Saturday, February 9, 2008

Maintaining Weight Loss

Any VLDC (Very Low Calorie Diet) such as Kimkins will cause you to lose weight. How could it not? Eating 500, or even 800, calories per day has to result in weight loss. Your body is burning calories whether they come from food or your stored fat/muscle.

If you start at a high weight, the first week's losses is probably going to be astounding; perhaps 10 pounds. But that is common for any low carb diet, Atkins for example, and is mostly water from the body depleting its glycogen stores and the water tied to them. Nevertheless, it's thrilling to see the scale go down so quickly, and seeing the big losses becomes addictive. You are not too hungry either, at least not in the beginning, due to ketosis.

The fast weight loss is very motivating for continuing the starvation diet, despite feeling tired, nauseous, dizziness, dry skin, hair loss, menstrual changes and other issues that are soon showing up. As Kimmer herself has said, you have to take a "hit" during the weight loss period as it, in her mind, is more dangerous to stay fat. (I do wonder why she never thought that was valid for herself, but that is a different post all together.)

When serious hunger start to develop, typically around week 5-6, you are already addicted to seeing a daily loss, so you forge ahead, ignoring that the body is demanding nutrition.

Many people drop out, giving in to the body's demands for FOOD, and end up feeling like a failure (see their stories at Kimkins Survivors). Others manage to "ride it out" by filling their stomach with no, or low, calorie foods such as diet soda, broth or egg whites. It will not stave off the hunger, but at least fills the stomach for a while.

A few of the Kimkins dieters manage to stay with the diet all the way to GOAL! Their body might not look exactly as they had envisioned, especially if they followed Kimmer's advice not to exercise during the weight loss period. But hey, they are SKINNY.

So what now? WHAT NOW? How and what will you eat to stay at goal, to stay slim?

Maintenance. Hmm, there is no maintenance plan. Kimmer said, when asked by Jimmy Moore:

Jimmy: One of the questions, Kimmer, that I’m getting from a lot of people is, alright Jimmy you’re doing this, and you’re doing your own little tweaks with it as everybody should (K: Mmm hmm.), what are you gonna do once you lose the weight, for long-term weight maintenance? And that’s a question they wanna hear, how do you transition from Kimkins the weight loss plan to Kimkins the maintenance plan?

K: ‘K, well in the simplest sense, you can transition to any lowcarb plan, if that’s easier for you. (J: Yeah.) My struggle with coming up with a maintenance plan is coming up with something that is super simple. What I have found from studying the website is that even the Kimkins diet, which I think is ultra-simple, that people still have problems deciphering what the rules are, and interpreting what they should do in, in different situations. I’m working with different people now, that we can come up with something, and it’s something that you could write on the back of your hand and you would know always, how to maintain your weight, without — I can’t even follow Dr. Atkins’ plan of 5-carb increments, because there’s 5 carbs in a serving of asparagus, and there’s 5 carbs in a half a cup of cream cheese. The calories are wildly different, weight maintenance will be wildly different. (J: Yeah.) So it’s, it’s in progress.

There is still no maintenance plan posted on Kimkins. Of course, we now know that Kimmer never needed one herself as she has never lost weight and didn't have to bother about maintenance.

There was a maintenance plan in the works, by Christin, before she left Kimkins. (Her thread has since been removed.) It's been almost a year since the Women's World cover girl, Christin, reached goal. So where is she today?
This is what she said yesterday on her blog post My Confession:
It is time for me to share something with you. I am coming clean about the excruciating difficulty that I have had in maintaining my weight loss that I obtained utilizing a Very Low Calorie Diet such as Kimkins. The road has been far from an easy transition. We think when we are on the road to losing weight that once we attain our goal that life will somehow magically get easier.

And the other Women's World cover girl, Deni, said this on December 19th:
I have not maintained well since Kimkins. I am up almost 20 pounds from my low and struggling daily to get some of them off. I instantly gained the 5.. and have slowly yo-yo'd the other 15 pounds ever since.
I have been open about this in my journal and in my challenge thread.

And, finally, the staunch Kimkins supporter, Tippy Toes, that went on the Mike&Juliet show to promote Kimkins said yesterday:
I don't know what I am doing anymore. My weight seems to have decided to be 153 as a new set point. 5 lbs over where it once was.
I mentioned in my journal (I think) that according to my calender I did maintain 147 for 3 months. But in taking a second look, I realized this was the 3 months I worked for Kimkins. I maintained at 147 BUT I was buckling down like crazy doing various K plans trying to reach 145 which never happened.
So, if all that did was maintain me at 147, well, that's not good as I don't want Kimkins to ever be THE maintenance plan!
Am wondering if this is my natural, true weight. I will continue with clean eating and see what the sunday weigh in (which I will record) will bring.
I know I could probably lose it again, either doing a short K round, Stillman's or perhaps just limiting calories to 1000 a day. But, if I cannot easily maintain it why bother? lol
I just don't know what to do, or for that matter, if I need to do anything at all. I guess it's that 5lb span that has me so worried as now I have NO SPAN left. Course I could change it. Maybe my body is OK and my head is the problem. I just don't know.

And I reported recently that another "successful" Kimkins dieter, Gary, is maintaining since 3 months on 800 calories. He is a 230lbs, 6'3" man!

When you reach your goal weight on a VLDC calorie diet, you will have problems finding a maintenance level. Eating like a "normal" person? Not a chance! Any increase of calories will inevitably end up in a weight gain. Are you prepared to continue on a starvation diet for the rest of your life, just to stay slim?

If you have fallen into the Kimkins trap, please read this thread on LCF: Repairing your metabolism.
"The good news is that any damage you did by messing around with your metabolism can be corrected with exercise and the Atkins lifestyle. How long it takes e will depend on how far down the path you have traveled, and for how long. Just know it can and has been done successfully by all of us. "

There is hope, but unfortunately it's not an easy process to get back to healthy eating, or healthy weight loss, after having followed Kimkins.

Do yourself a favor and chose a diet like Atkins. You can lose weight just as fast on Atkins as on Kimkins without deprivation and gradually ease into maintenance that you can stay on for life.

From Repairing your metabolism:
Reaching your goal weight is not—or should not be—about dieting. It's about changing your body, and your mind-set, permanently and for the better. It is—or should be—actually just the opposite of the start-and-stop process that most people consider a diet. I tell my patients that they should plan not just on losing weight, but also on restoring energy and feeling their physical best. All they have to do is exercise regularly, start an intelligent nutritional supplementation plan and eat the healthiest foods imaginable. Sound like a lot? Hardly. In fact, it sounds like a cinch.


Mayberryfan said...

It's hard to believe I spent 12 weeks doing Kimkins! But, what kept me from having very serious side effects (I did have dizziness and hairloss) was my own vitamin and mineral regimine. However, I was exhibiting signs of a downward spiral when I wised up.

Kimkins is DANGEROUS. Don't subject your body to it! PERIOD.

Magicsmom said...

After four weeks of strict Kimkins, that true hunger set in. Instead of digging in and becoming anorexic, I rebounded in a time of rebellion against low carb eating and ended up gaining weight. Although that it a bitter pill to swallow, I think I'm better off having gone that direction, and I am far from alone. Deni, Christin, and others are now copping to having maintenance problems in their post-Kimkins lives. May we all learn to fight this battle and conquer our weight issues once and for all, no thanks to Kimmer. God bless us everyone.

mariasol said...

Magics - I agree. You were actually one of the lucky ones, the "failures" that couldn't stick to the diet. I know you are now doing great on Atkins, the right way to lose weight and keep it off. WTG!

Anonymous said...

Alright! Maintenance consists of 1.intelligent nutritional supplementation. - Check! 2.eating the healthiest foods imaginable - Check! 3. exercising regularly - OOG! On most VLCD's, depleted energy is very evident. First try the first 2 steps, then add #3 when the energy starts returning, since exercise both takes and restores energy.

Barbara B said...

I MIGHT have fallen for this diet, but fortunately, I had actually been treated personally by the great Dr. Atkins. And I am a big eater. One of the things he talked about was hunger. No one should EVER be hungry, he said, and he himself could not stand hunger. That is why he devised his diet in the first place. He needed to lose weight, but could not fathom being hungry.

As a patient, he cautioned me NOT to do the quick fix and to lose weight the fastest, but to build a way of eating for life. Bless you, Dr. Atkins, because you protected me against plans like Kimkins. I never joined or would even have considered it, thanks to you. You were SO against VCLDs. But, unfortunately, there are a lot of Kimkins victims who never heard of low-carb until they bought into her plan. I know, dear Dr. Atkins, that you would be horrified at its description.

OhYeahBabe said...

True stuff. Thanks for posting. So many people just drop out of the diet program, or regain the weight, and are not heard from. People on the site may think that the lack of negative posts means people are more successful than they really are. (Deleting negative posts and using sock puppets shape this opinion, too!)
The regain happens. The physical and emotional damage happen. And the struggle to overcome it all is mighty.