Thursday, January 19, 2012

Low Carb Convert!

Okay, it's almost exactly been 5 years now since I found out I was diabetic. I was severely overweight (210 pounds) and technically obese, lazy, drank too much Pepsi, smoked, etc.

Then one day I thought I was having a heart attack and went to the hospital. Wasn't a heart attack, probably more a panic attack brought on by the fact that a co-worker had had a heart attack a week before and I knew I had the exact same lifestyle as he did (at least in terms of diet).

But they did discover the diabetes, as well as the high cholesterol, hypertension...

So I cut out all sugar, went off white wheat, and started walking 15 minutes a day. In 5 years I lost 40 pounds. Actually, I lost the 40 pounds in 6 months, but kept it off for 4 and a half more years. It still bugged me that I couldn't get that "last 10 pounds" off the spare tire, no matter how healthy I tried to eat: Whole wheat pasta, whole wheat buns covered in seeds, margarine, no bacon, etc.

Another coworker went low carb high fat some time ago and lost a ton of weight, so I thought I'd try that. So just before Christmas (2011) I took the leap. Christmas was a tough time, and I did slip a couple of times, but in the month or two since I've started this, I'm already down a belt notch, and I feel fantastic.

Eggs every morning, usually with bacon (I usually prepare the bacon ahead of time, but sometimes I run out). Meat, fat, more fat, more meat, broccoli, leafy greens, same old story. And by old I mean paleolithic. Some call it the "Paleo diet", but it's basically just feeding the body what it knows how to process to keep you healthy.

There's been a lot of research showing how nasty carbohydrates are, and even entire countries now are going LCHF ("low carb high fat") such as Sweden and Norway.

The thing is, I think carbs on their own aren't the problem, or at least not the originator of the problem. We know fructose is a poison, and there's evidence that both fructose and wheat gluten destroy some of the beneficial bacteria in the gut. So my theory is that over-consumption of fructose and wheat gluten are what weakens your system to the point where you become susceptible to other conditions (diabetes, cancer, Alzheimers, hypertension, etc.). At that point, all carbs become toxic to you and it's too late...damage done.

So now I avoid carbs whenever possible, my blood pressure is perfect too even though I've stopped taking my high blood pressure meds. How about that?

Anyway, just sharing my personal story. Not that anybody gives a poop, but if someone else is wondering about the LCHF lifestyle, hopefully this will help you.

Oh, and if you're doing exercise on LCHF, take more sodium! Dr. Michael Eades set me on to this and he's right (http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/). And if you're doing a strength regimen, do the "slow release" method...lift your weights, then slowly count to 10 as you lower them. Holy. Crap. Your muscle will build in no time, and you'll make much better use of the protein in your diet.