Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More on February Focus

When I weighed myself just before Christmas I was still at my target weight. A month later I was up 12 pounds -- yikes! You can see it on the bottom of my blog in chart form. I don't think I need to mention that I really like food. When I'm not focusing on maintaining, that is what happens, and it doesn't take long at all. So I guess it's time to focus again.

In order to get started on a refocusing, I usually try to read a diet book or two. It doesn't matter too much if it's a piece of junk or a good one. Most often, I can find them on the library sale rack for a dime. Even the bad ones have a couple of good insights and I've read enough of them to have a good idea of which parts are junk science and which parts are just not for me, ie they won't work with my physiology or my type of approach to life.

The one I had around the house this time was The South Beach Diet. Here's a review. It was written by a cardiologist who found that the low-fat, high carb diets planned for heart patients was usually ineffective. He researched and found that many overweight people have a pre-diabetic condition that can lead to both diabetes and heart disease. Simple, processed high glyemic carbs make your blood sugar fluctuate wildly and in the process your body can develop insulin resistance. Blood sugar fluctuations also lead to the kind of intense cravings that can become habitual and part of one's life and lead to binging on more carbs..... a vicious cycle. So the diet is based on cutting the high glycemic carbs in three stages -- a more extreme stage at first and then slowly adding "good carbs" back in as your body tolerates it. It is a bit like the Atkin's Diet except that because it is used with cardiology patients it avoids animal fats and emphasizes "good fats".

Anyway, I'm glad this was the book I happened to have on the shelf because going low-carb has always been the most effective way for me to get back into good patterns. I found out about low-carb eating when I had 25 extra pounds to lose three years ago and it worked well for me. He recommends two weeks for the strict almost-no-carb part; I haven't been able to do it for that long without feeling like I'm being poisoned slowly, but some people can go even longer than two weeks. Once I have detoxed from the carbs, I generally don't even feel very hungry and it's easy for me to eat more vegetables, which ordinarily I am not very motivated to eat because simple carbs are way easier and more accessible. My energy level goes up. I get more motivated to exercise and move myself around. It's all good. It's hard to make the decision to start though. That's why I usually get prepared by reading a diet book, then I start writing -- keeping a simple journal helps me immensely.

There are a couple of blogs that are to do with weight issues that I really like -- one is Mrs Darling's "Dieting is Not a Piece of Cake". She had 100 pounds to lose and has lost almost half of it! She has other blogs listed on her sidebar and you can comment on her blog sharing your own weight loss victories and she will post your losses, so it has that social support/ accountability aspect as well. I also like the bearing blog. ..... it's not only about weight loss, but she has written very thoroughly about her weight loss of 40 pounds and her present maintenance. She keeps charts just like I do so I don't feel so OCD about it any more.

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