Why Do You Want to Lose Weight with Low Carb?

Huge Lettuce Salad with Tuna, Eggs, Tomatoes, Olives, and Peppers
For weight loss to be successful, you need to ask yourself:
Why do you want to lose weight?

No matter which diet you choose, weight loss is going to be hard work. You have to change how you think, as well as how you eat.

Most New Year's resolutions fail because people don't go on a diet for the right reasons, and once they're on a diet, they don't take the steps necessary to turn it into a lifestyle. To succeed on Atkins, you have to uncover why you really want to lose the weight.

With Christmas and the holidays now behind you, the next step is to turn your focus toward the new year and what you want to accomplish.

For many folks, that means getting into shape, and:
  • making better food choices
  • losing a few pounds
  • and kicking up your activity level
These New Years' Resolutions become a priority whenever January rolls around.

Does that sound like you?

If so, then it's time to ask your self the following questions:
  • Are you dissatisfied with the way you are?
  • Are you thinking about going on a low-carb diet?
  • Do you feel that weight loss will improve your life?
  • Do you believe weight loss will help you fit into some ideal?
  • Why do you really want to lose weight?
Since most New Year's resolutions fail, the answers to all of those questions, and more, will determine your ability to succeed on a low-carb diet.

Or any diet at all.

Most New Year's Resolutions Fail

Have you ever noticed that very few people are able to stick with their New Year's resolutions for more than a few weeks?

It's true.

Over 90-percent of all those who set one or more New Year's resolutions in December or January go on to fail to meet their goals. Lots of people have theories about why that is, but most of those theories encourage you to blame your self.
  • You don't have enough willpower.
  • You didn't make the right goals.
  • You aren't being specific enough.
  • You are a creature of habit.
  • You're taking too large of a first step.
And on and on it goes. You are always to blame for your failures.

So what's the answer?

Fist and Sign that Says: Resolution
No matter how determined you are to lose the weight,
most people are unable to keep that New Year's Resolution.

If you listen to the experts, then you didn't do it correctly. If you just did it right, if you just did it their way, you'd be successful.

But just how true is that?

People have been writing "how to succeed at making New Year's resolutions" articles for decades. They have been offering you all kinds of advice and encouraging readers to do it in a certain way. And yet:

You still fail to reach the ideal of what you believe you should be. If all of those methods really worked, you wouldn't need any more New Year's Resolution articles.

The Nitty-Gritty Truth Behind Our Motivations

It's easy to tell someone that all they need is more willpower, that strength of will is the answer to all of their problems, and that they can trick the lower brain or reprogram their mechanical behavior by just taking little tiny baby steps, so the brain won't figure out what they're doing.

That may or may not be true, I don't know.

I've never tried to do it that way because the nitty-gritty down-and-dirty truth that sits at the heart of motivation is that most of us just don't have the ability to make up our minds to the point where we can actually accomplish something major.
Adult Woman Thinking and Deciding What to Do
Do you have the personal power to make up your mind
and follow through with your decision?
Most people do not.

You might have strength when it comes to the little things in your life, but making major changes to your body and lifestyle is often beyond your reach.

You can see that each and every time life interferes with dietary goals and you cave into old habits and ways of being. If you really believed that a standard American diet was destructive, you wouldn't eat that way.

And that's part of the reason why so many fail to make permanent changes.

I understand that now.
  • People do what they believe is right
  • what you feel you should be doing
  • what you feel justified doing
But more importantly:

You might be doing what other people have told you that you must do if you want to be healthy -- instead of doing what you really want to do.

If you really wanted to lose weight the low-carb way, if you really wanted to live a low-carb lifestyle for the rest of our life, you would do so. The fact that most of us find low-carb unsustainable or difficult to stick with, difficult to maintain, and we make excuses for not doing it is because we aren't doing what we WANT to do.

You're probably chasing after someone else's desires, dreams, and goals instead of your own. But that's the same for everything you do. It's not peculiar to a low-carb diet. Or any diet for that matter. Success depends on your ability to clearly see what you want to do and your ability to act on what you see.

Examine Your Motivations for Wanting to Lose Weight

Before you start your low-carb diet, get a sheet of paper and write down the reasons why you want to lose weight.
  • What do you expect a low-carb diet to do for you?
  • Do you think it will solve all of your current health problems?
  • Will it make you happy to drop those excess pounds?
  • Will life be more comfortable and pleasant if you're thin?
  • Are you looking for acceptance or a feeling of importance?
  • Do you think losing weight will get rid of your feelings of inferiority?
Whatever it is you think that losing weight is going to do for you write it down.

Notepad and Pen to Write With
What is losing weight going to do for you?
What do you expect to get for your time
and effort? Write it down!

Writing it down makes it easier to re-evaluate those reasons by enabling you to take a serious look at your word choices. The words you use will reveal some of your hidden motivations.

Look for words, such as:
  • should
  • ought
  • must
  • victim
  • or need
These are signals that you are not doing this for yourself. If you're expecting a low-carb diet to bring:
  • future happiness
  • pleasure
  • attention
  • a sense of importance
  • approval
Or some other ideal, your motivation might not be strong enough to pull it off.

For example, if you do manage to lose the weight and you don't receive the attention, pleasure, and happiness you're seeking after -- then what? Are you just going to chuck it all and go back to eating carbohydrates?

A low-carb diet isn't magic.

It's designed to correct metabolic imbalances. It isn't designed to solve the issues you have with your self.

What is the True Power Behind Motivation?

Children Shadows Showing Enthusiasm, Rainbow: We Love Life Chant
The power behind motivation is to be vitally interested
in living the low-carb lifestyle, no matter what. 

Willpower isn't enough.

That's the cold, hard truth.

While it can ignite your interest and spark a little initial enthusiasm, that interest and excitement will fizzle the first time the number gets stuck on the scale or when things don't move as quickly as you expect them to.

You'll feel like throwing in the towel because you aren't getting your way. Because you can't force your body to do what you want it to do.

Willpower is based on ideals. It is expecting a certain outcome from putting out a certain amount of effort. The problem with that? Being responsible for our food choices and attempting to create new patterns of behavior doesn't come by way of willpower.

So, why is that?

Because willpower is trying to do something you don't want to do.

That rarely works. In fact, willpower is the number one reason for our New Year's resolutions not working out. It's not that you don't have any willpower. The truth is that you have too much!

So dump the willpower and:

Take a closer look at what you're interested in. Interest is what really motivates you to make up your mind about what you want to do. Interest is the driving force that gets the job done.

Doing what you have to do or what you think you ought to do doesn't motivate you.

Think about that for just a minute.

If you are really interested in something, vitally interested, you can hardly wait to get up in the morning and get to work on what you want to do.


Dieting is no different.

If you are truly interested in moving to a low-carb lifestyle, a little thing like only losing a couple of pounds the first week, running into your first real stall, or beginning to miss some of your favorite foods you used to eat, such as pasta or cake, won't stop you from continuing to restrict your carb intake.


Because you cannot not do low carb.

If you have honestly made up your mind to do this, you will be so interested in living a low-carb lifestyle, so satisfied with what you can eat, so convinced it is the healthiest way to go, that you will rise up to meet the challenges.

Giving up and moving on to something else won't be an option, even when you hit a wall, because you won't be able to see yourself eating any other way.

The power of motivation comes from doing things you are interested in doing. There is no real power in willpower. Willpower is an illusion. It's a fantasy. It's falling back on your desire to please other people.

A Low-Carb Diet is for Life

When you try to use willpower to lose weight, it will always fail us because a strong desire to do something is essential for success.

Yes, success takes purpose and it takes a strong will.

But that purpose and strong will come from being vitally interested in what you're doing.

If there's no real interest, your desire to do low carb is going to fade within a few short weeks, just as soon as those little voices in your head start talking to you about all of the fat you didn't lose this week.

Man Cartoon Speaking Into a Loud Speaker
Desire is necessary to ignore those head voices
that try to shame you for not losing weight.

Once desire fades, you'll start to crave carbohydrates or begin to make excuses to cheat on your diet. And from there, it's just a slippery slope down the hill to where you were before you started.

If you're interested in trying a low-carb diet -- really interested -- and not just doing it because you think you should lose a few pounds, or because you think that a low-carb diet is going to magically solve some of your inner conflicts or emotional issues, then it can be a very rewarding, pleasant experience.

Just make sure that you take the time to search your heart to learn if this is what you really want to do because a low-carb diet isn't a bandaid.

A low-carb diet is for life.

If you're truly interested in switching to a low-carb lifestyle, rather than turning low carb into some sort of temporary crash diet, check out our low-carb beginner's guide. It explains what carbohydrates are, and gives you all of the information you need to make a truly successful start on your new life.


  1. Yes! I love this post, very motivational. Keep up the great work. ♥

  2. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate the feedback.

  3. I liked the information and you said something that put things in perspective for me: this is not about "dieting" but changing the chemistry of the body.

    I remember feeling that I "failed with dieting" when I use to eat this way. However, I see that the science behind the eating was the key factor. I thought I could get around that with my so-called minor adjustments.

  4. Sandy,
    I read a scientific paper once (haven't been able to find it again) that said the health benefits of low carb can be achieved by eating very low carb for 2 or 3 days out of the week. That really drove home the idea that it's about correcting our insulin and other metabolic imbalances.

    1. As someone who eats low carb (mostly Paleo without the dairy) I have to disagree with this statement. I tried doing it 2 or 3 days a week - on the days that I didn't follow it, I felt horrible - stomach pains, bloating and just feeling YUCK. Maybe that is not the case for everyone but of the couple of people I know following Paleo - they couldn't use the "cheat" days because they felt awful. I think that just gives people an excuse to cheat and results in yo-yo dieting. Low carb is for life.

    2. Thanks for sharing that. Stomach pains and bloating when eating off plan sounds like gluten or grain intolerance. If you have metabolic syndrome or are sensitive to wheat and/or gluten, you definitely have to follow a low-carb plan every single day. No cheats. I totally agree with you.

  5. Is this essentially the same as the keto diet?

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. I feel so confused with the difference...

    1. A lot of online folks are throwing around the term "Keto Diet" right now, in hopes of snagging more search traffic. In those cases, they are using the term to mean Atkins or Protein Power. That can be confusing because there is actually a Keto Diet, designed by Lyle McDonald, that those at Reddit are using. It's a bit different.

      There is no carbohydrate ladder, so you're free to eat any low-carb food you like, provided it allows you to stay within your protein, fat, and calorie goals. Protein is set at 0.8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. Carbs can range from 20 to 25 net grams per day. Unlike traditional low-carb diets, the Keto Diet also has you count calories. A 20 percent deficit is what's recommended. Fats are used to adjust your calorie deficit up or down.

  8. How do you dribble an egg in the broth? Would that mean just the egg white and not the yolk?

    1. You fork-whip the egg until the whites and yolk are well mixed, like you were going to make scrambled eggs or an omelet, and then dribble that mixture into the broth a little at a time. The egg will cook almost as quickly as it hits the broth, so you don't want to do this too fast.


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