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A return to low carb. YAY!

Monday, December 05, 2011

I'm officially back with the low-carb train today. I tried two weeks of Paleo/Primal, and even with all of the minor substitutions I was allowing, it was damn near impossible for me. I knew dairy wasn't Paleo but I was comfortable with eating cultured dairy, so I allowed yogurt or cheese on a limited basis. What I didn't realize was that all legumes, INCLUDING peanuts and soy, are not allowed. No sugar, either, except for Maple Syrup, Honey, and Agave Nectar, and no artificial sweeteners. So when my coworkers and I went to Starbucks, the closest I could get to a paleo drink was a Skinny Soymilk Mocha without whipped cream. And that still wasn't even remotely Paleo.

You know what? I'd like to be able to get coffee with my coworkers without it being a stress-fest.

Plus, eating Paleo did nothing for my sugar cravings. Looking back to this past spring/summer when I went low carb, my cravings for sugar were gone after a week. For the last two weeks, I've been having CRAZY cravings. Maybe that's because I was eating so many more carbs during my training, but I really don't need a diet that does nothing to ease my cravings for carbohydrates.

So it's back to Protein Power style low-carb living. I'm diving in right this week, keeping my net carbs under 40 and my total carbs under 50. I've got a loaf of grain-free bread baking right now, so I can still enjoy homemade bread with my roasted chicken tonight. I had an egg over kale for breakfast with a berry smoothie and I've got a huge salad planned for lunch. I've got low-carb snacks ready to go: cheese sticks, cucumbers and herb dip, and almonds. I'm really freed up by not having to give up dairy and peanuts.

For me, it's just so much easier to track the numbers! I can eat whatever I want, as long as my nutrition numbers turn out okay.

A lot of folks think this way of eating is restrictive. It's too focused on the nutrition content of our food instead of just on the food itself. But it's so freeing for me, because it teaches me what TRUE moderation looks like. Once I get through the initial sugar withdrawal this week/next week, I'll be able to enjoy whatever foods I want in proper serving sizes. Sure, if I want a chocolate chip cookie, I'll have to give up something else, like bananas in my morning smoothie, but that's what REAL MODERATION IS. You make choices and yes, sometimes sacrifices, but your still enjoying the foods you want.


Paleo just didn't work that way for me. I can't go my entire life never eating peanuts, or soy beans, or black beans, or hummus, or yogurt, or splenda, or my husband's bread, ever again.

Do I plan on eating a grain-based diet again? NO. Not even when I start training for my next race. I'll keep on trying grain-free baking. But I want to have freedom of choice within my own performance and nutritional parameters.

So the anti-Atkins folks can flip out all they want and say I'm killing myself and or whatever. But this way of eating changed my body and my understanding of nutrition completely, and I need that change again!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEC2DEC 12/5/2011 3:27PM

    I think every person is different. I love low carb, Primal, Slow Carb... and I created an amalgamation that works for me. If what you're doing is working, then that's exactly the right plan for you!

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JAMGIRL8 12/5/2011 12:11PM

    Hey there!
as far as the Atkins people go, neener neener neener! My doc (MD, real doc of 25 years) told me to go no to low carb. I always avoided it because of all the boos against low carb. He told me that there are carb resistant people and no two bodies are alike. That is why the Spark diet, WW, etc work for some and not for everyone, we aren't cookie cutters!

I am all for it! Dropped 10 stubborn pounds last month and will keep going. I feel better than I have in a loooong time and like you, will not be going back to a grain based diet.

Welcome back to low carb! Keep us posted on your progress!

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ARUNNINGKAT 12/5/2011 11:52AM

    I completely understand where you are coming from. I was finally able to start achieving some weight loss when I went to a diet that wasn't too restrictive, but does involve a little careful selection. I try to keep my carbs down, my protein way up, my calories down and eat lots of fruits and veggies. For me, that seems to work. If I am craving a piece of chocolate (which doesn't happen nearly as often as you would think) I go ahead and eat it, but also track it so I know where I stand for the day.

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RUNFORICECREAM 12/5/2011 11:08AM

    Whenever I feel like my eating is getting crazy I really like switching to a low carb (South Beach usually) diet for a couple of weeks to get things back into control. I had some good luck with South Beach, but it made running a little tough especially on those long runs. I've read that once your body gets use to low carb running goes back to normal again. Good luck!

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AMARILYNH 12/5/2011 10:21AM

    I'm taking moderation in a bit of a different direction, eating carbs but only complex ones and still keeping the total low. But I've added more veggies and fruit (low glycemic) while almost completely eliminating processed sugar. I think we all have to find what works for us - our bodies are NOT all the same (IMHO!)

I know just what you mean about low carb eliminating the carb cravings though - it is the ONLY plan I've ever used that truly does that. Best of luck on your new plan!!

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