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ATB BB Series 9: Help! I've stalled...

As a woman, stalls are a source of great pleasure, but only those that line fashion streets of various cities. A Stall in your weight loss journey, isn't met with the same enthusiasm however.

A Stall technically when you don't lose weight for more than 3 months or so despite following the diet / workout regime. It is a hyper-reactive world where we want fast results and most people panic if they don't lose weight even over the period of 24 hours! My advice to such people is to relax! It even takes a skincare product at least 21 days of continuous usage to show benefits. Besides you didn't put on a kilo a day to begin with, so why the desperation now.

A stall is not always negative. You may be still burning fat, but it is the body's way to adjust itself to the new form and so it takes a break. Weight loss in a low-carb diet does happen a little bit in spurts, so will stall for two weeks or so and then suddenly, almost overnight, lose 2-3 kgs.

When I started the diet, about 2 & 1/2 months into the diet I seemed to have stalled. I didn't lose any weight for over a month, despite following the diet quite strictly. And then suddenly over the span of 7 days I lost close to 5 kgs.

However some foods are suspected to cause stalls. If you have stalled, see if you are able to locate the offender in the list below.

1. Too much milk & milk products: Milk has sugar in the form of lactose, that can in some insulin resistant individuals cause too much insulin release. Furthermore the protein in milk (casein) is also insulingenic, meaning it results in insulin production as well despite not being a carbohydrate. Consider cutting out dairy completely for a month (milk, curd, paneer & cheese) and see if it makes a difference. Ghee & Butter however are fine, since they are pure fat. Do note that we all have different body chemistry and tend to react differently to different foods. I don't stall at all with milk, maybe because it is such an integral part of my diet since childhood. But someone else may.

2. Too many peanuts: peanuts are very high in carbs and since they are such delicious munchees, it is easy to overeat. In the same vein, please don't eat any chips / namkeen. They have no nutrients of value, unless prepared at home.

3. Too many nuts: especially cashewnuts (are high in starch) are known to stall some individuals as it is very easy to eat too many nuts and go overboard on your carb intake. Restrict to a handful and no more.

4. Too many carbohydrates: while you may be avoiding grains, are you also avoiding protein and instead subsisting on veggies & dals only - that makes the diet again a carb - heavy diet. You will lose weight on such a diet, however the rate at which you lose weight will be quite slow.

5. Too many fruits: Some of us can tolerate fruit only once a week. Fructose in fruits is directly converted to fat in the liver. Avoid if you are trying to lose a lot of weight.

6. Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can cause you to stall as ketone bodies build up the blood stream. Dehydration is known to decrease the metabolic rate as well. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.

7. Not enough sleep: It is important to sleep in a dark room for at least 6 to 8 hours. I sleep for 8 hours everyday. Not sleeping enough raises your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and interferes in your weight loss.

8. Cheating: It is very tempting to eat that little bit of rice with that rajma, or just that one bite of ice-cream. And it is understandable, we are after all humans. However try and restrict your cheats to only once a month and even when cheating - don't eat grains! It takes your body anywhere from a day to three days to recover and go back on the fat burning mode after your cheat. Think about that before you cheat.

9. Alcohol / Cocktails: While it is okay to drink once in a while (rarely), if you consume liquor very often it stops the fat burning process in your body while it is being metabolized. Do it often enough and you will interrupt the process often enough to undo any benefits.

10. Eating outside too often: I personally find that eating out on this diet is easy, but I try and avoid it and keep it to once a week only. Reason being that one never knows if the recipe calls for hidden sources of sugar (especially in sauces / curries)  or carbohydrates like maida or corn flour. It is best to eat home cooked food as much as possible.

The body has its own wisdom, and it is important to learn to trust it. For those of us who want to shed excess kilos, the urge to lose it all at once it quite high. While it is always good to be optimistic and look forward to good results, don't lose faith or beat yourself up if it takes some time.

Rome wasn't built in a day and none of us put on that weight in a day either. Relax, and stick with it. It'll happen!


  1. May I please add one more point... underlying medical reasons like hypothyroidism !!

  2. I have heard people says that you loose when you sleep more.. :-)

  3. very useful post! I need to loose my belly fat asap :(

    Bong's Belleza

  4. When do you take the multivitamin, celin and omega-3 supplements? Is it after your meals and do you take them all at the same time?


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