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Friday, December 11, 2009

Not A Diet But a Lifestyle - I'm Not Saying What You Are Thinking


I say this, because although I remain firmly convinced after 12 years on this WOE that a diet lower in carbohydrates is much healthier than a diet high in carbohydrates, especially processed, refined carbohydrates, I loathe and detest counting carbohydrates, calories or whatever. I cannot conceive of weighing my food before eating it - things like that! It could be that it is pure laziness on my part (probably), or maybe it is impatience to eat when I am hungry and not wanting to bother with the mental math part - either way I can't seem to bring myself to do it. However, I have a pretty good idea of how many carbs are in the foods I am eating - give or take. I have a fairly high tolerance for carbohydrates and my weight is okay for a middle-aged woman (oh geesh, I just realized I'm probably a senior now at 52 and not middle-aged as such) who spends a lot of time cooking and baking, but I could stand to lose those few lbs and get to the weight I was when I was younger. If not to look better, but to at least be able to wear those clothes in my wardrobe that are gathering dust, and occasionally mold in this humid climate.

If any of you out there are like me, then you will like this approach as well. I mentioned it last year at about this time too, but did not follow through, thanks to having guests come stay in December and again in January. Then I forgot all about that exciting new idea of mine - Intermittent Fasting. Before you have a fit - remember you eat every single day! I like to have a window where I can eat two meals and a snack (or not). Usually this window of eating is earlier in the day and is about 5 or 6 hours long. The rest of the time - 18 to 19 hours, I don't eat. I get to have some tea with milk and Splenda, if I choose. If I am beside myself hungry, I'll have a teaspoon of peanut butter or cream cheese with my tea and that will settle me, until I eat again the next day. Sooo, I love how it makes me feel, how I don't have to think about food as much, how I have all this energy, and best of all how my stomach and waistline shrinks and I can feel my ribs really well again.

This is not an excuse to eat junk though. I still eat relatively low-carb, however, I won't count anything and I'm not against occasional splurges (a small potato or 3 tbsp of rice) or a banana here and there, for instance. However, if I wanted to, I could easily be in good ketosis, if I went very low-carb. For some people, this would be a big bonus in appetite suppression, as well as speedier weight loss. I don't do as well in deep ketosis. I don't drink enough and end up dehydrated - especially, during the night. I have to be drinking water through the night and I don't particularly want to do that. So, to make up for the fact that I don't get into deep ketosis, I have a day or two each week where my calories are really low at about 500 to 900 calories, and that keeps the weight coming off.

If you'd like to receive the free e-book about the IF way of life, written by a physical fitness trainer, Mike O'Donnell, click here: www.theilife.com. This book is very informative and should help you on your way.

If you're able to do Atkins or Protein Power or any of those structured diets with ease, then there is no point in doing intermittent fasting. However, my research tells me that people who do adopt this way of life are invariably also in control of their eating and reach their goal weight 9 times out of 10. They feel much happier and are much more in control of their eating. Grazing all day long is a recipe for eating too much and having too much insulin (fat storing hormone that lowers blood sugar) running around in the body, creating more opportunity for fat storage. Too much insulin means we're more susceptible to diseases that come with age, as a result of inflammation in the body. IF is a powerful way to decrease inflammation in the body. It is only now being discovered that inflammation is one of the main reasons for heart disease.

Hope this protocol proves to be the answer for some folks out there. It couldn't be easier - no counting, no worrying about food and calories endlessly, but plenty of freedom to enjoy food and experience true hunger before eating - plus all the benefits of low-carbing and yet some!