We are learning that there are many things that can interfere with weight loss or cause weight gain, most of which aren’t commonly known, perhaps because of the dominance of the mainstream calories in/calories out model.
After about 4 weeks of eating very low carb, we added in some cheese and nuts. The Atkins approach is to add carbohydrate foods back to your eating plan in a specific order–called the carb ladder–until you find the number of grams of carbs you can eat per day and continue to lose or to maintain weight (whichever your goal is at the time). Juliana gained about 3.5 pounds over a few weeks.
We went back to very low carb, with most of her daily carb intake coming from green vegetables. The weight came off but more slowly than before. I kept reading and googling. I found that allergy medications (both over the counter and prescription) that she had started because of a seasonal allergy attack were believed by some people to cause weight gain, or to interfere with weight loss. She had started the medications on almost the same day she began eating cheese and nuts, and they, not the cheese and nuts, might explain the weight she had regained and the fact that she was now losing much more slowly. Later I was reading a book called “Mastering Leptin.” It includes a possible explanation for why antihistamines have this effect: histamines in the brain depress appetite (see Chapter 24, section “Histamine and Neuropeptide Y”).
She stopped the medications just as she was leaving for a 3 week teen service trip overseas. After 2 weeks, she reported that the pants she had brought with her were way too big. The trip posted pictures of the kids online. Juliana’s face looked noticeably slimmer.