My husband and I have been following the 800 cal diet for 8 weeks. He’s lost almost 2stone and I have only lost 3lbs, I have 2 stone 7lbs in total to lose. I carry a lot of weight around my middle and borderline type 2, but I have kept that under control. My measurements haven’t changed either. He does all the cooking so we’ve been eating the same food. Between 800 and 1000 per day. I haven’t cheated in any way but I have been so very hungry. I drink a lot of water but even that dosn’t kerb the hunger, I have put up with it but it’s been extremely difficult. I think my body has gone into starvation mode which is why the weight isn’t shifting. Is there any reason why this diet isn’t working or is it because I am hungry most of the time?
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Hi Sabrina2020 and welcome to the site. Some of the people here have done some extensive reading and research, and will no doubt give you some detailed thoughts. (JGwen?).
Men do tend to lose more quickly than women, as you probably know. But the difference in your loss and your husband is far greater than expected. The fact that you have stayed hungry suggests that you may be eating too many carbs and not enough fats, and you may need to adjust the proportions. The http://www.dietdoctor.com website is very useful for giving a good indication of foods that are higher and lower in carbs. It would be helpful if you could give an example of say 2-3 days of your meals and size of servings, to see if we can help.
This is an active community with lots of experience of this way of eating, so do please stick with it and join us on our weekly thread “One week at a time…”. You will find it under the Forums tab at Recent Topics. Once you find the right combination, I am sure you will be on a faster route to your target weight. And well done on the losses so far, both of you.
That’s the problem, I have been cutting carbs, following the diet. We haven’t eaten rice, potatoes, pasta or bread in 7 weeks, I cannot see how I can cut more carbs out.
There are a mixture of people on the forum, ranging from newcomers to those who have had a substantial amount of weight to discard and have therefore spent time looking into the science behind this Way of Eating (WoE) I am sure that we will be able to help you if you could give us a little more information please.
Can you let us know what meals, and timing of eating has been over the last few days for example.
One course of action I would suggest if you are not already doing it is to install and app like fat secret on you mobile. phone and enter everything you eat and drink into the app. It makes it very easy to log, and you will be surprised to see how the carbs add up and it will help you to get the carb count lower.
It may be that the reason your husband has discarded (we don’t say lost on this forum, because lost is what applies to something we may find, we discard our fat because we don’t want ti back thank you very much) more weight than you is that you may have been on calorie counting diets frequently in the past and he has not?
There isn’t actually any such thing as “starvation mode” so that’s not it. Metabolism can slow down a bit when you restrict calories but not to the extent that eating 800 calories per day doesn’t work.
I’m not going to insult your intelligence by suggesting you haven’t been following the plan to the letter cos I bet you have. You say you have 2 stones 7lbs to lose—but are you losing inches? Have you measured yourself around the waist? What’s your current waist measurement? It’s weird but sometimes we just change shape rather than drop weight, at least for a while, while following this plan.
The other thing to consider, if you’re absolutely sure you’re doing this right (and by all means post a day’s menu if you think it would help) is whether you have hypothyroidism. It might be worth consulting with your doctor and explaining what’s been going on.
Hi Lilly, The best explanation I came across is that insulin is like a switch, if its high, your body can not access your fat stores. It doesn’t matter how many calories you are eating, its the impact on your insulin levels of those calories on your insulin levels that is the most important issue.
If someone has been eating high carb diet for a long time, so they have put their body under enough stress to be insulin resistant then their background level of insulin will be high and drops down slowly after each meal. When your bodies response to insulin is normal, insulin will drop back to normal level within a couple of hours or a healthy meal.
long term calorie counting without controlling the carb intake will reduce your metabolic rate. look at the research on the outcomes on metabolic rate for the biggest looser. Its that process, of focusing on calories in / out while still having carb intakes which are too high for your body that is referred to as putting your body in starvation mode because its causing your body to adjust your metabolic rate.
Yes husband was 22 stones and thankfully his weight has dropped by 2 stone in 8 weeks. I started at 12stone 8lbs and dropped to about 12 stone 5lbs after the first 3 weeks then it has pretty much remained the same. I want to be between 10 stt 7lbs and 10 st 4lbs which I think is sensible for my height and build and age. Calories per day are between 800 – 1000 calories. Prior to this diet i must have been eating a lot more as I was eating potatoes, rice, pasta and bread and regular takeaways. Breakfast around 8:30, lunch at 12:15 and dinner around 6:30. Never skip meals, usually feel full at the time. Dont eat more than I need. Never snack. Maybe it takes my body longer to adjust…….perhaps I should persevere with the diet now that I have increased the protein intake which has stopped the hunger. I have taken my measuerments from day one B, W, H and even my belly surcumference…no change.
I took all my measurements on day one Inc my belly circumference, no change anywhere. Two years ago I was borderline type 2 but I have managed to keep that under control although I still carry too much weight around my middle. I have never been diagnosed tyoe 2 so didn’t consider if that could be a factor. I get tested annually in August, unfortunately the earliest I can have this year is in October.
Hi Sabrina, This does sound weird and must be seriously frustrating for you. If you are keeping carbs low, sticking to 800-1000 cals, and drinking plenty of water, then you should be losing weight. As JGwen suggested, why not start tracking what you eat more closely – weigh everything and log it ( I use SparkPeople and there are lots of other free apps out there – just search on this site.). If you build up a detailed record, it could form the basis for a discussion with your GP on what the possible causes could be.
You seem to have cut out all the obvious carbs, but it might be worth checking on dietdoctor to make sure that you are not eating too much of the more sneaky ones. When I started, I thought it would be fine to have porridge and apple. Whoops! Others fall foul of onions, or pulses, or root veg, or too much of the “wrong” fruit. This is a low carb way of eating, so carbs are not all banned. But it is important to keep an eye on the overall level, and weighing and logging your portions could help with this in the first stages.
Btw, I am sure you are right to watch your protein levels and not let that drop too much. I think Dr Mosley recommends at least 60g a day.
OK so that you were boarderline T2 tells us that you are Insulin Resistant. – If you think about blood sugar levels, at a normal level there will be 2 teaspoons of sugar dissolved in the 4.5 litre of blood – when blood sugar levels rise to diabetic levels you are actually just 3/4 of a teaspoon of suger more in our bodies blood stream. – Which really helps get your head around how closely the body has to control the level of sugar.
When our bodies respond normally to insulin, then levels will rise after a mean, and will drop again a couple of hours later if it is not a high sugar meal. – The insulin is to get the sugar out of the blood as soon as possible. But after a while of eating a high carb diet the muscles and other tissues try to ignore the presence of Insulin because the stores are full, so the body has to increase the level of insulin and keep it high for long enough to force the tissues to accept sugar out of the blood stream. This continues until the body just can not produce enough insulin and keep it high enough long enough to force the storage of sugars and blood sugar levels start to rise when you are diagnosed as a T2.
So if you are borderline T2, you are definitely IR.
Which means you will have to control carbs lower than other people have to do to get insulin levels to start to drop.
I would recommend using the fatsecret app. There are two different ways of measuring carbs, and fatsecret measures them in the way you need to use.
Start by measuring what you are actually consuming, and then change to get the intake down. You may have seen Dr MM’s most recent program where he took all the volunteers into ketosis. Don’t bother with the pee sticks, they don’t work long term, but it does highlight that he now focuses on getting people into ketosis., ie fat burning mode. – This is achieved by keeping carb intake low enough so that you do not trigger an insulin response. Its not only helps your body to loose weight, but also is the start of the process of healing the insulin resistance. – Some of us can get away with 50g of carbs a day, others have to go down to 20g.
You may also want to think about changing the frequency of when you are eating. Reducing your eating window so that you only eat in an 8 or window, of move to 2 meals a way can also help. But one step at a time, monitor your carb intake, reduce it, and you will see the results starting.
OH and by the way, our bodies tend to discard weight from our faces, our collar bone starts to re-emerge, and even for some of us our shoe size reduces before our spare tyre starts to disappear. – Its just how the body likes to work and there is nothing to do about it.