Using Self Empowerment to Overcome Low Carb Herd Mentality

Sheep Following Each Other in a Straight Line
Overcoming Herd Mentality
is Necessary to Break Away from Low Carb

Empowerment is a popular word these days. It pops up on dieting forums, in egroups, self-help books, and articles.

Okay, we need to be empowered – but why?

When you first enter the low-carb path, you're excited, highly motivated, and have a strong desire to learn.

Typically, you buy Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution or The Protein Power Life Plan and begin experimenting with those different-from-the-norm ideas. You throw out the highly refined carbs and sugars, focus on:
  • meats and eggs
  • vegetables and salads
  • dairy products
  • and good fats
In general, you have an excellent introductory period.

If you have about 50 or 60 pounds to lose and you’re motivated enough to stick with it until you reach goal weight that first time around, you can even end up with a pretty easy-to-maintain lifestyle.

For many dieters, a low-carb diet is easy. Plus, staying true to low-carb foods can get you what you want, so what's the problem?

Not everyone has only 50 to 60 pounds to lose, and not everyone has enough motivation and understanding to stick with it the first or second time.

If you’re like me, you’ve attempted several forms of a low carb diet (maybe several times), but you are still not at goal weight. Maybe you’ve hung on to your losses. Maybe you’ve gained back part or all of what you lost.

But what does that mean?

What is Low Carb Herd Mentality?

For those who found low carb was an easy path and either reached their goals or were content with their progress, the shout out you often hear is that you just need to stop making excuses and follow the plan.

"You need to stop tweaking," they say. "You need to be patient and stop looking for reasons why the Atkins Diet stopped working."

Sometimes, you're even told to stop lying about what you are eating or how much.

The general consensus is always that you need to just blindly follow the herd. You need to eat more fat and calories, ignore the low-carb nay-sayers, and just decide to do it.

That’s all it takes because a low-carb diet is about gaining better health.

If it doesn’t work for you, then you should be satisfied with eating a high-fat, low-carb diet for the rest of your life, anyway.

Low-carb herd mentality tells you that everyone is a single stick of butter. Success will find you if you mold yourself to fit what most low-carb dieters believe or want to believe – even if it’s not true.

Empowerment is Not about Controlling Others

Self-empowerment takes strength.

It is not about telling others what they should or should not do. Empowered individuals aren’t generally satisfied with knowing that a low-carb diet works.

They want to know why.

They want to know why it stops working, and they want to know what they can realistically do to counteract the ketone adaptation working against them.

Empowered low carbers are curious souls.

They love to experiment, so they tweak what Dr. Atkins or Dr. Eades offered the masses.

They want to know about different alternatives to the basic diet, what others have experienced and done to personally gain success. They often see the roadblock as a challenge rather than an obstacle.

Empowered souls don’t cater to tradition.

They don’t go along with the flow, accepting defeat because to them, that isn’t an acceptable option.

While they may take a break or move to a temporary maintenance phase if their goal is taking longer than it should, they are confident in their ability to reach their goal once they figure out what’s preventing them from achieving it.

Most importantly, you will never see an empowered person trying to push their beliefs onto others.

While they’re often in the limelight, they will use inspiration, personal experience, enthusiasm, and what others have shared with them to back up their beliefs and knowledge rather than regurgitating the party line.

Yes, they will share their own beliefs, but you won’t find them trying to make others believe what they do.

Sometimes a Person Needs More Carbs, Not Less

Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, and Spinach
Some people need to eat more carbs to feel good

One of the largest dark spots within the low-carb community is a fear of carbohydrates.

This fear usually comes from a lack of understanding. Low carbers don't understand how and why a low-carb diet works.

Ketosis sets the body up to predominantly burn fatty acids for fuel, by default, but it isn’t magic.
  • Calories count. 
  • The amount of fat you eat counts.
  • Your activity level counts. 
And while some individuals can get away with not paying attention to the amount of macronutrients they eat and still lose body fat, most people can’t.

The beauty of ketosis is appetite control. Portion size automatically reduces when you enter the state of ketosis. However, as you get smaller, your metabolism changes.

What you could eat when you weighed 256 pounds will not be what you can eat (or need to eat) when you only weigh 150.

Odd as it sounds, there are many individuals who must increase the level of carbohydrates and slightly lower their dietary fats if they want to keep on losing.

For those individuals, 20 grams of carbohydrate and 65% of their calories from dietary fats will only take them so far.

If you stay on a diet that is extremely low in carbohydrates for too long, it often causes your thyroid to slow down. It can interfere with the conversion of T4 thyroid hormone to T3.

Metabolism slows down, leptin levels plunge, and before you know it, you’re eating at maintenance level but short of your goal.

What Does Self Empowerment Do for You?

It takes self-empowerment to swim against the flow, to investigate alternatives that go in a different direction than everyone else is swimming.

Sometimes, that means doing:
  • refeeds
  • lower calories
  • less or more fats
  • or even higher carbs
When you’re staring at either tweaking or giving up – what’s it going to be?

A low-carb diet works well for a lot of people. It doesn’t continue to work for everyone.

Sometimes, it just stops working and when it does, you can find yourself traveling a different route -- a route that most low-carb dieters would not approve of.


Because they have erroneous ideas about dietary fat, calories, and how many carbohydrates it takes to stay in ketosis.

However, no one can make that choice for you, as there isn’t a single answer.

Folks will try. Oh, how they’ll try. It makes them uncomfortable when someone else is doing something different than they believe they should, something different then what works for them, but sometimes, you just gotta smile and do what you need to do anyways.

No matter how hard they try to convince you that stopping part-way to goal is the healthier choice for you, it might not be.

Empowering Yourself Might Require You to Do Something Different

If we’re talking about only 5 or 10 pounds, then yes, maybe you do need to reconsider your goal and just accept that your body wants to be a little heavier than you’d like to be. But if we’re talking about 40 or 50 pounds, then empowerment might require you to do something different.

When you:
  • increase your carbs
  • lower your calories or dietary fat
  • experiment with bumping up your leptin levels through weekly refeeds
You are not necessarily leaving the principle of ketosis behind. Ketosis isn’t measured by how many ketones you throw away unburned. It is measured by whether or not your liver needs to pull body fat from its fat stores to fuel the body.  

For most individuals, real ketosis occurs at anything less than 100 grams of carbohydrate a day.

So think about where you’ve been, where you’re at right now, and where you want to be a year from now. Or two years. Or even three. 

Think about casting aside the low-carb herd mentality and empowering  yourself to move beyond the basics to something that will actually help you reach your goals. 

Anything less is just that – less than.