How I lost 10 Lbs.: Jan 2, 2011 to Feb 5, 2011

My Weight from Jan 1, 2010 to Feb 5, 2010

On Jan 3, I wrote this post, starting a new stab at peeling off the pounds. To spare the internet more pointless blogging, I stated that I’d write about it again only when I lost 10 lbs. It’s really only interesting then – most of us play around is a 5-pound range and it’s water weight a lot of time. But when you get to 10, some fat had to go.

This morning the scale read 222.0. I lost 10 lbs.

It took about 5 weeks to lose it. I did it in my usual half-assed way, but the weight did come off. That’s a respectable 2 pounds per week – the recommended rate. I actually chronicled many of the days, but it’s just so much blah, blah, blah that I’ll spare you and give you the short version:

The Good:

  • Ate lots of kale soup with locavore pork sausage, burgers from grass-fed beef with organic onions, Fage yogurt, nitrate-free hot dogs, organic eggs, organic butter, organic lettuce, high-end low mercury tuna, sardines, smoked oysters, broiled trout – among other things low carb, on my healthy list, and forgotten.
  • I’ve noticed a general lack of cravings for sweets (though I’ve had my moments)
  • Some days, my appetite goes dead – I have to remind myself to eat.
  • While I don’t check every day, I’ve been in ketosis on and off throughout the month.
  • I’m controlling my blood sugar. In the past, I’ve woken to blood sugar as high as 157, and averaged it the 130s. Now I’m seeing blood sugar in the 80s twice in a week and my average is staying below 120.
  • Indulged myself here and there. A cookie here, a Lindt chocolate ball there. Some Chinese food that probably contained carbs I could have avoided. Half a slice of pizza and the leftover pizza toppings my kids pull off. I lived a little, gave in to my cravings in moderation, and still took off 2 pounds per week. It adds a balance to my life to be able to do this and still lose weight. It’s not easy, but it seems to be getting easier.
  • There is a direct correlation between my weight and my happiness. Despite the bad and the ugly below, I feel better.
  • My clothes that I bought in the fall to fit me – before I put on even MORE weight – now fit again.

The Bad:

  • Probably drink too much coffee, though I’ve noticed my cravings for it decline in the past month.
  • Drank too much red wine, which I’m sure has slowed the rate of weight loss.
  • I’m seriously torn about vitamins because I’ve come to believe we can’t trust what’s in ’em. I have only had my vitamins a few days in the past 5 weeks. I don’t know what’s worse – taking them or not taking them.
  • I don’t eat consistently. No routine. Sometimes when the appetite goes dead, I don’t eat for extended periods, which I don’t feel is good for you.
  • While trying to avoid chemicals, I have indulged in the SodaStream soda mixes, nitrated deli meats, deli cheese and putting EZ-Sweetz on my Fage yogurt, though I am adapting to having the plain Fage yogurt without the sweetener – sometimes I do – sometimes I don’t.
  • I have been sick with a chest cold since December. I think I’m on the verge of shaking it – but I’ve been saying this for weeks now. I’ve been the victim of the Northeast snow and freezing rain, and I’m sure having to shovel snow for hours has not helped me get better (though it might have burned some calories – quite a workout).
  • I gave up the exercise when I got sick – figuring that I needed rest more than exercise – but I haven’t started up yet.
  • I probably don’t eat enough veggies, with the exception of the kale soup – I’ve simplified and refined the recipe and it’s awesome. Throw some shredded cheese on top and melt it into the soup and it’s even more awesome.

The Ugly:

  • The nicotine lozenges, which helped me kick the cigarette habit I briefly took up during my vacation, is now a habit.
  • Unusually high levels of stress from work have not made things ideal for cutting back on the wine or the lozenges – both have to go, but right now isn’t the time – I need to get through a crisis period at work and have a clear head to tackle these.

The Curious:

  • I noticed what could be coincidence – but maybe a correlation? On a number of nights after a very low carb day, I would splurge with a small high-carb treat – say 20 grams of nearly pure glucose – and in the morning my blood sugar would DROP. My unprofessional, amateur endocrinologist hypothesis is that insulin response needs periods of ‘exercise’ to keep in top shape when on a very low carb diet. Most people’s insulin response is like a chronic, obsessive exerciser – exhausted from too much working out. But on a very low carb diet, it gets time to relax and recover. The occasional Lindt chocolate ball is like moderate exercise and keeps the insulin response fit and trim – but what do I know?

So now on to the next 10 – see you at 212.

11 thoughts on “How I lost 10 Lbs.: Jan 2, 2011 to Feb 5, 2011

  1. Amazing and bravo! I envy you. You might not have been counting cal, but what do you think are the principle logic behind your success? Outgo>Intake plus induction or just induction or plus the treats? What are the key differences this round versus past rounds of unsuccess. There are theories out there saying indulgence with occasional high carbs can trick the body into thinking carb supply is ample and keep on burning fat rather than slow down and save for the future.
    My Tanita told me my fat % is around 6%. Do you think adopting your approach can lower this even further? Sorry for all the questions but really any insights when you have time will be very helpful indeed.

    1. I don’t really know what I did to make this happen?

      Maybe I’ve reduced my food choices – and got used to it. Can I take this into the next 5 weeks? I dunno. On the days my appetite went dead, I probably ate too little, which might be unhealthy – or not – I don’t really know.

      And whatever trick I pulled to pull off the pounds – will my body get wise to it and resist it now? I don’t know that either.

      Maybe any success I’ve had has to do with the fact that I totally stayed away from grains except for the cheats – no low carb bread. I wrap hotdogs and deli meat in lettuce rather than use the low carb bread.

      I have as many questions on why it’s worked as you do.

      I do think that endless experimentation has been a help to me. Being a bit obsessive about the subject (demonstrated by blogging for almost 4 years) probably also helps.

      1. Thanks, and your reflections really help me think. On days that you ate very little, do you think about food or not at all? Would you say they are more internally-induced (as you are on ketosis) or external (due to heavy work pressure and stress) or both? I do have such days too when I am very busy or stressed, but when at home and relaxed, the hunger bell will usually ring.

        1. Well, today is Sunday and I had to make myself eat a Fage yogurt only because my stomach hurt. Even with a carb-fest last night, the appetite seems dead. I AM thinking about food, but it’s more like: ‘what am I going to eat next week?’ rather than any desire for food.

          But that’s today. I have the same weekend thing kick in a lot of times, but it hasn’t happened today. Maybe next weekend it will be different. I keep trying to figure out the exact pattern of these things, but it eludes me.

          Maybe it’s too complicated to *have* a pattern – I dunno.

          I also read in Gary Taubes’ new book that cortisol – the ‘stress hormone’ – can both stimulate hunger or depress hunger. Is there a correlation with what you eat and your cortisol response? I dunno that, either. That might be something that I should research in the future.

  2. Nice update and congrats on the 10 lbs!

    I agree with the occassional carb intake, I don’t think it effects weight loss that much. However. It does effect my cravings for it. When I’m on low carb, REALLY on low carb, my cravings, as you mention, disapear, hunger as well. All it takes though, is one “cheat” and the screaming voices in my head begin again, maybe softly at first but thats all it takes and I’m a goner.

    Thanks for the update. I’m trying to get my fat butt back on the wagon and low carb is the only way for me and your blog helps. LC is comfortable and I feel good when I’m on it. So why I ask, do I have so much trouble staying ON IT??? (heavy sigh)

      1. Thats a great post and all very true. I wish that were my only stumbling block, simply saying no and being vigilant would be handleable. Got the depression thing and the hormone thing (feel very luck you don’t have the latter). Those 2 are what kill the motivation to be vigilant. I know excuses excuses but they are big road blocks for me. I feel like I’m always doing pushups and I simply have no energy left. If that makes any sense.

        Thanks for the reply, I’ll keep working at it.

  3. Congratulations! You mention testing your blood sugar. Do you have a recommendation for glucose monitors and/or deals for getting the strips? I don’t have diabetes so my insurance doesn’t cover supplies. But I have had gestational diabetes twice and worry that I am pre-diabetic. Thanks for any advice.

    Keep up the good work. I find inspiration following your blog.

    1. Hi Karyn,

      As to the strips, I’m in the same catch-22. Since nobody measures their blood glucose to *prevent* diabetes, the only way to get a prescription is to eat high-carb and *get* diabetes – then they would pay for it. I was thinking about asking my doc about a prescription, but that puts him in a bind when the insurance company asks him why he’s writing this for a non-diabetic.

      I just bought some and paid through the nose. I think I do need to research finding them at a better value. Like supplements, they come out of my budget. Ugh.



    2. I really like your post – it’s very honest and refreshing. Also love the chart! Funnily enough I’m an information analyst as well as low carb blogger and I work with data all the time – you’ve given me an idea about using my own data like this. I’m not sure if you are diabetic – i’m not but I’ve been reading which is really interesting. The guy who blogs claims to have cured his diabetes with a low carb diet!

      1. Thanks for the comment Jill.

        I actually use a spreadsheet to track a number of things – I should post the template someday for the data geeks like us.

        I do think you *can* control diabetes – at least to some extent – with low carb. You can’t *cure* it. I consider myself a diabetic because if I went off my low carb diet, my blood sugar would show that. I feel the same way about obesity. It is a disease that you can control, but even if you reach your ideal weight, you’re not cured because if you went back to your old ways, it would come right back.

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