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Cervyn's Current Very Low Carb Experiment Journal

  1. #1
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    Post Cervyn's Current Very Low Carb Experiment Journal

    After graduating grad school I decided I had time to focus once again on weight loss.

    I used Atkins to great success starting in 2002 and lost and kept off 70 or so pounds. I have been basically sugar free since then, and always low[ish] carb. I have been low carb compared to most people but not low carb enough for me to maintain my 100 plus pound loss.

    I have eaten very healthy since that time. healthy fats, grass fed meats, organic produce. Avoided starchy carbs and sugar 90% of the time. Only sweetner I would use was stevia. But I am still insulin resistance and weight slowly started creeping back up.

    I was feeling more inflamed, my blood pressure was inching up for the first time in my life and I was having edema in my legs for the first time in years.

    My job is a desk job which makes me very sluggish. Grad school as well kept me always sitting.

    I want to lose 100 pounds [or so], get way more energy [lots more] and reverse some of the negative effects I have been seeing recently.

    On July 30 I started back to eating very low carb, no more than 5 carbs a day [I don't count them]. For the past 40 I have eaten animal products except for one meal with rice and the occasional spoonful of mayonnaise and coffee and tea.

    I have learned I need to document my health efforts else I become lazy and mindless so I am using this journal to for that reason. I love how others have used their journals for the same reasons.

    thanks for this space, Cervyn

  2. #2
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    thoughts for the future

    Some of the many things I want to talk about in this journal.

    Insulin and turning it off, treating yourself as a health experiment, losing weight, figuring out what I can eat. someday talking about maintenance, identity as a foodie, food as fuel

  3. #3
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    Status after 40 days very low carb

    For the first 40 days I have been very strict. My goal to get my insulin response turned way down so that I can lose weight.

    I started at 230.8 on 7.31.18
    I have lost 15 pounds and I am at 215.8.

    My blood pressure numbers have normalized
    My edema is virtually gone.
    My energy is improved but still not as much as I would like.
    I do find this way of eating very, very boring.
    I am trying to not see food as entertainment but it is a very hard shift for me.


    -c

  4. #4
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    currently eating... and next to try

    black coffee
    tea
    meat [beef, lamb, no chicken-tastes odd to me right now]
    seafood [fresh trout, salmon, mussels, scallops]
    bacon
    prosciutto
    butter
    mayonnaise, I make my own with avocado oil and bacon grease
    plain pork rinds
    some dried spices
    eggs
    sausage [no sugar]
    sparkling water

    I think of it as the ultimate elimination diet.

    I did not have coffee for the first 3 weeks, then I introduced it back into my diet and it caused no harm.

    I did have cream in it a few times, caused no harm. But I find I want it black! perhaps because I eat so much fat with my food?

    I did try cow cheese [one slice of cheese] 3 times, it may have caused a headache. More experimenting needed.

    This weekend I plan to try some sheep milk cheese and see if I react poorly to it.

    -c

  5. #5
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    Hi Cervyn

    very very smart for elimiminatin menu to see where you stand on what you eat and how it effects you

    I am zero carb. I also am the same, if I get a whiff of a carb near my body I instantly gain, feel miserable and I found with zero carb I am just my best. My body loves loves loves this way of life and I eat so well.

    I was Old time Atkins Induction menu only. Biological zero carb as per Dr A and I did extremely well on induction menu foods only. But I soon realized even a salad was useless to me. Instead of a steak and salad, I would have a steak and grilled shrimp and that meal was superior in energy for my body, didn't give me lettuce bloaty I would normally get and soon mostly adopted a zero carb menu....so far it has been fab for me and I have not looked back. Years now on zero carb and doing wonderful.

    I think you are very smart to experiment and see how you body does on what foods. It sure takes time to add in and see what results happen on all the foods, but it is the most efficient way to know what is right for you or not right for you!!

    You keep rocking on! I will love reading your experimental journey in this journal Welcome!!!

  6. #6
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    Thanks ZC. I enjoyed reading your journal. a few weeks ago. I loved your non-dogmatic approach.

  7. #7
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    Can I overeat meat? and 9/7/18 update

    I can, I don't know about you.
    If you find you cannot overeat meat that is great, but it doesn't work for me at this time.
    I am only speaking for myself in my little N=1 experiment.

    It is true, when I am eating meat/seafood/eggs I can get to a point where I cannot eat one more bite of protein/fat. It literally makes me feel ill. Sure I could make room for chocolate but not more meat. However, for me, I have found that this is not a good place to be. I need to stop earlier.

    I can eat more meat than I need. I don't want to feel stuffed. If I eat until I am stuffed that is too much for me. [and my weight will start to creep back up]

    I have a couple of theories about this.

    My fullness cues don't go off until too late (for me). This is probably due to how I was raised. I have come from a very food focused family. I need to not be mindless about this.

    Also one of my goals with this way of eating is to turn my insulin levels down so that my cells will release energy. If I stuff myself I have eaten more than enough food for my day to day living. My body doesn't get to the point where I need access stored energy. Which is what I want to do. (I think this might be true for me but I am not convinced)

    What I do to deal with this.:
    I love intermittent fasting. My eating window is usually about 6-8 hours long. In that time I eat two times. I am not hungry for more. i can usually do this without thinking about it.
    I really try to stop before I am stuffed. I eyeball my serving and try to put less on my plate. My goal to feel satiated but not stuffed.

    What this looks like today: Just now I had dinner on the early side. It was a 1/2# of ribeye steak with seasoned mayo. I feel full. I had plenty but I could eat bacon if it was in front of me. Bacon is on my meal plan. I don't need it. For lunch I had 4 slices of bacon and 2 beef patties.

    Reasons why this may be working for me: I have spent 10+ years eating very high quality organic, grass-fed food. I know my body is not starved for nutrition. My body is not trying to make up for years of neglect. I am guessing if one ate a very poor quality diet their journey might be different. Perhaps then it would be good to not limit meat in order to make up for depletion?

    This is a delicate balancing act for me, I am a work in progress always. I don't want to slip over to restriction. And I realize things can change! I am open to that.

    Update: Another new low today 214.4, so 16.4 lost.

    (I don't plan on updating weight every day, but I love updates in other journals so I will try to do them when things change)

    -c

  8. #8
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    Northern Alabama
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    I started doing the intermittent fasting, too, and it has really helped me to keep track of my eating in a good way. I started out with a 16:8, and eating in the morning, fasting after 4pm. Then, I read that we should always do our exercise when we were at the end o f our fasting window, and therefore burning the most body fat, so I started skipping breakfast, and eating after I got home from swimming at the fitness center.
    By then, I was basically doing OMAD, so I just kind of transitioned into that, but sticking on a very low carb diet, mostly meat, cheeses, and salads, and I seem to be able to do that and miss the hunger pangs, even with the limited eating window.
    I joined an OMAD facebook group and a forum, and that helps keep me motivated as well.
    The extra little kick of the fasting has been helping. the scale is not moving fast; but it is moving, and I can see less fat on my body when I look in the mirror.

    http://omaddiet.com/community/index.php
    I am Yvonne and live in northern Alabama.
    To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

  9. #9
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    Yvonne, It's so nice to hear from people for whom IF works! and how fabulous you have a group and forum for support.

    When I first read about IF on Fung's website last year (I think) it was as if a weight came off my shoulders.

    Not sure if this sounds crazy but I realized I was allowed to feel hungry! I didn't have to snack all the time. I didn't have to eat breakfast when I didn't want it. It was good to give my body time to digest. It also made my life easier.

    Of course I realize that IF is not right for everyone. Some people who don't snack may already be doing it without realizing it. But what a wonderful tool it has been for me.

    -c

  10. #10
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    Thoughts about my scale. (update 9/8/18)

    Over the years there has been so much discussion, research and rules about scales and how or if to use them.

    Like most things related to health I have figured out what works for me but it seems that everyone needs to figure out what they need to do for themselves (wouldn't it be nice if there was just one way that worked for all humans!). Also what works for me right now may change in a year or five. But in this case I am skeptical about that happening, as this is what has been true for me for decades.

    I must use the scale everyday. I weigh in the morning before I get dressed. When I go to our cottage at the lake I now take my scale with me. Which seems totally goofy to me but I do it anyway. I would take it on a plane if I could.

    I know from the past then when I don't weigh myself I gain weight. Always. This has been proven to me over and over. I have finally accepted that I may be weighing myself everyday for the rest of my life. If that is true then fine. I will live with it.

    I used to wish my reality was different. I would love to weigh once a week or go by clothing fit or be able to tell by how my body feels or measurements...but I can't.

    I need this tool to help me pay attention, monitor and be mindful. If I don't weigh myself, I am not paying attention and that leads to gains.

    As to how I feel about my scale...I am always trying to detach from the number emotionally and view it as objective information. It is so hard for me to do that! At the same time when I 'like' the number I find it motivating. sigh. Oh well. I will keep working at it.

    -c

    Update: new low today 213.2, 17.6 lost
    No movement on scale from 8/28 to 9/5 but now I am having new lows several days in a row. Bodies are weird. Not complaining but still it's quirky.

  11. #11
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    For me, the OMAD diet, combined with low carb/keto, is as close to a perfect diet as it gets, Cervyn. When I was doing weight watchers, or some similar low calorie, or low fat diet, I was always hungry, and nothing I ate was satisfying.
    Low carb worked great for me when I was younger, but now that I am a senior, nothing works as well as it used to.
    Even before I heard of IF and OMAD, I was cutting my keto diet to almost no carbs or calories in order to lose weight, and that is even with exercising.
    With OMAD/keto, I feel like I get a reward every day, because I look forward to my meal, and it is going to be something that I want to eat. It is something that I believe that I can continue indefinitely until I finally get my body to a healthy weight.

    As far as the scale thing.......yeah, that is an issue with me, too. For a long time, I had to weigh every day because of the heart failure. Now that I am out of heart failure and a-fib, I don’t have the bloating problem, but I still can’t help weighing each day.
    I totally know that when a person stops eating a high carb diet and goes low carb, they will stop bloating and will lose water weight.
    I also know that when we exercise and build muscle, that it weighs 4 times as much as fat, so we can be burning fat and building muscle, and that stupid scale is not going to budge because of the muscle weight.
    I can see that I am losing fat around my arms and legs, so I know that progress is happening , but I still wish that the scale would look like it, too !
    I am Yvonne and live in northern Alabama.
    To keep the body in good health is a duty... otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

  12. #12
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    So true. Things do change as we age, don't they? I am not a senior but I am middle aged. Things are different than they were in my 30's. In my 30s when doing low carb portion control seemed to happen without any effort on my part. But that is not my current reality.

    You are so familiar with IF that you probably know Dr Fung's website. I found this success story so encouraging because concern about loose skin is a underlying worry I have. (as I type this I am laughing, why worry about loose skin at this point, I need to lose the weight first!!)
    This woman is 60+ and i love to read about IF / keto working for elders who potentially have the most metabolic damage to heal. So encouraging for me.
    -c

    https://idmprogram.com/dolly-idm-success-story/

  13. #13
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    the great sheep milk cheese experiment -day 1 results

    The title above might make it sound more impressive than it is .

    So as an earlier post details the list of foods I eat is pretty small. This was for 2 reasons: to keep my insulin levels low AND to figure which non-obvious foods lead to weight gain /inflammation for me.

    I know that bread or rice or sugar or most fruits leads to me gaining weight, but there are foods in the unknown category. Dairy [various kinds and types], stevia, various nuts and seeds, fermented veggies, low carb plants such as cauliflower, other plants like onions, tomatoes and peppers, berries. My plan is to test various foods very slowly and thoughtfully.

    Yesterday I had 3-4 ounces of sheep milk cheese. (Trader Joes Basque Cheese- it is fabulous) I had it in my eggs for brunch. I had a slice with my steak later. Now I want to observe my reactions if any Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

    reactions to note thus far:
    good:No headache [yay] or aches or puffiness to note, no digestion issues
    neutral: I did not get a new low on the scale today but I didn't really expect one as I had one 3 days in a row
    bad?: It may be that my appetite has increased? But then it is the weekend and I have more free time to feel hungry...

    I feel hopeful that I may be able to slightly expand my foods I can eat list with sheep milk cheese.

    Update [scale] no change which I expected after dropping 2+ pounds in 3 days.

    -c

  14. #14
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    the great sheep milk cheese experiment -day 2 results - update 9/10/18

    It's day two after eating my several helpings of basque cheese.

    the good: no after effects to note, I even had a new low on the scale this morning.
    neutral: my digestion feels a bit more full. This may be from the cheese or the lamb last night or it may be completely random
    the bad?: a bit more tired, however it is ragweed season and I have allergies which always make me tired.

    So far I see no reason to move basque cheese to my 'it makes me feel crappy' list.

    Update-scale 213 [low], 17.8 lost

    I always enjoy seeing the scale move down any amount. I know it's a tiny bit in the scheme of things but I am a numbers geek (I love data and spreadsheets) and I enjoy it nevertheless.

    -c

  15. #15
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    I am one who can eat dairy and lose very well. I am not allergic in any way and I think the fat content of that protein source is a help to me vs. a hindrance. So I find myself as one of those 'very fortunate' 'extremely extremely very low carber' types that can enjoy and it fits into plan.

    you just keep up with your great progress and your own experimentation to know what your body wants and does not want.

    happy things are going so well for you!!

    and key thing is what of those carb extra foods will increase blood sugar to make you start to crave? Feel you did not get the dense nutrition your body is asking for yet fed it lower more carb laden food that doesn't help you....works against you? What foods will start to make you more hungry vs. protein which will satisfy your body without bigger bs increases? All a personal game for each of our bodies but once you do know, you can take that very valuable info and make a plan that is all about you and your needs!

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