It’s been about six weeks since I decided a major lifestyle change was in order. I mentioned that over the years my weight had increased by some 60 pounds over what matches my height and frame.
I’m not a fan of “fad” diets. I’m careful to explore the basis for lifestyle changes, and especially in regard to diet. There is such an overwhelming abundance of dietary advice and products, which in my view are mostly focused on generating profits for companies preying on the ill-informed, desperate, and unhappy segments of our population, which is a very, very sizable percentage. Sadly, sound evidence-based, scientifically valid information is pretty much overwhelmed by the noise created by these unscrupulous purveyors of pseudo-scientific or mystical solutions to the real problems affecting many of us. Further, on a similarly sad note, the level of education in this country leaves much of the population unable to see through these scams.
However, someone I know and trust had recently experienced great success with a medically supervised Very Low Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet (VLCKD). Not only in successfully losing some 80 pounds, but also managing to make a lifestyle change in terms of diet for the long term which should aid in keeping those excess pounds off.
Given that, I decided to explore a similar diet. Mine was started after an email consultation with my MD, and some six weeks ago I cut out all refined sugar, processed foods, and starches. My goal: under 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, and a target of 1000 – 1100 calories. I’m basically on a moderate protein, higher fat and near zero carbohydrate diet.
The results so far: I’ve been steadily losing weight; I’m now 20 pounds lighter than when I began. While I’m only about 1/3 of the way to my target of 160 – 170, I’m feeling pretty successful.
The experience: To my surprise, and in truth, wonder. I’ve rarely felt excessively hungry. I do try to have a bite of something satisfying every 4 – 5 hours to forestall any sense of extreme appetite, but interestingly I’ve not had cravings for what I have cut out of my diet. And, believe me, I did like a lot of sugar in my coffee and cream, loved breads, chips, tortillas, pasta, etc.
Further, I’ve been sleeping better, have generally been in a better mood, and seem to be more stable in regards to mood swings (not that I experienced extremes)
Finally, I have a reasonable wardrobe which I’ve not been able to wear for the last several years. I’m looking forward to having a “what’s old is new again” moment as I am once again able to pull some of those items from the closet, and hang them on me instead.
So, the experiment continues. As of this morning I’m on the cusp of transitioning from “Obese” to “Overweight” in the BMI table. More in the future as I have more experience, and as I delve further into the physiology of this all.
Other interesting resources:
Low Carb Dietitian:
Lipid Changes on a Very-Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet: My Own Experience
My Thoughts on Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diets
My Thoughts on Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diets, Part 2