Sunday, April 04, 2010

It Could Be Bunnies...or Maybe Midgets







I have avoided talking about weighty issues in this blog because:

A) It's boring to most other people
B) It's an extremely private matter
C) Talking about it calls attention to a problem...MY problem

Today though, I'm going to break my rule of not talking about it to discuss a theory I'm developing and testing.

So...

I started the Atkins induction period last week.

As some of you may know, this means that I have cut back carb intake to a mere 20 grams or less of carbohydrate a day.

Think that's easy? Let's consider that one ounce (a slice) of reduced calorie bread typically has more than 12g. A Gingerale1? 40g.

As you can well imagine, my carb allowance gets doled out carefully and with much consideration. It's supposed to go to vegetables. But, since I don't tolerate most vegetables very well, it's going mostly to almonds and, I must confess, a little sugar free vanilla coffee crack.

By the way? During induction - NO ALCOHOL.

Yeah, OK. So anyway. The theory behind Atkins is that the body burns carbs as fuel first. If carbs aren't burned right away, they get stored in the liver as glycogen and so, if no carbs are forthcoming, the body uses its store of glycogen. If the glycogen store is depleted, only then will the body burn fat2. So! If I'm not taking in any carbs and I've depleted my store of glycogen, I am burning fat as my main source of fuel practically all the time. Yay me!

But! That's not the only thing about Atkins. Carbs spike insulin production and raise blood glucose levels. When the glucose levels begin to decline then, the body thinks it needs more and signals the brain that the body is hungry...for more carbs. Hence, overeating, weight gain, hunger, energy highs and crashes, mood swings.

Now, I can tell you for certain that, in the last week, I've not been hungry. AT ALL. And I've certainly not been overeating or snacking between meals.

Additionally, those who know me, know that by about noon I'm nearly always clamoring for a nap3. Not so this week. My energy level has remained consistent all but one day - Thursday - the day I experienced the documented "carb crash".

Along these same lines, I've always been a 6-7 hour a night sleepy girl. I rarely ever sleep more than that...until this week. I've been getting a full 8 hours of sleep every night. And mostly sleeping well (except Wednesday night when the onset of carb crash descended).

My moods have been relatively stable. Granted, there has been crankiness. Much of that crankiness centered around the fact that Friday and/or Saturday night would not include anything resembling wine. *shaking fist at universe* Other than that, I'm great. I feel good. Energetic. Happily on an even keel.

So...here, finally, is my theory. Next week should be the onset of major PMS symptoms including major mood swings. My theory is that, because of the low carb diet, the mood swings will not come or, if they do, will be minor.

And wouldn't that be beyond awesome? To find a diet that:

A) Allows me to eat all the cheese I want and
B) Gets rid of PMS mood swings

Not to mention the bacon, well...I'm livin' the dream, folks. Livin' the dream.

This low-carb lifestyle is a major shift in thinking. No longer is an 8-oz steak a bad thing4. The typical diet staples - yogurt, fruit, oatmeal - are out and cheese, bacon, beef, pork rinds5, eggs, eggs, and even more eggs are totally in.

Weird.

I'll let you know.

For now, I'm off to fix a cheese and jalapeno omelet with a side of bacon.



1: Main ingredient in a Pinger, mind you.

2: This is why literally every diet and fitness guru on the planet will tell you, in order to burn fat during exercise, you must exercise at least 20 minutes a day. It takes that long to deplete the glycogen stores to get to the good stuff.

3: "People let me tell you 'bout my new best friend. Barnaby Jones. Barnaby Jones...NAP!" - Killface

4: I made steak last night, in fact. Marinated in olive oil, soy sauce, and spices including real live Hungarian paprika - thank you, Lovely. But I couldn't eat the whole 8 ounces. The best I could do was 4 ounces. Lex ate the rest.

5: Pork rinds. WTF?!

1 comment:

PATTY LEIDYS ZERO HOUR said...

should it be stressed at all that Atkins is not so great for anyone with heart,artery issues?
Is that true?

umm no more oatmeal? :(
how bout a bacon sandwich ..a hunk of bacon between two slabs of cheese? hee hee.YUM!