing weight. If we relapse i.e. go back to eating carbs like you did this winter, it will take a long time to bounce back and restricting (OMAD) will only make your body hold on tighter to the weight and the risk for relapse is huge.
I suggest you start eating three keto meals a day, the latest before 6 pm. Nothing in between the meals and then learn more about sugar addiction. We need many more tools than only changing our food, I suggest you join our support group on Facebook. Then read Food Junkies by Dr. Vera Tarman. If you need professional help there is a list of certified professionals on my website and you need patience.
Wish you success,