I think its probably past the appropriate point to wish you all a happy new year, but nevertheless I do. As January fades in the distance for another year I can’t quite believe its been so long since I wrote the last blog post.
It’s new year and the television has been doing the hard sell on diets. I have sat through Sugar free farm, How to lose weight well, The truth about clean eating, endless advice tips on daytime tv shows and not forgetting the selling channels trying to persuade you to buy into different diet plans. I do do other things with my time, it’s not all spent sitting in front of the box! The only good thing this year, is that they do all seem to be agreeing on the sugar addiction I wrote about last time. It really does seem quite obvious to me that before sugar was freely available there wasn’t an obesity problem I also feel outraged about the food that is being sold to unsuspected public is laced with sugar even if its not necessary, adding to the problem . Why do you need to add sugar to yogurt,gravy, peanut butter? I was over in America last November and was truly appalled by how many staple foods have added sugar that does not need to be there. A lot of these programs have sensible sound advice, I did find some of them giving one sided biased opinions without anything to back it up, and some of them just plain scary in their delivery of the ‘truth’ without any counter argument, as in the case of the the BBC program about diabetes, where everyone was having limbs chopped off. I do think that we are all different and no 2 individuals will react to the same diet in the same way.
It also a year since I posted my smart targets so I thought I would update you.
I wanted to lose 3 stone by last July, my daughters wedding, and as I set started out I was a bit confused by the enormous amount of advice that is out there. So how did I do? well for the first 6 months I faithfully followed the anti inflammatory diet laid down in the lipoedema handbook and I did lose a stone prior to the wedding . It was a bit disappointing to be honest, I always expect the weight to fall off if you are doing all the right things and it can be very frustrating when your entire diet has been turned around without any great results. After the wedding came the ‘sod it’ moment, I went on holiday and while I was sensible and ate good fresh food I went back to eating bread pasta etc. In August a new group formed from the lipodema group I am following on Face book about following the ketogenic diet. This was a pivotal moment for me as I had already put on 9 lbs since the wedding, It had taken me 6 months to lose a stone and I was immediately able to correlate putting on the weight with too many carbohydrates as this was the one food group I had gone back to eating freely. So I jumped on that bandwagon. For me that decision has been nothing short of revolutionary. It took me a while to read everything and get my head in the right space, and by September I was fully on board. Since then I have not knowingly had any sugar to speak of (Christmas day excepted) I realise that there is sugar (lactose) in milk and a few other sources that have made their way in but I have made a very conscious effort to avoid it whenever possible and have not had any refined sugar. I have also endeavored to not have anymore than 20 grams of net carbs and for most of those carbs to come from green vegetables as carbohydrates break down into sugar as does too much protein. Protein has also been reduced to about 50g per day.
I think it’s important to understand that your body has no concept of ‘a diet’ it only knows it has to process the fuel it is given. If it is given more food than it needs it will store it for a day when it does need it. This is just being efficient, if you make too much dinner you don’t throw it away, you use it up as leftovers, take it to work for lunch or freeze it for later, your body is just doing the same, creating fat and moving it to the ‘freezer’. If you continue to stock pile this unnecessary fat your body stops functioning in the way it was designed to do and needs more and more insulin to create the fat storage and eventually it breaks and you find yourself with problems such as type 2 diabetes.
In the same way, if you suddenly go on a low calorie diet your body just thinks that there is a food shortage and may even stop loosing weight if it thinks it needs to conserves your fat reserves, because after all, it doesn’t know if you will eat properly again soon. This can help to explain why weight will often stall. Its just your body trying to work out if this is the new normal. So by not sticking to a diet-any diet- we confuse our bodies, it can also explain why its not a good idea to ‘cheat.’ You wouldn’t suddenly decide to put some unleaded fuel in your diesel car just to see if it worked better, would you?
The ketogenic way of eating helps with this by providing lots of calories in the form of fat so your body never thinks that there is a shortage of fuel, and also not giving it any reason to produce insulin,(insulin is not effected by fat) allowing the rest of your body to work properly. This has great side effects of being able to go without food for quite long periods of time, it is usual to only eat twice a day giving your digestive system time to rest, and making you use your fat reserves as fuel. This, in turn gives you time to asses if you are really hungry and not just eating because you are bored or because its lunch time and you should, or because someone went to a lot of trouble to make that cake and it would be rude not too. This fasting mode is not possible if you follow a high carb diet, because your primary fuel source is glucose and this is quickly depleted and makes your body to demand more, you will know this as a sugar craving or a desire to have a chocolate bar, soda drink, even a diet soda produces the same response even without the sugar hit it sill causes the insulin spike. (followed by the need to sleep). I am sure that for people who only have a small amount to lose almost any diet will work, especially if they are eating significantly less calories than before, but I am more interested at the moment in the anti inflammatory aspects of low carb eating. and the new idea that weight loss is not just about calories in verses calories out as we have been led to believe, because not all calories are equal.
While I was in America in November I managed to turn down waffles, bagels and pancakes for breakfast in favor of bacon and eggs, not too much of a hardship. We have had Christmas and the over indulging that that brings but I just didn’t buy any of it so still I have managed to lose weight. In total since last January I have lost 14.2 kg which is a little over 2 stones it means that I am lighter now than I was in 2012, So while I have not lost the 3 stone I was aiming for I have lost more than 2 so that makes me happy, especially when I have read extensively about my lipoedema and how difficult it is to lose weight at all. I think it is interesting to note that while I have also lost a combined total of 19 inches from across various body parts, none of them from my lippy legs.
So whats next? I intend to carry on with this way of eating as I have found that the results are the proof I need to continue, it may be slow but I remind myself that I haven’t done any exercise in conjunction with this diet, although I will starting to do that now as one of the best side effects is the lack of pain and the increase in the level of alertness I have. I have also read that if your body is exhausted creating all these fat deposits, it need to rest and rebuild its self and return to normal service, one quote I read this week is that you need a healthy body to make it do what you need it to do! So even if the scale is not shifting as much as I would like I have to believe that healing is in progress and that fat is disappearing from my inside and will show eventually.