I’ve dabbled with this diet before. It’s sort of low carb for the UK. Pretty decadent, but I did lose weight on it. I am not sure why I went off it. I think it was because I was having problems eating meat. I always have problems eating meat, but I think I was having an acute case of gross out when it came to meat. I go through periods like that where I feel I cannot face another piece of meat, sometimes even feeling ill when I smell or taste it. Even in the best of times, there’s few meat dishes I actually like and only one I miss when I am vegetarian (bacon). It’s been like this all my life. I remember being a little kid and being totally grossed out by meat dishes. That didn’t keep me thin, because the idea that if you don’t eat animal fat, you don’t gain weight is pretty much the biggest lie PETA can tell you. Well, at least in the top ten anyway.
I am a reluctant low carber. I have tried everything, and the only thing that works is starving myself or low carb. This isn’t because low carb is restrictive, because it’s not. I could easily find a very varied menu on low carb that would add up to five digits in daily calories. I could even find a lot of that vegetarian (although some of that would be soy which I avoid for the most part). Low carbing kills my appetite with ketosis, removes something I am addicted to (starches and sugars), and prevents the huge rushes and crashes in my blood sugar.
If I know all this, why haven’t I stuck with low carb? I am an addict. I don’t care for meat. I get bored. I think I know better than whoever created whatever diet I am on at whatever time (excuse me–way of eating). This time I am going to surrender control.
After today, I am giving up caffeine for at least two weeks. I never seemed to have a problem with it, but the book says to give it up, so I will. I am going to drink the litres of water recommended. I always thought it was dumb, ineffective, and potentially dangerous to drink copious amounts of water on top of other fluid intake, but this time, by the book. The book says I can eat butternut squash, but not yellow or red sweet peppers. Sounds counter-intuitive, but I am not the one making the rules. I am going to do everything the book says from giving up AS to following some of the truly fat laden recipes to doing the well being exercises they recommend to giving up weighing myself daily.
Again, I am giving up control, because it’s pretty obvious I don’t have real control over the things that matter, like how food figures in my life.
After we moved, I sort of fell into bad habits and gained about 10 pounds. At first I was eating pretty low GL/GI, but it was pretty easy to pop a frozen pizza in the oven for dinner. I did stick to vegetarianism with a minor break at Christmas.
Now, I am back staying away from meat, but I am also trying to make most of my food as from scratch as possible. This is not only for health reasons, but for money reasons. We’re eating a lot more things like beans and homemade bread, and a lot less food like pizza and chips. And I’ve cut down on my dairy (and especially cheese) consumption. I’ve not cut it out, but I eat probably close to average or slightly less than average. I am a total cheesoholic, but I am not quite ready to give it up.
So far I’ve lost about 3 pounds since the New Year. Not bad, but it has to be sustainable for me to feel good about it. What I have found is that I think that I can go relatively low in my sugar and get good results without totally cutting out all carbs. It’s harder as I still think sugars and starches (including “good carbs”) are addictive for some people, including me. But I also think that the more we prepare our own foods, aware of the ingredients, controlling the flavour, the easier losing weight becomes. Of course, it’s not always easy to make your own food, and I got pretty fat on what my mother thought was “home cooked” foods (which included copious amounts of starches).
I will keep this a little better updated, but I am posting more in my main blog and my blog on reducing our home expenses.
I will be busy and/or internet-less until at least Tuesday.
Even through the stress of moving, I am sticking with the diet fairly well. I did have a small piece of whole wheat carrot cake for snack yesterday, and I probably put way too much butter on things last night for dinner. The cake is excusable because I think a treat on the weekends (especially one you can at least fool yourself into thinking is healthy) is fine. The butter, well, be forced to wait until almost 10 pm to eat and that’s what you get.
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.