Seeing the light

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    • #2614

      After a chat with Gillian, I realised this was the way I had ‘understood’ the principles taught int he course

      1. Health not weight motivation : I had considered and recognised health benefits BUT considered them an added extra to weight loss, instead of a substitution

      2. Free choice: i struggled as with free choice I ate everything. In my head I had retained a belief that free choice meant i gave myself permission to break my diet compliance to whatever degree. I never had free choice and chose not to eat. Now I am having free choice. I am having large portions of protein which have taken away my cravings and have made free choice much more true for me. I can have things but when sated with protein (rather than hungry from a reduced volume of usual carbs diet) and I can choose not to eat, a ‘something else’

      3. Addictive desire. to date I have managed this in a couple of unsuccessful ways. First I’ve thought addictive desire and submitted to it as if I am helpless to overcome it.
      Second, eating wise, I have been trying all my life to lose weight and control addictive desire by reducing and controlling my calorie intake of all the carbs things I like, instead of, I THINK, recognising how to prevent it or certainly diminish its power. I believe this comes from reducing sugars and keeping insulin levels steady without peaks and troughs.

      So far so good.I have some work to do to find and create new eating options and find the things from this new pool that I prefer and will habitulise.

      Beginning of May I am going on a hill walk with friends. Ben Nevis in Scotland. Very high. Higher than I’ve ever been outside of an aeroplane. I feel, without the carbs, a little weak. I know I will need more energy (calories) to walk uphill for 4 hours (and down for 2-3) and my knee jerk reaction is to take packets of oatcakes, chocolate, sandwiches etc.

      Will additional calories as protein and veg ‘work’?
      Do I NEED some carbs? Should slow release ones be enough?

      I am bit scared that a day of sugar and carbs will set me back on that track. I know this is worrying about compliance and diet mode. I did a bit of imperfection last night with a bowl of shredded wheat. Maybe it will be a day I accept will be wildly imperfect but as a means to an end?

      Hopefully Gillian will be along at some point and will cut straight to the main issue and offer more realistic and sensible advice. Or perhaps this is now so long, elements could be discussed with a wider group at the next Q and A session if others have similar ‘putting it into practice in MY life’ type of questions.

      Happy easter all.

    • #2618

      Caroline, a couple of things here. First, you say you can prevent or diminish addictive desire by reducing sugars and keeping insulin levels steady without peaks and troughs. That’s only part of the story and will only take you so far. Remember (for example) you had a desire for ice cream when your family were all eating some? I’m not saying eat or don’t eat ice cream, but that wasn’t due to insulin levels!

      As for the walk, you have a couple of weeks to go and are no doubt doing some walking now to prepare. So maybe take this opportunity to experiment with different foods? There’s a lot of evidence now that athletes improve their performance on low-carb-high-fat but they would be good at fat-burning instead of glucose-burning for fuel. Your sustained energy up and down that mountain will depend on your own metabolic flexibility; your body’s ability to burn fat for energy as well as glucose.

      This site – – may be worth a look as it has both nutrient density rating and insulin index. My take on it is that nutrient density would be just as important for your climb than insulin release, and maybe more so.

      I hope this is helpful!

    • #2627

      Hi Gillian
      Yes it is helpful, thank you. You always increase the accuracy of what has been said. I know I will still have the addictive desire at times. When I’ve had it in the past I’ve always been a bit hungry and restricting or trying to restrict, never felt sated. This week I’ve felt very full and not had desire for sugar junk, partly because I’m not hungry. I know at times I will still fancy things, but then I’ll be a bit imperfect…?

      Tonight, I am so satisfied. Normally I’d be nibbling, eeking out biscuits, trying to stay out of kitchen, trying and failing to moderate. Tonight we went to Nando’s. I had Mediterranean salad with chicken Breast ( feta, olives, Sundried toms). It was oily, and usually I would hate this. Tonight I ate it all and remain full. I looked at the desserts and thought they didn’t look particularly tempting anyway.

      I know I havent got it sussed in a week but I feel I’ve made a new move, adopted a strategy that I’ve never committed to before, having being focussed on calorie count and prioritising treats within a low cal diet.

      I did have a Diet Coke in The sun.

      I’m also unsure if this ( your) way of eating is low carb or ketone is, or if these are both the same thing?

      Also, do turkey rashers bacon substitute count as processed?

    • #2629

      Caroline, when you say, ‘I know at times I will still fancy things, but then I’ll be a bit imperfect…?’ remember there’s another possibility, and that is to work through your addictive desire. Even though you’re doing well with a lower carb intake, there may well be a time when you’ll want to implement this considerably more powerful strategy.

      I’m not familiar with the turkey rashers.

      You ask about low carb and ketogenic eating. Briefly, ‘low carb’ is a bit vague (how low is low?), while ‘ketogenic’ means so few carbs as to produce ketones in the blood, so it can be measured. When you’re in ketosis, your body is burning fat for energy; either fat you’ve eaten or fat stored on your body. You can create this by fasting and/or lower carb intake, but best to cycle in and out. Big conversation… I’d recommend FAT FOR FUEL by Dr Joseph Mercola for the whole story.

      I’d be interested to hear if you’re seeing any non-weight benefits, other than not being so hungry (which is excellent).

    • #2636

      Hi Gillian
      Thanks again for your comments.

      How am I feeling other than less hungry? I’m feeling funny. This week I’ve had bizarre dreams each night, accompanied by significant sweating. I often do have vivid dreams and remember them but these have all been new dreams. I have felt really tired but it’s currently a sunny bank holiday and being quite lazy. May also be reduction in carbs? Today I’ve felt a bit sick. Straight after 2 rashers bacon and poached egg then on and off all day. Think it IS. A big change to my diet and hopefully will settle down. Remember only day 7 today.

      Yesterday had the addictive desire for carbs. Finished lovely salad at mum’s and was heading home ( 90 min drive). Only resisted as they were in the boot and inaccessible. Did a lot of thinking on journey. In summery I felt as though I could wait, but only in the knowledge that I would have something on arrival home. Which I did. It was a day where I had had very very few if any carbs up til that point. Previously when I’ve tried to cut out sugar I’ve felt physically really unwell, as if I really needed it- but assume now have no metabolic flexibility. And I’m changing a lifetime’s way of eating.

      Have been watching and reading, Tim Noakes and others. After a few I get a bit muddled and lose track of what I’m trying to prioritise: high fat, high protein or just low carb or just avoiding hunger and dealing with desires or whether I need to be Keto fat burning. 25 g carbs is too tiny an amount I think. For me. At present.

      Having said all that I’ve found it much easier to resist all the ( kids) Easter chocolate. Normally I would be breaking off more and more bits of shell ( and not counting it) and this would lead to other indulgences. Today I’ve thought more ‘chocolate isn’t going to help me figure this out’ so haven’t had addictive desire for it. Def still feeling a need for carbs/more carbs. Today carbs have been in milk, Greek yoghurt, blue and raspberries, cauliflower and broccoli and carrots. And a bag of Cambridge weight Plan salted caramel bites (20g, sugars about 7).
      I dread your response to such processed diet based food but included it in the interest of full disclosure

    • #2637

      I absolutely agree with you, Caroline, that 25g carbs is too low for you, and remember I do suggest making a series of smaller, more gradual changes. Much better to aim to include some healthier carbs such as sweet potatoes and best quality rice? I’m currently enjoying a mix of organic basmati and wild rice, and not huge amounts.

      With the significant changes you’ve made, though, it’s likely you have considerably less systemic inflammation now, which could account for the sweating and dreaming at night. Lower inflammation allows for greater detoxification, which kicks in mostly while we sleep. Inflammatory molecules do cross the blood-brain barrier, so lower levels could account for the unusual dreams. If you’ve not seen it yet, check out my summary “Your food and your health” page about inflammation.

      As for the salted caramel bites, I do say – OFTEN – that I fully expect everyone to follow their intentions imperfectly – and I even encourage it!!! What’s good about this is that you don’t seem to be stuck in an all-or-none mindset, figuring you’ve fallen off the wagon so might as well return to your old ways.

      And finally, regarding your confusion about macro proportions, I’d continue to aim for lower and healthier carbs but to fine-tune that so you’re not too low. Looks like you’ve already got the good fats and proteins sorted.

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