My Low Carb Journey

proteinpowerIn March of 2013 I found a book in my cookbook cupboard that I didn’t remember buying.  Protein Power by the Eades’.  Initially I put it back on the shelf because I was looking for a recipe.  Not that book.  But over the next couple of days it kept coming back to my mind and I wondered what the book was about.  I ended up reading it cover to cover, and was introduced to the concept of low carb eating.

Laura Dolson of About.com’s Low Carb Diets section has high praise for this book among her reviews of low carb diet plans.  “More than many other plans, the Eades place a great emphasis on proper nutrition. In particular, they attempt to educate people about what nutrients are in which foods, about antioxidants and phytonutrients, and about what different nutrients do in our bodies.”

I didn’t just take Laura’s word for it, though.  I read reviews of other low carb plans, did some digging into the process by which our bodies process food, and found a fairly large wealth of information on what I initially thought was a fad diet.  Not only was I wrong, I became interested in trying low carb eating for myself, to see if it would help me get past the plateau I was experiencing in losing weight.

pic1Back in 2011, I was pushing the boundary of 200 pounds.  I’m tall, 5’8″, so that 200 pounds looked chubby on me but certainly not what anyone would consider obese.  Let’s just say I was well padded.  However, I wasn’t happy about it, and I was on the back side of my mid 40’s.  Concern over health issues and an imaginary line of 200 pounds that I was just shy of crossing made me decide to take action.  Again.

Over the course of my 30’s and 40’s, I had gained and lost and gained and lost. I did Weight Watchers very successfully.  I joined a Curves club.  But my commitment to my good eating and exercise habits waxed and waned, and as a result so did my weight.  However, in 2011 I decided that was it – I’m going on a diet again.

charlene-4-11I returned to my Weight Watchers plan, returned to regular exercise, and I lost about 20 pounds over the course of 18 months.  It was working– I was lowering my overall caloric intake, using a Weight Watchers Points Calculator, keeping a food journal, and exercising 3x a week.

But I hit a plateau.  For a good solid 3 months, I didn’t lose and I didn’t gain.  While I was happy I was maintaining, I couldn’t figure out what the problem was.  And it was in that mindset that I discovered low carb eating.  I figured, what could I lose?  I just rearrange the ratio of carbs, proteins and fats in my diet, and keep doing everything I’m already doing.

I didn’t follow a strict carb restriction like the “phase 1” of many low carb diets; I tried to keep my carbs within a 50-100 grams per day ratio, but I didn’t want to drop below 50 because that sounded a bit unhealthy.  I carefully monitored my ketones every day to make sure I wasn’t getting too far into ketosis.  I never even got close to a danger zone, at 50 carbs a day.  And I did lose weight – rapidly.  Alot of it was water weight, as you’d imagine.  Protein Power recommends that you drink til you float — and that was something I still struggle with doing but I’m convinced that it works.  I also cut out all of the processed sugar that I could.  I dropped my servings of bread and pasta and rice and potatoes from a daily intake to once or twice a week.  And I gave myself a cheat day every week or so, in which I could splurge all I wanted on whatever I wanted, but that I must return to my regular eating the following day.

charlene-13I broke the plateau that I’d been stuck on, and within 3 months I had lost 15 pounds.  I’m now on maintenance and I’m down to 155 pounds.  I continue to eat a low carb style and log my food, get regular exercise at Curves and play Disc Golf.  I use low-carb recipes (some of which you’ll see here on my blog), and I actually love eating this way.  I remember on Weight Watchers that I often felt hungry.  But with low carb eating, I’m able to feel satisfied and not feeling deprived because I’m on a “diet”.

If you’re curious about low carb eating, I would highly recommend the free resources at lowcarbdiets.about.com.  It’s a huge section that will tell you everything you could ever want to know about this way of eating, and includes all the recipes you need to get started, menu plans, reviews of products, and more.  I greatly admire the work that Laura Dolson has put into the site and eagerly look forward to her updates every week.

 

 

 

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