My weight had been creeping up very slowly over a number of years. I felt bloated and unfit. I’m generally active doing lots of DIY projects around the house, walking the dog and children etc etc.
I got a big surprise when I stepped on the scales and discovered that I had gone up from my optimal weight of around 12 stone (that’s 168 pounds or 76 KG - see conversion site) to 14 stone 9 pounds (205 pounds or 93 KG) in a matter of a few years. That’s an increase of 37 pounds!!! This might not seem like a lot to some, but I could see where this was headed if I did nothing about it.
Four weeks after starting to do something about my weight, I am now at 13 stone 9 pounds (191 pounds or 87 KG). My target is around 12 stone 6 pounds and I think I should be there in another 6 weeks. Then I can go back to eating a more balanced diet - BUT CAREFULLY!!!
So what am I doing, how do I find it and how do I feel? Are there any long term health hazards or other issues?
I’m loosely following the recommendations of what someone told me is the “Slow Carb Diet”. The idea here is that carbohydrates contain sugars (of varying types) and sugars get stored easily by your body as flab. To lose the flab, you need to stop taking in the carbohydrates.
But don’t we need some carbohydrates? Yes. But if your body has stored a load of them as flab, then why not force your body to eat them up. No need to take in extra ones.
What contains carbohydrates? Well, I was surprised to discover that virtually everything that is sold in the supermarket as “food” is actually carbohydrates disguised as food. This includes:
All fruit and fruit juices
Baked beans in sauce
All wheat products (bread, biscuits, cakes etc)
All products made from cereal crops (corn, oats, wheat etc)
Soft drinks (except diet - check the labels carefully)
All sugar products
The list goes on and on. It’s probably easier to explain what you can eat:
Meat - hot or cold - as much as you want
Salad (including tomato)
Vegetable (not potato - stuff like carrots, broccoli, cauliflower)
Cheddar cheese and some very low soft cheese
Eggs - boiled, fried, scrambled, poached - as much as you want
Diet drinks or water
The way this “Slow Carb Diet” works is as follows. For six days of the week you restrict what you eat and drink to only carb-free products. You must be very strict about this. No lapses! There is no problem frying food if that makes things easier for you. I still prefer to mostly grill my meat, but that’s just personal taste. This means that I can still have a full fry-up in the morning but just eliminate the toast. So I can have bacon, sausage, egg, black and white pudding and tea/coffee - no problem - every morning if I want it!
On day seven, this is called “binge day”, you eat as many carbohydrates (carbs) as you can. It’s important that you really pig-out on binge day. Eat biscuits, kebabs, chips, burgers, cakes, beer, wine, sweets - whatever. I found that I couldn’t really eat that much because my body got used to no carbs pretty quickly. However, I still kind of forced myself because it’s important to let your body know that new carbs will come if it’s patient. That way it will happily burn off the stored carbs (flab) during the week. Also, it gives you something to focus on during the other six days - planning what you will pig-out with on binge day.
Are there any side-affects? Well, I guess not eating roughage might be a problem. Most roughage comes from wholemeal bread (loaded with carbs). However, I think that if you eat plenty of salad and vegetable, make sure you eat roughage on binge day and if necessary take some mild laxatives, then you should be OK. Remember, this is not going to last forever, just until you have removed most of the flab. After that, you can return to a more balanced diet but with much reduced carbohydrate intake. Being on the “Slow Carb Diet” will help you deeply understand what is in the foods you eat and you will change your habits forever.
How do I feel? Initially I was at times light-headed and lacking energy. This quickly subsided. All that was happening was that my body was used to getting “sugar-rushes” directly from the foods I ate and had to adjust to burning flab. I now feel more mood-balanced. I feel exactly the same when I wake up in the morning, all throughout the day and going to bed at night. No sugar-rushes equals no mood swings.
Give it a try. Week one is hard because it’s all new and you feel there’s nothing you can eat. Live for binge-day and then go mad. The day after binge-day you might feel low - this is the low after the sugar-rush. Don’t worry - only five days to go ‘til the next binge-day.
I’ll keep you posted on how I get on over the coming weeks. Why don’t you let me know what you think or how you are getting on? If you have any questions or anything to contribute, please contact me.