Transitioning from a VLCD like Kimkins

I have written several posts where I have pointed out that a starvation diet like Kimkins is not sustainable long term and that most dieters on a VLCD (very low calorie diet) will regain any weight lost.

Of course, I point this out as I do not want anyone to start a diet like Kimkins. In no way do I wish that anybody that has followed the Kimkins diet regain their weight.

That this isn’t obvious was made clear to me from a great post on Kimkins Diet Truth: We’re all on the same side, right?

Yes, we are on the same side. I just want people to give up the Kimkins diet not to damage their health. I do not want them to regain any weight lost.

So what to do when leaving Kimkins and realizing that the diet is not a good way to lose weight? Of course, I’m no more expert in diets than Heidi Diaz but I will share my opinions.

First, read the very informative thread Atkins Nutritional Interview (Repairing your metabolism and more) on LCF.

Be prepared to have a lot of patience, and expect a scale increase initially. Don’t panic. It’s most likely water weight and not fat regain. If possible, put away the scale for a while. Use a pair of pants that fit well as your measuring tape. You might be surprised to find that a scale increase does not reflect on your size. Nobody sees your scale number, just your size.

Exercise. I have been at a “maintenance” range in all of my weight loss and every time I stop exercising I regain weight. For me, I don’t think it’s the number of calories I burn (cardio) but building muscle (weight training) that makes a difference. Weight training is known to increase metabolism. Again, patience is needed. I don’t see any effect from starting an exercise regimen until after 4 – 6 weeks.

What about the diet? How to increase calories? In my opinion, there has to be a slow change, and done step by step. I know it must be tempting to go hog wild which is the natural reaction after deprivation on a low calorie diet. Clearly, that will not work.

My suggestion would be to increase by slowly adding one food item at a time. For a week or two. Then one more until a reasonable amount of calories is achieved with no size gain (again, the scale shows water weight and is not a reliable measure of fat loss).

Or to borrow from 2big4mysize‘s advice to AmyB:

I’d suggest all Kimkinettes stop weight loss, see their docs and be honest about portion size with copies of your menus for the last month. Saying “I’m eating low glycemic veggies and lean proteins” sounds a lot healthier than those 800 cal Kimkins’ limited menus you have been eating of those lean proteins and veggies.

Repair any and all metabolic issues with more carbs, proteins and fats. Now don’t go nuts and slur a 44 ouncer of bacon grease through a straw while eating refined white foods or HFCS as your carbs, but do drizzle your veggies with EEOV or any other healthy fat you like. Roast or saute them as part of your meal prep and you will be having a healthy transitional meal.

Please remember y’all are going to be adding back lean body tissues too so do not panic if the scale goes up a few pounds. You may even replenish some of your glycogen stores but remember that is about 3 to 1 water by weight which is why it comes off so fast when you jump back to Kimkins or induction.

Please use your tape measure and see that if you switch to Atkins those added pounds are lean tissue and you are still small.

UConn did a study on folk eating Atkins at MAINTENANCE levels vs folk eating USDA high carb diets. Neither group was trying to lose weight. Each group was allowed to eat as much as they wanted. Neither group exercised. The Atkins group lost body fat and added muscle tissues just by eating according to the plan. Just as your body will be replenishing its protein stores when you give it more protein and fat in the diet.

Will you ever be able to eat the way you used to when you were heavier? Nobody can correctly answer that for you. But you will be healtheir growing old with your loved ones if you take the time right now to fix your metabolism and get off the road to an ED kimkins has placed y’all on.

Professional help like Christen is getting would be best but since I know most folk aren’t there is a free repairing your metabolism topic stickied at the top of most LCFS forums. And an excellent discussion on altering Kimkins and how to make it healthy on LCF’s Building a Healthy WOE if possible based on Kimkins

I tried to think of all the possible ways a Kimkinette could misinterpret the facts so all your questions should be answered. Except the one all of us have and that is what limits to place on total amount of carbs y’all should be eating.

I wish y’all would use the DANDR OWL carb ladder as that allows each person to discover what type of carb foods they can and can’t tolerate in a very controlled manner with immediate corrective steps should a food or carb food group have a negative impact on your craving control or weight loss.

Amy I wish you and all the other transitioning kimkinettes much success as you take the first steps on that scary journey to recovery and away from the ED many are heading for.

I, like 2big4mysize, wish ex-Kimkins dieters success with finding a healthy woe that will maintain their weight loss and/or help with continued weight loss.

We are on the same side.

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Great post, Mariasol. Transitioning from Kimkins is difficult. For some it may be more so than for others. I have had a difficult time but I’m back on a healthy track. I appreciate the information and encouragement in your post.

Mariasol, you said, “If possible, put away the scale for a while. Use a pair of pants that fit well as your measuring tape.”

That’s brilliant! No fumbling with a tape measure. No trying to remember which measurement was what yesterday/the day before yesterday/last week. No confusion when the scale numbers go up from more water retention, or from temporary potty issues, or when muscle increases from more exercise.

I made a change in my eating habits a couple of weeks ago, and the scale took a while to respond. But my tight pants got looser, and I knew I was on the right track. After two weeks the scale is finally starting to show it.

Thanks for the great idea, Mariasol!

MrsM and Stargazey,
I’m glad to hear that you both are doing well. There is a life after Kimkins after all!

Regarding the tape measure; mine lies. I can easily get an inch more or less around my middle depending on where I measure and how tight I pull it. Pants are more consistent and it’s always the clothes that alarm me about a weight gain before the scale catches up.

I found your blog via Google while searching for atkins diet muscle loss and your post regarding ioning from a VLCD like Kimkins looks very interesting to me. I just wanted to write to say that you have a great site and a wonderful resource for all to share.

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