April 25, 2012

What I Learned From Diet Breaks, Free Meals and Refeeds

(This is part 7 of a multi-part series on How to Tweak a Low Carb Diet. It explains the path I have traveled in my weight loss journey so far. If you didn’t read part 1, you can do so by clicking on the how-to link. Part 1 also includes links to the rest of the series.)

My diet break obviously refilled my glycogen stores, since I was eating more carbohydrates, but that wasn’t a surprise. I was okay with the eight-pound weight regain because everything happened exactly as Lyle McDonald said it would. Although each of us have the potential to hold different amounts of glycogen in our liver and muscles, there was no reason to believe those eight pounds were fat.

I was used to inputting everything I ate into Fitday, and that didn’t stop during my break, so it was easy to keep tabs on my daily calorie count. That helped to keep me zeroed into maintenance. Overall, my complete diet break went well, except that I took my husband’s suggestion and enjoyed a full month off from dieting that December rather than the two weeks I had originally planned.

What I learned during that time was that as long as I didn’t go over my maintenance level of calories – about 2300 calories per day to maintain 180 pounds – once my glycogen stores refilled, my weight stayed stable. I did not gain back my weight, even though I was not following a low carb protocol. Granted, this was only for a short period, one month, but I saw no reason why a lengthier diet break would have made a difference as far as weight regain. I was learning quickly that the bodybuilding community knew what they were talking about.

However, I was hesitant when it came to consistent free meals and refeeds. That went totally against low carb theory, but I wasn’t the only one at Low Carb Friends who was doing the Rapid Fat Loss Diet. There were several of us experimenting with those principles. I found that particularly helpful because as we each weighed ourselves daily and posted those numbers, we could see the water weight fluctuations that occurred from free meals and refeeds and how those fluctuations affected us similarly.

The diet was pretty much what I had done before: very lean meats, protein shakes and veggies. It did have some major differences though. Protein intake depended on the amount of lean body mass you have and the type of activity (aerobic vs weight lifting) you planned to do. Generally, for the average non-bodybuilder low carber, protein needs are about 1 gram per pound of lean body mass. That would place my protein consumption at around 100 grams of protein per day.

Bodybuilders generally use 1-1/2 grams of protein per pound of lean muscle mass. I was doing a small amount of weight lifting around that time, in addition to about 20 minutes of aerobics, and wanted to error on the side of caution – so I upped my protein to 120 grams. I took six extra-strength fish oil capsules per day for essential fatty acids and ate two servings of low-fat cottage cheese. One in my protein shake, and one just before going to bed.

I was also eating more calories and carbohydrates during this period than I was on my modified Kimkins plan, and more than most of the other women at Low Carb Friends were eating. I ate around 1200 calories and 35 grams of carbohydrates, mostly in the form of fibrous vegetables. I did use a little soy sauce, some sugar-free maple syrup, and fresh ginger for marinades to keep my chicken breast tolerable and I used sugar free catsup or mustard to top my burgers.

In addition, Lyle has a strict policy regarding how long you can stay on the plan. This was one of the most important aspects I learned about crash dieting. Taking a maintenance break was opposite to the way Kimmer did things, but my experience with that complete diet break taught me it was best.

I was still quite heavy for my five-foot frame, so I could stay on the program for as long as 12 weeks before I had to take a mandatory two-week diet break. However, about three or four weeks into the diet, I started having what appeared to be severe hypoglycemia attacks. Since I didn’t know what to do about them, I moved to maintenance sooner than I hoped and stayed there for several weeks – allowing my body to recover from whatever was going on.

I tried to return to a low carb diet several times, but my metabolism started crashing much quicker than before. My body wasn’t handling ketosis very well anymore, and I started to experience a reoccurrence of some intestinal issues and nerve inflammation I’d had before I first started the Atkins’ Diet in 2007. In addition, I started having heart palpitations and pain. Now, the easy explanation for all of this was increased insulin due to the refeeds, which many well-meaning low carbers threw at me, but that’s not what it turned out to be. Refeeds do not cause explosive diarrhea and intestinal inflammation.

I am a big believer that nothing happens by accident. Our journey takes us where we need to be at that moment. That’s why I have a more laid back attitude in regards to the whole Kimkins thing. Somewhere around this time, someone discovered that the photos Kimmer had posted of herself at Low Carb Friends and at her website were fake. They were not pictures of her at all. She had never used her own diet plan to lose any weight.

This was a big deal for many low carbers, and they felt angry about her deception, but since many of her dieting principles had saved me from a life of obesity and pain, I took a backseat approach to it all. Mostly, because her size and deception didn’t invalidate what I had learned about myself.

The other thing I was introduced to during this period was wheat intolerance. There were a handful of women doing refeeds at the Beyond Low Carb forum, who had to use carb sources other than wheat. Instead of loading up on breads and cereals, they ate brown rice and sweet potatoes because when they ate wheat, they became inflamed, sick and unable to lose weight. That really struck home with me, and I began investigating the potential for food intolerances and allergies to affect weight.

One of the first things I did was to begin checking my blood glucose levels myself, such as Dr. Bernstein recommends, because I’d been diagnosed with pre-diabetes many years ago. My glucose readings were not at diabetic levels, but high enough to cause Neuropathy. That pointed to metabolic problems, but the solution wasn’t as easy as most low carbers would think because even simple vegetables like zucchini or a meal with absolutely no carbohydrate content were sending my glucose levels high enough to cause nerve damage. Even a two-week return to the Atkins Induction Diet sent my blood sugar soaring.

For me, the problem turned out to be gluten, not carbohydrates, and strangely enough, I owe that discovery to Kimmer and my modified Kimkins Diet. That’s another reason why I’ve remained neutral throughout all of the Kimkins controversy. If I had not gone on that modified Kimkins Diet, I would never have figured out my health problems. I would still weigh over 200 pounds, and I would still be in pain and sick.

On the Kimkins plan, I was eating gluten and dairy free. I felt good. I experienced no hunger. I had no blood glucose issues. So I took that realization and implemented it into my maintenance diet. Surprisingly, when I eliminated all forms of gluten, my blood glucose levels corrected themselves provided I kept within a particular carbohydrate margin. That margin (when compared to low carb dieting) was high: 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates per meal always resulted in normal blood glucose control.

Later on, that margin widened considerably when I also removed dairy. In fact, as long as I was eating absolutely no gluten or dairy (a GFCF Diet) I could even eat a piece of gluten free chocolate cake and see no rise in blood sugar levels above 95 mg/dl. So my experiences with low carb eating, diet breaks and refeeds have differed from the norm.

I don’t know how my body would respond to refeeds now that I’ve eliminated all of my food intolerances including corn. The refeeds were not what I was focused on then. While many low carbers turned to refeeds because it gave them an opportunity to eat many of the foods they had been missing, my focus has always been on my health and what works for me. However, I still had one more major lesson to learn about weight loss, low carb diets and sustainability.

Part 8: Weight Loss, Low Carb Diets and Sustainability

April 24, 2012

The K-E Diet: Latest Fad Diet Casts Shadow on Low Carb Diets

Is Being Thin Worth Your Life?
How Far Would You Go
to Be Thin?
Tracy Rose, used to be the Topic Editor at Suite101 for the Weight Loss Section. When Suite101 still existed, she posted a link on Facebook to her latest diet article. This article dealt with a trendy diet being marketed to brides:

The K-E Diet.

(NOT to be confused with the K/E Diet, known as Kimmer's Experiment.)

Low-carb diets are not new. When followed correctly, even protein-sparing modified-fasts are not dangerous. If you are relatively free from additional food sensitivities, allergies, and health issues, low-carb programs are easy to implement and many varieties offer a luxurious living style.

The latest fad diet (the K-E method) casts a dark shadow over low carb and PSMF diets because the authors of the diet are using comparisons that might cause the public to think that low carb, PSMF, and K-E are all cut from the same cloth. They aren't, of course, but low-carb diets are already considered dangerous by the majority.

It's almost impossible to get the low-carb message to the public when crazy diets, like this one, insist they are better.

April 18, 2012

Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fat Loss Diet – Taking a Full Diet Break

(This is part 6 of a multi-part series on How to Tweak a Low Carb Diet. It discusses my weight loss journey so far. If you didn’t read part 1, you can do so by clicking on the how-to link. Part 1 also includes links to the rest of this series.)

At one time or another, most dieters get caught up in the desire of wanting to lose weight fast. That actually worked to my advantage because Lyle McDonald originally created his Rapid Fat Loss Plan (a whole foods PSMF Diet) to deal with crash diets safely. While McDonald’s focus is on bodybuilding, muscle retention, and metabolism, maintaining muscle mass during dieting is to everyone’s benefit – quick weight loss or not.

The Kimkins fiasco brought the protein content of a low carb diet into the limelight. Dr. Eades’ did have recommendations for low carbers to shoot for. He talked about large, medium, and small servings of protein (five, four or three ounces) at each meal depending upon how much you currently weigh, getting 35 grams of carbohydrates per day, and keeping your fat intake under control until you reached goal weight – which most people ignored.

Contrary to all of the controversy going on about protein intake, Lyle McDonald uses a more individualized approach. His diet bases protein content on the amount of lean muscle mass you have, plus the amount of activity you plan to do during the diet phase of the program, as well as the type of activity. Weight lifters needed more protein than those doing just aerobics, and both of those categories need more protein than those not exercising at all.

This made much more sense to me, rather than a blanket type of protein intake that was set according to your current body weight because even though I’m only five feet tall, I have a large build. That means I’m carrying around at least 10 to 15 pounds more muscle and bone than the average person. So McDonald’s diet interested me for its individuality as well as its unique angle.

Now, if you just looked at the diet itself, it is very similar to Kimkins. Very lean meat and poultry, fibrous vegetables and little else. However, Lyle McDonald built safety precautions into the diet to keep adequate protein and essential fatty acids in front of each person. The more muscle mass you have, the more very lean protein you eat. The more lean meat you eat, the more calories your diet will have. There is no set calorie limit for Lyle’s plan.

He also drastically cut carbohydrates, allowing only vegetable carbs. Limiting yourself to just vegetable carbs keeps the diet as low in calories as is save for each individual because added fats were also not allowed. Essential fatty acids come from 10 grams of fish oil capsules per day. In addition, two servings of non-fat or low-fat dairy for calcium content is also recommended. We were also cautioned to heavily use what’s known as light salt due to low carb’s tendency towards dehydration. That’s a potassium and salt combination to season your food; but, herbs and spices are also okay. Some people step over the line a little bit and use things like soy sauce as well.

At that time, I still didn’t know I was a celiac. So I was still eating gluten, dairy and corn. That fact is important to the results because Lyle’s diet also incorporates free meals and refeeds. For my size, I wasn’t supposed to do refeeds. I was still too fat. I was supposed to do two free meals a week instead, but I’d been on a low carb diet for so long and was struggling with extreme hunger and mental issues in regards to food, that I KNEW my Leptin levels had crashed.

After reading everything on Lyle’s forum, and three of his books several times, I decided to take the plunge. However, looking back now, I can see that was a mistake. Initially, I totally missed the part about crashed Leptin and HOW to fix it.

I was coming to this new table from a low carb diet point of view – the point of view that believes a diet is a lifestyle – and that totally skewed my thought process and understanding of the principles behind dieting. I hate to say that, but it’s true. We low carbers have a particular mindset when it comes to dieting and switching gears is difficult.

So it took two weeks of following The Rapid Fat Loss Diet before I accepted defeat. Now, I don’t mean defeat in terms of giving up on dieting. What I mean is that by going from Atkins 92 to The Protein Power Lifeplan, to Atkins 72, to Kimkins, to Atkins 2002, to Dr. Eades' liquid protein shake diet, to Lyle’s Rapid Fat Loss program with no diet break in between any of that, I was setting myself up to fail. Why? Because a low carb diet lowers thyroid output for many individuals. A low carb diet can lower your metabolism. A low carb diet can also cause your Leptin levels to crash.

A low carb diet can essentially stop working if you don’t take a break from dieting long enough to reset your hormone levels. That’s the truth that few low carb dieters are willing to face. What hardly anyone ever sees is that Dr. Atkins himself KNEW that. He would personally place his patients on thyroid medication temporarily to get them the rest of the way to goal. Since we don't have that luxury, we have to tweak our low carb diets to make them continue working for us.

I admit, that before I started that two-week diet session, I did take a weekend off from low carb dieting, and I indulged in a weekend-long refeed. I went out for pizza. I ate brownies and homemade bread. I ate things I’d been missing over the prior two years. I did that because I wanted to test Lyle McDonald’s theories. They were different from what I’m been hearing within the low carb community because the low carb folks believe carbohydrates is ALL that matters. Lyle believes calories are all that matters.

Even though Lyle’s ideas sounded logical to me (low carb was failing me, afterall), I didn’t know if what Lyle and his friends believed would hold true for me. So I dove into the deep end of the refeed pool, and I suddenly discovered I could swim -- easily, in fact. So easily, that water weight gain from returning to carbohydrates didn’t even show up on the scale until Monday morning. Plus, I actually felt good for the first time in months!

My downfall was moving from that single weekend refeed into the Rapid Fat Loss Diet on Monday morning because my body had not had enough time to reset my hormone levels. Leptin needs a minimum of a two-week diet break to reset. That means two weeks and sometimes more of eating over 100 carbohydrates per day. During those first two weeks, eating one free meal and refeeding for a five hour period on the weekends, I lost a total of four additional pounds (not counting the water weight I gained from that weekend refeed, which came back off quickly).

So it was enough to know that the diet worked. It was enough to know that something was wrong with a typical low carb diet as written. It was enough to convince me that I needed to take a two-week diet break before returning to the Rapid Fat Loss Plan. So that is what I did. I returned carbohydrates to my diet all at once and ate anything I wanted for a two-week period.

Part 7: What I Learned from Diet Breaks, Free Meals, and Refeeds

April 12, 2012

My First Protein Sparing Modified Fast Experience – Dr. Michael Eades’ Thin So Fast

(This is part 5 of a multi-part series on How to Tweak a Low Carb Diet. It discusses my weight loss journey so far. If you didn't read part 1, you can do so by clicking on the how-to link. Part 1 also includes links to the rest of this series.)

After leaving the Kimkins’ weight loss diet behind, I began reading through Lyle McDonald’s website and body building forum because of a comment I received to one of my blog posts. This commenter had gotten stuck when she was almost to goal weight and had broken her stall by incorporating Lyle’s technique of using refeeds to reset her Leptin and other hormone levels back to normal. She warned me that the forum participants were not always nice to each other, especially newbies, and that they could be a bit over-the-top, but she believed the information I would find there would help me decide what to do next.

That piqued my interest. Not only because I trusted the source of that information, but because I knew there had to be a valid reason why hundreds of dieters were finding ourselves permanently stalled on a low carb diet plan. In a manner of speaking, the information I found at the Body Recomposition website and its attached forum literally rocked my world. It offered the truth about all forms of weight loss diets that few low carb dieters were willing to face and believe. There, I found information on basic low carb diets, cyclical low carb diets, a protein sparing modified fast, and dieting in general.

What I came to realize was that far too many individuals want to believe that a low carb diet plan is magic. They want to believe that they can just avoid most of the carbohydrates found in a typical American diet, eat all of the dietary fat and protein they want, a few veggies and low glycemic fruits like strawberries and blueberries, and everything will miraculously correct itself. Except…weight loss diets don’t work that way.

All diets work through calorie restriction, even low carb diets. So the Body Recomposition website introduced me to a whole new way of thinking and looking at weight loss diets in general.

With that information in hand, I went back to the very beginning of the protein sparing modified fast section of the forum and began working my way through every single forum post on that original site that dealt specifically with PSMF diets. Now, a PSMF diet was originally created to treat obese individuals in a hospital setting. This was back during the 70s, around the time that Dr. Atkins was publishing his first low carb diet book. It involved medical scientists at Harvard Medical School and Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland. Their goal was to find a better way to treat obesity than the current method of fasting.

While fasting works for obvious reasons, it causes muscle depletion as well as potassium and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies, so it was necessary to find a more effective way to get the weight off as quickly as possible. The weight loss solution turned out to be an egg protein powder and glucose supplement that prevented muscle loss, offered only a few carbohydrates, and was low in calories. The only drawback to this weight loss method was the expense of a hospital stay. So it wasn’t very long before a PSMF diet turned into an outpatient program.

That outpatient program created an explosion among manufacturers who scrambled to create protein powders that dieters could use to lose weight successfully. Since the name of the game for Big Business is always “profits,” these original protein powders were made of the cheapest protein source there was: collagen. Collagen is not very useful to the body, so those who followed these initial protein powder diets actually put themselves into a protein deficiency similar to unsupervised fasting. As a result, many people died.  

This caused Dr. Michael R. Eades to design a protein drink for himself that was far more safe. This protein shake used the equivalent of a quart of milk in the form of nonfat dry milk powder, a quarter of a cup of protein powder (egg or soy protein was available by then), a teaspoon of granulated fructose and a teaspoon of No Salt potassium substitute. He divided the recipe into four servings and mixed the powder with water to create four protein shakes that he drank throughout the day. In addition, he ate a small low carbohydrate meal of lean meat and vegetables for dinner.

This is what Dr. Eades actually did to transcend his own weight problem. It was the first diet program he created. Called Thin so Fast, this protein sparing plan consisted of:
  • 100 grams of protein
  • 53 grams of fat
  • 40 grams of carbohydrate
  • 1,000 calories
He used this low fat, semi-liquid protein sparing modified fast himself to reach his goal weight. He did not use a high fat, high calorie, low carb diet.

Now, there is nothing magical about this shake formula. It was just the healthiest recipe Dr. Eades came up with at that time. Today, were he to do this diet program again, he has said that he would skip the non-fat milk powder and the fructose, and just use any of the protein powders available today. But that still makes his proposed weight loss diet a low fat, low calorie, low carb diet plan. Not what the low carb community is preaching today.

So after thoroughly investigating the possibilities at Lyle’s website, I first tried this liquid PSMF approach because it seemed like it would be the easiest way to go. My plan was to use it for five days, Monday through Friday, and then eat typical low carb meals on the weekends. I used a high-quality, tasty whey protein powder that I spiked with some Hershey’s cocoa power. I sweetened it with Splenda and used diet Dr. Pepper for the liquid. I used 2 tablespoons of heavy cream or 1/4 cup cottage cheese to thicken it up. Sometimes I added cinnamon for a little extra kick, and sometimes I omitted the cocoa and used one of the flavored Splenda-sweetened zero carb syrups available from Davinci.

While tasty and filling, I didn’t last even a week. By day four or five I was having to gag down the protein shakes. At that point in time, I was too addicted to food. So using protein shakes everyday for both breakfast and lunch was just too much. Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE protein shakes. And with my current dietary issues and restrictions, it might work very well today. I don’t know. I haven’t tried egg protein powders before, so I don’t know how they taste. Nor, do I know how complete of a protein a brown rice protein power would be. I haven’t investigated gluten free, dairy free protein powders yet. But I do remember that soy powders are awful.

After realizing that the easy way wasn’t going to work for me, I was finally ready to take a closer look at what Lyle McDonald recommended for people in my situation.

Part 6: Lyle McDonald's Rapid Fat Loss Diet -- Taking a Full Diet Break

April 06, 2012

My First Experience with a Low Fat Low Carb Diet

(This is part 4 of a multi-part series on How to Tweak a Low Carb Diet. It discusses my weight loss journey so far. If you didn’t read part 1, you can do so by clicking on the how-to link. Part 1 also includes links to the rest of the series.) 

I took a quick glance at the archives to see if I could discover exactly when I first started doing the Kimkins Diet back in 2007, but I kept it quiet due to the controversy surrounding that plan. I can remember communicating with Jimmy Moore several times back then, as he was doing the Kimkins Diet himself, but I couldn’t find anything I had actually posted to this blog. People were very emphatic back then that you had to eat a certain amount of dietary fat. You had to eat a ton of protein, and you had to get a certain amount of calories, or you were not doing low carb.

Because of these self-made dietary restrictions, these same individuals refused to call Kimkins a low carb diet. They insisted it was a glucose-burning diet, even though it limited you to 20 full carbohydrates per day. Their reasoning was if you were not using dietary fats for fuel, then the body was converting most of the protein you were eating into glucose, so you were not in ketosis. You were simply doing a very low calorie diet.

No one wanted to discuss the fact that the ketone strips were turning purple for those of us on Kimkins. No one wanted to discuss the possibility that the body was in ketosis because the diet caused you to use more stored body fat for fuel than a typical low carb diet did. Now, I am not advocating that you run out and join the Kimkins website, and I am not even suggesting that the Kimkins Diet (as written back then) is healthy because it was very low in calories.

In fact, when you compare what Kimmer was suggesting a dieter eat back then with the current HCG Diet plan, they are very similar except that most HCG diets severely limit the type of vegetables you can eat. Plus, the original HCG protocol designed by A.T.W. Simeons includes higher carb fruits, such as apples and oranges, and melba toast.

Some of the principles Kimmer was discussing and advocating somewhere around the middle of 2007 helped me to design my own low fat, low carb diet that worked for me.

When I started the Kimkins Diet, I still weighed more than 200 pounds on my large 5-foot frame. I’m guessing it was somewhere around 215 pounds or so, maybe a little more than that, because I weighed about 190 pounds when I first looked into Lyle McDonald’s Rapid Fat Loss Plan. That means I had lost about 40 pounds following a typical low carb diet before hitting a brick wall.

Kimmer’s Experiment was rough going mentally. It was the first time I had ever tried a zero carb diet. I ate chicken breast for breakfast and lunch, hard-boiled eggs with a little bit of mayonnaise and sugar substitute mixed into mustard for a snack, pork chops or a bunless burger with a couple of eggs fried in a non-stick pan for dinner. I also ate sugar-free jello later on in the evening.

By the end of the week, I was literally craving vegetables. It was the oddest thing I had ever experienced. Before that time, I didn’t think too much of salad and veggies; I saw them only as a necessary evil. Since I couldn’t eat the bread and potatoes I was used to, vegetables were the only way I could fill my plate on a low carb diet. But my experience with Kimmer’s Experiment changed the way that salad and vegetables tasted to me. For the first time in my life, they actually tasted good.

Now, the downside to the Kimkins Diet for me was that full-fat salad dressings were not allowed. Since the diet was a low fat diet, salad dressing sprays were encouraged, so that’s what I used on my salad. I didn’t like the sprays, but they were better than fat-free salad dressing varieties, so in real life, I ate very little salad. I ate mostly vegetables with plenty of salt and a dab of butter because they were easier to tolerate than dry salad.

Once I moved into the general Kimkins Diet, I started recording everything I ate at Fitday. That gave me a way to track my progress, keep on top of potential problems, and pay attention to the way individual foods affected my weight losses.

Basically, my diet consisted of very lean meats: chicken or turkey breast, tuna, very lean pork loin chops, extra-lean ground beef, and sometimes top sirloin steak. I ate eggs and vegetables. I also made protein shakes with one or two scoops of whey protein, diet soda for the liquid, a quarter of a cup of non-fat cottage cheese to make them creamy, and four to six ice cubes.

I ate a small amount of dietary fats, mostly mayonnaise in my tuna salad or a teaspoon of butter on top of my vegetables. The eggs were either hard-boiled or scrambled in a non-stick pan with about a half a cup of leftover vegetables from dinner the previous evening. I ate sugar-free gelatin, egg drop soup, and chicken and vegetable soup – but mostly, I kept my meals plain and simple. Chicken breast and steamed vegetables worked the best, so I ate that most often.

Although Kimmers’ Boot Camp Menu suggested you stick to only 500 calories per day and consume less than 30 grams of fat for accelerated weight loss, I ate between 800 and 900 calories per day and kept my fat grams to somewhere in the area of 45 to 60 grams.

The regular Kimkins Diet did not restrict calories. It did not restrict dietary fats. It did restrict total carbohydrates to 20 grams per day, or less, and insisted you eat a minimum of 90 grams of protein per day to prevent muscle loss. The dietary recommendation for fats was to eat only as much fat as necessary to make the diet work. The idea was that the fewer fats and calories you eat, the more fat storage the body would have to access to fuel your daily activities. So those are the guidelines I followed.

Now keep in mind that I am only five feet tall. I do have a large bone structure, but I personally need a diet that drastically cuts calories and dietary fats much lower than maintenance levels. For someone else, the figures might be different (you might need more calories or fats than I do) but for me the bottom line is that calories and fats must be dialed in to a level that will allow you to lose weight at an acceptable rate of loss.  
A typical low carb diet is too high in dietary fat and way too high in calories. 

In two months time, I lost 45 pounds eating this way. I regret that I stopped following that program. I regret that I listened to the low carb advocates who were running around using scare tactics against me and many others who were following this diet – because, for the first time in my life, my body was actually healing.

Today, I realize that healing came from not eating gluten, dairy or corn. But even with my new restrictions today, I have still found through trial and error that to lose any significant amount of weight, I am still going to have to drastically cut my dietary fats and calories to a lower level than a typical dieter would have to. But that’s just me.

Part of my problem is vertigo. That is why a weight loss diet needs to be tweaked and individualized to fit your lifestyle as well as any health problems and food sensitivities you have. I am extremely inactive due to the dizzy attacks that occur whenever the weather is bad or when I accidently get glutened, dairyed, or corned. I also have a balance problem, which limits the amount of activity I can do.

My calorie needs are, therefore, not as high as yours might be. For me, a maintenance level of calories is about 12 calories per pound of body weight. At my current weight of around 170 pounds, that works out to be about 2,000 calories. The average person can eat around 15 calories per pound for maintenance.

A small handful of low carb dieters did experience health issues around the time that Kimmer’s deception was discovered due to the way they chose to tweak the diet. They were following the Boot Camp program, which was way more restrictive than what I was doing, and listening to dietary suggestions that advised them to cut their calories even further.

Many of those individuals were only eating 300 calories per day, or less, because Kimmer told them to. I personally find that hard to believe. I would never lower my calories to such a drastic degree. That seems extremely unhealthy, and my common sense meter would be sounding the alarm.

What I do know is that FOR ME, eating 800 to 900 calories per day and limiting my dietary fats to below 60 grams per day did not affect my own health in any way. In fact, tests that were run on me shortly after I stopped dieting revealed me to be in excellent health. My arteries were so clean that the cardiologist was utterly amazed. My blood sugar control had normalized, so my current physician un-diagnosed me with pre-diabetes. And my organ function was so good, my physician couldn’t believe how healthy I was. In fact, she stood solidly behind both me and my diet.

And yet, the low carb community continued to work very hard to convince people like me that we were going to destroy our metabolisms for the rest of our life if we did not move back to a typical low carb diet immediately. Despite my physicians support of my diet, I was told that I was going to injure my health, and that I was risking my life if I didn’t return to the Atkins Diet.

For me, that has not proven to be true. In fact, when I first moved back to low carb, I gained about 20 pounds very quickly because it was so high in fat and calories. The low carb community insisted that my weight gain meant my metabolism was healing, but that didn’t turn out to be true either. Weight gain only meant I was eating more calories and fat than I needed to maintain my current weight – nothing more.

The same thing happens today every time I try to go on a typical low carb diet. If I stay within my maintenance level of calories, I can eat anything I want to – carbs included. But if I move back to a typical low carb diet that is high in fat and calories, I begin to gain weight very quickly.

What I learned from following the Kimkins Diet is that a low carb diet does not work for everyone. Sometimes, you have to tweak it in order to get it to work. For me, those tweaks involved lowering the level of dietary fat and calories. About the time I was thinking about returning to the Kimkins Diet, one of my readers told me about Lyle McDonald and what his perspective on nutrition and diet had done for her. So after briefly looking over what Lyle believed, I decided to leave the Kimkins Diet behind and began reading everything on the Body Recomposition website and forum.

Part 5: My First Protein-Sparing Modified Fast Experience - Dr. Eades' Thin So Fast