Jul 20 2009

One Week Down

Well, my first week back on the low-carb plan went great.  I kept at or below 30 grams of carbs every day, and dropped four pounds, from 248 to 244.  Forty-five to go!  A good bit of that is the water that’s released when the body takes excess sugar out of storage, so it’s not like I’ll be losing four pounds every week.  But that first “whoosh,” as it’s often called on low-carb forums, is a useful bit of feedback that tells you you’re doing it right.

The first three days were somewhat rough.  I’d eat a big breakfast of a 1/4-pound of bacon and five eggs, and I’d be “hungry” an hour later.  Obviously I wasn’t really hungry, because my belly was still full, but my body was going through sugar withdrawals and trying to fool me.  So I’d snack on some meat or cheese to get rid of the fake hunger pangs.  In that initial phase, you can’t worry about how much you eat; all that matters is breaking the high/low blood sugar cycle.  If that means eating three pounds of meat in a day, so be it.  It’ll pass.

On Thursday, all that went away and it became much easier.  I’d still like to have some ice cream or potato chips, but I’m not sitting around fantasizing about them, trying to rationalize a trip to the store for one more carb binge.  Hunger is now a physical sensation that tells me I should eat soon, not an unstoppable force.  By Saturday, I was able to go to the farm and watch everyone dig into mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, and brownies with chocolate sauce, and eat my fried chicken and cabbage without much of a twinge of temptation.  I couldn’t have done that a week ago.

Now that I’ve gotten past the hard part, I just have to stick with it.  When we’re out at an event or someone else’s house, I have to stick to my guns and turn down carby foods, even if that means skipping a meal and eating when I get home.  I also need to prepare in advance for those times, taking along something to snack on in case there’s nothing to eat there.

photo by Anosmia @ flickr.com

photo by Anosmia @ flickr.com

The Adams County Fair is coming up, and that’s always a tough time.  There’s never been anything there like the sign in the picture.  Except for breakfast, when one of the church stands serves good stuff like ham and eggs, it’s hard to find anything to eat at the fair that hasn’t been breaded, powdered, battered, or all three at once.  I’m not willing to pay $3.50 for a corn dog and just eat the 10-cent hot dog, so I’d better pack a cooler full of good stuff when we head up there.  Maybe one of these years some better options will show up.

Here are some of my meals from this week, to show I haven’t just been eating “bacon and brie,” as that Ornish character described low-carb:

  • bacon and eggs
  • stir-fry of hamburger and green beans sprinkled with mozzarella
  • spaghetti
  • burger with mayo and horseradish, Swiss chard, green beans
  • “plate pizza” (that’s where I sprinkle a couple ounces of shredded cheese on a plate, top it with pepperoni and/or hot pepper rings, and microwave until the cheese starts to crisp up on top)
  • cheese omelette
  • Mexican squash casserole (a first-time recipe that we liked a lot, so I’ll write it up with pics next time)
  • tuna salad (tuna, chopped boiled eggs, onion, mayo, mustard, hot peppers, cheese)
  • mushroom soup with burger (another good new recipe that we’ll have to write up)
  • fried chicken, raw cabbage
  • scrambled eggs
  • sliced meat with mayo and horseradish mustard
  • one beer (Michelob Ultra, 2.6g, a birthday present)

I ate a lot of green beans this week, since we’re getting loads of them now and a half-pound of them has only 8.5g net carbs.  A half-pound is a lot of beans.  We’ve started freezing those, so this week I’ll eat more summer squash and Swiss chard, since they don’t preserve as well as beans.

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