Monday, October 28, 2013
I have heard the above and similar questions in various forms a number of times by now and I do think it is one the we low-carbers may want to think about, so I'm viewing this blog post as a starting point for discussion. Here are some possible answers:
- Low-carbing is like any new life style/eating style, it takes a while to get the hang of it, both in the sense of avoiding mistakes and also in the sense of changing habits that may have existed for a very long time. Most people have some ups and downs until results are consistent.
- Low-carb has gotten a reputation for working even for people who are so heavy they can barely do any exercise. This is a reason why a higher percentage of extremely obese people start low-carb. Someone who started out at over 300 lbs or more may have lost 100 of those, but is still in the obese or overweight category. To lose a lot of weight takes a lot of time.
- Low-carb is not always easy to practice in a society where low-fat is preached at every corner and on display in most public places and on advertisements high-carb fare is much more common than high-fat/low-carb fare. Learning to negotiate social situations and triggers to eat carbs may take a while in this environment.
- There are a number of mistakes that people make when they first start eating low-carb because this way of eating works so differently from other forms of eating. Only learning the basics of low-carb eating will bring good results and during the learning process progress may be slow.
My favorite resource is the book by Phinney and Volek "Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living" and it's companion "Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Performance".
-Some people who started out obese and/or insulin resistant and had been for a long time may have damaged their metabolism through years of sugar abuse (I'm one of them) and while low-carb works better than anything else it may still not be possible to reach "normal" weight without additional means (i.e. very active lifestyle, drugs to improve insulin sensitivity).
-Regardless of weight, most health markers for people on low-carb lifestyle diets are much improved, many after only a few months, including but not limited to blood sugar and insulin levels, blood pressure, HDL/Triglyceride ratio, thyroid hormone levels, energy levels, sleep patterns, brain function, overall activity level. There are reports of low-carb and/or ketogenic diets improving, preventing or eliminating autoimmune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, seizure disorders, cancers and even depression. Many of these benefits may be linked to the reduction of inflammation in the body. All these benefits are even more important than reaching "normal" or "ideal" weight.
Monday, October 28, 2013
8 am Breakfast:
1 cup of decaf with 1/4 cup of heavy cream, 3/4 cup yogurt, 1/2 apple, 1 oz. almonds
3pm Lunch: 3/4 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 oz. macadamia nuts
5pm Snack: 1 oz.cheese, 1 cup decaf with 1/4 cup heavy cream
8pm Dinner: 1/2 pound ground beef with Kale and squash, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 3 tbsp. sour cream
10pm decaf with 1/4 cup heavy cream
exercise: walking for about 30 minutes, moving dirt for about 40 minutes
Saturday, October 26, 2013
8 am Breakfast: decaf with 1/4 cup coconut cream (ran out of heavy cream)
3/4 cup full-fat yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 oz. macadamia nuts
12 Lunch scrambled eggs one pork sausage
3pm snack: 1oz of cheese
1 oz brazil nuts
7pm snack: 1/2 cup full-fat yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 small piece of 85% dark chocolate
8:30 pm dinner: one beef sausage, kale, squash with sea salt and garlic and mustard
I feel very satisfied, but tired enough to turn in early today.
Exercise: Just some walking/jogging for about 1/2 hour and some more painting. My muscles were a little sore from running more yesterday than I had in a while.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Today was my day off, so a great time to start. The weather was warm and sunny for October.
I felt good today. No carb-flu symptoms at all. I made sure I got enough to drink and enough sodium.
Breakfast: decaf with 1/4 cup cream
2nd breakfast: 3/4 cup full-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup cranberries, 1 tsp. Xylitol
lunch: 4-egg omelett with 1 oz. cheddar cheese and handful of parsley, cooked in 2 tbsp. butter, with lots of seasalt, basil and garlic
5:00pm decaf with 1/4 cup heavy cream
It's 6:30pm and I'm not hungry yet. I may skip dinner. Will decide when dinner is ready in an hour. I found some chocolate in the cupboard that my daughter left there, not a temptation so far.
Ended up having dinner at 8 pm. Baked squash with bacon and green beans.
I decided on herbal tea instead of dessert. Not having fruit with yogurt for dessert will take some getting used to.
I realized that I drank very little water today although I did drink enough
other fluids. Water does not seem very appealing to me once the weather gets colder.
Today was a good start. I should be back in ketosis by tomorrow morning.
Exercise was light today. 3 x 20minute walking/easy jogging with the dogs and 2 hours of painting the barn.
Relaxation (yes, that will be part of the plan): watching the sunset, reading some more of "Jane Eyre". Maybe some keyboard playing if there is time.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Ok, it's not a scientific experiment. But I plan on tracking what I eat in blog posts to have a comparison.
I need to, because after eating a lot more homegrown organic and tasty fruit this summer and fall my A1c level is up to 6.1, the highest recorded level I have had. I say highest recorded because I am quite certain by now that I was in the diabetic range before going low-carb.
My A1c level was at 5.9 after half a year on a mostly ketogenic diet last year and I had not had it checked for over 5 years while I was still on a high-carb whole-grain diet.
The interesting thing is that I have actually gained some muscle mass and lost some body fat in the last two months to where my body fat % is under 20% for the first time.
THIS IS AN IMPORTANT REMINDER THAT IT IS VERY POSSIBLE TO HAVE PRE-DIABETES OR DIABETES AND BE AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT AND BODY FAT PERCENTAGE.
It also confirms again that DIABETES/METABOLIC SYNDROME CAUSES OBESITY, rather than, what many people believe, that OBESITY CAUSES DIABETES/METABOLIC SYNDROME.
The importance of this can not be overstated in my opinion. Only blood sugar testing, ideally as an A1c test, even for slim people, even for young people, will catch insulin-resistance early enough to prevent a host of health problems down the road before a person's metabolism is permanently damaged.
The fact that eating fruit alone will get my blood sugars up too much, while avoiding processed foods, grains, legumes and sugar is most likely a sign that my metabolism has been damaged irreversibly to some degree. At least that's my doctor's opinion, and she has much experience with bariatric medicine and with counseling people in a low-carb lifestyle.
But this is what I need to find out for myself: If I eat a very low-carb diet as long as I am comfortable, maybe forever, will my body's insulin sensitivity improve? In some people it does. Age and previous sugar/carb abuse may be issues here.
In any case, I will give it my best shot as of today. All the homegrown pears are used up so the biggest tempation is now out of the house.
I will not "count carbs", but will attempt to eat the least carbs that I'm comfortable with. As always on low-carb, I will not make any attempts to limit my calorie intake, regardless of how high it goes.
This morning starts with a cup of decaf and 1/4 cup of heavy cream.
Daily reports of my eating and exercise patterns will follow.
If I can knock down that A1c below 5.7 (normal level) by the end of the year I will be very happy. But A1c changes slowly in most people. Even a reduction would be great news, since any thing from 5.7 and up will damage tissues all over the body.
I have started noticing subtle changes in my memory function lately, I wonder what all effects I have NOT noticed.
If reading this makes you concerned about your own health, maybe it should.
Check out low-carb eating in the form of paleo/low-carb/Atkins and decide if you want to look into it.
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