What is ‘Nutritional Ketosis’ (Without the Gobbeldygook)

I’ve used the term ‘nutritional ketosis’ in a few posts but I haven’t taken the time to explain it – as if everyone’s a nutrition nerd like I am and knows what the heck I am talking about.

I could get all ‘sciency’ on you, but I’d rather not. Most people aren’t all that interested in the sciency details – and I would just be lifting from a book that has become a bit of a bible to me in my current approach to low carb:

The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by
Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek

I’ve read the book twice and it is well-highlighted in my Kindle. Recommended for all you nutrition nerds, but many of you aren’t nutrition nerds and don’t want to read a book written by two doctors written for other doctors. It isn’t a breezy read.

Instead, why don’t I give you the explanation I give myself – dope that I am. For goodness’ sake – check this out for yourself if you have even the slightest curiosity. I give no promises for accuracy. You have been warned.

Continue reading “What is ‘Nutritional Ketosis’ (Without the Gobbeldygook)”

Atkins Induction: How Does It Feel at Day 30?

On September 2, 2012, I was 207.6. This morning, October 10, 2012, I am 193.0 – 14.6 lbs down in 39 days.

Today, if I haven’t messed up in my counting, I have been on a strict ketogenic-type low carb diet – pretty much a long-term Atkins Induction for 30 days straight and am less than 10 pounds away from my target weight of 185, which is when my wife starts to complain that I look too thin.

I am on day 30. I haven’t been in ketosis this long for a long, long, time.

I have proven conclusively something that I thought I could do but had no proof: that after another 9 years older, I could have the same kind of results I had on Atkins the first go-round.

There’s a notion in the low carb community about ‘The Golden Shot’ – that low carb only works once, and if you lose it and gained it back, you can’t repeat it.

In actuality, it seems you can do this – it just takes a little longer. But what I am finding is that I don’t care about how long it takes because  the diet is making me, in general, feel better. Continue reading “Atkins Induction: How Does It Feel at Day 30?”

Should You Allow Yourself a Big Cheat on Low Carb Occasionally?

[Quick update 09/22/12: still in induction after 10 days. Still writing. Still hoping to turn the experience into a nifty book on what it really feels like to do Atkins Induction, with oodles of tricks and ideas and some sciency stuff thrown in. Still giving it away for a limited time on Kindle (which you can read on your computer – if you can read this, you can read a Kindle book). Still hoping I can get all this done before the end of the year. Still hoping I don’t abandon it – or reread it after I’m finished only to find I have written 80+ pages of stuff that ain’t just good enough.]

Lee Kirsten is another blogger who writes about low carb. I read her blog, she reads mine, and we trade comments when the mood strikes us. One of her posts really struck a chord with me: the notion of her having a big high-carb cheat for her birthday.

You can read the post here, but her question at the end asked if it was a good idea. I commented: go for it. She replied:

I see the logic in your position, but I also see that by eating those foods again, for a day, and especially if I don’t see a weight gain 2 days later, it will say to my mind, ‘See, you can eat carbs- nothing bad happened’, and thus the slow process of rationalization, bit by bit, could ensue. I could gain five pounds, and say, “five pounds is not a big deal. I still look and feel good’. Then eight pounds. “Well, I just need to go back to counting my carbs more strictly- it will come right off after Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s/Valentine’s Day. You see the slippery slope theory is one I have lived many times. How do you think I ever got off Atkins in the first place? The complacent stage sets in. A lot of people say that while low-carb really works, it is the hardest plan to live by long term .I would like to prove that theory wrong. What scares me is that I still consider being able to eat those types of foods at all as some kind of ‘reward’, and I think that is part of the problem. Why couldn’t my reward for a birthday be based on something completely NOT to do with food? I need to think about this. Why not get myself a massage, for example?

She has a really, really, REALLY important point.

This is the ‘moment of truth’ in nearly every dieter’s existence. You’ve come this far. Do you play it safe or pull the tiger by the tail? Do you pick curtain number 1 or curtain number 2? Do you feel lucky, punk?

After 9 years on low carb, here was my reply: Continue reading “Should You Allow Yourself a Big Cheat on Low Carb Occasionally?”

Italian Chili – My Recipe for Beating the Cravings of Pasta and Pizza

Last night I made this, it came out quite good, and I thought I would share.

This is yet another variation on what I’ve done before. It provides a meat and vegetable-filled dish similar to a chili or stew in consistency, and, covered in grated parmesan cheese, it not only awesome, but fills that hole left by foregoing both pasta and traditional pizza on a low carb diet.

This is more a technique than a hard and fast recipe. The basis of this for me is usually grass-fed ground beef. A pound of this, bought directly from the farmer, is expensive – $8.00/lb., but I also comes with a high degree of probability that the stuff is the real deal. The problem with food in general is that if you want ‘organic’, the good stuff looks pretty much like the cheap stuff, and fraud is an issue. Less so if you know the farmer himself – and see his kids at the market. Continue reading “Italian Chili – My Recipe for Beating the Cravings of Pasta and Pizza”