Saturday, July 13, 2013

Carbohydrates

As I posted earlier, I am addicted to carbohydrates, especially sugar. As of April 2012, I reduced my carb intake from roughly 50-60% of calorie intake to 30%. I stopped losing weight around September and by April of this year, I had gained back almost 10 pounds. During the weight gain, I wasn't tracking my food intake, so for all I know my carb intake was creeping up too.

In April, I decreased carb intake to 20% and started tracking again. Around the same time, I started seeing a personal trainer twice per week with the goal of gaining upper body strength to the point where I'm capable of doing a pull up and chin-ups.

Although I had an initial weight loss, the pounds came back again. It is actually a myth that one can put on several pounds of muscle in a short time, and aside from that, I was getting bigger, according to waist, hip, bust, arm and leg measurements (not to mention how my clothes fit). This was exceedingly frustrating due to how much effort I was putting into tracking, keeping calories and carbs low and intense workouts 5 or 6 days per week.

My personal trainer offered to help me with my diet, as he is studying to become a Health Coach. He follows a strict very low fat diet, is very healthy and eats lots of produce. All of the literature he has read points to low fat, high carb, plenty of protein. He didn't want to mess too much with what I'm doing since it is working more or less compared with my past experience.

I have re-read Taube's book Why We Get Fat and decided to cut carbs even further to under 50 grams per day. Stepping back, I think I'm addicted to some low carb foods like dark chocolate and peanut butter. I am now on day 3 of very low carb intake. I have consumed about 30 grams of carbs and 5-7 grams of sugar for each of the last two days.

So far, the biggest change I have noticed is that I'm very thirsty and drink way more water. I have heard that for this level of carb, water loss is common, so perhaps I am making up for it. My hunger has gone down markedly in just a couple of short days. My calorie intake is a little bit lower also, but not because I'm trying. I do feel a sensation like the slight "brain fog" that accompanies the exhaustion of glycogen stores and switching the brain into ketone burning mode. I also have a very mild headache at the moment.

More as the story unfolds...

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