Our Most Persisted Deeds

Looks like I’m still doing the low-carb high-fat thing.

At the first weigh-in after starting, I was down 7.2 lbs.  The following week, I was down 1.2 lbs.  Having been reading stories of how the pounds melted off! weight loss was so fast! so easy! I worried that it wasn’t working the way it should.  I recognize that 1.2 lbs. in a week is a perfectly respectable, reasonable, and healthy rate, but my psyche took a little blow.  Still, I persisted, figuring weight loss is weight loss and that was the goal.

Last week, I was UP 0.8 lbs.

*sigh*

weighed my options.  (Side note:  I am so, so sorry for that pun.  Not sorry enough to remove and not publish it.)  I could stop doing this diet and try something else, the problem being that ‘something else’ is almost inevitably going back to counting calories–

*hisssssssssssssssssssssss*

–or I could persist, hoping that this was just a natural bump in the road.  “Perhaps,” I thought, leaning toward the latter course of action, “I gained because I spent two weeks jumping and running and juggling for two hours every evening and I managed to build up some muscle!”  I was not the least bit convinced by that rationale, however, so I did what anyone of my generation would and took to the internets.

First, I looked at the LCHF for Beginners portion of the diet doctor website to find out if I’d accidentally been eating something that wasn’t on the list.  I wasn’t.

Next, I checked the How to Lose Weight section, which I’d read before, but this time I noticed some things I’d mostly ignored previously, namely:

  • “The trick here is not only to avoid all obvious sourced [sic] of carbohydrate (sweets, bread, spaghetti, rice, potatoes), but also to be careful with your protein intake. If you eat large amounts of meat, eggs and the like, the excess protein will converted into glucose in the body. Large amounts of protein can also raise your insulin levels somewhat. This compromises optimal ketosis.” [emphasis mine]
  • and  “Dairy products all contain a varying amount of lactose (the milk sugar), which slows down weight loss. What’s more, part of the protein in milk generates a significant insulin response, which can have the same effect. Consequently, cutting back on dairy products may accelerate weight loss.”
  • and “Nuts, which are the second food to watch, contain a fair amount of carbohydrate, and it’s very easy to unwittingly scarf down large quantities. … So, for those of you having trouble losing weight: use nuts sparingly.”

Ah.  So, I should be careful not too eat too many eggs, nuts, or dairy products.  Okay.

“Perfect.”

The problem with that is that I’m vegetarian.  Getting sources of fat without protein and with few carbs turns out to be pretty tough; I’d been eating 3+ eggs per day, at least 1/2-cup of nuts, and a minimum of 2 ounces of cheese.  This information made me think, “Well what the hell CAN I eat then?!”

Without much hope in my heart (but with a refrigerator full of LCHF foods), I got out my old calorie-counting app. 

I logged a typical day’s intake over the previous week or two to find out where I stood.  Luckily, it tracks calories, fat, carbs, and protein and will even show you a pie chart with percentages of each to total calories, which was very useful.  I found a neat calculator to figure out what my percentages ought to be, and I compared them to what I’d actually consumed.

Turned out that I was over my calories by about 450 (and that’s with the increased exercise from athletic teaching).  My other nutrition was off only a little, but perhaps enough to make a difference:

  • Fat
    • Goal: 76%
    • Actual: 72%
  • Protein
    • Goal: 16%
    • Actual:  16%
  • Carbohydrates
    • Goal: 8%
    • Actual: 12%

(Side note:  When I first read this in the app, I thought I had 52 net grams of carbs (net = carbs-fiber), but upon looking at it again, it was only 42, which is under my 45-gram goal.)

So!  The ratios aren’t too bad, but I needed to find a way to get a little more fat in there.  Without eggs, nuts, or dairy.  Hmmmm.

I decided to try for another week, attempting to reduce my intake of those items and put other stuff in their place:  tofu & faux meat products and more avocado, mostly.  I realized that I may be setting myself up for too many carbs, but I couldn’t think of another way.  (Side note 2:  the diet doctor doesn’t look too fondly on vegetarians, it seems.  I searched his site for the word ‘vegetarian’ and just found articles about why it’s not a good idea.  If I were only vegetarian for health reasons, I might consider a change, but since it’s a lifestyle choice based on my beliefs about animals’ rights, it’s not really an option for me to switch back to eating meat.)

Rather than having two eggs with cheese every morning, I had one egg over some kale, cauliflower, and broccoli in cream sauce.  No boiled eggs or cheese on the lunch salad, just tofu and a smaller amount of nuts/seeds.  Switched from Bleu Cheese dressing to balsamic vinegar and olive oil, which has a little more carb but no dairy.

I found myself getting hungrier, but nothing drastic.  I guess something worked, ’cause I lost 4.8 lbs. this week.

This makes about a month with no sugar, and I do feel better.  I’m not getting headaches every day like I was, although the new glasses may be partially or totally responsible for that too.  In the first couple weeks, I thought I had a lot more energy; now I’m not so sure.  I have the 2:00 slump where it feels like I just took a sleeping pill or something.  I get so drowsy it’s hard to function.   Not quite sure how to solve that one yet, although perhaps getting a bit more sleep at night would help.

So, the experiment continues!  We’ll see how it goes.