Last weekend I spent some time hanging round in a different part of town, so to speak. If you’ve spent any time reviewing the info on the web about low carb, you’ve probably come across groups other than Atkins folks who follow a substantially similar dietary lifestyle, but approach it from a different angle. A couple I’ve found so far are:
- Diabetics. Low carb is a great way to manage diabetes.
- Bodybuilders. They tend to emphasize the exercise first, and eat way more protein, but these folks, looking for noticeable results, have some really good information on their sites. Here’s an example.
- Gastric surgery patients. If the size of your stomach is small, you can’t eat junk food, nor can you fill up on junk. Low carb is nutrient-dense, and is the way many of these people lead their lives after surgery.
- Paleo People. There are a few varieties in here, lumped together, but these people try to eat as natural and raw as possible. You’ll find these people frequently espousing raw milk – even raw liver – sorry, I’m not going there anytime soon, but they do have a number of points worth considering.
One aspect that I found interesting, and Megamas touched on in this recent post, was the notion of low carb junk food – recreations of high carb foods in a low carb way, that are supposed to be a replacement for our cherished comfort foods – the ones that are making us morbidly obese and killing us.
They have their place: I would much rather see someone gnosh on an Atkins bar than those sugar-laden ‘energy’ bars that are the norm – it’s just that a lot of people go on low carb, live on these things, don’t lose a lot of weight, and say it’s because low carb doesn’t work.
I myself have been in a stall since January. I lost 20 lbs. very quickly, but then stopped at 195. This weight has always been one of the weights my body is comfortable at, but I’m not. I have a pair of pants I call my ‘reference pants’ – they are the smallest pants I expect to wear in my wardrobe. I can get them on, but my eyes bulge slightly, so I have more weight to go – I want to be between 170 and 180.
Looking at my diet after reading the paleo literature, I saw that I was living on two things that might be sabotaging further weight loss: artificial sweeteners and deli meat.
Latest news on artificial sweeteners says that it makes us more hungry because our bodies taste the sweet and pump out insulin even though there’s no sugar – so it can still mess with our hunger mechanism.
On the deli meat, I have no research, but a lot of research says that the nitrates in a lot of them are bad for you, and many (like bologna – a guilty pleasure of mine) have added sugar.
Based on the above, I decided last week to try to be more ‘paleo’ and reduce the sweeteners and deli meats.
I upped my vegetable count with a lot of raw vegetables, ate more unmolested meats like hamburger, and reduced my intake of artificial sweeteners. I still had them, as well as some deli meat and some low carb bread, but it was much less than usual.
The result: 5 pounds lost this week.
I didn’t feel particularly deprived, though I need to come up with a way to enjoy water more. I find straight water is too ‘flat’ – I had a friend tell me the minerals they add to Dasani water gives it a subtle ‘flavor’ that makes it more paletable – I tried it, and he’s right, but I don’t like the waste of buying water. Anyone out there have a trick for flavoring water without artificial additives?
Also – to my surprise – I’ve been enjoying the raw vegetables.
In reflection, I think there is a possiblilty to resensitize my taste buds to more subtle flavors, without pouring on the fake sugar or salt. I had both this week – I’m no saint – but the reduction in both seemed to serve me well.
I’ll try to do this for another week and see how it goes.