Update on Low-Carb Experiment-of-One
- POSTED ON: Mar 21, 2011

                                    
Due to the information contained in Gary Taubes’
'Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It',
in January I began a low-carb eating experiment-of one.
I followed that plan through January,
then went back to normal eating during a vacation week early in February. 
Immediately after that vacation, I began low-carb eating again.
On 3/20/11, Sunday,  I completed another 6 consecutive weeks.
I'm calling my Plan VLC-2011 (for very-low-carb, year 2011).

My plan is to do my best to maintain the same eating Habits
that I've previously established,
including tracking all my food in my DietPower food journal,
while working toward keeping my net carbs at, or less than, 30 per day,
and my daily calorie average similar to my past year's amount.

This is not a plan I can recommend to anyone. 
I don't even know how it will work in my own body.
I'd like to do this experiment for a 6 month period,
but if my weight climbs...or there are other unforeseen side-effects,
I will terminate it early.

Years ago, my DietPower journal became an enjoyable Habit for me,
and it easily tracks my carbs, fats, proteins and calories etc.
I also log in my daily scale weight and DietPower graphs it for me,
which enables me see whether my weight is trending up or down over time.

So....
Thus far, I am still enjoying the novelty of eating this low-carb way.
I'm not following a specific low-carb plan. like Atkins or Protein Power etc.,,
I'm just working to restrict my carbohydrate intake,
and trying to keep my protein and fat intake around the same number of grams.
This results in my fat Ratio percentage being about twice my protein Ratio percentage,
because protein is 4 calories a gram and fat is 9 calories a gram.
Allegedly, my minimum protein requirement
is between 20 grams (WHO) and 36 grams (US RDA).
I usually take in between 50 and 100 grams.

I am aware of the Atkins "carb ladder", which puts foods in about 10 categories,
but I am choosing not to follow it, rung by rung etc.
The current Theory is that each of our bodies is different in the way it tolerates carbs,
and that some people need more restrictions than others.
I found it Interesting that Sugar and Refined Grains are NOT on the ladder at all...
meaning they are off-limits to everyone, always.
Makes sense to me.

I have been avoiding sugar and refined starch,
and I have also been mostly successful at avoiding complex carbs
including whole grains, dry cooked beans, and starchy veggies like corn, potatoes etc,
because these have a really high carb count....
AND I've found that eating a small amount of them
causes me to crave much more of them,
plus it seems to start up a craving in me for foods with sugar and refined starch as well.

I found that after the first week, my cravings
for sugar and starchy foods were greatly reduced.
Although they still exist, they are not as severe.
Right now, they are sort of an occasional thought..."um, that would taste good"...
instead of an incessant yammer..."GET ME THAT".
I still want the carby substance, but mostly I don't feel like I HAVE to have it.
which is a change.

 My morning weight is mostly staying inside the 115 - 116 lb range.
This is good.
It is also somewhat different, because on a "normal-balanced" diet,
my morning weight bounces around a great deal from day to day,
and my norm is to easily bounce within a 5 to 8 lb range during any one month.

I have many different measures of Success in this Low-Carb Experiment.
However, Failure would be an upward weight-trend,
and/or Hunger and Cravings greater than I experience while eating a "normal-balanced" diet.
So....in that I am not currently experiencing Failure...thus far, it is a Success.
My quote for today is:

"A person who never made a mistake
never tried anything new.
"
.........................              Albert Einstein


Life Keeps Changing
- POSTED ON: Mar 20, 2011

                                        

 I’ve now had 5 years of maintenance at my current weight,
and I still Hope it will get easier one of these days.

I've learned that:
Things don't happen the same way twice.
The way I lose weight or maintain weight now is not the same way
that I lost weight or maintained weight five years ago.
I can't EXACTLY repeat the things I did before,
because I'm a different person now.

I'm 5 years older.
Although I am in very good health,
the human body is DESIGNED to wear out with age.
No matter how hard I work at staying fit,
now that I'm over 60, I am ageing more rapidly,
and I can see and feel that Process happening.
Some activities and exercises that I could do 5 years ago,
my present body will no longer tolerate.

My body has also now spent years adjusting and adapting to burn less energy.
Retirement from my profession changed my lifestyle.
I am active, but in a different way.

This is the Challenge.

What works now won't work forever.
You have to keep changing and adapting,
because life keeps changing whether you like it or not

Here is my most recent Video, the second of my Thinspiration series.


Disordered Eating
- POSTED ON: Mar 19, 2011

                                   

Disordered eating is defined as
having eating habits that might present a risk to mental or physical health,
without exhibiting all the symptoms of a “recognized eating disorder”.

The term “eating disorder” is defined as
a mental illness; a brain problem that creates obsessive thoughts
and compulsive behaviors around food and the body.

Using the above definitions, it seems clear to me that mental health professionals
could manage to place almost every obese person somewhere in those categories,
which increases their marketing target and their potential financial profit.

It is the position of mental health professionals that
all people with disordered eating behaviors and
all people who exhibit symptoms of eating disorders
should receive psychological treatment to correct those conditions.

        I don't agree.

Therapy is helpful to relieve mental distress,
and if disordered eating or an eating disorder is the cause of extreme mental distress,
therapy can be beneficial when its purpose is to make people feel better about themselves..

However, in the case of “disordered eating” psychological treatment frequently
appears to merely be an effort to force people to conform to specific social norms of behavior.
And, perhaps, conformity isn’t always such a worthwhile goal.
Maybe other values are more important.

My opinions about “disordered eating” and “eating disorders” are somewhat controversial,
and over time I’ll be saying a great deal more on the subject.
But for now, I’ll leave you with the following song about disordered eating.


Food and Money
- POSTED ON: Mar 18, 2011

                                                      
Food and money have a great deal in common.
A specific amount of money goes into my bank account each month,
and that is the amount of money I have to pay my bills and
meet my needs each month.

If I want to save up for a trip or a treat,
I have to budget my money, and do without spending the amount I need to save.
Frequently I also feel like spending more money than I have in my bank account,
I have that choice. There are ways I can accomplish this.
But, making a choice to spend as much as I want,
will lead to negative consequences . . . making my life difficult to deal with.
That fact and that situation will not change, even though I may hate it.

AND

My body uses a specific amount of food each day/week/month,
that is the amount of food I need to put into it.
If I want to reduce my size,
I have to eat LESS food than my body uses to create an energy deficit.

I can choose to live within my energy allowance or not.
Frequently I also feel like eating more food than my body can use,
I have that choice.
But, making a choice to eat as much as I want,
will lead to negative consequences., i.e. even more stored fat.
The fact and situation will not change, even though I may hate it.

 As a mature adult human being,
I know that frequently I simply can't have my own way.
This is true of spending money, and of eating food.
There has to be some form of self-regulation...with both money and food.

If one chooses not to count calories, following a specifically defined
food-plan is a good way to self-regulate food.

However, even one Bingeing day a week,
can easily provide the body with more energy than one's body can use in that entire week.
To give any Diet, or food-plan,  a Chance, one needs to actually follow it.

I am not a fan of Intuitive Eating Concepts
and in future Blogs, I will have much to say about the idea 
of letting one's body tell one what, when, and how much to eat
based one's perception of hunger.

I am very familiar with the issue of  Hunger,
and I have found that  when dieting,
Appetite, not Hunger, is the most difficult problem to overcome.

Personally, I've found temporary physical Hunger to be the least important issue
in determining whether I can successfully follow a diet,
because one's stomach (and one's brain) quickly becomes used to
being fed a certain amount at a certain time,
IF the amount and the time are consistent.

There are "stretch receptors" in one's stomach,
and if one eats an equal volume 3 times a day,
one's stomach (and brain) will adapt to that amount and timing.
When one is overweight and not in danger of actual Starvation,
Physical Hunger is a problem that can be rather easily resolved,
and  rarely seems to be the primary cause of either Overeating, or Obesity.


Value Judgment
- POSTED ON: Mar 17, 2011

                                       
There are people who think Portion Control is bad
because it requires them to limit the amounts they eat.

Good or Bad, in most cases, is simply a Value Judgment.
I like something...It's Good.
I hate something...It's Bad.
And, we can always find reasons to justify all of our Value Judgments.
Many Facts of Life are not Good or Bad. They Just Are. They Exist.

By definition, an Obese person takes in More food intake
than that person's body requires to maintain a Normal weight.
The Reason this happens is really still unknown.
although Taubes presents a good argument in support of his Theory.
See his book, "Why We Get Fat" being discussed here in BOOKTALK.

Some people say the Cause is physiological.. that Obesity is due to a Genetic dysfunction,
or a "raised set point", or some other unknown physical factor,
an obese person's appetite control system doesn't operate properly.
Specifically, that person has a body with a defective fat regulation system,
and one symptom of this condition is physical hunger for more food than the body requires.

Some people say the Cause is psychological...that Obesity is due to Gluttony and Sloth..
and that this behavior can come from ignorance, or from Cultural influence,
or from some unknown deeply emotional Dysfunction.

Whether Obesity has a physiological or psychological cause.....
the only way a person who is Obese can become normal weight is to
somehow manage to Eat Less.
The term "Portion Control" is simply a shortcut way to define the process
of "consciously and actively monitoring the Amount of one's Food Intake"

The Obese person's Body does not want to eat less.
...(Usually, the Obese person's Mind doesn't want to do it either.)....

Eating whatever food substance one wishes to eat....
in an amount that will satisfy
an Obese person's physical and emotional appetites....
won’t result in that Obese person becoming, or maintaining, a normal weight.

It's just a Fact.

Call it Good. Call it Bad. It is just a Truth of Life.

I find that in order to find satisfaction and peace in Life,
I must reach the point of Acceptance of these, sometimes unpleasant, Truths.
Once I Accept a Truth, I can choose how I'm going to deal with it.
But Denial of Life's Truth...and rationalizing it away from my consciousness...
takes away my Freedom to control and change my behaviors in response to that Truth.

To reach peace of mind while refusing to Accept Life's Truth requires me
to mentally Distort that Truth via rationalization.
Holding on to a Distorted belief, or perspective, about the way an Obese body functions,
can certainly keep an Obese person fat.
Portion Control...which is defined above...involves self-denial.
It requires one to deny one's Obese, or Reduced Obese, Body
the Amount of food it requires for complete satisfaction.
It takes much Effort. It is work.

If I'm blind because I've lost my eyes,
but choose to believe they'll regrow themselves soon,
I probably won't do the work it takes to learn Braille.

If I believe that somehow, through some magical process,
I can give my Obese or Reduced obese Body all types of food,
in the amounts that it takes for that Body to always register Satisfaction,
I'm not going to do the work it takes to control the amount of food I eat
in order to reduce my Obese body, or keep my Reduced Obese body a normal weight.

However, I am going to be working.
Because it is going to take a great deal of Mental Work
to find some way to sustain my irrational belief system
which every day must face the Reality of Life's Truth.

 


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