BREAKING NEWS: Idiot On Low Carb Diet Loses 20 lbs. by Day 16

I myself find this hard to believe.

I’ve felt that I wasn’t trying hard enough – had a piece of low carb bread here, some blueberries there, ate until full – and then a little more. I had gone out for lunch and had a steak salad with balsamic vinegar – balsamic vinegar is not recommended in induction as it has sugar in it…it just didn’t feel like I was in the groove suddenly. I didn’t even measure my ketones the other day.

I was eating low carb, but the quantity of food seemed a bit high – and I’d already lost 15 lbs in 2 weeks – what was I expecting? I had mentally prepared myself for a stall that I’d ride out and on the other side of it would be the loss of the remaining weight.

Yesterday evening I came home and checked my ketones. The strip turned a dark red – hey – still in ketosis – didn’t expect that.

Got on the scale and I was 195.

That’s down another 5 lbs. from my 2 week mark, for a total of 20 lbs. lost – I’m now halfway to my goal of losing 40 lbs that I set December 31st.

I think this confirms that, at least for me, low carb works the second time around.

What’s interesting is the psychological effects – if they are intertwined with physiological effects because I am messing with my body chemistry, I don’t know, but they are a follows:

  • My cravings for high carb foods has further diminished. I am surrounded by these. The temptation is there, but I’m not all that tempted. I think it’s not willpower as much as I’ve completed withdrawal from carbs and the physical craving just isn’t there.
  • I feel a bit calmer. I feel a bit more centered. It’s not that I’ve had an easy two weeks in terms of events in my life – I most certainly haven’t – but I do feel a subtle change in my mind for the better.
  • My craving for alcohol has diminished. I’d have my glass of wine (or two) each night. Nothing wrong with a little wine – or any low carb alcohol in moderation – but it ain’t gonna fly doing induction. I went out to a restaurant last night and saw someone drinking a martini – my preferred drink – and I had a certain wistfulness toward the thought of having one rather than an all-out obsessive craving. When I started this new low carb go-round on the 31st. I promised myself that martini (or two) when I reach 175 – not before.
  • I most certainly got a buzz from seeing the 195 on the scale. It felt great to be on the lower side of 200 again. While I know that weight loss like this is fragile – it would be very easy to put it back on with only a small amount of cheating – and I have to expect the stall to set in now as my body readjusts itself to it’s new weight, it still feels good.

What I’ve been eating would make those of you new to low carb feel a certain cognitive dissonance – as I do myself. Over the weekend I decided to pull out my George Stella cookbooks and try some of his recipes. I found one for some ham and cheese biscuits but needed ham. My wife just happened to call to tell me she was at the store – did I need anything?

I told her I needed ham.

She brought back SPAM.

I told her: “SPAM? I asked for HAM.”

“I was sure you asked for SPAM.”

“No. I asked for HAM.”

Now – I am rethinking my food choices long-term, and I think that I’d like to reduce my consumption of a number of foods that I am currently eating – low carb junk food, in my estimation. SPAM must qualify as high on the list of one of those.

I also have an ambivalent relationship with SPAM. It is very similar to how I feel toward White Castle hamburgers – I don’t know how I could like them, but when you are carbing out, those little murder burgers can be satisfying in some primitive way – a guilty pleasure that I only indulge in maybe every other year.

If you were to ask me, I’d have to quote Monty Python: “I don’t like SPAM.”

But it was in the house, and I certainly wasn’t going to make a trip to the store just for ham.

I opened the can and tried a bite – way too salty – but there’s a certain something that made me take another bite. Then another.

Ok – I’ll take a chance. I baked up SPAM and cheese biscuits made from soy flour. They came out very good. I will probably make adjustments to the recipe the next time I make it (like no SPAM), but they were much better than I expected. Fluffy and moist. Of course I used soy flour instead of real flour, but I didn’t notice any difference.

These are great with a little butter – or even a slice of SPAM on top. I’ve also been melting american cheese on top of one-half – nuke for 20 seconds.

I’m not proud to report all of this, but the facts are the facts.

And the fact is: I’ve lost weight eating SPAM. I’m so ashamed.

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5 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Idiot On Low Carb Diet Loses 20 lbs. by Day 16

  1. Very funny about the SPAM. I can’t say I’ve ever tried it. Just the thought of it scared me a little.

    But congrats on the amazing loss since December 31st. I am trying to shed the 12 pounds that have snuck back and can’t seem to shed my sugar cravings around 7pm each night.

    Reading about your success (even if it DID include SPAM) is encouraging.

  2. Can I weigh in here? (Couldn’t resist that one.) LCC, what the heck are you doing to lose all those pounds?!? I’d be more jealous except that I know everyone’s physiology is different and I will make my goals, they’ll just take a little longer.

    I am starting my third week of induction today. This is the third day at 215, a seven pound loss since Jan 2nd of which I’m proud and satisfied with. I’m only two pounds behind my previous loss in 2003, so I’m tracking nicely. One benefit of tracking my original Atkins loss is that (if my body still reacts the same way to induction), I can gauge my expectation of what I’m going to lose and when. No pie-in-the-sky hopes, no thinking that if someone else is losing quicker that I am doing something wrong… nope, I can set realistic goals for ME. In this period of induction, I expect to lose 5 more pounds by the end of January for a total of 12 pounds, putting me at 210. I am looking at a slow-down in February, but I should be able to shed another 5 in those four weeks, maybe more, but 5 would be fine. If it takes me until the end of March to see 200, I’ll be happy. The first time around, after four months, I hit a plateau that didn’t break for another FIVE MONTHS, and then suddenly, in the space of two weeks, I lost another 5+ pounds. Go figure. Anyway, getting to 200 is my first phase final goal, after which I will concentrate on heading toward 190 in phase 2.

    Remember I talked about the energy thing the other day? How it was suddenly coming upon me, and that I actually had the urge to move? Sunday night, after my wife went to bed, I went down to the basement and cleaned the dust and crud off the treadmill and the gym. Got my workout clothes ready for the morning and went to bed, wondering what I would do when I woke… would I roll over and pull the covers tighter or would I get up, put my sneakers on, and start back on the road to fitness? It wound up being choice number 2. Starting slow, don’t want to push things too hard, but at least it is a start.

    Exercise dilemma: As usual, I have to wonder about the trade-off between working out and not working out. For me, I believe that, at least initially, it slows my weight loss ON PAPER (or on spreadsheet, if you will). Think about it: If I normally burn up a quarter pound of fat each day, but I work out every OTHER day and gain a quarter pound of muscle from each workout, that would mean I cut my periodic weight loss in half (one workout zeroes out that day’s fat loss). My wife thinks this is a ridiculous assumption of mine regarding muscle mass gain, but come on, 4 measly ounces of muscle over my entire body from a 45 minute workout including strength training? I think that’s plausible. As plausible as losing 4 ounces of fat a day.

    Anyway, the thing I need to keep in mind is that a pound of muscle takes up MUCH less space than a pound of fat, so replacing fat with muscle, even at a slower pace, is helping to make me LEANER. AND muscle requires more energy to maintain than fat, so my body should be burning more of those fat cells I’m converting to fuel even faster. Since I have plenty of fat in me, and since I’m in ketosis, I shouldn’t have to worry about losing weight from depleting muscle mass. So maybe at the end of the day, everything will balance out. My records show I started working out five months into Atkins the first time around. I had maintained roughly the same weight the prior two months without exercise, and I maintained the same weight for another two months WITH exercise, and then stopped working out following a resort vacation. Here’s the odd thing: even though I maintained my weight without exercise, when I started working out three months after coming back from Mexico, I started losing again. Must have been a kick-start effect.

    The report from Martini-ville: OKAY, most of the craving is behavioral for me. Going from a standard 2, sometimes 3 martinis a night starting as soon as I walk in the door after work is tough to get over. No, I’m not an alcoholic… I’m someone who gets into habits and then takes them to the next level. So, as LCC says, it’s time to replace old habits with new ones. The other day when I screwed up and forgot to have breakfast AND lunch (super busy Sunday), I had plenty of carb and calorie space to allow my first drink in 12 days, so I had one, even though I’d promised myself to hold out for the end of the first two induction weeks, which was last night. And last night I had one. Half a net carb from the olives and the vermouth, and 278 calories that will be used before fat calories. Did it taste good? You bet. Did it have the same, “Dude, you know you want another one,” effect? No. One was fine. Do I have to have one every night? I probably don’t HAVE to, but I probably WILL. At this point in my life I don’t see the purpose of denying myself some small pleasures. The change will be in that instead of downing one in twenty minutes after walking in the door and automatically making a replacement, I will wait for later in the evening to make the first one, and then nurse it for an hour. Nibbling a basically carbless parmesan cheese crisp with a martini is like going to heaven.

    Fat clothes: LCC, you make a point of having thrown out all your fat clothes and therefore having to do something when worse comes to worse. When I regained some of my weight due to medication and couldn’t lose it, and then got into my popcorn binge, I HAD to buy bigger pants. I was having too many problems with waistbands cutting off my circulation. Around that time, shopping for new trousers, I discovered something I thought was wonderful, and is yet sadly indicative of America’s obesity problem: expandable waistband slacks. What a tool of denial. Buy a size 40 so you can fool yourself into believing you’re a 40 waist, but then pull the elastic expansion sides an extra two inches to get them buttoned. OK, so they’re more comfy as I bend and stretch, but that’s not why I bought them, I bought them for the ability to accept what I was doing to my body without making me self-conscious about doing something about it. I’m not a pants guy. The first thing I do when I get home is slip out of the pants. Just more comfortable. But when you feel like a stuffed sausage all day, there’s a more imperative reason for getting them off. Back to the topic: a couple months ago I had to replace some of my pants, and again bought the expandable waist type. I patted myself on the back for having “maintained my waist size” because I was able to buy size 40s. I had to clear room in my closet, and pulled all my size 38 Dockers from years previous. They are sitting in a stack in the computer room waiting to be taken to the Salvation Army truck. I think I’ll hang on to them a while longer, I have a feeling I’m going to need something to wear sometime in the not-too-distant future.

    Finally: Scalemistress (love the moniker)… you have cravings for sweets around 7pm, so does my wife. She has maintained an Atkins Caramel Nut Chew habit since August 2003, one a night. She’s tried other low carb bars, but this was her first, and still her favorite. 2 net carbs, very satisfying, and she’s still minus the 30 pounds she lost on Atkins 4 years ago. If you’re into nuts, the Atkins Peanut Caramel Bar is also very good.

    Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam,
    Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam,
    Lovely Spam, lovely Spam.

    -Your friendly neighborhood Megamas

  3. Scalemistress: If you need something sweet at night, I do, but a glass of Chardonnay usually does the trick, but, try whipping up some whipping cream, 2 packets of Splenda and a dash of vanilla. This really helps me and the fat is great for ya. I also bought some Chocoperfect bars from CarbSmart and had about a half one at night. Loved them! But, I can’t afford ($) too many at a time. Night time is dangerous….try drinking a bottle of water…sometimes it fills your belly and you really don’t need a snack, just water…

  4. My coworkers are all confused by my own weight loss, 20lbs in 9 days, because all they ever see me eat it bacon and SPAM omelettes. They’re all fairly lost.

    It does rock the brain how we grow up with this idea of dieting and weight loss as avoiding meat, fat, cheese, etc. And then to be on this diet where it’s the majority of what you eat…

    It took a little adjusting mentally for me.

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