I promise I won't be writing about this topic every week. I also promise an update on some Money Town characters tomorrow.
Seriously, I promise.
On the other hand, a lot of you have written to me asking questions about one of my recent posts. Enough of you, in fact, to make me think I might as well answer you all at one time vs. emailing the same information out several times.
I'm referring to my recent discovery regarding being insulin resistance.
Healthy eating, and health in regard to diet, seems to be a hot issue for many people lately.
Several of you wanted to know what I'm doing regarding the low-carb eating style my doctor informed me I need to adopt. Initially, I wasn't going to go into details, but like I said … people are asking – so here goes.
I plan on adopting a low-carb lifestyle for the remainder of my life because blah, blah, blah insulin resistant. I know, without a doubt, I'll have days when I fall off the wagon and eat things I shouldn't. I also know, unequivocally, I don't want to add any health problems to the already overwhelming issue of my arm. I think I have a pretty good attitude, in that, I'm not expecting perfection out of myself, but I have fully accepted and embraced this as a lifestyle change.
In other words, I'm not approaching this as a "diet" to lose weight …
For me, it has to be a permanent way of life.
That being said, I would like to get back to a healthy weight as I go through the transition with my eating habits.
My doctor suggested I try Lindora. Lindora is a low-carb diet plan. Lindora has diet centers you can go to. They also have the option of an online program instead, or an at-home plan. Because I'm insulin resistant, I opted for checking in at one of their diet centers twice a week. I did this because it allows me to be monitored by a doctor and my insulin levels, etc. are being checked.
I am, in no way, suggesting Lindora is the right diet/eating plan for you, or anyone else. However, it seems to be exactly what I need right now based on both my insulin resistance and my desire to get back to my pre-accident weight.
The first three days on the Lindora plan are pretty much three days of hell. They are "protein days" with very few carbs and very few calories. The idea is to get your body into ketosis which is the state when your body begins burning your own fat for energy.
On the first day of my new eating habits, I was convinced my stomach was eating itself in its desperation for food. On my second day, I felt horrible. I guess I was going through carb-withdrawals or something. I had a horrendous headache and … ugh! By the end of day three, my body was officially in ketosis and I felt great.
And I do mean GREAT!
Lindora has me eating a low carb, low calorie, low fat and high protein very balanced food plan six days a week. Portions are small, but I'm not feeling hungry. A positive side effect of being in ketosis is a decrease in appetite. One day a week, I follow the Lindora guidelines for a "protein day" to keep my body in ketosis. I'm not taking any diet pills or drugs.
This plan is different from the Atkins diet which so many people are familiar with. High fat/high calorie foods aren't permitted. To me, this makes sense. Calories in have to be less than calories out in order to lose weight, right?
By the way, I have the metabolism of a snail. Many people can eat much more, but I have to limit my body to 55-65 healthy carbs a day in order to remain in ketosis. (Ketone sticks are used to check for ketosis each day.) I discovered how few carbs my body will tolerate early within my first week on Lindora. In a way, it sucks. On the other hand, the positive is, I now know what I need to do. It's so much easier to accept than banging my head against a wall repeatedly – which is what I've been doing for the last four years.
I have more energy than I've had in years. I really can't get over it. I've since learned, being insulin resistant makes many people feel tired a lot of the time. I don't think I even realized I was lacking in energy until I saw a dramatic, positive, change by cutting out the carbs. I have energy to burn and I absolutely love feeling this way! Feeling high-energy is a great incentive for me to keep up with the low-carb lifestyle.
In addition to feeling much better, I'm already seeing a weight loss.
I lost over seven pounds in the first week! I realize, when a person's body adjusts to a new diet most of the initial weight loss is simply water weight. Regardless, it feels much better to have seven less pounds on my body. I hope to continue losing at a rate of one or two pounds per week although I'm sure I'll have weeks where my body plateaus.
Yes, I'm exercising. I work out for at least 30 minutes on my elliptical, or walk at least 5 of every 7 days. This isn't something new for me. What is new, is my increased energy level and the fact I'm actually *finally* losing weight. Before, I felt like I was doing everything right, but I got no results.
I'm also skipping alcohol for the time being. I'm not much of a drinker anyway so it isn't hard for me. After my accident, I was on pain meds for two and a half years nonstop. I couldn't mix the (very!) heavy narcotics with alcohol so I stopped drinking. In recent months, alcohol has been an occasional indulgence. Yes, I will be able to drink again … but right now I'm choosing not to. I want to give my body every advantage in adjusting to my new lifestyle. Alcohol metabolizes as sugar and slows the metabolism. My metabolism is plenty slow all on its own.
Maybe after a couple weeks I'll reward myself with a shot of tequila glass of wine?
Speaking of rewards, I decided I would build an incentive program into my weight loss. I'm still in the planning stages … but basically, I'm treating myself a little bit for every five pounds lost. I'm making a list of (non-food) rewards. Maybe a new pair of costume jewelry earrings, or a pedicure, or two hours at the beach with my camera … little bonuses to keep me motivated to stay on track.
To be honest, I thought I would need these rewards to make my transition easier. Now that I'm actually doing this, I'm finding my increased energy level, and the fact I feel so much better, is probably all the incentive I need. Nonetheless, I promised myself rewards and who am I to break a promise?
Someone wrote in and asked what types of food I'm eating. As an example, one night this week I had a chicken breast fillet which I baked with a low-carb teriyaki sauce on it. I sauteed some fresh spinach and mushrooms with a little onion and garlic as a side dish. I also had a salad with a low-carb balsamic dressing on it. Dessert was a small bowl of fresh strawberries from my favorite roadside strawberry stand. I was not at all hungry and everything really was delicious.
As a side note, the next morning I threw some of the leftover vegetables into an omelette.
By the way, Lindora does offer diet foods for sale but most of them make me gag. I've opted to teach myself how to stay within their nutritional guidelines using real food. (The exception being my first three hell protein days.)
For one thing, real food tastes much better. It leaves me more satisfied and more likely to stay on track. For another, I'm in this for the long term. I need to become accustom to what I can prepare and enjoy on a daily basis.
Quick fixes aren't what I'm looking for.
A lot of my readers recommended The South Beach Diet. I've picked up one of their cookbooks and it looks as if some of their recipes are compatible with the Lindora program. I'll be experimenting with recipes more and more as I become accustom to living on a low-carb diet.
I think that covers most of the questions I've gotten so far. I love hearing about the experiences you, or your family members, have had so please continue to share your stories. I find my readers to be such a wealth of information. I learn so much from your comments and emails!
© Twenty Four At Heart