Archive for October, 2009
I am an expert at losing weight. I wish I had a clinical record of my weight losses over the years. Of course the record would also show that I am even better at gaining weight.
I have almost always been fat. When I was a toddler, I was underweight, but almost as soon as I settled into what would be my childhood family (my biological father, adoptive mom), I started gaining weight.
I also almost always have had an aversion to meat. If it was processed enough, I was fine with it. Anything that was too close to the animal was hard for me to eat. But I loved my starches and sweets. I spent a not insignificant portion of my young adult years as a vegetarian with forays into the more restrictive forms including vegan and raw food vegan.
But throughout my childhood I was given a pretty basic, low flavour, high starch diet. It didn’t taste wonderful, but it did something for me, because I loved to eat. And it showed. We didn’t eat things that were obviously bad for you like chocolate flavoured cereals or many potato chips. We had things like pizza as a treat, and once in a while, my mom would bring us home yoghurt or some pastry treat. We had dessert on Sundays after a roast, mounds of potatoes, and a veg.
When I became a vegetarian, I thought nothing of my health. I simply omitted the meat and ate more starch. Of course, at the time the idea that all complex carbohydrates were body fuel would have reassured me if I had any doubts. It’s the 90s! Bring on the pasta and bagels!
I eventually found low carb and did well on it for a while. I had to fight my inner urge to avoid meat, but I thrived on it. It’s not the only way I’ve lost weight. You name it, I did it (practically). I lost weight by calorie restriction, fasting part of the day (which became part of the week), and exercise. I tended to take things to the extreme however, so the fact that I didn’t have that tendency with low carb made it even more ideal for me. On low carb, I ate lots of veg. I ate meat at most every meal (but probably less than a lot of people would think). I did, however, stop losing weight. I’d stall out for weeks, and this would lead me to going off plan.
On top of my conscience bothering me about eating animals, I also have a problem with the environmental sustainability of meat production. I do think there are ways to make meat eating more sustainable, but most people wouldn’t be willing or able to fund the cost of that. It’s not that simple. I can’t do vegetarian low carb because I need to avoid too much soy, and many other meatless protein sources are too carby or too calorie rich (cheese, I am looking at you).
I’d love to be able to eat some of the refined foods that people eat (and even things like granary bread is refined) and not over do it. There is something about certain complex and simple carbs that is like a drug to me. The British have a word that I never heard in the States. Certain foods are a bit “more-ish”. For me I need to figure out which are like that for me, and stop eating them. One of my favourite uses of “more-ish” was Super Hans from Peepshow said that the crack he was smoking was a bit “more-ish”. Of course, for me some foods are a bit “crackish”.
So I’ve decided to design my own Low GI/GL, mostly plant food based diet for me to follow. It’s a make it up as I go along sort of thing, adjusting when I feel a food is making my blood sugar do wonky things. I will try to keep a bit of a food journal here.
For now, I will eat unsweetened muesli for breakfast, a light lunch of soup or salad with dark crisp bread, a dinner that will be 500 calories or less, mostly focused around a non-meat protein source and many low GI vegetables. No potatoes except a small portion of sweet potatoes or yams (if I can find yams). I will substitute low GL grains like barley or bulgur for rice, and then in small amounts. I will aim for a portion or two of non-tropical fruit a day, eggs a few times a week, no more than one and a half portions of cheese a day (none if possible). After this week, I will aim for moderate exercise every other day and a walk a day.
If I eat something that isn’t on this “plan”, it’s not the end of the world. I won’t have to worry about adjusting back to ketosis or that it will totally throw me. It’s restrictive without being dictatorial, at least that is what I am aiming for.