LUSCIOUS HEALTH: Here’s this week’s update of my weight loss journey…
My thanks also go to Mr Luscious who tells me he loves and adores me exactly as I am, but is most happy to hold my hand through it all and embrace any weight I can get to. He has said that he wants us to live a long and luscious life together, so is keen for us to be as healthy as possible, for as long as possible. And he’s also more than happy to add more lingerie to the collection. A keeper, no?
I’ve found it very helpful to have all your ideas and encouragement, and it’s a good reminder that I really do want to avoid extremist solutions if possible (which is what the endocrinologist is suggesting, grrr). I hope you will still continue to leave comments, even if I’m not always great about responding to them all.
Important: Remember that this is just me finding my way in the world, not offering medical advice. I am clearly not an expert on any of this! So if you find anything useful from my own experience, please ensure you get proper advice about it before taking it as gospel.
Health summary: So, what’s going on?
From what I can gather, I have a metabolic syndrome known as insulin resistance.
This means that I am pre-diabetic, but should be able to stop the current situation by teaching my body to burn fat rather than glucose.
In very simple terms, being insulin resistant means that my body is producing more insulin than it needs because it’s getting confusing signals about how much glucose I have in my body.
It’s a bit like filling up your car with petrol, but the gauge not working, so you end up with a whole lot more petrol than you can actually use, and things become quite messy.
To stop giving myself too much petrol, or more accurately, glucose, I need to stop eating foods which are the worst “glucose offenders” eg. carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes and rice, as well as the obvious sources such as white and brown sugar.
I’m now aiming for only 30-40g of carbohydrates a day – more details below and next week.
I need to increase my fats and proteins to ensure my body is getting enough of the right fuel to keep me functioning.
If I don’t, it would like being a petrol tanker full of stored fuel which gets stranded on its way to deliver it to a service station because its own fuel supply was insufficient. Or like refuelling a car than needs unleaded petrol but putting in leaded – it’s going to make the car sick.
Fuelling my body this amended way will enable my body to start converting energy from this food as well as the stored fat levels (which is what is making me overweight). But if I eat anything which converts to glucose, it will instantly jump back to using that instead, and this is not good.
So, I need to be strict for the next few months, or as long as it takes to re-educate my body to manage energy properly.
Hopefully, once I’m back to a decent weight, I can go back to including all the carbs I’ve known and loved, but just in smaller doses.
The information in the rest of this Wednesday Weight post looks at the things I’ve been doing this week, including links to some of the reading and the foods I’ve been consuming.
Clearly, this is a long, long process, so I hope you will be patient as I slowly figure it out.
In terms of the advice from the specialist I saw the other day, I’m throwing most of it out. I just can’t understand why drugs, surgery, and a lifetime of 800 calorie Optifast meals is the solution.
Perhaps part or all of it is, but I feel that I must exhaust all other possible options first.
I will, however, keep my next appointment in December with the specialist as I’ll be interested to hear the results of the body composition text and DEXA scan (which I’ll be undertaking in a couple of weeks), as well as hopefully having the chance to prove that my way is the best way.
The desire to prove her wrong may sound a bit petty, but it is motivating me, so maybe it’s not so bad after all?
Read on and let me know what you think…
Weight loss this week: 1kg/2.2lbs
Total weight lost (from my worst weight): 5.5kgs/12.1lbs*
- Current weight: 95kgs**
- My worst ever weight: 100.5kgs
- The best approximate weight for my height: 65kgs
- My ideal weight: 60kgs
*since my worst weight and starting on the 5:2 diet about a year ago
**as of Wednesday November 5, 2014
Possible reasons for this week’s weight loss:
So, I’ve lost a kilo, yey! It would be nice if it had been more, but at least it’s something. And hopefully because I’ve drunk enormous amounts of water, it’s just not “water weight”.
This is what I’ve been doing:
- going public with this Wednesday Weight blog post series – see Week 1 here
- doing lots more reading to improve my knowledge
- increasing my incidental exercise/being more mindful of the pedometer readings, and voluntarily doing more housework eg. reorganising the linen cupboard
- sleeping better for longer, uninterrupted periods (but no idea why)
- being more detailed with my daily food and exercise diary
- ensuring I have my vitamin and mineral supplements consistently (rather than just whenever I remember), and starting coconut oil capsules in between meals to help reduce hunger
- researching and slowly trying to apply low carb/low GI/low GL recipes (more of this next week) in a bid to get my body burning stored fat rather than glucose
- still counting calories on my 5:2 fast diet days because it’s a good way of ensuring I learn about what’s in the food and don’t accidentally overeat
- trying to reduce my meal portion size (this has been easier than I thought because of all the water I’m drinking)
- upping my daily water intake from around 1-2 litres per day to 2-4 litres per day.
I feel as if I’ve already been doing most of the right things in terms of diet and exercise, hence my frustration for the last few years. But it’s good to see that a few small changes have already made a difference.
Reading to improve my medical knowledge:
In the last week, I’ve been doing more reading in general, trying to get an informed view of everything.
I’m still feeling a bit ick about the specialist’s suggestion to consuming Optifast pre-made meal replacement food for the rest of my life (surely it should be able making food from scratch and understanding nutrition??). I’m 99% sure I won’t be going down this path!
The more I read, the more I understand my issues with too much leptin and glucose/insulin resistance, and I need to dramatically reduce all carbs until I can get my weight under control.
Here are some tips for identifying and dealing with leptin resistance.
This article suggests that someone with insulin resistance should stick to foods with a glycemic index value of up to 40 because they don’t raise blood sugar quickly. This makes sense considering everything I’m learning about low GI/low GL foods and how someone with insulin resistance needs to do everything they can to stop it from turning into diabetes.
The downside is that it all sounds a bit hellish to live with – I think I’ll struggle finding combinations of food which don’t bore me – but I keep telling myself that I’ll enjoy buying new clothes with each 10kgs that come off.
So, for now, the plan is to try to fill myself up with as many low GI/GL foods (with the occasional sprinkling of medium-high GI/GL foods to stop possible boredom), drink lots of water, and take my supplements.
The trick to having foods with a higher glycemic index value is to combine them with other foods which don’t, eg. a protein, which helps bring the total value, eg. wholegrain toast with a couple of slices of avocado.
However, I’m going to keep even wholegrain toast to a minimum too, because I want to stick to only 30-40g of carbohydrates for now. Carbs = glucose, and this is not the right fuel for me at the moment.
My food and activity diary:
I’ve made a spreadsheet for my food and activity diary because, well, I’m obsessed with spreadsheets and work on my laptop all day anyway so it’s handy.
I record everything from when I wake up, times, durations, how I’m feeling, what I ate, which supplements I took, and on 5:2 Fast Days I also include the calorie total to see if I’m on track. I’ve done this for years now, so it’s good for tracking patterns.
For example, I’ve noticed that on the days when I reduced my carbs (especially anything related to wheat), my hayfever has improved and I didn’t need to take an antihistamine. Also, my sleep has been better this week – is it because my water intake has increased? Or something else? I shall keep recording to see if it becomes clearer.
I used to think I was very good about water consumption, but maybe I was wrong. Having to keep track of this (something I only did in my head before) has made me try harder.
Over the last week, I’ve averaged 2.98 litres of water per day for the last 7 days, so let’s say that’s 3 litres. It’s been hard but I’ve hoped that it would help keep me full and also that any weight lost would be real fat rather than just “water weight”. But who knows for sure.
The Mayo Clinic looks at the question of Water: How much should you drink every day?
Chugging down a 600ml bottle of tap water (refilled each night and kept next to my bed) first thing in the morning has helped get me started. It’s not fun and I don’t know if this is necessarily the right way to consumer water, but it seems to be working.
As well as the tap water, I drink lots of plain mineral water all day, mostly in 375 ml glasses and mostly with meals. Although I’ve also heard you are supposed to keep drinks separate to meals because it does something to digestion, I just can’t manage eating a meal without some water on hand.
In the afternoon, I also try to scull another 600ml bottle, especially in the hour before dinner in the hope that it will make me feel fuller.
Surprisingly – for someone who usually has to get up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night – I’ve had three nights in a row of not needing to get up. This feels like a miracle.
Here are a couple of opinions about how increased water consumption indirectly helps you lower blood glucose levels and consequently lose weight.
Quick water conversion list:
- 4 fluid ounces = 120ml
- 6 fluid ounces = 180ml
- 8 fluid ounces = 240ml or a small glass of water
- 10 fluid ounces = 300ml or a medium glass of water
- 12.5 fluid ounces = 370ml or a large glass of water (which is what I normally use)
- 16 fluid ounces = 500ml or half a litre
- 33.5 fluid ounces = 1000ml or 1 litre of water
- 67.5 fluid ounces = 2000ml or 2 litres of water
- 100 fluid ounces = 3000ml or 3 litres of water
- 135 fluid ounces = 4000ml or 4 litres of water
Challenges and concerns
The specialist said that I have to conquer two issues:
- satiety (feeling full)
- energy (expend more than I consume).
Like most of us, I already knew that I needed to expend more than I consume, but now I realise that it’s more complicated than that, especially when it’s a case of metabolic syndrome. Read on to see some examples of what I’ve been doing about it.
I’ve always had an issue of “holding back” when it comes to food at social events, as I find it difficult to say no to food others have lovingly prepared. Likewise, when I’m in a cafe or restaurant, surrounded by lovely options in the way of enticing smells from the kitchen and delicious looking meals being served to fellow guests.
The first solution is to avoid as many social situations as possible, which is rather dull and has the potential to cause offence. Mr Luscious and I either host or attend a lot of events, so I have already spent the last few years trying to politely decline as many invitations as possible. For social creatures like us, this is hard.
For the times when there is no choice but to go to a social event, I’ve tried to stick to one item (eg. one glass of wine or a coffee) and fill up on water (eg. ordering a 750ml bottle of mineral water), and choose the healthiest looking food item to eat (if anything). Clearly this isn’t an earth shattering revelation, but it is still hard to pull off in practice.
I remind myself that French Women Don’t Get Fat because they only have a tiny bit of everything on offer, so here’s a post about a breakfast solution, French-style, which is supposed to help curb cravings and reduce your need to overeat.
Confusion: Pedometer step calculations
Another thing which has been a challenge is my pedometer. I’ve been trying to place it in different positions around my body but I still don’t think it is recording properly. For example, I played an hour’s worth of tennis this week (officially over 12,000 steps) but the day’s reading for everything was only about 4000 steps.
I think I need to do a test by walking up and down the street, counting my steps manually, and then work out how to make an adjustment to the pedometer. Here are some tips if you’re experiencing a similar problem.
For now, I’m keeping it clipped to my underpants and this seems to be providing a higher reading. But I guess it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s consistent and it gives me an average rate to improve upon.
In terms of exercise, this week I’ve been:
- trying to increase my incremental exercise (eg. housework)
- doing my normal weekly tennis lesson (1 hour) and tennis competition (2-3 hours)
- having sex (yey!)
- doing 10-60 minutes on the treadmill every second day, mostly walking with 0.5kg hand weights at a normal-to-brisk pace, with occasional 1 minutes of running.
These are all normal weekly events for me, but I have also had an additional game of tennis with Mr Luscious, as well as increasing my incremental exercise through housework and gardening, and trying to walk for a bit longer on the treadmill.
BTW, YouTube is my friend. I’ve found it easy to store up a few videos to watch whilst on the treadmill, eg. comedy clips, lectures about weight loss, exercise workouts, or just regular people sharing their low glycemic or ketogenic diets.
Challenge: An acidic bladder needs an alkaline solution
One thing I wasn’t expecting was cramping in my bladder, but apparently this is a sign that you’re in ketosis and you’ve got too much acid in your system. (Ketosis is a good thing – it means your body is swapping its fuel source from glucose to fat, which is what I want)
I’ve been drinking lots of water helps to flush things out, but I’ve also been trying to drink lemon juice (yes, I was sure it was acidic but it’s not!) and bicarb soda in a glass of water.
It kicked in around Day 4 and is still with me today (Day 8) but is easing off. I’m not sure what to do except keep including more alkaline items into my diet, and the bicarb/lemon water combo. If you have any tips, do let me know.
I may not be the fittest person in the world, but I do play tennis and walk on the treadmill regularly, so getting tired after an hour’s walk is unusual.
But this is what happened on Day 4-7.
Naturally, I’ve taken this as a good sign, that my body has found a way to stop using glucose for energy and is now digging into my fat reserves and is burning this instead, ie. ketosis.
Apparently this “handover” between energy sources is quite normal and as long as I don’t go back to having a slice of white toast with a cup of tea (appealing!) or consume any other blood-glucose-sparking food, my body will get used to the set-up.
Quite frankly, I’m shocked and thrilled that ketosis kicked in so quickly. Let’s just hope I can sustain it.
Traditionally, I’ve been very lucky with my skin (I started a skincare routine when I was nine, thanks to my older sister), and had the usual trouble in my teenage years.
Unfortunately, about 4 months ago, I tried a weight loss drug Duromine for 3 weeks but it caused terrible headaches, dizziness and acne. The acne became so bad I didn’t want to leave the house, no matter how cleverly I applied concealer.
Whilst I stopped taking the drug, the acne problem has continued, and I had another bad dose of it last week, which is only just repairing itself now.
Here are things I’ve tried:
- drinking water, see previous comments, to help flush everything out
- a mud mask, followed by lots of moisturiser
- Medik8 betaGel acne treatment and redness corrector (great!)
- 10 mins steaming my face over a bowl of hot water, with added aromatherapy oils, followed by lots of moisturiser
- exfoliation every 2 days, again, followed by lots of moisturiser
- washing the pillowcase protector, changing my pillowcases and putting my pillows out in the sunshine.
Please let me know if you have any other suggestions in case it happens again.
Things which are helping me:
- Chugging down a 600ml bottle of water as soon as I wake up helps with me reaching my 3 litre water target each day.
- Reading other people’s weight loss stories helps with motivation.
- Continuing our Monday and Thursday 5:2 “fast” days (with Mr Luscious) which comprise 500 calories for me, and 600 for Mr Luscious.
- Being conscious of how many carbs are in food I hadn’t thought about, eg. one apple has 21 grams, see more below.
- Trying to eat from a smaller plate.
- Finding things on YouTube to keep me getting onto the treadmill.
- Tracking down more tips to trick my body into feeling full, such as here, here and here.
- Obsessively checking the pedometer and thinking “oh dear, I have to move more!”
- Googling topics such as “how to lose weight” and “stop overeating” before eating something.
- Keeping my walking/running shoes where I have to fall over them.
- Sharing it all on Luscious, obviously, and getting encouragement from Luscious Lifers.
Activities I’ve been trying to do to increase incidental exercise
- Voluntarily doing more housework (rather than waiting until we have guests coming which usually spurs me on!)
- Going up and down the stairs more times to fetch things (rather than taking items all in one go)
- Cleaning out the wardrobe
- Reorganising the linen cupboard
- Parking the car a little further away from my destinations
- Trying to clear up the garage (a work in progress)
- Weeding, pruning
- Walking around the garden more when I throw the ball for Mabel.
Things still on my list to try:
- Giving the fridge a thorough clean instead of quick clean-and-tidy (see below)
- Handwashing the car (rather than going to the carwash)
- Dusting all the internal shutters
- Taking Mabel out for more regular walks (rather than occasional walks and daily games at home)
- Sorting out all the Christmas decorations so we’re ready to assemble this year’s gold and red theme
- Reorganising our Martha Stewart Room (our craft and tool room).
I’m also going to spend more time researching meditation and mindfulness.
A note about fridges: Here are some tips for food storage in your fridge to maximise effectiveness.
Apparently the average US consumer wastes 61 percent of the food he or she purchases – yikes!
I didn’t know that milk shouldn’t be stored in the fridge door, but don’t feel it’s right to leave it on its side on a shelf either, as we seem to have bad luck with leaks.
I like this tip too:
Herbs can be notoriously tricky to keep from wilting, but if you keep them in an airtight container wrapped in a moistened paper towel, they’ll maintain their freshness for up to 10 days in your fridge.
The life of leafy greens can also be extended by as much as three extra days if you don’t wash them before putting them in your fridge.
When an apple a day isn’t always a good thing (ie. when you’re trying to reduce carbs)…
So, I’ve been reading about insulin resistance and the suggestion that you should try to stick to 30g of carbs a day to get it under control.
But based on these examples (full list here), if an apple – which I’d originally thought was always a “good thing” and carb free – actually contains 21g of carbs per apple. Which means that you’ve had the majority of your carbs for the day right then and there. Who knew?!
BTW, I’m not saying I need to give up apples (although eating too much isn’t good for my fructose intolerance anyway) but it does make me realise that I may be overdoing things without knowing it.
The American Diabetes Association also has some good information here, suggesting diabetics should try to stick to “45-60 grams of carbohydrates” but to adjust it up or down according to how you react.
Here are some examples of items I’d typically consume and their carb and calorie content:
Note: These are estimates I’ve taken from this list, so may not be completely accurate. Keep in mind that I’m looking to keep my carb level below 40g a day, ideally just 30g and under.
|Almonds, sliced, 1 cup||19.9||529|
|Anchovies, 5 fillets||0||42|
|Apple, one medium, raw||21.1||81|
|Asparagus, 4 spears, raw||2.1||13|
|Avocado, one medium, raw||12||324|
|Bacon, 1 slice, cooked||0.1||58|
|Banana, one large, raw||31||121|
|Beans, green, 1/2 cup||4.9||22|
|Beans, kidney, 1/2 cup||19||104|
|Beans, white, 1/2 cup||19||110|
|Bread, rough estimate for 1 generic slice||13||60-80|
|Broccoli, 1/2 cup||2.3||12|
|Butter, 1 tsp||0||33|
|Butter, 1 tbs||0||100|
|Carrot, 1 medium, raw||6||25|
|Cauliflower, 1 floret||1||3|
|Celery, 1 large stalk||2||9|
|Cheese, tasty, cheddar, 28g (matchbox size)||0.4||114|
|Cheese, cream, 28g||0.8||99|
|Cheese, Parmesan, 1 tbs, grated||0.2||23|
|Corn, 1/2 cup||14.6||66|
|Corn flour, 1/4 cup||22||110|
|Cream, pouring, 1 cup||6.6||821|
|Cucumber, 1 medium-large||8.8||39|
|Egg, 1 medium||1||70|
|Horseradish, 1 tsp||0||5|
|Honey, 1 tbs||16||60|
|Ketchup/Tomato sauce, 1 tsp||4||15|
|Lettuce, 1 inner leaf, Romaine or Cos||0.2||2|
|Lentils, 1/2 cup||19.9||115|
|Lemon juice, 1 tbs||1.3||4|
|Maple syrup, 1 tbs||13||50|
|Mayonnaise, regular, 1 tbs||0||100|
|Milk, whole, 1 cup||11.4||157|
|Mushrooms, 1/2 cup||1.5||15|
|Mustard, Dijon, 1 tbs||1||18|
|Olive oil, 1 tsp||0||40|
|Olive oil, 1 tbs||0||120|
|Olives, Kalamata, 4 pitted||2||45|
|Onion, 1/2 cup, chopped, raw||7||30|
|Peanut butter, crunchy, 2 tbs||7||188|
|Pear, 1 medium-large||25.1||98|
|Peas, green, 1/2 cup||10||67|
|Pine nuts, 1 tbs||4||146|
|Potato, 1 medium, baked with skin on||29.3||128|
|Radish, 1 medium||1||1|
|Raspberries, 1/2 cup, fresh||7.1||31|
|Rice, brown, long grain, 1 cup, raw||142.9||684|
|Sour cream, 2 tbs||2||61|
|Soy sauce, 1 tbs||1||11|
|Strawberries, 1/2 cup, fresh||5.2||23|
|Sugar, white, 1 tsp||4||15|
|Sugar, white, 1 tbs||11.9||46|
|Sushi roll, tuna (approx 6 pieces)||26||290|
|Tomato, 1 medium, raw||6||26|
|Tomato, 1 cherry, raw||1||4|
|Tomato, 1/2 cup, crushed, raw||0||25|
|Tomato paste, 2 tbs||6||25|
|Walnuts, 14 halves||5.2||142|
|Wine, red, 1 glass||1.7||91|
|Wine, white, 1 glass||1.7||86|
|Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp||1||5|
|Yoghurt, regular, 1 cup||10.6||139|
|Zucchini, 1 medium||6.7||31|
Examples of breakfasts I’ve been eating
Note: These are things I normally eat anyway, but now I’m trying to reduce the portion sizes and focus on mostly protein with a small carb component.
- Half a slice of wholegrain toast, 50g smoked salmon, 1 tbs of cream cheese, a sprinkling of capers and lemon juice
- Half an avocado, 2 slices of bacon, lemon juice
- 1 boiled egg, 1 medium tomato
- Half an apple, 2tbs plain yoghurt, sometimes with a sprinkling of mixed, crushed nuts and seeds
- 5-6 pieces of asparagus, 1 boiled egg, 1 tsp Hollandaise sauce
- 2-egg omelette made with random diced vegetables in the fridge, tasty cheese, cream and herbs/spices
- 1 small serving of rolled oats (cooked as porridge) with some grated apple and cinnamon.
I also usually have a cup of tea or coffee with milk in a tea cup, and a 375ml glass of plain mineral water.
Sometimes I’ll make a vegetable-based juice (ie. mostly vegetables but with a portion of fruit to add some sweetness) but I find that being a juice it doesn’t fill me up and I’ll be hungry again soon.
I know it’s because it’s better to eat the full vegetable (or fruit) and benefit from the fibre, which is why soup is better, and I will occasionally have a mug of soup (see below) in the morning.
My collection of supplements includes Vitamin D, Milk Thistle, Zinc, Selenium, Magnesium, Chromium, Ginseng and Lactobacillus acidophilus. There are other ones too (eg. Folic acid, Vitamin B), which I throw in occasionally, but these are the ones I take the most.
I realise that if I’m eating a completely health diet and getting enough sunshine, that I shouldn’t need any supplements at all.
But I figure that these things are helping me along the way, especially whilst I’m trying to make major changes and these ones are all supposed to be good for insulin resistance and weight loss.
Examples of lunches I’ve been eating
A small tin of tuna in olive oil (drained), a small piece of chicken or a small handful of ham with a home made salad, sometimes with a sprinkling of cheese (tasty, goat’s cheese or fetta).
I’ll make up some dressing using olive oil, French mustard, lemon juice, a dash of apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
Salade Nicoise is my most common choice as I love tuna, olives and fetta, and having a big bowl filled with lettuce seems to fool me into thinking I’m eating an enormous amount of food.
2 mugs of homemade vegetable soup: This is simply using the vegetables I have in the fridge or tinned lentils or beans in the pantry (rinsed), which are then boiled in chicken stock and pureed into a thin broth-style with some herbs and spices, which means more liquid to help fill me up.
I try to consume the soup on the day I make it, or hold over a bit to use as a snack the next day.
Note: I made a carrot and cumin soup this week which was very dull and I found myself adding lots of salt to make it palatable. Next time, I’ll roast the carrots first to bring out the sweetness, and then puree them.
Sometimes I make up the soup when I’m sorting breakfast and doing household chores. This enables the vegetables to boil and then simmer away nicely for about half an hour, so all I have to do when I’m ready is the blending, either using the handheld blender or into the KitchenAid food processor.
Examples of snacks I’ve been eating
More plain tap and mineral water, all day, as well as:
- 1 cup of tea (tea cup size) with milk, with 1 handful of strawberries, raspberries or grapes
- 1 cup of tea (tea cup size) with milk, with 1 tiny dried apricot cube or cube of chocolate
- 1 handful of carrot or cucumber sticks and 1tbs hummus or tzaki (cucumber) dip
- handful of celery sticks and a smear of peanut butter
- 1 tea cup comprising 4 cubes of cheese, 4 cubes of apple or pear, and a tiny piece of fig paste, and sometimes a couple of pieces of walnut
- 1 mug of homemade vegetable soup (see lunch)
- 1 mug of miso soup with a gluten-free Cruskit with a sliver of butter.
Examples of dinners I’ve been eating
100g chicken or 120g fish with one of the following:
- 2 handfuls of steamed, grilled, roasted or boiled vegetables, often with a sprinkling of lemon zest or lemon juice, and/or herbs and spices.
- 2 large handfuls of gluten-free noodles with a dash of some sort of sauce or condiment eg. soy sauce, lemon juice, sour cream.
Once or twice a week, I’ll have some lamb, pork, veal or beef, about 100g per serve, although will eat more for our Sunday “roast night” which is a Chez Luscious tradition, including roast potatoes and gravy.
One night, for example, I roasted a collection of low GI/Gl vegetables (such as zucchini) in what I call a “Tuscan style”, chopped up into a variety of messy sizes, with a bunch of cherry tomatoes on the vine. Separately, I wrapped some barramundi into some foil with fresh herbs from the garden and lemon slices. Yum.
Here is a useful list of ketogenic-friendly foods, including their calorie, carb, fat and protein stats. But note that ketogenic thinking is to be low carb and high fat. I’m trying to be no/very low carb with moderate fat because I do want to keep my calories low, at least until I can get my weight to a happy level.
I also like a trick called “cauliflower rice” which makes me feel like I’m having proper rice.
You simply throw a large amount of cauliflower into the food processor until it’s finely coarse, then put it in the oven on an oven tray with a quick spray of olive oil and a handful of spices to dry out a bit (maybe 15 minutes on a medium heat – sorry, I’ll have to check this).
I’m impressed with the result every time, and it’s amazing how it fills you up, despite being one of the lowest GI/GL foods.
I also have water with every meal (although reports differ on whether you should avoid it during the actual meal, but I’m going with this answer) and sometimes a glass of wine (again, reports differ on whether this is good for you or not – I’m going with the “heart health” argument).
And I find that having an occasional glass of wine helps to make things normal rather than feeling deprived or “punished”.
Equipment I’ve been using:
- Pedometer – this one was recommended by my endocrinologist
- Digital kitchen scales – we got ours cheaply from the local supermarket but here is a suggestion
- Workout shoes – I’ve had this pair for years after figuring that if I was going to exercise, I’d better have the right multi-purpose type of shoes, so went to a “sports shoe” shop where they do a test and make a recommendation
- Home treadmill purchased years ago via on online auction site so it was relatively cheap – here’s a cheap one online
- A desk for the treadmill made for next-t0-nothing by Mr Luscious – a plank of wood fitted across the handlebars of the treadmill, with a couple of supports underneath to keep it securely in place, but here is a suggestion if you want to buy your own treadmill desk
- YouTube videos to watch on my laptop (set on the treadmill desk) whilst walking on the treadmill
- Tennis racquet – as I’m fairly new to tennis (other than playing as a kid), I’ve gone with a cheap racquet from a local sports shop – some shopping suggestions here
- Prescription sunglasses and sunscreen – obvious, but crucial when walking outdoors and playing tennis
- 600ml bottle of water which I just refill from the tap, and 2 litre plain no-brand mineral water from the supermarket.
But it’s not all about calories and carb restriction…
We had the Melbourne Cup long weekend (4 days, Sat-Tues).
Which started out well until I had fish and chips on the Friday night. But having been on low calories all week, it was like the most delicious meal I’d ever eaten. So I sucked up my guilt and enjoyed myself.
In addition, we had our traditional Sunday “roast night” as well as guests for an Italian dinner on the Tuesday night. Fortunately, I was able to keep the carbs to a mostly-good level, all things considered.
And, a lovely Italian neighbour popped in with freshly made white bread. How can you say no to such loveliness? I had a slice and made Mr Luscious eat the rest. It was divine.
Here’s hoping it confused my metabolism in a good way, especially since I was low calorie, low carb and low GI/GL for most of the time.
Slow roasted lamb and creamy polenta – yum!
So, I’ve already started drafting notes for Week 3’s post, which includes a further look at a low glycemic index (low GI and low GL foods), as well as a look into exercising whilst trying to lower carbs (ie. trying to get my body to use fat for fuel instead of glucose).
I hope you’ll pop back again to see what my progress looks like.
For some pictorial inspiration, you might also like:
Now, it’s your turn.
Let me know what has worked for you, and whether anything I’ve talked about here is incorrect so I can fix it. Be assured that your email address (required to leave a comment, below) will not be made public but is required to reduce the chance of spammers.
Do you have any low carb/low GI/low GL/insulin resistant recipes to suggest? Or websites you’ve found helpful?