Your low carb diet success. Well done. Now what do you do to maintain the same weight ? 

This page about low carb diet success, what do you can do to maintain your ideal weight, was last reviewed or updated on 18 July 2016

What do you do when you have reached your ideal weight? After maybe a year or two of dieting you are suddenly faced with a new situation. Here are some low carb diet tips based on my own atkins diet success story to help you stay at your correct weight. And some dangers low carb dieters should be aware of0


What is your new daily carbohydrate limit?  You have lost weight by eating fewer carbs so you now have to understand  how many more you can now eat without gaining weight. This number will be more carbs than you ate to lose weight, otherwise you’d probably carry on losing it. And you would like to eat more if possible !

However, the new amount may not be many more than you ate to lose it. For example, in my case I‘ll start putting on weight again at around 80-90 net carbs daily. I suspect that is quite a low number and it means of course I can put on weight again quite easily, without paying careful attention. You may discover a higher number. I hope you do.

But don’t imagine you can eat 200 grams (around 7 ounces) of carbs - that is of carbs, not 200 grams of the food they are in - daily without gaining weight again.

That isn't likely.

How do you discover your new limit? You might try 80 net carb grams (1) a day, or 60% more than you ate on the Atkins ingoing weight loss phase. Count this new daily carb intake and make it the same amount (e.g. 80 g) every day. Weigh yourself after a week. (If you are someone who gains weight slowly wait for 2 weeks before weighing). If you haven’t gained weight, increase the daily carb intake by 10 or 20 grams, and see if you put on weight.

Continue raising carbs until you do gain weight. It will probably not be much weight, unless you went on a wild splurge, because at your previous weigh-in, you hadn’t lost any. The number of carbs you were eating at your former weigh-in is your current daily carbs limit. So reduce carbs again, by the amount of your last raise, until you return to your ideal weight.


How careful do you have to be? The longer you have been on your diet – it might be over 2 tears -  the weaker your memory of your former eating habits. That makes it less likely you will return to your previous weight gaining regimen.  Or, if you were not on a diet very long to lose weight, - a few months for example - the memory of former habits will be strong and therefore those habits will be more compelling. So ask yourself how long you were, as it were, “away.” That could tell you how careful you must be and how strong your former memories are.


An increased appetite forbread or other carbs. Be very careful of this. It is quite likely you reduced carbs partly by eating less bread, or you cut it out completely. If you are like me, eating bread again will make you want to eat still more bread. Once you start eating more bread this adjustment will not happen quickly. It is a slow process maybe taking a week or so before you crave a bit more bread. Or your carb craving may be for some other carb rich food likely to be flour based.

A slice of white (talking about  the square loaf eaten in Britain, America, the Commonwealth, Philippines)  is around 15 net carbs, and brown (various kinds) around 12, both numbers after fibre (fiber) deduction. Double that for a sandwich. Typical sandwich fillers like butter, cheese, eggs, beef and ham are more or less zero carbs. So too are additional fillers like mayonnaise, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber and salad cream. But 24-30 carbs is a fairly significant number,if your new carb limit is 80-90 daily. Two sandwiches daily and you are at the 48-60 level. Brown has fewer carbs than white, about 2-3 less per slice.

For other breads check the nutrition panel if you can.

Or it may be other flour based products you crave - biscuits (cookies), cakes, pretzels, doughnuts, (donuts), shortbreads, tarts, bread rolls etc. And probably these “cravers” are more likely to increase your carb intake if, like me and my bread, you had cut these out of your diet to reduce carbs. Make sure you know how many carb grams you are eating with these. If they are tempting you too much, avoid.


You must remain on guard about the number of carbs you eat. If you return to previous eating habits you will raise your weight. In the past I have succumbed – put on 40 lbs – before I managed  to return to the diet again. The temptation to “take it easy” or return to your previous ways of eating that originally got you into trouble, might be considerable. So watch out, there are carbs about !

Gout sufferers - measure your uric acid You are at your ideal weight, or close. It’s an excellent time to measure your uric acid, and keep a record. Keep the record secure and accessible. As time goes by it will be a useful reminder, especially if weight and blood uric acid levels change again. There is the very pleasant possibility that your loss of weight has led to a reduction of your blood uric acid, a fall in your gout attacks, or even what seems to be the end of them. The last thing you want to experience are dietary errors once you reached your target, leading to raised uric acid again

Keep favourite (favorite) foods out of sight – you know, out of sight, out of mind. Or if you can’t beat the temptation of a food stored at home, simply do not buy it. I find tempting thoughts soon go away when I realise (realize) I simply don’t have the food I crave.

(1)  Definition of net carbs -  Net carbs are the number that matter and the number you count, because they are the ones that affect blood sugar. To obtain the net carbs number, you deduct the amount of fibre (fiber) from the carbohydrates number on nutritional panels. (There are other carbohydrates apart from fibre (fiber), which don't count but they are unlikely to be on the nutrition panel). Or look up a carb counter if there is no nutrition panel. Thus, if it says six carbohydrates grams per serving and two grams of fibre (fiber) per serving the net carbs number is four. 


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