Woo-hoo! I figured out how to do the photos AND how to change the CW AND change the ticker all by myself! See how much a little sleep helps?
Scale this morning was 148.5 but not considering this permanent until it shows consistently for a few days. It's been extremely stressful but I have been eating fine...some great food, in fact. When up in NYC for the funeral, stayed at one sister's one night (in northern NJ) and she took us to Whole Foods (which we don't have in Delaware) and I got an awesome salad with shredded steamed salmon and no dressing and it was great. Yesterday got this great chicken salad that had no forbidden ingredients and it was great also. AND, when at my brothers in NYC, learned that I CAN eat Chinese, as many Chinese places will steam the chicken/shrimp/veggies and with no sauce or rice, it's fine for Atkins and DELICIOUS.
For Kim...in the photos, it's kinda hard to tell, but my hair is in a pony-tail and when it's down, it's to my waist. I know it's a bit odd for my age but I'm used to it this way. I know you have really long hair also.
And Sarah....just got the Taubes book in the mail yesterday. It's still in the box, in fact, due to so much family here yesterday, but I'll open it today and start reading it.
Also....the photos didn't turn out quite as I'd liked and in fact, I don't see a HUGE difference...BUT, in person, there IS a huge difference and I look totally different than I looked at 195 and it's truly a huge improvement. I'll see if I can get better NOW photos....but the THEN photos are extremely limited, as I wouldn't really allow my photo to be taken much. I was in size 40 waist jeans and I'm down to size 32...even though to me, the huge difference isn't nearly as apparent in the photos as they are in person.
BUT, to be honest, I think a lot of this is the immense stress I'm under right now....which is negatively affecting my appetite and I'm having to literally force myself to try to eat enough. One issue is having to straighten out my deceased brother's affairs, which is taking up a huge amount of my time while I simultaneously care for my elderly father. And another is that there have been SO many family/visitors over here since the death and I am exhausted, not to mention the place is a wreck, I need groceries....and am just feeling overwhelmed at times.
One of my problems is that I'll make a cheese omelet or a nice big bowl of steamed veggies with butter and cheese....but can only eat about half of it and whereas it used to be one meal....I now end up saving it and it makes two meals because I don't have the appetite to eat more than half of everything right now. So probably not getting enough calories and probably causing this increased weight loss. I did great up in NJ and in NYC for the funeral....but feel much more stressed back home now and trying to straighten out and clean up all this wreckage.
And I see no end in sight....that is making me anxious at times....and not helping at all.
I got a bit concerned because I started spilling LARGE ketones (dark purple) when I normally spill small to moderate.....so ate some cocoa-dusted almonds to try and decrease the ketosis a bit, fearing this level might not be good.
I feel like strangling my brother for dying right now, as irrational as I know that is.
Plus, I REALLY want to read this Taubes book and can't find time to myself to do it....which is frustrating me. I LOVE the description on the back cover:
"For decades we have been taught fat is bad for us, carbohydrates better, and that the key to a healthy weight is eating less and exercising more. Yet despite this advice, we have seen unprecedented epidemics in obesity and diabetes. Taubes argues that the problem lies in refined carbohydrates, like white flour, easily digested starches, and sugars and that the key to good health is the KIND of calories we take in, not the number. In this groundbreaking book, award-winning science writer Gary Taubes shows us that almost everything we believe about the nature of a healthy diet is wrong."
This is EXACTLY what I was looking for and I'm so thrilled you recommended it to me, sarahinparis, as I'd never heard of it prior to that. This is word-for-word exactly what I've come to suspect and to believe and I can't wait to be able to read it. The early Atkins books gave a great explanation of carb versus fat-burning metabolism but I think this book is going to explain it in much great detail....which is exactly what I wanted.
I had found/read a fantastic article about how the current treatment of diabetes is so illogical and how simple carbs negatively affect what the outcomes should be. I remember it involved leptin and I could kick myself for not bookmarking it. I'm hoping this is also re-explained in this book. It was a rather complex explanation but sounded totally medically sound when I read it but it was almost all new info for me and unfortunately, don't have it memorized or I'd post it here. Wish I'd saved it so I could.
Deena, you must have a distorted self-image (as many of us do) if you don't see a HUGE difference between the old and new you in the photos! You've really changed the shape of your face and upper body a lot (lower body harder to tell from these pics). Congratulations, that must feel great!
You sound really strong & positive for going through something so difficult as the loss of your brother. My heart goes out to you.
I do like the Taubes book, but I think he might be not quite right about the calories issue (Atkins too, for that matter). I suspect there are some lucky souls for whom calories on low carb don't matter and who can eat thousands of low carb calories & still lose weight, but I think for many of us calories do play a role. Some of the more recent research seems to go in this direction & I am starting to suspect it's true for me personally. I do think that very low carb eating (ketosis levels) decreases appetite significantly, and that eating 1500, 1800 calories of a strictly low carb diet is actually quite a lot of food on this kind of diet -- therefore the success, but I do think that total calories do play a role for a lot of us.
Hope you find some time for the Taubes book before too long -- I gave my copy to a friend but I miss the book sometimes...
Last edited by sarahinparis : 01-04-2010 at 09:53 AM.
Sorry for being MIA for a few days.....I've been really tied-up helping my brother probate/handle my deceased brother's estate, creditors, you name it. And this particular brother is very a very high-strung attorney from NYC and has kept me on the phone up to 10 hours a day over this. Not to mention, we had scheduled my dad for multiple medical appts this week which I had to take him to.....and this unfortunately had turned out to be very bad timing due to my brother's relatively unexpected sudden death.
At any rate....I hit an all time low of 142 lbs. this morning.....although I had been bouncing around between 143 and 143.9 for the past week. So I'm not actually counting this as a definite yet. I do this so as not to disappoint myself because I know weight can bounce around and basically, I don't count a new low until I actually start showing a weight below that weight. So I changed my ticker to 143, to be cautious.
Thank you so much sarahinparis. You just made me feel so good. I guess what I was thinking was that in person (in the mirror) I see the contrast much more than I do in those pictures.
I definitely do not have body dysmorphic issues. I think I'm looking fabulous in the mirror....but not quite so much in photos.
Strangely enough, though I refused to look in the mirror much at 195 lbs, my recollection is that I looked worse in the mirror back then than I look in those old photos. I was thinking, gee, the camera really DOES add 10 lbs. to you but that doesn't seem to apply to me fat...only now.....though, my memory could be faulty.
Reading the Taubes book is going to take me quite a bit of time, especially due to me being so tied-up with all these brother issues right now. In addition, you really have to focus and concentrate when reading it...much like a text-book. If you don't, you tend to read a few paragraphs and then go, "what the heck did I just read?" and have to go back and read it more closely again.
Reflecting back on the Atkin's books, I think that although Dr. Atkins did actually make some broad statements regarding carbs being the issue and not calories.......he also implied several times that this might not apply for all people and that some did have to watch their calories.
It's been my observation that men, in particular, seem to be able to eat much higher calorie foods/amounts when they are low carbing....and still have great success....I'm guessing due to their more efficient metabolisms due to having a higher percentage of muscle mass than women do.
*I* certainly have to watch my caloric intake...in addition to my carbs. It's been really interesting to watch, actually. It seems that when it comes to actual meat, fish and veggies, quantity/calories are not a huge issue....but I have to be really careful when it comes to things like cream cheese, sour cream, nuts, etc. Oh, and of course, the artificial sweeteners, which my body totally freaked over.
Also, as I've already mentioned, I seem to be having some real success with alternating calories.....meaning, I think that's why I'm still having such consistent success even though I'm 13-15 lbs. from goal. Normally, this would have become much slower and more difficult at this point (plateau-wise). Much of this has not been intentional.....it's been more circumstantial, due to all the recent events in my life. For instance, my brother and I left very early in the morning for Annapolis yesterday to meet the movers who were emptying the deceased brother's garage and taking it to storage. I only had time for a cup of coffee......and then was at that brother's appt. for hours while my brother (who drove) was tied-up over at the storage unit with the movers, etc. There was no longer any food at the appt....and then on the way home, we stopped at the Maryland house, but I could not find anything quickly that I could eat.....so basically, I did not eat anything all day until I got home quite late at night. (We also stopped at a mall to get a computer problem diagnosed for my brother's computer and again, could not quickly find anything I could eat in the food court. Their food court is still being re-opened and there are many places still not opened yet).
If I did this every day, of course, my metabolism would go into a coma....but on days when I'm home most of the day....I can then ramp up my calories quite a bit, therefore......mixing-up/confusing my metabolism. This is my theory and it really seems to be working. This time around, it's low-carbing AND calorie alternating.
I think the thing that really intrigues and fascinates me....even more than the weight-loss issues.....is this huge epidemic of diabetes we are seeing...particularly insulin-dependent diabetes. Back in the 70's, when I worked as a nurse in a hospital...it was SO different. The general appearance and beliefs were that:
1. Insulin-dependent diabetes was genetically inherited and usually started in childhood. And,
2. Non-insulin dependent diabetes could usually be controlled by an ADA diet, though it might occasionally require some sort of oral hypoglycemic....but NEVER insulin.
This has completely changed today....and I tend to totally agree with Taubes' take on the main reasons for this. Today, there is literally an explosion of insulin-dependent diabetes....many starting in adulthood and many not related to genetics or family history. Many diabetics now require not only insulin, but also oral hypoglycemics....and often more than just one type. I've never seen anything quite like this diabetes explosion....and I was able to witness this first-hand. AND, if you really think about it....there is NOT a huge space of time between the 1970's and the early 2000's to really even account for such a massive explosion like this....such a massive alteration in the profile of a particular chronic illness over a relatively short period of time.
What else but our diets could account for this? I can't even remotely come up with any other explanation.
Ha...142.8 lbs. this morning. See? Going to jump around here for a bit...I can tell. I'm starting to almost be able to predict, with some variations, of course, what the scale will do and for how long.
Sarahinparis....I was reading your blog and I totally agree with you on the exercise issue.....that the cornerstone of weight loss is diet, not exercise and that exercise is for health (healthy cardiac, musculoskeletal, neurologic, respiratory, etc. systems) rather than for weight loss.
Not to mention that I personally am not a gym-rat, hate going to the gym....and what kind of long-term plan would it be to have to continue something I hate and have to force myself to do? Whereas, walking, I love.
It's funny....I remember WAY back as young teen, we belonged to a neighborhood pool and we practically lived there all summer. There was this one lifeguard there who we all liked and when he started there he was a big college football player and buff to the max. When he graduated and stopped the football and the massive gym exercising/lifting weights....all that muscle literally turned to fat....and very quickly too. He turned into a big teddy bear-kinda guy.
And I remember even way back then, as a teen with no medical training at all, thinking....now what's the point of that? You'd have to exercise that radically for the rest of your life to maintain that or else it would all turn to fat? What about when you get older and can't keep that up? That doesn't seem like a good idea.
Ever since then I've been more inclined to like more leisurely and really enjoyable exercise....like walking and swimming. No running for me....unless a bear was chasing me.
I also am a firm believer that you MUST do low-impact exercising only once you get older (like me). The damage to joints, esp. of the knees, from running, etc...is really very counter-productive to your health and well-being.
Did you read the article posted in the articles section here? This one:
"What if it's a big fat lie?" NYT article. I can't get the link to work here by re-posting it but if you go to the maintenance library forum here, it's the thread by paperclippy titled with the name of the article.
Excellent article. And what's rather alarming is that it was written back in 2002 and now, almost 8 years later, the medical world is still reluctant to alter their opinions and beliefs regarding low fat/high carb diets....particularly nutritionists.
Someone on your blog also posted a link to a great Gary Taubes' lecture...I really enjoyed listening to that. It also helped to clarify some of the text in his book. The chemical and endocrinological explanation of how the body metabolizes and uses food is extremely complex......and I remember having a bit of difficulty with it back in nursing school....all the Krebs cycle, mitochondria, ATP, etc. But I think that if I keep working on it, it will become more understandable to me....esp. since I really enjoy learning about it now.
I think that one of the main reasons I'm so interested in this, in addition to its impact on my own weight loss, etc. issues, is that from working in the medical field (including nutritionists) for so long, I've been appalled at how resistant they are to changing the entrenched beliefs.....much to the detriment of the population. Add that to all the money and clout of the food industry.....and you have a recipe for failure.......ergo the huge and recent epidemic of not only obesity but also diabetes.
I remember back in the early 90's, other nurses were warning me that my Atkins diet was very dangerous. I just laughed (I always have been a rebel) and said, "Really? Then how come I feel so great on it and am losing weight with no problem?"
Once I lost the weight, I gained a few converts. Nothing sells like success.
Later, I tried to convince my husband, also a nurse, to switch from his high carb to a low carb diet....without success. He's a serious, insulin-dependent diabetic and now developing cardiomegaly, hypertension, etc. (also problems with being overweight now). But he had entrenched beliefs in high carb diets, mainly due to listening to sports doctor, Jim Corea on the radio for years.....who, BTW, dropped dead of a heart attack early in life, even though he exercised in the gym religiously but advocated high carb/low fat eating.....though this did not deter my husband one bit, unfortunately for him.
One of my sisters is married to a very intelligent radiologist. However, fearful of heart disease, he eats a very low fat/higher carb diet and prescribes himself statins. He's a marathon runner and is quite thin anyway. My sister puts more stock in what I believe....that low carb/ high fat is healthier.....one of the few issues she and her husband disagree on. He graduated from medical school many years ago, whereas she listens to all the most cutting-edge nutrition podcasts and keeps up on things.
What's also interesting is that in our family, we tend to run borderline-high bad cholesterol but sky-high good cholesterol....and great triglyceride levels....and there is absolutely NO heart disease anywhere in our family or our family history. Doctors wanted to put her on statins but she refused for this exact reason.....and there are a whole list of horrible side effects that go along with statins, BTW.
I'm becoming very intrigued at the moment about what is causing and why the medical and nutrition community are being SO very reluctant about accepting this new info. Is it simply their innate difficulty changing entrenched beliefs or does the power of the food industry factor in....and if so, how much? I'm enjoying reading and listening to all the explanations for this in these articles, books and lectures.....and trying to evaluate and prioritize them.
Typical Jewish liberal...I get VERY involved in social issues. What can I say?
deena...your weight loss is inspirational. It's absolutely incredible how much energy I have now and I've only been doing this for weeks now! I have two uncles how had lost weight and decreased their cholesterol levels on low-carb.
I just want to say that muscle doesn't turn to fat...muscle is always muscle and fat is always fat. The problem is, is that people stop working out so they gain weight....they lose their muscle mass and then if they overeat they gain weight. I know what you meant though
I'm gonna start walking this week to help with my muscle tone as I lose....I love to walk. Hope to see more weight loss!
I agree, the medical establishment has very far to go in so many areas, but the most shocking to me is telling the type 2 diabetics to up their insulin after eating carbs (standard teaching) as opposed to teaching them to minimize carbs in the first place. Seems so simple to me.
Thanks so much for stopping by. I get all excited by visitors.
Yes, you are right....muscle doesn't turn to fat. The guy just went from major buff to a teddy bear....not seriously fat but a major alteration in physique. I'm trying to remember how I learned that info about him...that he'd been a football player and major gym-rat but then no longer did that.
I was probably 12 or 13 at the time....and I just remember that it was a real lightbulb-over-the-head moment for me when I realized that when you got nice and toned-up from exercising, it didn't last for life. I think I'd assumed it did. And that unless you continued that level of exercise forever, you would lose all that muscle....and quite quickly too. I just remember thinking that it almost seemed like futile effort unless you could keep that up forever. Of course, just being a kid, that sort of exercising was all about appearance for me.....and not about health. I was this healthy adolescent who lived and swam in the pool all summer and was on the swim team, etc.
But it did occur to me that because we all age, it could get difficult to maintain extreme exercise later in life.
I totally agree, Sarahinparis. I have a lot of personal experience with treatment of diabetics....not only from working in the hospital but also because my husband and son developed the type 2 variety. Now my son was only 15 when he was diagnosed (this was the son later killed in an auto accident)......and in the beginning, I did not really crack down on him diet-wise because it was very difficult for a 15 year old to adapt suddenly to not only several injections daily but such major alterations in diet. He was very intelligent and quickly figured out all this complicated math involving his blood sugar, number of carbs in the meal, etc. in order to calculate his insulin dose. I had big hopes that as he got older, he would come around to the smart diet/low carb/low glycemic index way of eating....as he was that sort of person....very analytical and interested in his health.
But my husband....really poor choices, IMO. But he's also an alcoholic so....nuff said.
Back in the 70's, when I worked in the hospital, they treated diabetics with a 1200 calorie ADA diet (artificial sweetener only) and a specific daily dose of insulin...the NPH (they did not have the combo insulin back then). And only the very brittle diabetics also got the regular insulin coverage, based on blood sugars done prior to meals. These diabetics had developed the disease as a child and had a strong family history of it.
Then there were the adult onset and they were controlled by diet, mainly. They really didn't have much in the way of oral hypoglycemics back then.
The problem was, they used to put many of these folks on not only a 1200 calorie ADA restriction but often added low salt or low fat...so the diet ended up quite boring and unpalatable. And so....they rarely stuck to it. Eventually, they figured this out, I guess.....and became more liberal regarding calories and using real sugar.....but they developed all these equations where you basically ate carbs and sugar....and then covered yourself with regular insulin. (Regular=fast acting and NPH=slow-acting).
The problem is that their current treatment of diabetes would be akin to you having a big spike stuck in you back and they keep giving you pain medication but not removing the spike, the cause of the pain, from your back. They treat the symptoms and not the cause. It would be MUCH better if they approached it from the diet angle and not the insulin angle.
And the thing is...to this day, they are really not sure why high blood sugars cause so much damage to organs (heart, kidneys, retinas, etc.). They have theories but I'm skeptical of most of them because if they were true....then total control, by constant coverage of blood sugar, should prevent all these problems. And it clearly is not that simple.
Now of course, they have not yet developed a machine that they could implant....that would constantly read your blood sugar levels and release insulin 24/7 to maintain normal levels. If they could develop this, it would be very interesting to see if this would decrease organ damage. Basically....it would be a machine that would act just like the pancreas.
But then, of course, they don't use human insulin....they use animal insulin...so who knows what effects there might be from that, if any?
At this point, my opinion is that high carb/high sugar diets are not good for NON-diabetics.....so they are even far MORE damaging for diabetics....esp. type II's. Shouldn't the goal be to require less insulin and not more? To try and maintain blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible with diet...and THEN utilize insulin, hopefully at lower levels?
And many diabetics do not have total pancreas malfunction. They put out SOME insulin, but not enough. Why not encourage maximum function of the pancreas with low glycemic index diets? Rather than just tell the pancreas it's not needed and use all exogenous insulin?
It's like they pat them on the head and go, "don't worry, we can leave that pesky spike in your back. Lots of pain meds will solve the problem. You might get addicted? Don't worry about that, we know what we're doing".
And every time I see one of those articles where dieticians/nutritionists rate diets and declare that the Atkins/low carb diets are unsafe....it just infuriates me. It is the height of arrogance to not explore and to show no interest in the latest cutting-edge studies. When I worked as a nurse, I always noted any consistent clinical patterns that seemed to go against the current thinking/wisdom and took them seriously. I never assumed that any theories were written in stone. I go by what I OBSERVE, not just by what the current beliefs are.
OK...142.5 lbs. this morning. I can tell I'm gonna bounce around for quite some time before I settle at 142. I don't know how to explain it, but at this point, I can literally sense and predict what my body/weight is doing/will do.
It's interesting....today I jumped on the board here and the first post I read was by this gal who got a craving for something sweet, thought she'd make some cookie dough, thinking she'd just have a tiny bit....and ended up eating all of it......and now felt nauseous and angry at herself.
And it made me remember that last evening....for about 5 seconds...I got this sudden craving to eat these darn Entenman's chocolate covered donut holes my son has here....but I ignored it and it passed quickly.
Now...I COULD pat myself on the head for this.....but the reality is that it's the low carbing that enables me to do this....not my will-power. I have literally NO will power when I eat simple carbs. What always happens is that I'll get that sweet craving and it will NOT pass. It gets worse and worse....and worse. I cannot sleep or anything until I satisfy that craving. And it was almost always in the late evening.
So I am constantly coming across these sorts of falling-off-the-wagon posts here. And smug me, with my low-glycemic index self for at least 8 months thinks "What in the heck is she doing? How is she ever gonna lose weight if she keeps doing this?"
But then I remember what it was like....and how those cravings were literally impossible to ignore...no matter how much will-power I had. The hunger would turn ravenous and almost painful. And I HAD to have something sweet. The voices screamed louder and louder in my head. I couldn't lie down, couldn't go to sleep....couldn't do ANYTHING until I satisfied that craving.
But on this diet? So so easy. All that stuff is gone. Sure, I have great will-power...but I have to attribute it to Atkins/low carbing....and not to me.
Then, of course, my fingers are itching to post to her and tell her about all the benefits of low carbing. But I'm trying to learn to restrain myself here. Not everyone wants to be on this sort of diet.
But also, I have to admit....there IS this tiny snarky part in my brain that thinks......if you'd just go on Atkins, you wouldn't have to deal or worry about this.
But then.....I could be wrong.
OR...maybe not. Because I'm really starting to get onboard with Gary Taubes here.....and beginning to think this would, indeed, be good for everyone.
142.3 lbs. this morning....and even though I'm bouncing around here, my 32" waist jeans are starting to get kinda loose....so I know things are progressing just fine.
Earlier I was over in the Introductions section and this woman Theresa had posted that the success rate for people maintaining their weight loss is only 5%. Can't specifically remember if she posted a time frame required...a year, maybe?
But, that's a pretty dismal percentage.
So I was mulling this over....and I would tend to think that if one sees their weight loss plan as a DIET and one in which they are depriving themselves and can't wait to eat regular food once they hit goal....that could be one of the significant factors. I do realize there are lots of other factors here and variations among individuals.
Reading around here, I've seemed to observe that those who do the old tried and true calorie counting plus moderate exercise seem to have a higher success rate for maintenance than those on the "shtick" diets....like fat smash, crack the code, etc. I'll read posts where those on these diets will be almost crying out, "when can I go to phase I or phase II?", sounding like they are miserable at the stage they're in......and I think, hmmmm.
And it occurs to me that if a one is a person who would feel severely deprived without white bread, sugar, pasta, cake, cookies, etc....one could fall into this category of "unlikely to maintain for long" if they used Atkins. Sure, they could probably LOSE the weight on Atkins....but could they keep it off if they really felt deprived without the simple carbs in their diet?
So...that makes me wonder what types of people would be able to maintain on Atkins without much difficulty? Kim (Jerseygirl) has maintained for 6 years, I believe. I maintained for 12 years (from the early 90's to the mid 2000's). The initial assumption would be that it would have to be those who don't feel all that deprived not eating simple carbs except on rare occasions and enjoy eating meat, fish, veggies, dairy, fat and some fruit and nuts.
I'd love to ask Kim what she feels are the reasons this diet has been so successful for her, esp. regarding the maintenance period. (hint, hint, if Kim happens to stop by here.)
Back in the 90's, of course, I'd not heard of Taubes and didn't have a specifically formed hypothesis regarding "fat doesn't make you fat, carbs make you fat"....but, I certainly began to question the current wisdom of nutritionists and dietary recommendations when I observed how much better I felt off carbs and also read all Dr. Atkins case studies regarding improved blood-work and improved chronic illnesses, particularly cardiac and diabetes...on Atkins.
I also pondered the whole issue of evolution....had man been meant to be a carnivore, an herbivore or an omnivore? The earliest humans on the planet would have most likely been carnivores.
But they then say, well THEY were running around killing Wooly Mammoths and now we sit in offices and are generally too sedentary. OK, fine, I'll accept that.
BUT, IMO, it's a huge stretch to make that the foundation for explaining why we now need a totally opposite diet.......as for that to be true, it would seem to me that we would have had to have so evolved that our entire dietary requirement would have changed. It would almost be like turning a giraffe (an herbivore) into a lion (a carnivore).
Of course, that is an egregious exaggeration on my part regarding that last analogy.
And furthermore, nobody in their right mind could not agree that highly processed foods and lots of sugar can't possibly be good for us....of for any species, for that matter.
Taubes' premise is basically this: Regarding the "fat makes you fat" theory, none of the subsequent studies have supported this....and, in fact, since we adopted this approach, obesity and diabetes have significantly increased....regardless of whether exercise is involved or not.
Based on this....if one looks at the results all these years later...one comes to the conclusion that it's NOT fat that's making us fat. And furthermore, low fat is actually making us fat. And then he looks at: what is it that we've been eating in higher quantities, since we started eating low-fat, that could explain this explosion of obesity and diabetes?
And....it's mainly sugar and highly processed simple carbs (most low-fat products increased sugar for taste to make up for removing fat). And he also gave many examples through history and of all sorts of different peoples and tribes in all sorts of locations on the globe....that seemed to support this theory.
And also gave some advanced physiology explanations regarding metabolism that was a bit over my head...but I'm working on understanding it.
AND....this is practically what Dr. Atkins was saying all those years ago....and the poor guy was booed by nutritionists....and branded as an advocate of a dangerous diet (despite improvements in the health of his patients on the diet).
Well, I went off on a tangent here (What else is new?) but I think the reason I was able to maintain for 12 years (and feel confident I will again...and in fact, am giving away all the larger jeans I just bought over the past months) is that 1) I feel so much better eating low-carb, 2) I do not feel all that deprived because I love meat, fish and veggies and 3) I truly believe that a low-carb diet is MUCH more healthy for most (if not all) humans.
BUT...for those who would feel seriously deprived without the simple carbohydrates.....I have to admit that Atkins might just not be ideal for them....esp. for the long-term/maintenance.
I should really start a blog, I pontificate so much.
It's actually hard to believe that I'm actually losing weight, much less so consistently and so successfully......after struggling for close to 4 years, getting absolutely nowhere. I was almost totally convinced that the medication had ruined my metabolism for good.
I could NOT figure out what was wrong. On the medication, I knew there was big trouble when I was rapidly gaining weight while at the same time, it killed my appetite and I was barely eating and living on mainly coffee with artificial sweetener (in quantities that turned out to be THE problem, actually).
So finally...I decided I HAD to first of all, determine if the problem was 1. my metabolism or 2. I was doing something wrong and needed to tweak the Atkins plan for the me now off medication.
So what I did was, for 2 days I drank ONLY black coffee. Meaning, that's ALL I had for 2 days....no food at all. No sweetener and no half and half....just plain coffee. And lo and behold, I FINALLY turned the ketostix pink and then purple. So very relieved, I knew my metabolism was fine, as this would have been more difficult to remedy than figuring out what tweaking I needed.
Then....went over to the Atkins site (though at the time, I had no idea it was the corporation's site) and had them trouble-shoot my menu. THEN....had to use trial and error to figure out which of the things might be the problem...one at a time...in order to pin-point it. And the problem turned out to be that unlike back in the early 90's, I now had to severely limit my use of Splenda.....and it HAD to be Splenda.
But it seriously still amazes me because I'd almost given up hope. I was practically mourning my prior "self"....the one who had a metabolism and actually COULD diet/lose weight. At that point it wasn't even all about the weight, it was also about feeling a loss of any sort of power or control to even do anything about it.
Deena, you are so beautiful in your new photo! It's amazing to me how much you changed between the before and after! There is a huge difference! I'm really inspired by you, and I hope to have a change like that to show someday too! I know it's going to take many many months, but I'll get there!
Oh, and about cream cheese and splenda - the first (and only other) time I tried Atkins, I gave myself tons of that with tons of artificial sweetener because I thought it was okay. The result was that I was craving stuff all the time, constantly. Looking back on it, it's clear to me now, since you had the same experience basically, that I can't do cream cheese with splenda without experiencing cravings as if I had eaten a real dessert with all the carbs. Well, live and learn I guess! Good for you for being in ketosis again!
I've seen several articles saying that the "only 5% of diets succeed" percentage is not valid. I wish I had the reference at my fingertips, because it was pretty interesting.
I think it's based on weight loss clinical studies, which are often more severe than what people do in real life, and with a lot of support from the clinical trial staff, so people who lose weight on that approach might not keep it off. Then the media generalizes it to everyone.
The figures on quitting smoking by the way aren't much better, but people keep trying to quit, over and over, day after day, and one day, one quitting attempt actually works for them.
I think losing weight is somewhat similar, but even harder, because unlike smoking you can't just stop eating. It's managing choice after choice after choice all your life. Figuring out things that work, things that don't. To manage your weight and to lose weight.
I lost from 250 to 165 and maintained for 5 years at 190. My goal was lower than 165 but I never made it. Was my weight a success or a failure? Surely 190 is better than 250. Where would I be classified? B
Keeping on trying is probably the key factor for weight loss - so I think those "5%" figures are irrelevant.
You know, I'm honestly starting to believe that I may have a more than normal negative reaction to carbs...esp. now that my body has turned out to be THIS sensitive to artificial sweeteners. Many tout this "it's simply calories in and calories out" stuff but that's not true for me. In fact, I marvel when I see so many here who have lost so much weight on low-calorie diets. I can't even figure out how they did it....as that NEVER worked for me.
Not to mention how difficult it was....the constant ravenous hunger within at least an hour after eating, the constant cravings that built to a huge crescendo by the late evening and finally the failure of caving to a binge.
This diet works SO well for me....that I was determined to do it again. Now, this may not apply to everyone but most people I know, when they need to lose weight again, think of the previous diet they were on and go, "yuck, I don't want to have to do THAT diet again".....the implication being that they obviously felt deprived on it. Whereas for me....I WANTED to use this diet and ONLY this diet again....because I knew it was the only one that was not a struggle for me.
My scale is still fluctuating in the 141 range. I was 140.8 on two mornings but it went back up to 141 again. I actually feel fine at this weight and am fitting into my regular size again, etc...but I don't even think about the "end" of the diet. I like eating this way. If it keeps me at this weight, I'll be perfectly happy.
Sarah...I'm curious if that 5% statistic means that they reached goal or that they kept it off for some specific amount of time. I've always heard that many are successful at losing weight but keeping it off is the part of the statistic that is very low. There are so many variations to consider, just like you mentioned.....losing some weight but not all, gaining some back but not all, etc.
It's very interesting that you mentioned the fact that overeating is the one addiction that involves a substance you cannot just stop altogether...food. We must eat to survive.
One of the reasons that I'm so fascinated by the Taubes' theory is due to how it relates to me. I've fluctuated between a normal weight and being...well, "zaftig", I guess...most of my life. Now don't get me wrong, I love food. I'm kind of a foodie, in fact, and love to cook, read/try recipes, etc. BUT, I never had the classic overeating problem/syndrome except when it came to simple carbs. They and they alone kicked in the craving/binging cycle for me. I am unable to have any portion control with simple carbs and sweets....whereas I do not have this problem with other foods.
One thing I am unsure about is that having read on another thread that the percentage of people with gluten intolerance is in the 90's...so it's difficult to tell if I feel so much better due to no simple carbs/sugar or not eating gluten....or a combo of both.
I can clearly see, from reading around here, that there are many, many variations when it comes to people...in terms of what diets work for them, how their metabolisms work, etc. But I'd really love to know...if that was even possible...just how MANY people COULD find success with low-carbing. In other words, what percentage of the population would Taubes' theory apply to? And if there is a percentage that would NOT apply, what is about them, physiologically, that would make this so?