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Zugg
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:45 pm   

Zugg's Low-carb thread
 
Chiara and I had a long talk about our health a few days ago. We are both very large people. I'm close to 300 lbs (although I haven't had the nerve to get on a scale for over a year). We both feel bad all the time, seem to get sick easily, and just don't have much energy. We also eat very poorly (cookies, donuts, snacks, etc).

Chiara has studied all of the low-carb research in the past, but was never able to implement any of it because it's very hard to change your diet for the long term if your partner isn't also willing to change. We were watching a show on the Food Network talking about Low-carb and it's benefits and that started our discussion about our own health.

While losing weight would always be nice, my main motivation for this is to just feel better and have more energy. I'd really like to have more "brain power" and energy when working on eMobius this year. And I'm tired of being sick all the time. So, I'm jumping in and giving the low-carb lifestyle a try. For me, it really just means giving up snacks and sweets. I'm not a big bread or pasta eater normally anyway. Rice might be a bit difficult to give up (I've been eating Chinese food all my life), but I love fish (I can still have sushi without the rice) and meat.

Chiara and I are doing this together. She has always been a great cook and now she can cook something that we can both eat, instead of trying to cook herself a low-carb meal and making something different for me. Also, we have gone through and cleaned out the house so that no temptations are left.

I'm going to use this blog thread to post my progress, in case it is of any help to anyone else.

Right now I'm into Day 3 of the "Induction" period, where you limit carbs to about 20gm per day for a two week period to get your body switched over to fat-burning instead of carb-burning. I'm having sweet cravings at night and my energy level is pretty low. They say that this reverses itself in a couple of days and that I'll soon have lots of energy and few cravings. I hope they are right!

Actually, today has been better than yesterday already. I woke up feeling pretty good and was able to get a good start programming the scripts for the zMUD icon bidding system that I'll be releasing this week. And I'm not feeling nearly as hungry as normal. I still feel like my blood sugar is too low, so I don't think my metabolism has switched over yet. But it's only been 2 days.

Anyway, cross your fingers. I'm really hoping that this works as well for me as for others that I know.
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Rorso
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:32 pm   
 
I don't know if I did the conversion correctly but I get that to around 136 KG. Hope you and Chiara will start to feel better soon.
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Rainchild
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:19 am   
 
It's so hard to resist temptation hehe :)

I still want to try one of those Monster Burgers that made it to the news, the ones with 100 grams fat, they just looked so disgustingly bad that they'd be worth an eat hehehe.

My personal diet experience hasn't been that good, whenever I've done it myself it's lasted about 2 weeks and done nothing, however here in Aussie we have a program called 'light n easy'... each week they deliver an esky (dunno what you call them, they're the cooler bins with ice packs that you take on picnics to keep your food chilled) full of 'this weeks food' ... they give you everything you're allowed to eat for that week bar tea coffee and milk. Breakfasts, lunches, dinners all packaged up and ready to go... very convenient because there's no cooking or preparation (just microwave the dinner packs etc), the food doesn't taste too bad and you lose a bunch of weight.

I lost 15 kgs over 3 months when I was on it last year (from 105 down to 90) and it made me feel sooo much better. Course christmas and barbeque's have had a negative impact on said diet, but I'm going to go back oin it again soon to compensate hehe :) but its hard to give up life's luxuries, such as crackers and brie, burgers, etc which is why I found the light n easy program good, because there wasn't any temptations since the only food getting around was what I was allowed to eat.

Good luck to you two Z+C :)
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 2:22 am   
 
I think we just call them "coolers". But yeah, there is a program in the States somewhat like that.

As a physicist, I tend to be interested in the science and "why" of all of these various diets. I have also never had much luck with them. About ten years ago I was put on a nutrition program and exercise program by my Doctor. I lost about 10 lbs in 10 weeks, and decided later that it was really all because of the exercise.

From the reading and research I've been doing, there are basically two types of "fuel" that your body can run on to make energy: glucose (sugar) and burning fat. Whenever you eat something that contains sugar (or, more generally, carbohydrates), you get energy. This also triggers your body to produce insulin which takes the sugar out of the bloodstream and stores it in fat cells. That's what causes a spike in blood sugar...you get in initial energy spurt, then the insulin stores away the sugar and you feel "low" again...prompting you to each more carbs to get more energy. It produces the cravings to just eat and eat.

To burn fat instead of glucose, you essentially limit the intake of carbs. With no carbs to burn for energy, your body will start breaking down fat cells for energy instead. This is a much more lasting energy, not subject to the spikes of the sugar-insulin cycle. Burning fat cells also releases ketones, which act as an appetite supressant, and also acts as a brain stimulant. However, in order to burn fat, your body needs a hormone called glucagon. This is sort of the opposite of insulin. While insulin converts sugar into fat, glucagon allows the fat to be burned as energy. And the best way to produce glucagon is by eating protein.

So, that's the essence of the low-carb diets such as Atkins, Protein Power, etc. The idea is to decrease carbs and ensure you are eating plenty of protein to convert your body from sugar-burning to fat-burning.

In all of my years of dieting, I have never tried this approach. All of the traditional stuff like "balanced meals", calorie-counting, or low-fat *always* still has lots and lots of carbs. So, my body has *never* burned fat instead of carbs for energy. So, it's supposed to take a couple of days for it to learn how.

So, while I have to give up crackers (anything with flour has carbs), sweets (obviously pure sugar), rice, pasta, potatoes, etc, I can each as much protein and fat as I want. So I can still have burgers (without the bun) and can have brie cheese. I can have ham and eggs for breakfast, steak and crab for dinner, etc. It's mostly the side dishes and deserts I have to stay away from. This makes it a pretty easy diet to stick with for life.

Because that's the catch with any diets...they don't work. You can't just "go on a diet", lose weight, then go off the diet. You just gain it all back again. You have to find a way of eating that will work *forever*. So far, the low-carb approach seems to be the one that I could stay on forever. And since it really involves mostly eating fresh food, meat, etc and not a lot of processed stuff, it's not as expensive as some of those that provide packaged meals.

In any case, that's the claim. I'm still at the beginning of this. We'll have to wait a week or two to see if I start seeing any actual results.
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Rainchild
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 3:42 am   
 
It's hard for us computer people, exercise doesn't come naturally to us hehe, so losing weight the old fashioned way doesn't work as well ;)

Interesting what you've said about the glucagon/etc, it would make a lot more sense to use that long-lasting fuel than the sugar rush... kinda like burning coal vs burning paper or something heh.

I thought there was some scepticisim around the Atkins diet? Though maybe that was misinformation in the trashy woman's magazines that my missus likes to read at the checkout. Something about it not being healthy to maintain no carbs for long periods of time?

My almost-step-father-in-law has been trying a similar type of diet that they use for people going in to heart surgery, it's a 5 day long program which you repeat every 8 days or something, involves a lot of meat and vege's and no carbs whatsoever. I can try and find the link for it if you're interested.

I agree about expense of the packaged ones, typically I found that it was 2x my grocery bill to go on light n easy. That being said, it was a great kick-start. I bought the weight watchers program with the best intentions of using that for life, but you know how it goes... just this softdrink, just that icecream, just this other jumbo-size-double-whopper-with-double-cheese-and-double-bacon-and-extra-mayo (yumm).

Tell you what, it's interesting how things have changed in the last 20 odd years that I remember. We go from healthy food handpicked from my grandma's garden with home-made bread and eggs straight from the chicken, to chinese takeout and big macs and whoppers. Go from cycling 20km to/from school every day, to driving 5 minutes to work because its too inconvenient to walk for 20 minutes.... heh.
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:02 pm   
 
Yeah, and if you think it's bad in Australia, you wouldn't believe how bad it is in the US. In many places, you couldn't walk if you wanted to. And in my neighborhood, there are 6 chinese places (only one of them any good) within 2 blocks of each other.

There is a lot of debate in the press and a lot of dirty in fighting between the various diet companies about what is healthy and how much of what you should eat. Tragically, it has less to do with health and more to do with politics and money.

The first problem is that somehow 'low carb' has become 'no carb' in people's minds and in slanted articles. This is absolutely not true. It is true that you limit them strictly to start. It is also true that white flour, white rice, white sugar are out completely. The plan is to get all your healthy, necessary carbohydrates from low starch veggies and low sugar fruits. Meat, cheese, eggs, fish, salads, berries... how can that be a bad thing?

I've been researching this topic for years, and once you get past the hype in the popular press, the evidence is pretty compelling. I'm not a biochemist, but I can read other people's studies and there are a lot of them. There was a dentist named Weston Price who back in the 1920s was disturbed about the amount of tooth decay and crooked teeth he was beginning to see. He traveled to a lot of rural areas, and to untouched aboriginal societies like the Masai, and determined that societies that didn't eat refined food had almost no tooth decay and almost no need for orthodontia.

I could go on for days. The evidence is clear if you look for it.

Of course, soda and ice cream and cookies taste good, and they're everywhere, so not eating them is really, really hard sometimes. That's why I'm so excited that Zugg has decided at long last to join me, and we have decided that our home will be a safe zone where no 'contraband' food will be allowed. Since our office is in the house, that severly reduces temptation. If, to have an ice cream you have to leave the house, drive 15 minutes to Baskin Robbins, and eat it there, well, it's easier to have fresh berries with home made whipped cream sitting in the dining room.

I'm very excited about this, and I think we'll see some really good things.
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Erasmus
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:26 pm   
 
I've been doing Atkins for about a year and a half now and I love it. I've never felt better about myself, and the only sick days I have to take anymore is because I am too hungover from the night before.

Just a few tips I've found over the last 18 months or so:

1) Eating all the food you WANT is different than eating all the food that you CAN. In other words DO NOT OVEREAT! Just because you can finish off a 72oz steak doesn't mean you have to. If you are hungry by all means eat, but eat smaller portions, and if you are still hungry a few minutes later then have some more.

2) Exercise. It really speeds up weight loss and improves physique.

3) Old Bay is the greatest spice product ever invented. Particularly good with shrimp and eggs.

4)Water is a great filler if you have the urge to binge. It tricks your body into thinking its full.

5) Eat no less than 3 and ideally 4 or 5 smaller meals a day. Keeps your metabolism up since your body is always processing food.

6) Keep it natural. You didn't evolve from a monkey while eating products cooked up in a lab by biochemists so why start now. My motto is: If I can't pronounce the ingredients I don't eat it.
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slicertool
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:48 pm   
 
I can't pronounce banana some days... and where can I get this 72oz steak? =)
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 5:49 pm   
 
Thanks for the encouraging news Erasmus! I must admit that today I'm feeling really good. My brain is awake and active more than it has been for weeks. I haven't been as hungry, and when I am I just get some cheese, meat, olives, pickles, etc and make a little snack tray.

You are right about just eating what you want. The nice thing about these foods is that they don't tend to encourage overeating in the first place. After all, who ever heard of someone "binging" on eggs.

The hardest part for me so far is getting enough to drink. Water gets boring fast. I'm experimenting with various types of flavored waters to see which ones I like. They want you to drink 8 glasses of 8 oz of water a day at least, and that's probably twice what I normally drink. Usually when I feel hungry or start getting tired it's because I'm dehydrated and just need to drink more, as you said.

I love your #6. It's very true.

Anyway, so far so good.
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Darker
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 10:40 pm   
 
Dunno about you, but I didn't evolve from a monkey. A twinkie, maybe, but not a monkey.

And I can pronounce damn near anything. Hydrosulfatedchlorecktotwinkiefilling? No problem. And my waist shows I'm this verbally adept. Mutter.

My wife had a gastric bypass surgery 4 years ago... No nasty side effects, aside from the whole "I had someone rooting around my innards with a stick" syndrome, recovery, etc. She lost over 150 pounds, had a daughter, now pregnant with a son, while her previous doctor said she'd never have kids, partially due to size.

At the moment, she's got weight on, but that's pregnancy. Between pregnancies she weighed less than when before her first.

The surgery enforces some of the standards of the low-carb diet. She can't eat refined sugars or super fatty foods without it making her sick. She *does* eat them of course... pregnancy wouldn't be pregnancy without ice cream and pickles, right? But she doesn't eat much, because she knows she'll be sick from it soon after. She's also got to eat smaller portions - her stomach just can't hold as much as before. Not a bad idea.

The problem with gastic bypass is that your significant other becomes significant-er. "Do you want to finish this steak for me?"

Bah, time to go torture the treadmill.
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MattLofton
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 11:30 pm   
 
Quote:
1) Eating all the food you WANT is different than eating all the food that you CAN. In other words DO NOT OVEREAT! Just because you can finish off a 72oz steak doesn't mean you have to. If you are hungry by all means eat, but eat smaller portions, and if you are still hungry a few minutes later then have some more.


In addition to smaller portions, there are other things you can do to limit your intake.

slow down. When you need energy, the brain sends a signal out to the stomach. The stomach growls and expands. The brain then sends out a signal to the taste buds and the nose, causing them to become supersensitive. If you don't eat, the brain starts to power down the body, making you feel tired, sleepy, and generally blahish. If you do eat, as soon as you chew on that first bite, the brain tells the stomach to feel full (it starts shrinking) and causes the nose/taste buds to lose their sensativity (this is why food doesn't taste as good when you're full.)

Most folks tend to hold fork and knife in hand, making it awfully easy to eat too quickly. The key here is to develop a routine you can stick to that will slow down your intake. After every bite, put down the fork and knife. Maybe chew each bite 25 times or for a minute or two. If you have a napkin, use it. After you swallow, take a drink.

eat different foods. Most people, they say, tend to devour all of one food on their plate before touching another. This can mix up the signalling a bit, making you feel full when you are not. This is because the body can only handle specific amounts of a vitamin or mineral. By picking at everything all at once, you can get in more of the nutrients you need without feeling full halfway through the meal.

eat for the moment. At some point during the day, you will be up and active, on the go, or generally wanting/needing to be keyed up a bit. "Heavy" foods during this time will just cause your body to spend more effort running the food processor than powering the body, making you feel tired. Likewise, around bedtime you want to be relaxed and sleepy. "Light" foods will key up your body, possibly preventing you from enjoying your relaxing time or even sleeping.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:41 pm   
 
Just reporting in...it's now Day 6 and I'm feeling actually very good. Yesterday was amazing. I couldn't sleep at night (felt like I was wide awake and "buzzing" most of the night). So, instead of sleeping until my normal 10am time, I just got up at 7am. Got a bunch of stuff done, ended up going out to do some low-carb shopping with Chiara, and then worked until nearly 10pm and never felt tired the whole day! That was pretty amazing.

My cravings for sweets has also definitely decreased. I know what to eat when I'm hungry (which isn't as often as it used to be) and I'm not hungry before bed anymore. I *definitely* have more energy and my brain seems more active and awake.

So, I think this might actually be working for me! Chiara is still having headaches and some other problems, but I seem to be following the "text book" case so far.

I've got the zMUD icon bidding system mostly done. I'm going to "sit on it" over the weekend to see if I think of anything else that it needs to do. Also, this weekend we are helping to run a Science Fiction Convention here in Colorado Springs called COSINE ( http://www.rialto.org/cosine ). If you are in the Denver or Colorado Springs area, come check it out this weekend, starting Friday night. I'm running the Video room for the 'con. This is my last major committment before I go back to working fulltime on eMobius.

Next week, on Monday, you should see an announcement for the zMUD icon bidding system for this year, and you'll also start to see a lot more activity in the zApp and eMobius forums. This will begin the long stretch of a 14-week work cycle for me during which time I'll be completing the first version of eMobius.

Now that I'm feeling better and my brain is working better, I'm really starting to look forward to this and get excited again!
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Vijilante
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2005 11:08 am   
 
When I was in college I used to eat candy bars and drink sodas all day between classes. Then I would eat a 1/2 pound of mozerella and bunches of pepperoni for dinner. Horrible diet. Thankfully I got out of college and got doing other things.

I am glad the low-carb is working for you. Just keep in mind that your body has to be working in aerobic mode to burn fat. Fat simply can not be burned when you don't have enough oxygen and your muscles have to work anaerobically. At least that is what I was taught in high school biology. So don't feel bad about stopping to catch your breath when excercising.

Anyhow 11 years after college my diet is quite stable: pot of coffee, muffin, slice of carrot cake, and bagle w/ cream chesse for breakfast; small sandwich for lunch; 1/2 of a large pizza(12 slice, about 18" diameter) with everything but anchovies for dinner. Of course I have a very physically active job, and a wickedly high metabolism. Much better nutritionally then when I was in college.
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Rainchild
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2005 9:10 pm   
 
How's the diet going Zugg? :)
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Darker
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 1:47 am   
 
Just watched "Super Size Me", about well, everything bad about our fast food culture (McDonalds in particular). I was never a McDonalds "fan" before, I just like(d) their fries. But after seeing that movie (and the "The Smoking Fry" DVD bonus clip), I don't think I'll be going back to any of them. 'Cept maybe Subway. Maybe.
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Rainchild
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2005 6:21 am   
 
Hehe it was an interesting docco/movie/thing I guess. I watched it while eating a big mac, double cheeseburger, large fries and coke... and I've been back a few times since then too... it dosn't bother me that much. Course the nuggets are a worry. I don't biggy size though.

Of course, it was also kinda lame - I coulda told him he'd get fat and have issues if he ate maccas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner... stupid man!

So yeah, interesting, not entirely valid, but also a glad-I-don't-eat-it-everyday type thing either.

Also, kinda political activistish song and includes this topic (as well as drugs, porn, terrorism, schools, microsoft, homeless people, etc) is the new song on the Lazyboy TV album - "underwear goes inside the pants" (language warning for the kids), but I like it hehe. Fairly reasonable album, though I think I might get sick of it quickly.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:09 am   
 
I decided it was time for an update on this topic. I've now reached the 3-week mark. Chiara has lost over 15 lbs already and I've probably lost at least that much if not more (but I'm not weighing myself at this point). More importantly, we both feel great. I've still got more energy than I have had in years. And I've been able to deal with adversity (like the computer disk crash) with a much more even temper than in the past. I'm not hungry and the low-carb food isn't boring at all.

I seem to have kicked my cravings, and it looks like we've got a good long-term plan in place for continuing this new lifestyle forever.

I'm really glad that we did this. I can highly recommend the low-carb approach from the Atkins or Protein Power books to anyone else who is severely overweight and tired all the time. It's worked just like the books reported. I'm convinced that there really is something to this new thinking and that all of the "low fat" stuff that has been pushed for years (and made me fatter) is just plain wrong. As some people have said "well, they used to think that blood-letting was the solution to many problems". I think the "low-fat" idea is going to end up the same way when we look back on this in 100 years. It was invented by people who didn't actually understand bio-chemistry. The low-carb approach makes more scientific sense and seems to work as advertised. It's the easiest thing I have ever done to lose weight and feel better.
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slicertool
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 5:58 pm   
 
Yeah, those are the same people who came up with decaffeinated coffee (which is worse on your body than caffeinated) and margerine (which butter is healthier and contains a chemical which seems to help fight cancer as well as a slew of other little bonuses).

The people who were in charge of the diet fads of the 80's and 90's really destroyed the way people 'think' about food. Foods that are low in cholesterol don't really mean anything, because your body creates the cholesterol in your blood stream (for the vast majority of it)... I could go on, but it would be pointless.

Just think of how 'bad' eggs were for us, then good, then bad, and now the whites were good and the yellows were bad...

I do think the 'low' carb diets will be good, but only time will tell on this one. Our bodies were crafted by nature to want bread and meat. If we're cutting out the bread, what will happen in the long run?

(again, not bashing the low carb trend, because I should probably follow it too, but I love pasta =)
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:55 pm   
 
Actually, on an evolutionary timescale, bread is a relative newcomer. So is dairy from cows, although I'm pretty sure that sheeps and goats milk goes back further. There is some paleo-arechological evidence that a number of 'diseases of civilization' like tooth decay and heart disease didn't show up in humans until after we'd switched from hunter-gatherer to agrarian.

I think the 80s and 90s will be considered the dietary dark ages in another 10 years. The science they were using sucked, and there are millions of those of us who followed the recommendations fanatically and wound up worse than when we started.

I don't have a quarrel with people eating whatever they want, but I really believe that anyone with any kind of ongoing health issue should at least check out low carb.

Nothing tastes as good as smart feels.
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mr_kent
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:08 am   
 
Your comments about switching from hunter-gatherer to agrarian reminded me of some diet books I perused a few years back. These books suggested that evolution and ancestry should dictate what our diets should be, based on...blood type. For instance, my blood type is O+. Because blood type O is supposedly the oldest, it is associated with the 'hunter' or high protien (red meat), no grains, and lots of strenuous exercise. According to these books, AB is the newest and relatively recent blood type 'metropolitan (or something)' to come into being. Persons with blood type AB should avoid red meat and concentrate their diets around grains, fruits and vegetables, and they should do yoga type of low stress exercise. One of the types, A or B was supposed to be from the age of transition and were instructed to load up on dairy-pretty sure it was type A.

I didn't put much stock in what these books had to say because they said stuff like if you're type O and you season your food with corriander seeds, the big toe on your left foot (I'm exaggerating a bit, but some of it was very specific) will throb and may fall off. In any event, I enjoyed reading the books not for the diets, but because they provided an interesting refresher course on ancient history and civilization.
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:07 pm   
 
I actually have that book. :) What can I say, I've been collecting nutrition information ever since I stopped listening to the American Medical Association and gave up dieting.

I thought that one was very interesting and though he had an interesting premise. I'm not sure his science was up to the task of supporting such a wild idea, but it was certainly thought provoking.

While I think Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution is the most readable of the books, I think Life Without Bread has the best hard science. It was originally written by a...German or Austrian doctor in German, then updated and translated by the original author and an additional author, both of whom are medical doctors. Their findings are mostly based on European studies and their own practices, which leave them free of the taint of having been financed by the USerican diet industry. Yep, that's correct, most diet research in the US is funded in a large part by companies like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers. 'Cause that's just the way to get unbiased results.

You know, in 4H kids learn to feed animals grain to make them sleek and fat for shows and sales. How did that basic information not make it over to the high and mighty dieticians?
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Rainchild
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:51 am   
 
Which book(s) should I purchase to get started on a low carb lifestyle, Chiara?

I'm not entirely sold on the concept, but as it's working for you and Zugg I'm tempted to give it the benefit of the doubt and put together some kind of starter kit reading type stuff to present to the Mrs for approval (though she is skeptical, and thinks we can't afford to eat lots of non-carbs).

Preferably something available from Borders, Australia, but I guess I can order from amazon.com if its not available.
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:53 pm   
 
Chiara's Low-Carb Picks:

How I gave up my low-fat diet and lost 40 pounds...and how you can too! This is the best most inspiration low carb book out there. It was written by a woman who low fat dieted for years and got nowhere, then went low carb years before it was fashionable. It is no-nonsense and a very easy read. Very chattey. It also has a brief overview of all the low carb plans popular when it went to press. She discusses how it doesn't have to be expensive if you shop carefully. This is the one I gave to Zugg to start off. If you do decide to make the change I highly recommend her cookbooks, which don't require a lot of specialty products for her recipes.
Dana Carpender ISBN 1-59233-040-1 copyright 2003

Life Without Bread - This one has the best hard science with graphs and charts. However, it is a much harder read, dryer, reads more like a textbook. This is what I'm planning to base our long-term permanent eating on.
Christian B. Allan and Wolfgang Luts, ISBN 0-658-00170-1 copyright 2000

Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution In terms of a plan to follow, Atkins is the easiest and clearest. That's what we're using as a guide, with some minor modifications. FYI, if you decide to go this route, stay away from the Atkins website. It is now in the hands of the Atkins Nutritionals people and recommends all sorts of artificial products for starting out that must have Dr. Atkins spinning in his grave.
Robert C. Atkins ISBN 0-06-008159-7 copyright 2002


Stop by your local used book store first, any of these might be available there.

I also highly recommend this site:
http://www.lowcarb.ca/
as THE BEST low carb site on the Web. I hang out there myself. There is a section that has a brief description of each low carb plan out there written by someone who read the book. They always have the latest articles about low carb, and they have a fantastic support forum, which can be very important during the first few days.


Low carbing doesn't have to be terribly expensive. Just because you CAN eat steak and lobster all the time doesn't mean you need to. Protein can come from chicken thighs, fish, cheese...lots and lots of options. The bulk of your meals should be protein and veggies.

Our food bills are actually quite a bit less. We've mostly given up eating out. I'm a good cook and if we eat at home there are no temptations and I know exactly what we're getting. Processed snacks, which Zugg used to eat a lot, are more expensive than nuts and cheese when you compare not only the price, but the volume consumed. The only 'processed' things we can be said to use now are diet soda, splenda artificial sweetener, sugar free jello, and high fiber crackers. We may add in some specialty products like low carb chocolate and ice cream later, but only maybe. Personally I don't think it gets any better than fresh strawberries with fresh whipped cream. I think it is critically important for long term success to not rely too much on specialty products. Learn to eat real recognizable unprocessed foods. Although this is probably less of an issue outside the US.

I think the most important thing to remember if you're considering low carbing is to remember that this IS NOT a diet. It is a LIFESTYLE. If you go into it thinking you'll do it for a while then go back to your old eating habits, save yourself the trouble. You WILL gain all your weight back. Once you're in the groove you can adjust how much of which carbs you eat to find a level you can live with long term, but you'll always need to consider them.


And here are a few first hand annecdotes.

Our friend R. went from a size 24 to a 12 in a year, and has kept it off for 3.
Our friend A. has lost about 100 lbs in the last year, and she is absolutely bubbling with energy.
Zugg has lost about a shirt size in 3 weeks without ever once being hungry or taking up any particular exercise.
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Rainchild
Wizard


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 1551
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 11:32 pm   
 
Thanks for that, Chiara.

Am browsing that website you linked waiting for lunch time to roll on so I can go shoppin'... curious that a lot of these plans say 'leave the skin on chicken', 'leave the fat on the meat', 'drink full cream milk', etc... is it necessary for the diet to succeed? I don't much care for the fatty parts of food, the texture and the taste are meh... I like my 5 star extra trim steaks, rindless bacon, etc hehe. I guess my questions may be answered in the books when I get my hands on 'em.

And I can't argue with strawberries and cream, though I have to say I like my cream loaded with half a sack of icing sugar... heh I think it's going to be very hard to give up my sweet tooth, but if it gets rid of 20-30 kilograms then it's probably a great thing.

My workmate is trying the Jarred diet, but I hate Subway and I imagine a foot-long stick of white bread is gonna contain a whole bunch of excess carbs, hehe.

As for the diet vs lifestyle... I think thats the issue with all diets, soon as you go off them, you start putting on weight. I like what they say about a lifetime of starvation and cravings by the low fat diets. The more I read about these low carb diets the simpler / more logical it seems. I hope there aren't any hidden health issues caused by not eating the carbs, however they seem to claim the opposite.
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Chiara
Site Admin


Joined: 29 Sep 2000
Posts: 322
Location: USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 12:55 am   
 
The fat is ABSOLUTELY necessary so that you don't feel hungry. But, you can be a little choosier about where it comes from.

It is my opnion that our low fat training has taught us to not like fat. I've been retraining myself for several years and am finally enjoying certain high fat items like well crisped chicken skin and fattier cuts of meat. I believe if you give some things a try after a few weeks, you may find they taste better to you. Zugg still doesn't like the edge fat on meat, so he takes it off and gets more of his fat from cheese.

There is no reason to eat things you don't like when there are plenty of other choices.

As far as putting sugar in your cream, that's where the artificial sweeteners come in. Splenda seems to be the artificial of choice. Personally, I don't care for the artificials, but in some things they can't be avoided, like sugar free jello. I put one small packet of splenda in a cup of heavy cream and whip it up for berries. Your level of sweet tolerance will probably change a lot when you eat less.
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