I must confess that I have always been a fan of low carb diets that work. My personal training clients are constantly coming to me for advice on diets, and frequently I will suggest a low carb diet. Unfortunately, some of them don’t heed ALL of my directions while on the diet. The result being that they experience frequent plateaus, and inconsistent weight loss. I generally discover that most of them are making this one big mistake!
During the course of just about any diet, there are periods of time when an individual is following the plan, and not losing any weight. These frustrating periods of time are commonly referred to as a plateau.
Most plateaus are caused by fluid retention, particularly if the intake of sodium (salt) IS NOT reduced while on the diet. Water is quite frequently retained right beneath the surface of the skin.
On most low carb diets that work, dieters tend to lose a great amount of water weight during the initial stages of the diet. Generally, during the first 2 weeks or so. The reason for this fluid loss is that carbohydrates act as a “dam” for body fluids. When carbohydrates are drastically reduced, the body “dumps” water that had been retained in body tissues.
However, after this initial loss of water weight, dieters notice that their weight loss dramatically decreases. In fact, their weight may increase a bit! This is caused by the body’s need to take back the water that was lost during the initial stages of the diet.
The mistake that these dieters generally make is not drinking enough water when starting the low carb diet. This is also true of low carb diets that work. Dieters MUST drink at least 8, full glasses of water daily, to curtail fluid retention.