Notes on the low-carb trial #2
Saturday, January 09, 2016
This is my journal for 1/8/16
Back in July I did moderate-carb tryout, but I only lasted for 2 weeks. I did not lower my calorie intake much--instead I focused on changing the composition of my diet to under 200 carbs (nearly always under 150) to see if it would help lower my cravings for sugar. It did that. And it helped me with my big goal of eating more veggies. But it did not do anything else. My appetite was just as high, I'd just choose fat or protein more often. I did not lose water weight or any inches of fat in these two weeks (not surprisingly) but I was dismayed that I wanted more and more fat.
I realize it may have been too short of a trial. We went into escrow around then changing homes, and I was so stressed that I failed to adhere to any diet--I lost a bunch of weight from stopping eating, then gained it back with more when I started stress eating. Mess.
Anyway, the trend of regular treats continued through the holidays. Now I'm 8 days in to a low-carb plan, in which I planned to eat 100 g of carbs or less, and around 100 g fat and protein each. This would put me at around 1700-1800 cals per day.
It is Day 8 and I'm feeling fatter than ever. No water loss, as others often predict with a low-carb diet, although I am much more prone to dehydration. Not loving that. I guzzle water all day and pee constantly. No inches lost, not even 1/16.
My carb/sugar cravings are much better. I still want treats, but I can resist, and I do. The only sugar I've had is occasionally one square of Ghirardelli dark chocolate, and not every day.
But my appetite has been pretty high so far. I've gone over my cals (but not carbs) on two days--one was yesterday--and when I am falling asleep late at night I am tummy-grumbling hungry. But I haven't given in to eat. It seems pretty easy to deny because it happens so late and I never eat then. Each day I'm right under 1800 cals or just a little over. This should be a weight-maintenance intake for me, so I don't expect to lose much until I adjust to the diet and try to lower my caloric intake a bit.
But today I'm all done at 1357 cals. No more food needed. I don't know if it's because I overate yesterday or what.
Other notes on what I am doing: I am doing what they now call "intermittent fasting" in which I only eat between 11am and 7pm. It's how I normally eat (except when I'm eating too many treats, because then I eat all those at night). Yeech!
Yesterday I made the decision to lower the fat goal a bit, which meant raising protein slightly, so that I'm still aiming for below 100 g carbs, but I can eat up to 150g protein and commensurately lower the fat to around 70 g. This was how I ate today and it feels sooo much better.
When I eat truly high-fat, I crave massive levels of fat. When I eat high-carb, I crave sugar and more carbs WITH fat.
I may not be far enough into my trial yet to draw conclusions, but I know this feels better for me. As a nutrition student, I don't think protein higher than 35% is a good idea though, and although I'm restricting my carbs it should be noted that I'm NOT interested in inducing ketosis, as I think it's unnecessary in all but a few medically indicated cases, and can result in a deficit of several micronutrients. I think the magic number for carbs is probably 100 per day with an occasional day a bit higher (maybe 200) to keep insulin response normal. Whole food carbs are wonderful necessities in our diet, only in MUCH lower quantities than what we are used to.
Today I ate fully 500 calories less than yesterday with no effort except to change the fat/protein ratio. I'm going to keep this up for the next week to see what happens. Maybe I'll be ready to drop that calorie intake soon.
Analysis: It's looking like true nutritional balance (others would call it high-protein) is going to win out for me. I didn't expect that at all. Then again, 35% is a third of our calories, not legitimately "high" in spite of the AMDR.
35 % P
25 % C (or under 100 g)
40 % F