Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Continuing the Commitment to Low Carbing – Human Drain Cleaner in Action

Having now done 6 weeks of “low carbing” and seen some wonderful results, I now have a couple of answers as well as some very practical advice to others.

1.        Rethink and forget EVERYTHING you think you know about losing weight.  It goes against every grain in your body to eat steak in melted butter and a garlic & cream sauce….. but enjoy it!! 
2.      Read Gary Taubes’s Why we Get Fat and What to do About it. 
3.      Give it three weeks before you even look at your body’s change, even THINK about how you feel and before you stand on a scale.  In these three weeks I found the following:
·         My haemorrhoids went away,
·         My energy increased,
·         I could concentrate again, 
·         I have this feeling of excitement for life. 
·         Increased calmness and patience.

4.      After six weeks I noticed even more benefits

1.              I no longer need to drag myself out of bed in the mornings, I JUMP out of bed,
2.             I automatically eat more vegetables and salad,
3.             My grocery bill has gone down, not up, 
4.             Clothes that have been tight are now starting to feel comfortable and…..

Most important:

5.             The SCALE shows a 2.5 kg weight loss.  This is not a lot, but I am very excited because:

1.        I did not count a single calorie, carb, portion size.  I ate when I was hungry and ate as much as I wanted. 
2.      I got enthusiastic about almond flour, so many breakfasts were waffles, pancakes, cookies – all with almond flour and no sugar
3.      I found Stevia at Spar – resulting in more experimenting with almond flour and cookies.

My plan for the next couple of weeks is to really concentrate on as low carb as possible, i.e. only foundationvegetables

A typical day’s diet and exercise would look like this:

06.30 am with kids                3 x scrambled eggs with cream
                                                   1 cup of fennel tea

07.00                                        walk the dogs for half an hour
                                                   Cup of 5 Roses tea with cream

09.00                                        Curves (3 x a week)

10.00                                        Cup of 5 Roses tea with cream
+ 250 ml Greek Style Yogurt (Nammilk) with Macadamia nuts, sunflower and pumpkin or nara seeds

13.00                                         different types of marrow and/or baby squash frittata

16.00                                         Cup of 5 Roses tea with cream

19.00                                         chicken stir fry with frozen stir fry vegetables

I also made it my mission that my children came home from school to something healthy and appetising.  I thus experimented with various foods:

Smoked chicken, a bit of plum, cucumber, green & red paprika

egg salad

canned tuna salad

Vegetable loaf with cheese on top, half a Vienna sausage, red and yellow paprika, cucumber

Chicken strip salad (from Spar) with half a nectarine

home made hamburger patties with cheese, lettuce, red and yellow paprika

Fried Hake in garlic and lemon butter with zucchini on a bed of lettuce, tomato, paprika with an olive and balsamic vinegar dressing

The feeling of succeeding brings with it more energy and determination and of course with it more questions for the scientific mind.  Will this be a sustainable way of living or yet again another downward swing of the yo-yo….. ???

..................only time will tell. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Enlightenment through Exercise - the Elixir of Life?

Let's see if I have this straight.....

There has been an overwhelming response to my first blog post – Calories & Carbs – a Catastrophic Combination.  This response is reflected in the Livinlavidalow carb forum.  The forum followers (the FF’s) have pointed me to various different resources on the web, some being layman opinions and some being scientific certainties – well, as certain as one can get with scientific research.

The YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U36XJaETbh8 Slim is simple.org explains the philosophy of Gary Taubes in a way that even I can understand it.  Let’s see if I’ve got it right, or if I’m fueling the debate to even greater heights.  This “enlightenment” came to me this morning while walking my dogs, i.e. doing exercise….

In the YouTube video, our bodies are likened to the kitchen sink.   If the sink is unclogged, water drains out.  So, what goes in must come out.  If the sink is clogged, the water level rises.  If the “drainage system” of our bodies is clogged, the “fat level” will rise.  IF  we start eating the human equivalent of “drain cleaner” we will start losing weight. 
There are the CICO (calories in, calories out) proponents who state that exercise produces various hormones, all with long names, that help us to stop eating when we feel full, help us feel less depressed and help us pump up our metabolism.  Isn’t this all part of the human drain cleaner? 
The list of drain cleaning foods to eat is somewhat contentious and definitely food for thought in a future blog post.  

There does not seem to be much contention that water, protein and fiber affect insulin levels the least and the proponents of “healthy carbs” will advocate that the carbs worth eating are those that don’t affect your insulin levels. 

The conclusion I am led to draw is that patience is the only panacea!  With regular exercise to keep the “happiness hormones” in check – and to keep the muscles fit and healthy – or is this also contentious? ….. and eating only human “drain cleaner”, at some stage, my body will start draining like the kitchen sink, meaning any unnecessary build-up of “fat” will drain away and the model figure will return.   
(The exact definition of the word “model” is also the subject of a future blog post.  Not only meant as a fashion model, but also as an example, a prototype – like the model architects build, or a model airplane…. But more on this in future.

Monday, 4 March 2013

The Calorie vs Carb Debate

Calorie vs Carb Debate

Any person who says they’re OK with the weight they are either has a model figure or is lying – perhaps to themselves as much as to others.  I don’t believe it’s because they have an incredibly high self-esteem.

Since I got married and moved into the Namib Desert in 1995, I have “successfully” mutated from a “model figure” to being borderline obese.  Today I sit here with a BMI of 31.  Clinically this means I am obese.  How I got here is definitely worth exploring and will definitely be the focus of a future blog post. 

Although I am now 44, I NOW WANT MY MODEL FIGURE BACK and am prepared to work VERY HARD for it. 

Most overweight and obese people, I have found, probably know more about the diets on offer as well as the published research than any thinner people and certainly more than some nutritionists, dieticians or doctors.  Hence I’m speaking to you…. Not the Model figures who have no idea what it’s like to be fat and really think that the only reason I’m fat is because I eat too much. 

Now ……………….. here comes the debate.  I will accept I eat too much but WHY is the question one must answer in order to stop eating too much! 

I have not actually read Gary Taubes’s books.  I have listened to him on Jimmy Moore’s podcasts, and watched him on Dr Oz, Larry King and Google.  He has the sexiest voice and a definite “eye candy” appearance.

From what I understand (I WILL read his books) – the problem is rather a “storage” problem, not an overeating problem.  Everything he says makes perfect sense, but yet, I have not seen empirical proof that the calorie in – calorie out hypothesis is no good.  I will accept that some people can eat more calories than others, but there does seem to be the bottom line – fat people eat more than thin people!  Now, whether they got fat because they eat more or whether they eat more because they are fat is actually at this stage of my discussion irrelevant. 

Low carb advocates will say that traditional diets work because while calories are being restricted automatically carbs are being restricted.  This I will accept, however, surely low carbers can accept that while carbs are being restricted, so too are calories? 
If it was not Gary Taubes, it was another low carb expert quoting “just because you don’t count calories, it does not mean that calories don’t count” – I think that was actually Dr Eric Westman from A New Atkins for a new You.

The reason I have started this blog, is because I do need help.  I cannot pertain to know all the answers.  If I did, I would not be sitting here at my desk with a BMI stating I am obese. 

I low carbed for 6 months last year. (2012)  I did not follow the “rules of induction” nor did I follow any other diet revolution to the T.  I followed the principle of high fat, low carb.  This means that for 6 months – actually closer to 7 - no grains at ALL touched my lips.  Very little fruit was eaten and I did watch my intake of yogurt and dairy.  With all this being said, I did not lose a whole lot of weight.  However,….. when I went back to the SAD (Standard American Diet) sad sad diet… I ballooned.  I put this down to one basic reason – my calorie count increased – why - for two reasons –

         1.  suddenly I was not only eating full fat yogurt and cream and nuts but also bread and       cereal and the pastries and doughnuts that slip in, oh, and the M&M’s……. bringing me to my second reason
         2.     my food addiction – a topic for another blog – came back. 

On 01 February this year, I started low carbing again.  Other than the one bowl of fruitsalad (when there was the choice between that, cake or me losing my sense of humour completely) and one glass of red wine, I have been really good.  Do I REALLY need to count carbs in order to be successful???

Low carb is tops because

   1.   one portion of food fills you up, thus not having the always hungry feeling and                        2. you lose the sugar craving which is what is causing you to eat way beyond your need

However, I am STILL obviously eating way beyond my need because I’m not losing weight! 

Exercise – another debatable point.  Gary Taubes says that exercise will increase your appetite.  This I can confirm from my own experience.  Yet, he goes to the gym.  I have read in my research that “high intensity interval training” is the way to go. 
Another whole debate between the advocates of the “fat burning zone” and the “high intensity advocates”.
As I have done many years in the “fat burning zone”, I have just started out at the Curves franchise which is a bit of an enigma, because they have the right machinery for the high intensity philosophy.  They advocate the 30 minute workout, but yet they advocate that you stay in your “fat burning zone” of 70% of max heart rate. 

I am hoping that through this blog we can not only get on the right track together, but we can also help each other, rather than just reading the book and still managing to fail.  This idea comes from Jimmy Moore’s N=1 experiment.  Let’s all do an N=1 experiment.

I want to commit the next 9 months to getting the body I want. 

Please help me.  Please leave comments, suggestions, ideas.  If you want me to try something, so long as its REAL FOOD and not poison – i.e. chemicals they sell as food – I am prepared to try anything.  I can weigh myself once a day or once a week – as per suggestions.  The results I can post immediately and as a community, let’s show our fellow friends, that we too can have “model figures” and be healthy and happy.