Insulin Resistance/Low Carb Diet

  • Hey y'all! I am not new to 3FC. Just new to low carb. I actually haven't even started. I don't even know where to start. I have read so much that I can't take any more in. Here is where it starts... I was doing really well on WW. Losing about 15 pounds total...Then during a regular drs visit, I was complaining about being exhausted all the time. He decided to do a full blood work up. I was really shocked to hear the results. First, my Vitamin D levels are extremely low. The Dr thinks this is what is causing my exhaustion so he put me on a high dosage to take to get my levels back to normal. Second, my insulin levels are very high, putting in the pre-diabetic range. This is a very scary thing for me. I always thought that despite my weight I was fairly healthy. He has suggested a low carb diet to try and regulate my insulin levels. I was going to try ww/low carb but a lot of my ww foods that eat regularly are on the low carb do not eat list =/

    SO I am going to be starting low carb ASAP. My problem is that I don't knwo where to start. I've gotten some info from atkins, I just don't know what system/plan is best. Anyone have a similar situation? Atkins? Paleo? Primal? Just counting carbs??

    Please help!!!
  • Surprised your doc didn't give you a plan
    Cut out processed foods, cut out breads and pastas. Focus on lean meats, beans/legumes, fruits and veggies. The best fruits are berries. It's generally a healthy food plan that everyone should be on, with restrictions on the 'bakery' and 'sweets' stuff.
  • Well, I haven't been back to see him yet. I go in two weeks. He sent me a copy of my lab results as well as a letter explaining what everything meant. I also have some Cholesterol issues. In his letter he suggested the low carb diet and exercise.
  • Ah, ok. Yes.
    You'll do great
  • Hi! You sound like me getting lost and confused and not knowing where to start. I can't speak for Atkins because I honestly know zero about it except that I've heard of the induction phase so I guess it's a little more structured to start. I could be wrong.
    I have been doing paleo/primal (I'm still not sure if there really is much of a difference) for about 3 weeks. It's working well for me. I'm still learning. Basically, I just jumped in by eating only natural foods. Meat, eggs, healthy fats, lots of veggies, limited fruit, and I do a little dairy. Marksdailyapple blog has great info on how to know how much protein/fat/carbs you need. I do suggest just sticking to his blog and not the forum. There are some great people there, but I've found reading the forum just gets me way more confused.

    Good luck deciding! I hope I didn't confuse you more :/
  • I highly recommend the Insulin Resistance Diet. (library or amazon) It's a great way to "ease" into lower-carb (about 120 carb grams/day) and is specifically designed to help avoid blood sugar/insulin spikes in those of us who are Insulin Resistant.
  • I don't follow a diet, but basically, I skip the starch on the plate - no matter what it is. We don't "need" it. It's usually a filler. Fill the plate with more green veggies and the protein (and yes, fats are A OK too). So, for dinner, I might make potatoes, pork loin and green beans. I'll just eat the green beans and pork.

    For lunches, I'll eat an apple (stay away from bananas) and some peanut butter. Or, if you like dairy, eat cottage cheese and a big salad.

    Breakfasts, skip the bread and cereal, grab an egg and sausage or bacon, or a greek yogurt, berries and a handful of nuts, etc.

    It really isn't that hard.
  • I've seen a few things about stay away from bananas. Why is this? I haven't been able to find a definite answer either way.
  • Bananas have more sugar than most fruits (besides grapes and maybe pineapple), and usually 2-3 times the calories. On government nutrition websites, they often count as 2 fruit servings. For me, I think it's a toss up. They're full of potassium. I don't eat them as my regular fruit, but when I'm craving sugar, 1/2 a banana staves that off and is better than grabbing at cookies or something.
  • Welcom ! I think most people with weight issues probably are insulin resistant to some degree. I have been successful on weight watchers and at calorie counting too, but it gets so much easier to control cravings when you watch carbs. I guess a good starting point would be to cut out all starches,sweets and processed foods for a while, see how you feel,and look at the blood work again. When you have more knowledge,you can work out a good carb range and find your sweet spot. It would probably help to get some books, and google a bit.
  • 3 other choices to consider
    The Sugar Solution, the 17 Day Diet and the South Beach diet are all considered good for those with insulin resistance/pre-diabetic. They have many similarities but do have a few key differences. They all offer some structure with what to eat and how much. You might check out these 3 and see if one of them might fit your preferred food choices and eating habits. There is an active South Beach forum here at 3 Fat Chicks with stickies and info. The other two have websites you could google to look for more info. Good luck at your doctor visit!
  • Thank you all so much for your advice! I did a ton of reading. I decided to just go low carb on my own. Not following an exact plan. After everything I read I chose to start at 50 carbs a day. Seems high compared to Atkins but its been really easy. Although, I'm dying for some bread. And I am limiting my fruit which I hate because I LOVE fruit! I have an apple occasionally. But it's a lot of carbs to use in one place. Lots of meat, eggs and veggies!

    Anyone else go low carb on their own? How has your weight loss been?

    Thanks y'all!
  • Quote: Anyone else go low carb on their own? How has your weight loss been?
    I do low carb; no specific plan but I aim for about 50-70g per day. I've eliminated wheat entirely and rarely eat any other grains. I've lost 25.4 pounds since January 1 and it's been pretty effortless - I'm rarely hungry, I don't have cravings, and the scale has moved continually downward.

    I eat fruit at almost every meal (I love fruit!) but I eat smaller amounts than what most people consider normal. Like, I'll only eat 1/3 of a banana instead of the whole thing. I've found it also helps to mix fruits - bananas and strawberries, peaches and raspberries, kiwi and blueberries. Somehow this makes my brain think I'm getting more fruit, even though the total is only about 1/2 cup.

    And I've discovered some great substitutes for carby stuffs:
    Low carb gluten free "bread" puffs (recipe)
    Cauliflower "bread" sticks (recipe)
    Mashed Cauliflower (recipe) - like mashed potatoes
    Cauliflower "Rice" (recipe)
    Cream Cheese Pancakes (recipe)
  • Hi Jennifer -

    I started out doing the Insulin Resistance Diet which recommends a max of 30g carb per meal balanced with 15 g protein, and 15 g carb for snack and 7 g protein. I lost a few pounds and felt good, and have been experimenting with lower carb.

    The last few days I have cut out bread, potatoes, pasta, sugar almost entirely and am filling up on low-fat dairy, beans or lentils and lots of veggies of all kinds. I have lost more weight (had a whoosh of 3 pounds lost in just a few days) and my energy level is higher and I feel like my appetite is reduced. I'm still figuring out the best way to make this work, so I am certainly not in a place to tell someone else what they should do.

    I will say, though, that I've been good for years about doing whole grain - steel cut oats for breakfast, whole grain crackers, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, etc but struggled because my appetite was big. I could eat a bowl of steel cut oats with almonds and milk at breakfast and be pretty darn hungry by 10:45 am. At least in my case, it seems even "good" carbs seem to turn on my hunger and lead me to want to eat more carbs. My new breakfast the last few days has been frozen berries (blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries) in Greek yogurt with almonds and some flax seed and cacao nibs (which is basically raw, unprocessed chocolate). It still has some carbs, but seems to work better for me than oatmeal in terms of feeling full.

    So maybe of the moral of the story is to try different amounts of carbs, different kinds of carbs, and keep track of how you feel, what your energy/appetite level is, and what the scale does and figure out what is best for your body? At least this has been (continues to be) my approach.

    And, Novus - CONGRATS on onederland! I have been following your posts and your blog and am super happy for you and impressed.
  • Hi and welcome to low carbing....

    In the past I have done Atkins, South Beach, and explored paleo, etc.....what has been working for me is cutting out all flour, sugar, starches, starchy veggies, sweets, sugar in all forms, flour in all forms, all processed foods....and I eat fat, protein, green veggies, salads, full fat dressing, etc. I eat fatty steaks and meats, etc. I've lost from 298 to 264.5 since early January, and I've been able to stick on this. In the beginning I just ate from a list of foods and kept it very simple.....recently I have started making some almond flour buns, pancakes, and I make almost no carb cheesecake.

    There is a learning curve to this -- keep it simple in the beginning and then branch out -- also, ditch the scale. I would recommend you find something tight in your closet and try it on for inspiration.... Losing fat on low carb is different than "losing weight", but I do believe it is the best way, and for me, I have determined it is the only way I will ever be successful. Also, on that cheesecake I eat berries and whipped I'm not hurting really.

    I have never been able to stay on a weight loss plan before and lose weight like this -- never now, I don't have blood sugar ups and downs, so I'm not fighting a constant raging hunger......I have also received help from the fine people over at "fattoskinny." They have a book available (big red book) available at book stores, or they do have a ebook pdf version.....the diet is basically what I described above except I eat higher fat than they do. they also have a very helpful low carb support forum that has been very helpful....

    also I try to stay under 20 net carbs a day.....i take the carb amount and subtract fiber or any sugar alcohols....and I try not to use many sugar alcohols...

    best wishes to you on your success.