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I am So Happy to be Free of a Prison of Hunger!

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Old 01-06-2015, 02:04 PM   #1
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Default I am So Happy to be Free of a Prison of Hunger!

I "officially" started low carb/high fat November 14. It was just going to be an experiment. On the face it just sounded so completely against "common knowledge" and accepted "paradigms of health science" it could only end badly, but I was so frustrated and I've literally tried EVERY other eating lifestyle (note, I did not say diet) and they've all failed me and never made a positive impact on markers of health (certainly least of all my cholesterol).

I was eating low fat and low calorie, hungry constantly and struggling to lose any weight. Now I'm eating high fat, not counting calories and lose a steady pound a week, more if I'm more active, and I'm not hungry. There is NOTHING more frustrating than being hungry nearly all day yet not seeing any weight loss for that. It gets hard to stay on plan because there is the whole "I'm not losing anyway, so what's the difference?" mentality. I'm not talking plateau within 20 pounds of goal, I'm talking not even dropping anything from the start.

But with high fat eating, honestly, I have NEVER lived like this, it feels like being set free. Since I was 14 or so my life has been about restriction and calorie counting, obsessing over food (obsessively exercising when I was younger), logging when could I have my next meal and how many calories that meal had to contain, getting in the last meal before stopping before a certain time and timing all this so the hunger wouldn't be too bad at bed. If I wasn't constantly hungry because I was consciously trying to lose, or mostly hungry because I was maintaining, I was eating when I was hungry which meant I was gaining. That's it, there was no in between.

I'm not saying that eating high fat/low carb is for everyone. I am saying that, speaking as someone who was obese as a young child, describing the scenario I've been living for 35 years, I think there's something wrong with the way I personally metabolize carbs and virtually eliminating carbs from my diet has been the solution to a bane of my existence. My husband has joined me on the diet and after a little more than a week he's down two pounds without even trying and feeling equally optimistic.

I feel better than I can remember feeling in years, my daily low grade depression has lifted, my chronic daily joint pain has improved significantly, which means the general inflammation I've been living with is going down, my energy levels are great, I've rediscovered an enthusiasm for living that's been missing since I was in my mid 30s that I had come to believe was a natural side effect of aging and thought was just going to be what the rest of my life was like.

It simply amazes me that so much can happen by drastically reducing one macronutrient and increasing the other. I'd dropped carbs before, but increased PROTEIN and our bodies simply convert excess protein (in caloric deficit) to glucose. Fat, the demonized nutrient, had to go up. The same fat that medicine and "science" tells us is "clogging our arteries" (BTW, it isn't, Americans are eating less fat than ever, but heart disease keeps increasing. Inflammation from insulin spikes is causing the clogged arteries). A high fat diet changes our brain chemistry and turns our fat burning on. Like the web site says, butter makes your pants fall off. Go figure.

What's even more amazing is that I didn't even eat refined flours or white sugar, been gluten free since the late 1990s, in fact. So if insulin spikes caused by steamed vegetables, brown rice and sweet potatoes affected me so severely I can't wonder how they affect others.

It's just stunning to realize that I've found a way of eating that allows me to live the rest of my life without counting calories or being hungry all the time.

I only wish I'd known this 35 years ago *sigh* to think of all that wasted time and energy ...
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:08 PM   #2
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I started November 29th (this was after re-gaining 30 lbs I had lost after counting calories, so my signature is not up to date), and I completely agree with you. It feels so unreal to not only NOT be hungry and looking forward to my next meal, but I get full so quickly and think the scales wont possibly be down in the morning after all I ate....only to see a lower number on the scale.

I'm now looking forward to my next Dr. visit. I can't wait to see what her scale tells me, and what my A1C is. I was told I was pre-diabetic and that it was up since my last one two years ago.
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Old 01-30-2015, 12:11 AM   #3
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Renew Me -you sound a lot like me as far as struggles to cut carbs. I've lost with low carb - but find it hard to maintain. I've never tried increasing fat? Would love to hear more about what you are doing?
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcticiceroadmaker View Post
Renew Me -you sound a lot like me as far as struggles to cut carbs. I've lost with low carb - but find it hard to maintain. I've never tried increasing fat? Would love to hear more about what you are doing?
It's simple, you stop believing the party line that "fat causes you to be fat and unhealthy". As zoritsa said, you eat, you get full, you stay full, you lose weight.

My diet relies heavily on eggs (which i had avoided like the plague for decades), cheese, butter, whipped cream, bacon, bacon fat, fatty cuts of meat, red meat, cream sauces and more eggs, with less than 50 grams a day of low carb veggies (salad makings and primarily cruciferous veggies for us). No, we don't eat fruit, or breads, or potatoes, or pasta, or rice, and we don't miss them.

It's about eating within macro ratios of (at least) 65% of your daily calories coming from fat, no more than 25% of your calories from protein, and the remaining 10% from carbs. Basically the human body's natural state is NOT constantly glucose burning, but fat burning. It falls in with paleo, that heavy carbohydrates were not common foods for our ancient ancestors.

The reasoning is to keep your insulin levels low and stable. It's called Low Carb, High Fat or Ketogenic. It's not a diet, this is a lifestyle.

There are literally HUNDREDS of websites you could look up, there are also many very good books.

I have a good reason for following this diet. Frankly, conventional medical wisdom did NOT work! I've had high cholesterol all of my life, EVEN when I was of a normal body weight and eating lacto/ovo vegetarian! My cholesterol has only gotten worse, even eating VERY low fat/high protein/moderate carb. Plus I've had weight I can't lose (most of which I carried in my midsection), plus my blood pressure has been creeping up, PLUS my fasting blood sugars have been creeping up, which REALLY freaked me out, I NEVER, EVER ate a lot of refined carbs, even before I went gluten free!

My husband has normal cholesterol, but is on two different BP meds, also has weight he can't lose, all of which he carries in his stomach, and his fasting blood sugars have been into the prediabetes ranges.

Since I've started the diet in November I've lost about 8 or 9 lbs., which isn't much, but I've lost more in inches, particularly in my abdomen, which is more important to me. My husband is doing better, he's lost about 8 lbs. since he started, at the end of December, and at least 1/2" off his tummy (the only measurement I've been taking).

He finds the diet effortless, he has added no exercise (it's the only word he considers dirty) and he's not hungry. He has a rich breakfast (usually a slice of cheese/sausage/onion/cream quiche, a slice of low carb bread and maybe a side of meat or sometimes a low carb treat) is at work for up to 12 hunger free hours, and a nice dinner (last night was meatloaf that I made with cheese and broccoli with butter).

Before I started eating this way I had to fight for every ounce I lost, I was hungry much of my waking hours, I weighed and measured food obsessively, and struggled even to maintain my weight! Now I don't think about my food or weight and don't have to worry I'll have a nasty shock when I step on the scale.

If you'd like to learn more about ketogenic eating I think this would be one of the best places you could start: http://josepharcita.blogspot.com/201...o-ketosis.html

If the idea of all that saturated fat freaks you out, there is a book called "Cholesterol Clarity" written by Jimmy Moore that puts things into perspectives. Also I like this website: http://www.thincs.org/

Here's my thing, I do not believe in a one size fits all diet. I know people who thrive eating a heavily carb based diet. They are happy and healthy and have no problem maintaining their weight. I can't do that, neither can my husband. We do not say EVERYONE should eat this way, we are saying this way of eating works for us.

And the fact that eating this way has alleviated depression and anxiety that both of us suffer from is icing on the cake (ketogenic eating influences brain chemistry and originally was developed in the 1920s for treating neurologic problems like epilepsy and Parkinson's disease).
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:54 PM   #5
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Thank you ReNew Me, for the informed response. I've realized through the years that a low carb diet is the only thing that has helped me lose weight, it's just the cravings I have are terrible. I have such a hard time starting, and if I eat any bad foods, I am back to square one.
My brother in law is on a paleo diet, and last spring my sister sent me home with a large chunk of a low carb cake she had made. The frosting was predominantly coconut oil. I realized when I ate just a small amount of it that I wasn't hungry for most of the day. I thought I had finally found a diet solution, but I got busy and forgot about it. The few times I tried making something with coconut oil, they didn't taste very good. Anyway - this has me thinking. It's not as restrictive as Atkins - and maybe it will help me stick to it. Plus it's not just coconut oil. I didn't realize there was a whole diet based around this theory. Carbs make me exhausted for medical reasons, and I so badly want more energy, and for the carb cravings to stop.
I will check out your links. I really need some simple, quick snack/meal ideas, that will curb the hunger - please feel free to share if you have any super pick me uppers. Thanks again.
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:10 PM   #6
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Arctic, I had terrible hunger until I dropped into the VERY low carb range, and I mean BELOW 75 grams.

I will be turning 50 soon. Since my early 40s I have had a series of health problems that make vigorous exercise, something that had once been an enjoyable part of my life, impossible. I developed metabolic problems in my early 30s that impacted my life quality, in particular causing a bunch of weight to pile on despite no change in lifestyle. I've been fighting the same damned 60 lbs. since my mid 30s.

Fast forward, in the course of treating horrible perimenopause symptoms I was also put on thyroid medication which made weight loss finally possible. It was simply futile before that. With medication the weight started to move, but at glacial speed and there was the hunger and energy drops. Oh, and I was eating LOW fat, LOW SAT fat, LOW cholesterol and had TOTAL cholesterol over 310. I've taken mild forms of statins, they make me sick, they destroy my energy. But the fact is I have a strong family history of cardiac disease. Ketogenic eating is literally my hail Mary. Changing my attitude, letting go of conventional paradigms and educating myself about fats and cholesterol has also been part of this journey.

Keto is not a limiting diet. It is, however, a lifestyle and requires a revision of your mindset. Once you get the hang it's different. You don't have hunger or energy drops. Seriously. My husband goes 12 hours between meals. I can honestly say I easily go 24+. It's common for people to pair intermittent fasting up with HFLC eating.

BTW, coconut oil is a common food item for many people, but it's not mandatory, some of us just really like the stuff!
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:59 PM   #7
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I totally feel for you, and relate to your heath difficulties. I also just started thyroid medication.
I remembered after I thought of it - that I had a sore feeling in the back of my throat from the coconut oil. (I don't feel like my cognitive abilities are up to snuff either - way too forgetful.) My daughter told me to buy the Extra Virgin kind. I will try that.
So I went to the store and loaded up on some fattier low carb foods this morning. I've been trying for under 20 carbs, but probably doing more like under 40 ish, and still hungry. Then I'd break and eat carbs, and have a hard time starting again. I understand about ketosis - it just hasn't seemed to be curbing the hunger - and maintaining under 20 has been so hard to get going. Maybe the increase of fat will help? Gonna try. I cooked bacon and eggs with cream when I got home. Can't finish - I'm too full. So feeling a bit hopeful.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:16 AM   #8
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Okay, I cannot emphasize enough that you need to read and research. You need to understand the mechanics behind what's happening.

Try these websites:
http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/
http://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet/
http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.c...diet-plan.html

You're going to have to weigh/measure food and log it, just for a little while, until you get the feel for your macros. And water, water, water, and salt. Think 64 ounces of water minimum and way above what you'd normally use for salt. This is information you'll run across on these websites and the books, it's not optional. You need to drink enough water, especially in the beginning. It's required for fat metabolism and you might find yourself feeling sick without it.

I really can't emphasize, this is different from a diet, it requires a commitment of time and research. When I started I said "I'm going to give it a month, no matter how bad I feel, if I lose or gain". In my mind, doing anything less is a disservice to my body and being completely unreasonable since I'm not giving my body a fair chance to get used to the new regimen.

We are so used to instant gratification in this country, but it's very important to realize people's bodies do NOT switch back and forth between fat burning and glucose burning as easily as an electric car switches between gas and electric. It's more complicated than that. We are biologic organisms. I drop into ketosis in about 36 hours, but that's me. My husband, eating EXACTLY the same food, takes longer. Now, I have to wonder if the fact I have done fasts since I was in my teens, as short as 24 hours, but many for two to three days, a couple up to 5 days, and I can't help but wonder if my metabolism has easier access or some more of the enzymes or whatever that are required for fat conversion

And finally, fat is very satiating. You get full fast, you stay full. Keep educating yourself, keep researching and I have faith you're going to be pleasantly surprised in a few weeks.

And BTW, the scale, useful as a broad tool only, don't live and die by it. I strongly suggest you get a tape measure, measure all over, weigh yourself, then put all that stuff to the side and maybe pull it out in two weeks or so. Re-weigh, remeasure, rinse, repeat.
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Old 02-02-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
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If I've done everything right - I should be in Ketosis by tomorrow.
I'm starting to feel better today.
Thanks for the input. I've barely been home the past few days, but I took time to read your post.
I find I gain every time I stop weighing regularly - but I'll take the waist measurement just to compare. It is my biggest problem area.
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:08 PM   #10
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ReNew Me is correct in that you should keep track of measurements and not rely solely on the scale. There has been times when the scale creeps up, or doesn't move at all, but my clothes feel loose. Then out of the blue, the scale will show a loss.

I am finally back at where I left off the last time I lost weight...and rather then feeling like I can't continue on (I still have a lot more to lose), I am still going on full force. I still can't get my husband on board, but I think he's finally coming around to that this is a lifestyle change for me, and not just a fad diet that I'll stop someday.

It does take quite a bit of reprogramming your mind to think that fat can be good for you, but I've heard of people losing weight and their blood work coming back better then before. It's just nice to feel better and have more energy and the added perk of getting closer to goal and feeling like this time, I will get there.
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:19 PM   #11
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Renew Me,,,

Your post is awesome and totally relates to me. I Feel so great on this Way of Life.....
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:30 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the info and resources! It's amazing what influence I"big food" companies have on our government and of course they are the ones that put out the misinformation, or at least not promote new findings. Thank ever so much for the eye opener!
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:58 PM   #13
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This is a really interesting thread. I found my cravings disappeared when I went low carb (South Beach, Medifast, AIP) but I also found that if my carbs were too low, I felt sick. I tried Atkins and was miserable for several weeks. I think everyone's bodies are different so you have to track, measure, and find the carb level you feel best at. For me, I did not feel well under about 80g/carbs per day. I felt best and lost weight best at 100-110g/day. Above that, I feel good but don't lose as fast. It is also much easier not to be hungry when you eat healthy fats, IMO.
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