Only problem is that when you go off plan it has instant catastrophic results on the scales.
If I was still a Weight Watchers girl, I could have eaten that small Caramello Koala yesterday, that insignificant serve of fries, and a handful of potato crisps without it probably affecting the scales at all. If I had eaten salad and veges the rest of the day, I might have even continued to lose weight. I have been known to eat junk food all day long, within my points, and still lost weight that week.
Here in low carb land, that is not possible. I am no expert on the science but as soon as my carbs go above a certain limit [which I haven't worked out precisely yet] I gain a significant amount of weight on the scales the next day.
First of all, when I say significant, I mean about 1-2kg which is not really that significant at all. It is only a huge number in my head. I don't look any different, my clothes exactly the same, but my body is storing glycogen which holds on to water.
Glycogen is the fuel tank of stored carbohydrate in the liver and muscle tissue.
Glycogen stores can fluctuate your weight by 4-5 pounds without changing your amount of body fat.
Lucky for me I am a seasoned dieter who know what eating too many carbohydrates does to the scales the next day, but I am aware of how devastating this overnight "weight" gain could be. It is no wonder that people watching their carbs get so disheartened when they decide to have only one meal off plan and then see all their "fat" return in one foul swoop.
Of course it does point out that this new high on the scales is probably my real weight and I am somewhat delusional in thinking I weigh 2kg less that I actually do. But in the end it is all relative.
I know that if I go back to limiting my carbs today, the weight will slip quietly away over the next couple of days. Easy on, easy off. Just glycogen which is much easier to deplete than fat -- limit your carbs and the glycogen molecule will be used up taking 3 of its water friends with it. None of this 3,500 calorie deficit for 1 pound of fat agony.
But if I didn't know this, I could quite easily spiral out of control, crying "what is the point of this way of eating if I gain all this fat from just one little slip up when I was still within my normal calories for the day?" That is why this lifestyle is sometimes seen as unsustainable.
You see I have learnt there are consequences. If I overeat with too much low carb food [total calories] I will stop losing weight and might even gain a small amount [less than 500g]. But if I eat off plan, no matter what the calories, the evil scales will herald the arrival of significant amounts of water.
I need to tough this out. I don't gain back all the fat I've lost by eating chips and chocolate on one single day -- I gain water.
Easy on -- easy off -- don't give up the fight!