February 12, 2010 (when I actually wrote this)
Kevin and I have been trying different tactics to lose weight and get in better shape. We workout, go for walks, go for hikes, and have even cut down the calorie intake. Nothing really seems to work. I haven’t gained any weight but I haven’t lost any either.
This past week we decided to go drastic, do some research, and then take some steps to more permanent lifestyle changes. Kevin found that the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to limit the amount of carbohydrates you eat each day.
Here is a brief history and the science behind the low-carb diet:
If you look at our ancestors many moons ago, their diet consisted of whatever they could hunt and gather. Meats, fruits, and vegetables. They did not eat processed foods, breads, or pastas for the main reason they didn’t have any available to them. This is the concept of the Primal Diet (http://www.marksdailyapple.com/definitive-guide-to-the-primal-eating-plan/), you can browse through this website and blog and get an idea of the science behind the diet. Kevin is really into the science behind things so I let him read about it and then condense it in layman terms for me.
The brief science behind low-carb: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/diabetes/) if you want to read it yourself or just remember this Carbohydrate drives insulin drives fat. What does this mean? Well, all carbs break down into sugar (glucose) in the body which runs through the liver and is transformed into glycogen, which is fuel for the muscles during exercise. However, we only need to eat a maximum of 100-150 grams of Carbs each day to burn off; otherwise all that extra glucose and glycogen is stored in the body as fat, saturated fat, which sits in the body and doesn’t seem to go away.
The thought process behind the low-carb diet (keeping yourself under 100-150 grams a day), is that with the lowered amount of glucose being produced, your body won’t be storing all that extra fat. And with the lowered amount of glucose producing, your body will tap into those stored fat cells and actually start to burn off some of that fat that’s been sitting around for years. Hence, you will lose weight and eventually keep it off.
When starting a new life changing low-carb diet, it’s a good idea to cut down your carb intake to no more than 20 grams per day for at least two weeks. This will force your body to tap immediately into those stored fat cells and use the fat for energy. Proteins are your body’s best friend, because proteins are what the body burns off as a last resort. So if you are eating more proteins and less carbs, your body has no choice but to pull all of its energy from those pesky fat cells and poof rapid weight loss. However, buyer beware, if you choose to go the low-carb route it would behoove you to keep it up after you lose the initial 10-15 pounds or it will all come back.
What does this new lifestyle entail? Well more meats and proteins, vegetable and fruits, and less breads, pasta, rice, snacks, and junk food. It means looking at labels and not buying things that have more than 10 grams of carbs per serving. However, don’t limit yourself too much or you won’t succeed. Its okay to splurge once in a while and it might actually help limit cravings. I don’t even think it would be bad to eat bread with a meal once a week; or make your own low-sugar bread. Cake at birthday parties, fine just don’t overdo it.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to put myself out there and document the diet as it goes by. I’ll share what I eat and how much weight I lose each week. I try to only weigh myself once a week and take some measurements to track my progress. I also plan on taking weekly pictures, so that’s really putting myself out there; since women are so defensive of our weight. Hopefully, if this diet works for me it can also work for you.
Look for my posts, I’ll make a commitment to 1-3 posts a week for the next 6 weeks.