I hesitated about writing the above, because it smacks of that arrogance that we all hate in some of the bloggers out there. [aa-aa-aah-stephACHOOOOO!] ;-)
I read a number of Jimmy Moore's posts on his n=1 experiments yesterday, and came to the sad conclusion that, no matter how much experience you have at low-carbing, it's EASY to do it wrong. Wrong, like Jimmy did while he was regaining some of the weight he lost, and couldn't figure out how to get rid of again.
If i were going to coach a first-time low-carber, i would stress how "low-carb treats" are traps for the unwary. I would tell them that weighing and measuring is the only safe way to know, as best anyone can, how many grams one is eating. I would recommend eating large enough meals that snacks wouldn't be desired. I'd make a point of the fact that "eating as much as you want" ONLY means you CAN find satiation on the right foods, but it does NOT mean "eating as much as you want as long as it's low-carb" will allow you to lose weight at that level.
The first time each of us started Atkins (or whatever it was), we were coming from a mixed-food diet in which we were burning a lot of glucose. And we TRIED to be perfect -- it was new, and we had to pay attention to what we were doing. Under these circumstances we lose weight very quickly and easily. At the end of the first two weeks, a lot of us loosened up a little on our food choices as Dr. A allowed: MISTAKE.
Because we started eating nuts and more processed meats and cheeses, those yummy low-carb snacks that are ALLOWED because compared to other snacks they're ... low in carbs. We started using heavy cream to make desserts, and baking with alternative flours, both ideas that simply encourage us to eat more food in general AND increasing carbohydrates in particular. Did we measure how much almond flour we were actually consuming, or did we just say "three net carbs -- i can afford that."
Jimmy was surprised when he first started using his blood ketone meter, because he thought he was in ketosis already and he found he wasn't really there. This is a seasoned low-carber, folks! A successful one, though he had regained some of the weight he originally lost.
I read somewhere (and i'm convinced it's true) that as we continue with a controlled-carb lifestyle, we get more adept at USING the ketones our bodies produce, and much less energy is spilled down the toilet. My ketostix have very rarely turned a dark pink, and even these days when i'm eating a VERY low carbohydrate diet, they're pretty pale. I HAVE to be making and burning ketones because my body has no alternative, but i'm obviously wasting a lot less, too.
Another thing that Jimmy found was that when he was in the range of 0.5-3.0 mmol, his appetite was suddenly tamed. Dare i suggest that if one is eating low-carb and yet still slave to one's food-seeking urges, one is not properly in ketosis...?
His experiences with his meter makes me rather want one, but i'm too scotch to spring for the $6/strip price tag -- i can buy a day's worth of grassfed ground beef for that! I guess i'll have to be content with my pale ketostix and a curbed appetite.