When I start eating normally again, will the weight come back?

Hey everyone!

I just started on the slow-carb diet this week, and so far so good! I have been sticking to the plan, and feeling really great. I also exercise quite a bit-- going back and forth between hot yoga and cardio/weights. This diet seems very similar to the Adkins diet, just from what I have read about it because I never did that eating plan. I know several people who did the Adkins, and when they tried to go back to eating normally, the weight all came back. I guess my question is, when I try to reincorperate dairy, grains, etc. back into my diet in moderation, will the weight come back?

Thanks for your help! I look forward to getting to know people, and seeing how things are working for all of you!


The Best Answer

United-States flag

Hi! The simple answer is the weight won't come back unless you let it. :)

We gain weight because we eat wrong. Either we eat too much crap or we don't burn it off or both. I've had to come to grips with that myself, and since I have, I've had a much better relationship with food. Like I've said, I'm not fat because I ate correctly.

But to answer your question more directly, once you get down to your goal, start adding food you like back in SLOWLY. The first week start eating a bit of bread if you want, or maybe some cheese, something that you had cut out that you'd like to consume on more than just your cheat day. By only adding one thing back at a time you're 1) giving your body the chance to get used to it again, and 2) you have time to see if you need to moderate the consumption of that food even more.

The good news is that once you drop the weight, as long as you monitor yourself every week or two, you'll know exactly what to do to take it off again if some of it creeps back.

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is don't think of it as a diet. Obviously I don't know what your eating habits are. The reason people gain wait after finishing a diet, regardless of which it is, is because they didn't learn to eat correctly and just go back to the crap they ate before. There needs to be a change in our mindset about how we treat our bodies. If you give your body what it needs to fuel itself and *occasionally* indulge in crap you'll be just fine.

Don't worry about it for now! Just enjoy the progress you're making. :)


  • Chris Moore commented Feb 28th 2011:
    This is the whole trick. Even just swapping something around to see how it works still leaves you very aware of how risky eating something that wasn't on the original plan is. Double fiber whole wheat bread seems like a luxury to me now.
  • Dorian Blakley commented Aug 30th 2011:

    I was on 4HB for 6 months, doing okay. I lost 20 pounds and then started "cheating" with little things daily. Now I pretty much eat whatever I want (within reason, like, I don't do a binge day every day or anything) and I haven't gained any of the weight back. I notice though, the difference in my insulin levels now that I have a lot more sugar in my diet. I get fatigued more easily, and whatnot.

    But - if I feel "fat" or bloated or something, I'll just go back on slow carbs for a week or two and then I feel great again!

All Answers


Canada flag

I am afraid you are missing the point of the book and the diet. The diet IS eating normally. They way you ate before isn't.

Now there may be some experimentation needed for you to figure out the best way to make the diet sustainable for you. But again the whole point is for it to be sustainable, forever. Not to lose 40lbs then magically you will keep it off when you start eating the way you did when you were 40lbs heavier.

  • Mattias Pettersson commented Mar 12th 2013:

    Agree with Justin.. I wouldn't dream of going back to my former eatinghabits. I am looking to, eventually, move over to Paleo but for the moment I'm content with the results I'm getting. Just reading 'Wheat Belly' and man.. this weekend I'm going glutenfree cheatday and hope to see some even better results on weigh-in :)


Poland flag

After reading that part of the book I'd say yes it will. You get results because you've changed eating habits. When you go back to old habits you go back to old results.

Tim said he's been on the diet for 7 years. I think the key to success is to enjoy eating plan, workouts, results and stick to it for the rest of your life!

This is my goal now - to create a list of meals which I will enjoy eating even few times a week.

  • Tony Montagnino commented Aug 12th 2012:

    Totally agree Filipn...I have changed my outlook on food. I have been on SC since April. Long way to go but I know this is how I will get in shape and stay there.


United-States flag

I set out to answer this very question. January '11 I lost ~20lbs almost immediately. May-Jun '11 I was on Occam's Feeding. Weight remained the same however lost 4% bodyfat.

After Finishing that I tested to see how long it would take me to regain all the weight I lost. It took me till thanksgiving.

My Mega Fatass diet consisted of fried foods, whole Pizza's, burgers, loaded potato skins and many, many, margaritas. All eaten on a very regular basis. Later on to speed it up I added Dr. Peppers on an almost daily basis. Finally the day after Thanksgiving '11 I broke my starting weight from January '11.

So to answer your question. It will come back but extremely slowly compared to other diets.

Also throughout that time I was lethargic and never felt like moving, my sleep patterns became sporadic and my insomnia kicked in. I also never knew what a sugar headache was until the Dr. Peppers.

I did this because the effectiveness seemed to good to be true in Jan. But its not the weight loss is real. Your metabolism slows down as you shrink and I couldn't eat as much as I used too.

I didn't have a slow reincorporation period either. I just switched to Pizza and Potato skins for a week after.

In 1 month of SCD I lost enough fat that it took me over 10 months to put it back on.


United-States flag

I agree with many of the other answers on here. The way I am looking at the diet is that it is NOT a diet but a way to change my eating habits going forward. Unfortunately, if you eat exactly the same way you did before the diet obviously you will gain the weight back. If you choose to utilize the diet and be strategic about the things you add back in once you are off the diet then it should be fairly simple to keep the weight off. For example adding in oatmeal as a grain would far outweigh adding back in bread with high fructose corn syrup in it. =)

  • John Kelleher commented Aug 30th 2011:

    To maintain I stick to the 80/20 rule. I nail 4/5 meals with slow carb. The fifth one I don't go crazy, but I allow myself some leeway. And I always make sure that the fifth meal is after weight training.


Denmark flag

I tried SCD last year from december through january (2 months) as a challenge. I lost about 20 pounds (10kg) during that time, and then celebrated my accomplishment by taking a 10 day ski trip (okay maybe the trip was already pre-planned).

So right after this i had 10 days of drinking, over-eating and generally just living the fat life of course still while skiing. After i got home i had gained 3 kg (not much more than i normally would after a cheat day). About 6 months later i am still at the weight i left it at, and i have not been eating SCD nor thinking especially about my diet in any way. Nor have i exercised more than i normally would.

So from my first experiment i didnt' gain my lost weight and now im doing a second round more focused and hopefully loosing the last stubborn belly fat :p

  • Joy McHargue commented Sep 9th 2011:

    best wishes on round 2!


United-States flag

Why ever go back? This is not a diet, it is a way of life. Less weight, fat, more energy, lower cholesterol! While I do miss some foods, binge day is never far off. I am 55 and down 37lbs. I am convinced I will live longer without all the fat. I am also a better role model for my teenage daughters who like most, are crap food queens. I know they are paying attention and it will also benefit them in the long run.


United-Kingdom flag

I do think it's important to note that a successful diet is a lifestyle change and a lifestyle choice.. eating normally becomes the way you eat on your diet. Although in my experience, you can get a bit more leniant and you can expand what you're able to consume, after you 'eat clean' for a while.

Really i'd say educating yourself, a lot, about nutrition, and empowering yourself, you'll be more comfortable with how you eat and it will become normal to you.


United-States flag

What is "eating normal"? Because if it is what you ate before, and got fat, then the answer to your question is YES. If America is "eating normal", then that is the reason why we have an obesity problem. I think it's the sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and the foods that turn into sugars in our body.


United-Kingdom flag

The problem with conventional/calorie restricted diets is that you tend to loose muscle - and so each cycle on and off the diet you increase body fat and loose muscle, getting progressively less healthy.

As I understand it, on the Slow-Carb Diet you ought to loose fat and protect or even gain muscle, depending on your exercise regime.

If you did put weight back on afterwards its not that bad, you can always go back to SCD and each time you should get leaner and healthier.


United-States flag

If you go back to the old way of eating, all the weight will come back and probably a few extra pounds. Remember this program is not a diet. It is a way of life.


Finland flag

If you want to go back to your previous regime, perhaps incorporating Intermittent fasting might help you maintain your current weight...

Personally I love the SCD so I guess I'll only stay out of it on holidays and Saturdays of course.


Greece flag

I think you should not want to eat grains after this diet, after seeing the benefits in your body and general well being. I keen what's the point.

  • Emily Libby commented Oct 25th 2012:

    That's exactly how I feel- its only been 4 days and I feel a difference in energy and clothes fitting- crazy!? Eating SC isn't painful either it's definitely a lifestyle rather than a diet which is what I've been trying to find for so long now!!


United-States flag

I know for me it all came back. But, I was eating how I historically did - which was not normal as near I can tell. I over-ate sugary things and ate way too many calories most days. If you went back to a diet of moderation, where you incorporate the things you like in smaller amounts, it should be fine. It would be better with some kind of exercise routine, as well.

Think about the portions you used to eat. Like for me, historically, I could easily eat 2 pieces of pie after a meal or even substitute pie for a meal. If I had just had 1 piece after a good meal, I would not have had as much a problem, especially if I limited by pie per week. (just as an example)

Another interesting thing to note, is that look at what people ate 50 or 60 years ago. They ate meat and potatoes and had dessert most every day. They drank gallons of milk a week. The key difference was, most of what they ate was homemade and also, they didn't inject animals with hormones, nor did they have GMO and corn syrup in everything.


United-States flag

And as for bread, it's easy to make your own at home without having to worry about what's in it. Water, flour, salt and yeast gives you traditional French bread. Go whole wheat with the flour from a natural foods store, and don't go eating the whole damned loaf at once. Once slice with your meal and done. If you make things yourself, you'll always know what you're eating. YOU are in control.

  • Phil Michalak commented Oct 5th 2011:

    This is after you reach your goal weight and are exercising regularly, of course. Bread is a no-no in SCD.

  • Darren Rufer commented Oct 26th 2012:

    Be careful with Whole Foods. A lot of people think they are GMO free, but they are not. Various items they have for sale are in fact, GMO. I would say the only way you can make sure something is GMO free is by growing everything yourself, but it is hard to get seed sources that aren't modified. They do exist, but you have to make sure.

  • Phil Michalak commented Nov 3rd 2012:

    Well after the last year of experience and trial and error, I would suggest never going back to the old ways, anyway. Regardless of the ingredients of your breads and junk foods. There's really no reason to. One could follow the SCD protocol for the rest of their life and be perfectly healthy and happy.


United-States flag

It's been months since I ate strictly Slow Carb.

Eh- who'm I kidding; I've been off for 2 months, easy.

It all came back.

The weight, the pains and aches, the sleeplessness, lack of energy- all of it.


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