Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary

Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/05/04 06:34 AM

Now that 2004 is here I thought I'd go back and summarize how I did with Atkins during the year 2003.

I began my low carb diet on 6/14/2003 at around 140 pounds. By 9/26/2003 I was at 122.2 pounds and staying at that level quite easily. I officially hit 120.0 on 12/11/2003 and at that point I wasn't even "trying to lose weight" - I was simply eating healthy each day, not exercising much even. My body was finding a weight that it felt in balance with.

I always eat until I'm full, and I eat regularly throughout the day. I take my vitamins, including essential oils, and I drink 8 glasses of water each day. Those have all been critical to my becoming more healthy.

If you want to see week by week postings of my progress, they're all here:;f=36;t=000055

How did other people do in 2003?
Posted By: Debbie Beaston

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/05/04 03:39 PM

I've done the low carb diet before, with good results; however, I did notice that my hair started to fall out after I was in the third week of the induction period. Have you ever had an issue with that or heard of anyone else having that problem?
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/05/04 08:01 PM

Oh!! You know I meant to write an article about losing hair and COMPLETELY forgot all about it. Thank you so much for reminding me!!

Hair loss is a normal part of ANY weight loss program and is temporary. It is part of how your body reacts to losing weight. Once you stop losing weight (i.e. once you hit your happy weight and stay there) your hair will not only regrow but in most cases will grow much more healthy and full. I know it did with me.

So that temporary hair loss will happen no matter how you choose to lose weight. Nothing to worry about <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Posted By: GoBees

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/06/04 10:35 AM

I would like to ask you Lisa, if there are any articles or websites specifically dealing with hair loss. My husband and I have been eating low-carb since the Tuesday after Memorial Day, 2003. He has lost 35 pounds and a few extra because he has been hunting non-stop for two weeks -a lot of walking. I have lost 25 after staying at a loss of 15 until recently. I just never gave up! Anyway, my hair is getting desperately thin, and my doctor had my thyroid checked (okay). So, I read where you said it was 'normal' for hair loss, but would like to read more about it.
Thanks for your time.
Posted By: Dagny-ish

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/06/04 04:52 PM

Hey Lisa (I figured out to post 'publicly' now <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> )

Question: You talk about your weight, but I wonder, how tall are you? I keep battling with 'how much should I weigh for my height?' type questions. I'm 5'7"
Posted By: Dagny-ish

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/06/04 05:03 PM

So, I read where you said it was 'normal' for hair loss, but would like to read more about it.
I just found this
web page
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/06/04 05:06 PM

Sure thing, there are a ton of medical pages on the topic but here's a basic article I wrote to get you started -

the condition is called Telogen effluvium and happens in any weight loss situation. Note that vitamins critical for good hair growth - iron, protein and zinc - are all in high supply in a low carb diet so if anything us low carbers have the least side effects as far as hair loss and dieting go <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Anyway, what happens is that your hair has 3 main stages. It grows for 4-5 years, then pauses for a few weeks, then the old hair is pushed out while the new one comes in. Normally 10% of your hair is in non-growing at any point in time.

When you lose weight, it causes a bunch of your growing hairs to shut down and go into the sleep stage. Then when you hit a good weight they kick back into action - and new, fresh, healthy hair starts to grow in. That new hair pushes out the old hair. So you have hair loss as a result, but it's not like you're losing hair because your hair follicle stopped working. You're losing hair because brand new, good hair is trying to grow in. But hair only grows 1/2" per month so it takes a few months before you really notice that new hair and how nice it is.

I know I lost hair during my dieting and now that I reached my ideal weight my hair is SO much thicker and nicer and in fact it is far less grey than it used to be. I have a feeling I wasn't giving it nearly enough protein/iron before I went low carb.
Posted By: GoBees

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/06/04 05:13 PM

Thanks so much for all the info about hair loss. Part of mine is due to stress I am sure. So I will have to find things more relaxing in my life. thanks again
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/06/04 05:13 PM

Hey there, Dagny! Thanks for posting the link, though Atkins makes it sound like "no low carber should have hair loss". I actually know lots of low carbers who have hair loss so it really is normal, just as it's normal with any diet. In any case it's not something to stress about, especially since stress can cause hair loss <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

I think I mentioned my vital stats in one of my early early posts but rather than make you read back through my life history, I am currently:

120 pounds
medium boned / Ukrainian peasant stock <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

The way to determine your ideal weight range for your height is by finding out your BMI. This is your Body Mass Index and really it's just a ratio of height vs weight. When doctors determine a person is overweight or obese, they never do so with just a weight number. The weight of a 5' person should be different than the weight of a 6' person!! The doctors instead calculate the BMI of the person. If the BMI is 25 or over, the person is overweight. If the BMI is 30 or over, the person is obese.

I have more information on BMI here -

including an easy to use online BMI calculator. For example at 5'7" and 120 pounds my BMI is 19 - which is healthy and almost a bit too low for my height. Really it means that I should have more muscle on me (muscle is heavier than fat) which is true, I do need to exercise at least once or twice a week <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Right now I've been so busy that I'm not exercising at all.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/06/04 05:13 PM

ooops I hit the button twice to submit it <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Anyway in addition to BMI, you should also get a body fat scale that sends a mild electrical current through your body and tells you your fat percentage. If you weigh say 120 pounds but 40% of that is fat, that's really bad. But if you weigh 120 pounds and only 15% of that is fat, that's really good.

Because muscle is heavy, if you have good muscles because you exercise a lot, you could weigh a fair amount. But that would be a GOOD weight. If you exercise not at all and all of that weight is fat, that is BAD weight.

Here's the body fat scale we use -

They're pretty inexpensive nowadays and most stores carry them. I highly recommend them! You can easily find that during your diet you seem not to "lose weight" but if you watch your body fat percentage, what is really happening is that your body fat is turning into muscle. Which is a VERY good thing and even better than losing weight.
Posted By: Lisa LowCarb

Re: Lisa on Atkins - 2003 Summary - 01/06/04 05:24 PM

GoBees, it is really amazing how much stress and outlook have a direct impact on your health. There are a lot of sites at BellaOnline that involve "general wellbeing" such as fragrance and meditation and inspiration and so on. I read a lot of those sites during the day. I admit that at first I would think, "how can fragrance help? I have work to do! Things to get done!" but finally I gave in and gave it a try. And you know, it really DOES make a difference to have quiet music playing in the background, a pleasant vanilla scent wafting from a candle and a non-cluttered desk. It just makes everything seem much "easier" somehow. And if something stressful comes up, instead of panicking and thinking "Oh no! Now what!" I sort of think, "OK, I can deal with this."

So as much as I am normally a Person with a Goal <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> I really do understand now that it's important to make relaxing things a normal part of my life. Life is always going to send stress at you, it's what life does. So we as people have to assume we'll get stress and arrange our world to be ready for it. We need to schedule in down time in essence, to give our body enough rest and relaxation for it to perform well during the times we do encounter stress.

I really find that for me, eating regularly helps. I used to have HUGE sugar highs and lows from my diet and this would make me either cranky or tired or both <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Now that I eat regular meals and snacks, drink water regularly, things just seem more even keel.
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