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Zugg Posted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 8:45 pm
Zugg's Low-carb thread
Vijilante
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 1:49 am   
 
While I may not be well up on the carb specifics of it, I do know that honey is better for you nutrionally then refined sugar or artificial sweeteners. If I remember correctly there is a different type of sugar in honey that is more similar to the fructose in fruits than the sucrose of sugar. Also I have read a few things about various artificial sweeteners that keep me well away from all of them. You might want to look into it as long as neither of you are allergic to bees and bee products.
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 08, 2005 5:54 am   
 
Nutritinoally, yes, less refined things are better than more refined things. When I was trying out different sauces and marinades, I was much happier buying things with cane sugar or honey, as long as the carb level was very low.

However, on an absolute level, honey still has 5.5 carbs per teaspoon, so it is still too high for people who want to stay between 20 and 40 carbs per day. They're also high impact carbs, so they spike the blood sugar and then leave you high and dry.

I am one of the weird people who can't tolerate most of the artificial sweetners. I get a measurable insulin reaction from them. So mostly I do without, or I use them in small amounts in company with actual carbs so the insulin has something to do when it shows up. In our food and snack oriented culture, it's very hard to face a world without treats and comfort foods. So, when I really want something, I use the real sugars and pay the price.

On the other hand, Zugg has no problems with them, no sensitivity to them, and they make things much more liveable by giving him low carb options on foods he really doesn't want to give up, like soda. For many people, they make life much easier.
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Vaile
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:59 pm   
 
Recently, I've decided and began implementing a new "lifestyle" for myself called G.I. Diet, mainly due to reading about Zugg's and Chiara's experiences. It's a very interesting and informative approach to how foods and various liquids dissolve and digest in our systems. It differs from the general Low-Carb diets in that it rates various carb's on the Glycemic Index and also takes into account fats into its calculations.

I differ from most people who diet in that I'm not overweight (145 lbs 5'10") and decided upon this course so as to improve my quality of life. I had been feeling tired and uncharacteristically lethargic throughout the entire day. I've never felt more alive and revitalized than I do now.

There are a number of resources available in printed texts and on line. I don't necessarily recommend the GI approach over Atkins or other Low-Carb fare, but I do believe the information is very much worth a look by anyone who follows any diet/lifestyle.

This link is for the Glycemic Index main web page itself, with a database of various foods and a lot of other information regarding those studies:

http://www.glycemicindex.com/

This link is for the G.I. Diet website as written and "sold" by Rick Gallop:

http://www.gidiet.com/
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:21 pm   
 
Wow! Thanks for letting us know. I'm so excited that you are feeling better and more energetic!

Glycemic index is an integral part of Atkins, although it isn't really clear or specific about calling that. Those indices are part of how we determine desireable carbs from undersireable. Because a tsp of honey and a half cup of strawberries are about the same, carb wise, but the fructose with fiber is much slower to digest than the pure sugar of honey. Just as an example. Fat is the slowest to digest and keeps working long after the carbs have been processed and used up.

Thanks for the links. It's a very helpful concept for anyone who is interested in this thread.



Hey Rainchild! How goes the research?
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Rainchild
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 15, 2005 10:13 pm   
 
I'm a little wary ... it can't be healthy eating fatty foods all the time? I know we've got this whole holocaust on fat in the mainstream which might be affecting my/our judgement, but isn't too much of anything a bad thing? What I mean is, we got one side saying eat all the carbs you can get, and the other side saying eat all the protien and fat you can get, wouldn't the healthiest option be in the middle, eating a balanced diet of not too much carbs, not too much meat, and plenty of veges?

That being said any change in diet is probably going to be a lot healthier than what I am eating currently... given the amount of soft drink, take out, and junk food I'm currently consuming, so the point may be moot, I'll go to the grave a bunch quicker under the current administration.

The GI diet website had some interesting reading there too, possibly suit me+steeny better than the Atkins as it seems to be low fat and low carb, kinda a crossing between diet genre's?
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 4:26 am   
 
Quote:
wouldn't the healthiest option be in the middle, eating a balanced diet of not too much carbs, not too much meat, and plenty of veges?



Absolutely. That is what Atkins should be by the time you've lost whatever weight you had in mind.

Yes, at first he says cut the carbs WAY back and don't worry about fat. This has two purposes. First, it causes you to quit refined carbs cold turkey. It's difficult. Many people (like say, me) with severe weight issues actually have food intolerances which play into the problem in a big way. This gets you away from them. Second, it provides dietary fat for your body to burn when it runs out of glucose. That in turns tunes your system to burning all the fat you have tucked away that you'd just as soon evict.

After the first 2 weeks, he suggests that you slowly up your carb intake until your weight loss is stable at 1-2 lbs a week. You start by adding more low glycemic veggies, then nuts and berries, then maybe other fruit. Any starches come dead last, if you can handle them. When you've lost all your weight, you up your carbs until you start gaining a little, then back them down to your sustainable level.

So when you settle into your lifetime maintenance, you're eating a pretty balanced diet of veggies and some fruit, fat, and protein.

Different types of people have bodies that work best doing different things. I firmly believe that.
However, I think it is safe to catagorically say that anything that encourages you to dump all highly refined flours and sugars is probably a good thing.

There are a lot of detractors that claim you only lose weight on Atkins because you eat less.
I DON'T CARE!
If I can eat less, never be hungry, and have great blood work, and lose weight, I'll take it. I don't really care HOW!


Eating fat makes you feel full. Once you're over the hump and you get out of the habit of eating huge amounts of grains and starch, you'll find yourself feeling full sooner. I'll admit, I find food less interesting, so I probably eat less. On the other hand, I'm NEVER hungry, and I could never, ever say that about low fat. I spent a good 10 years of my LIFE hungry while low fat or otherwise dieting. With NO sustainable results, I might add.

My opinion? Low fat and low carb is an invitation to be hungry all the time.
But! Different people work differently. I've only ever lived in my own body, so I only know how I work.

Fat has gotten a bad rap based on some very flawed studies and pressure from a number of vested industries. I highly recommend this article:
http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/skinny.html
as a source of infomation.

I also recommend these two sites:
http://www.deanesmay.com/lowfat.html
http://www.omen.com/adipos.html

If I can't convince you that fat is mostly harmless (except transfat) then I highly recommend you check out the South Beach diet. It is all the rage here now.

(Although I have to say that my dad's cholesterol and triglicerides went from fabulous on Atkins to requiring medication on South Beach. He's switching back.)

Just remember my oft quoted thought about the medical profession. For hundreds of years, bleeding was the cure for what ailed you.
Times change.
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mr_kent
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2005 9:58 am   
 
I'm feeling mischevious, so....

If you're wanting a diet that'll leave you hungry all the time, might I suggest www.walford.com? At least there's a supposed side benefit of starving.

I saw a show about this guy's research on PBS several years ago. The show was as scary as it was informative.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 6:51 pm   
 
I thought I'd post an update on our new low-carb lifestyle...

It's still going great! I still feel great and have lots of energy. I feel smarter than I have in years, and it's leading to all sorts of interesting ideas for projects like eMobius and zApp.

Remember how every time I used to get sick, I used to think of new ideas for software? Well, when I was sick, I wasn't eating much. If I was sick for a week, by the end of the week I was getting smarter because my body was getting a break from all the carbs that I normally ate. Then when I got better I'd go back to eating crap again and I'd get depressed, lose my brain power, and get frustrated and tired all the time (eventually leading to me getting sick again).

Well, now I'm feeling smart all the time and I'm not getting depressed, tired, or sick. In fact, I have a hard time sleeping at night I've got so much energy and so many things to think about!

For those that are curious, here is a typical day worth of food:

  • 10am Breakfast: 2 or 3 egg omelet with cheese, and usually bacon and mushrooms. A diet soft drink.
  • 1pm Snack: a couple high-fiber (low carb) crackers with home-made chicken salad or crab salad spread on top. a few pieces of cheese. A diet soft drink.
  • 4pm Snack: if I'm feeling hungry (and often I'm not), I'll have some more cheese and/or some nuts
  • 6pm Dinner: Chiara usually makes some sort of stir-fry with chicken, pork, or beef, and vegetables like brocolli or snow peas, and usually mushrooms (I love mushrooms!) For desert we have about a half-cup of fresh or frozen berries with some heavy cream and artificial sweetner. Also, another diet soda.
  • 10pm Snack: Since I usually stay up till 1 or 2am I need a fairly large snack at night. So I fix a plate of cheese, some sliced pepperoni, some olive and a pickle, and some macadamia or cashew nuts.

That's about it. That's somewhere between 20 and 40 carbs per day. Compared to the 300-500 carbs I used to have with all of the junk I used to eat. Calories are also fairly low, but I don't count them.

When we go out for dinner, we usually go somewhere with fish or seafood since I love it, but Chiara hates it, so we don't get any at home. I'll have sushi (actually sashimi, no rice), or we'll go to Outback and I'll get a steak and crab.

As I mentioned, even with this small amount of food, I'm never hungry. If I get hungry at some wierd time, then I'll just fix another snack plate like the 10pm plate mentioned above. I feel great, I've lost about 15-20 lbs in 6 weeks, and I have more energy than ever before. That's the latest!
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mr_kent
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:40 am   
 
Update request! Still having good results? Has it gotten boring, or does that even happen on adkins?
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theNerd
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 4:43 pm   
 
My first time reading through this. Quite interesting. I understood everything Zugg has gone through since I go through the same things. I would be interested in hearing your and Chiara's progress.

I am going to try a low carb diet with excercise 3 times a week. I tried the Bill Phillips, Body for Life and it is the best, but it is also a little harder since it requires planning and excercise 6 times a week. The results on the Body for Life are not only weight loss and well being but a muscular build.
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 5:55 pm   
 
Chiara has started going to a place called "Curves". It is a gym for women-only and has a regimented circuit of machines to help with muscle strength and includes some aerobit workout as well. I'll have her post more details on that here.

Unfortunately, that doesn't help us men. The closest gym I could go to is 15 minutes away, which is too long to make it easy. On top of that, I have been programming 10-12 hours a day and even eating some meals in front of the computer, so I don't have much time to go out. I've got a nice Lifestyle exercise bike in the house that I need to move upstairs near the office where it might be easier to use. But mainly, I just don't like exercise Wink

The low-carb plan is still working great! I'm not bored with anything yet. The only problem that I continue to have is too *much* energy. I am having trouble sleeping and often get up in the middle of the night to jot down ideas, or end up getting up much earlier than I really should. My mind has the ability to concentrate on more topics at once, and that makes it hard to shut it off when I want to go to sleep. I just keep thinking of more stuff to add to zApp, or eMobius, and stuff like that.

Weight loss has decreased to about 1 pound per week, which is a good long-term rate. I was able to kick that cold that I almost caught. Or, I might have still caught the cold, but I was able to work through it much better than ever before. It really didn't have too much effect on my ability to work.

So, still a huge success for us here!
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theNerd
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:06 pm   
 
That's encouraging to hear! I am definately going to do it!
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 7:15 pm   
 
Chiara has Issues, so I only do the scale about once a month, now that things are going well. I can really tell the difference in the fit of my clothes, and the amount of energy I have.

I did start an excersize program. I would highly recommend Curves to any ladies wanting to get a start on a good work out. The learning curve is almost flat, I know exactly how long it is going to take, and it's fun. What more can you ask from a work out? Oh, yeah, my resting heart rate has gone from being mostly in the 70s to mostly in the 60s, and my blood pressure is down. Not bad for not quite a month?

I haven't read Body for Life, but when you mentioned it I went to my favorite low carbing site and got a vague idea. I think I'll have to add it to my book shelf. If you are serious about wanting to gain muscle and work out along with low carbing, your best bet for a plan might be Protein Power, which didn't make my top recommended list because the plan isn't as easy as Atkins and the science isn't quite as clear as LWB. On the other hand, it is a fine plan, and one that I'm incorporating into my long term eating plan.

The core idea is that you need to eat a minimum amount or protein to make sure you don't lose any metobolically active muscle mass. It is also a low carb plan, so in early stages you keep your carbs at 30, then increase as you go.

While I say we're doing 'Atkins' for simplicity, I've read lots and lots of books, and I plagerize freely, try different things, and am basically trying to find out what works best for MY body. Zugg pretty much eats what I feed him Wink but we're adjusting with him too, and of course, our bodies prefer completely different things, just to annoy me. Rolling Eyes

I know it's only been 2 months, but I don't see any reason we won't keep doing what we're doing on a permanent basis. I never feel deprived, and if I ever do, there are plenty of low carb reciepts out that that would enable me to make anything I want. And hey, just because I don't eat them any more doesn't mean all those great foods aren't out there for sometime I just gotta.

Lest anyone think Zugg is over estimating his response, I'll tell you if anything, he's UNDERestimating. In our married life he's never fought off a cold like this, nor has he ever been able to function while sick, much less work. He's cheerful, he's calm, and thats WITH working 12 hour days, 6 days a week, with a giant deadline looming, no kidding, no overestimating. Now that we may have found out a way to get him more sleep (a slight snack adjustment) it may just be scary how much he gets done.
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theNerd
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:05 am   
 
Just like Zugg, I eat what my wife feeds me Very Happy If she supports me on a diet then I'm more likely to succeed.
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 11:47 pm   
 
Quote:
If she supports me on a diet then I'm more likely to succeed.


So, does she support LC?
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theNerd
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:59 am   
 
My wife is all for the low carb diet. The difficult thing is we have six kids (going on seven) so gearing a diet towards one particular way is not easy. I think for the most part not eating a lot of white bread and refined foods is wise, anyways, but it can be hard to eat as healthy as we should. We tend to prepare meals based on how easy it is (most of the time.) Not a good excuse, but a reality. I am 5'11" at 265lbs. Not a healthy weight to be at and I definately gotta do something so I stick around for my kids.
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:33 am   
 
Lest anyone think we gave up and slunk away, I thought I'd post an update.

Zugg hasn't lost much more weight since we last posted, but the body does things on it's own schedule and may just be taking a break. The important thing is that he's happy and satisfied and still brimming with energy to work long days.

Me, I lost 20 lbs this month. That's right. One month. That makes a total of 45 since January 14th.
I eat when I'm hungry, I work out 4 days a week for 30 mins.

Not to shabby.
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theNerd
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PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2005 2:59 pm   
 
I am glad to see you guys are sticking with it! This extra energy Zugg has has really benefitted the zApp community. Wink

...and yes, I am jealous of your weight loss. Razz
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Chiara
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 4:56 pm   
 
The monthy update.

We're both still doing really well. We had to go buy Zugg new pants yesterday, the old ones fall right off. ;)

I've found that as my head has cleared, and my body is stronger, I'm a little more adventurous, and less afraid that I won't physically be able to keep up.

I've also found that having cleared a lot of crap out of our diet, I'm very careful about what I let back in. Even though there are a number of interesting low carb products on the market, I mostly buy fresh and make from scratch anything we want, particularly ice cream, because then I know what is really in it. We also found a wonderful local grocery delivery service that has provided us with 6 mos of free range, hormone and antibiotic free meat, flash frozen. It goes from freezer straight to the new grill and cooks up beautifully.

So, low carb life is good.
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Mudimm
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:50 pm   Re: Zugg's Low-carb thread
 
Zugg wrote:
I'm going to use this blog thread to post my progress, in case it is of any help to anyone else.


how is it going?

I heard that diet is mainly a lifestyle diet, where you have to do it forever. I have been reading up on it as I am 6 ft 3 and weigh 325 pounds.

My problem is i really only eat 1 meal a day dinner and i pig out. Other than that i might have 2 snickers bars during the day and mountain dew all day long
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Vijilante
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:13 pm   
 
Before Zugg and Chiara answer I have to say one thing. For any diet to truly be effective it must be a life style change. If you have gone on any diet, acheived your target weight; then left the diet, and gained it all back; you can see my previous statement to be true. To repeat... All diets are a matter of life style; and require that you continually follow them in order to continue the results provided by that diet. Certain diets work for certain physologies, and scientists still haven't quiet figured out which is right for whom, perhaps this is due to the fact that there is a general view in the scientific community that diets, and dieting as a whole, are a fad. That view is reinforced by people's tendency to follow a diet until they have achieved..blah..blah..blah(see above). So until more biochemists start taking a serious look at the field of nutrition you will not see a dieting system that is broad enough to cover the range of human physiognomies.

Just for giggles: My lunch today consisted of 1 pint of eggnog (nearly 1000 calories) and 2 cheeseburgers (both of which I expect will haunt me this weekend). However, I probably burned off nearly all of that within 3 hours of work. That is just the combination of my metabolism and my job. So take my views on dieting with a grain or 3 of salt...unless that is prescribed as unhealthy for you.
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Insomniac
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:27 pm   
 
Vijilante raises some interesting points.

I am a pro bodybuilder, diet is everything to me.

I bulk during the off-season, and cut (lose fat) during the competition season.

The trick is to eat a varied diet, above all. Variety stops you from pigging out on take outs!

When I cut, which is what most people who want to lose weight actually try and do, I to drop my carbs, but I target them....

I believe it's called targeted ketogenic dieting (TKD)

I eat carbs when I'm going to use them, or need to replenish them, for me a typical day when cutting will look like:

7am: wake
7.15am amino acid tablets or 1/2 whey shake (whey is a by-product in cheese making, pure protein)
7.20 45 mins low intensity cardio or 15 mins high intensity interval cardio.
After exercise amino acids or 1/2 whey shake.
1 hour after exercice pure protein/fat meal - no carbs. this could be scrambled eggs, omelette etc, I like eggs for breakfast!
12.00 protein/fat/carb meal - the carbs give me energy for the day.
15.00 Protein/fat meal.
18.00 Protein/fat/carb meal - Need fuel for my workout.
19.00 Workout, approx 1 hour, 5 mins cardio warm up , 40 mins weightlifting, 15 mins cardio after.
20.00 Whey protein, banana - Protein needed after workout, need glycogen too - Extra ripe bananas contain glucose, not fructose, and help transport protein to my muscles.
21.00 Protein/fat/carb meal - To replace everything I lost during the workout.
23.00 Protein/fat meal - The combination of fat/protein makes it a slower releasing protein to cover me for the night's sleep.

As said before, different kinds of carbs have different roles, all the carbs I eat are slow release carbs (low GI) except when I require an 'insulin spike' ie. post workout.
I use: wholemeal pasta, wholemeal bread, brown rice, sweet potato, oats for my slow release carbs
I use: bananas, maltrodextin, dextrose for my high GI carbs.

All are as un-refined as I can get them.

Diet is all about fitting it in with your lifestyles, eat twice as much (calorie wise) now on a cut as I did 5 years ago on a bulk, you've gotta fit it in!

On a final note, think of this, there are essential fats (essential fatty acids or EFA's), there are essential proteins (amino acids) but there are no essential carbs! (fibre is not counted as your body doesn't absorb any of it)

Another thing to mention is that just because a food is high GI, doesn't mean you should stay away from it. Try and stick with unrefined (clean) food as much as you can. The whole meal will define the overall GI of the food, not one singular part of it!
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Zugg
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2005 5:41 pm   
 
Insomniac, that was a great post. I think the key thing for people to remember is that everyone is different. What works for one person might not work for someone else.

Also, as Vijilante mentioned, a "Diet" is not a temporary state. A "Diet" is how you eat for the rest of your life. You need to decide when you are going to eat and what you are going to eat and find a plan that you can live with forever. The whole concept of a "Diet" being something you just do for a while to lose weight is a complete scam and is making a lot of "diet companies" rich. People diet, lose weight, then stop and gain the weight back, then diet again, etc etc. Each time this happens your body will get more and more messed up. Chiara is a living example of what happens on this kind of cycle. The Diet Industry loves it because each time you start over they make more money!

What Chiara did when she got sick of this vicious cycle is to research the science behind nutrition and learn how things like your Insulin Cycle work, and how your body generates it's energy. The science behind all of this is really facinating and not at all what the "diet industry" would leave you to believe.

If you are a body builder, like Insomniac, then your needs will be different than if you just sit in front of a computer all day like I do. And it will also depend upon your body's tolerance for carbs. It turns out that I personally have a real intolerance for carbs, but not all carbs, just certain ones. I am *very* intolerant of refined sugar, white rice, and pasta. Grain doesn't seem to both me much. Chiara, on the other hand, is very intolerant of grain and wheat products.

So Insomniac is correct that you need to consider other factors, such as the GI of carbs, but also which carbs your body can tolerate. Even a very small amount of a carb that you are sensitive too can cause trouble. I know for a fact that anytime I eat *any* white rice I seem to get sick. It totally screws up my immune system and my Insulin cycle.

What helped me was to first clean up my system and go off *all* carbs for six weeks. That's what I did last January when I made this post. It's not as hard as it sounds and as you read in the early posts in this thread, I felt really great after just a couple of days. But this is the part that many people seem to get messed up on. *Any* "cheating" during this period can really mess you up. You really need to get all carbs out of your system for an extended period of time to let your body learn how to burn fat instead of carbs. This seems to be easier for people who are overwieght and have the fat to burn.

Once your body has detoxed and gotten rid of the carbs, then you can start experimenting with different carbs to see which ones your body reacts too. It will be pretty obvious. Eating certain types of food will just make you feel like crap. Even some low-carb foods will cause trouble. Chiara discovered, for example, that cheese products made her alergies worse, so she stays away from cheese. She also can't tolerate artificial sweeteners, even though they are low carb. I seem to handle artificial sweeteners just fine. So each person is different.

As far as our progress, we are still both doing great. We are both still losing weight and we both feel great. I've only been sick once (back in June) since we started in January, and that's the lowest rate of sickness I can remember. Chiara hasn't been sick at all during that time, which is amazing. Chiara has been able to stop taking most of the medication she used to need (she did this under Doctor supervision though).

Since March, Chiara has been working out 4 days a week at a place called Curves. The latest news is that I recently got more interested in doing some workout (I'd like to get in better shape to play golf again). So two weeks ago we both joined a local gym together and we now go there together twice a week. We do a circuit of weight machines, and then some cardio stuff. A bit over an hour for the total workout. I'm guessing that we'll expand this to more than twice a week once Chiara's Curves membership expires this Spring.

I actually can't believe I'm going to the gym. But I feel great. So I think people need to take this one step at a time. Once you feel better after changing eating habits then it's easier to get motivated to exercise.
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Insomniac
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 12:29 am   
 
Another excellent post my Zugg on this matter.

One thing I'd like to point out though, is that when carbs are depleted the body turns to muscle first for fuel, rather than fat.

This is why when on a cut I increase my protein higher than before, so the body uses that, then fat, instead of canibbalising (sp) itself just for fuel.

Exercise is good too. When on a bulk I eat around 500 cals more than I need per day in order to gain muscle. (my maintain rate is around 6,000 cals)

When I cut I eat around 250 cals less than I need (approx 5,750) and burn the other 250 off with extra cardio, it's not hard to be honest.

And yes I know 6,000 cals seems a lot, because it is... but believe me when it comes to cutting time I really feel it!

Forgot to mention, I also have IBS, so I understand the 'sensitivity' part of what Zugg speaks of, it's all just about trial and error, took me a long long time to learn which foods I can eat and which I should avoid.
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Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2005 3:45 am   
 
Actually, the bit about burning muscle rather than fat isn't quite as true as it's hyped, but I'll defer to Chiara to talk more about the science of that. I might get myself in trouble for trying to remember exactly how this works, but I think with the correct hormones and the right fat level you still get your body into Ketosis and burn fat, not muscle. Sometime about the combination of high protein and high fat that helps with this. I know that we have both lost a lot of fat without losing a lot of muscle, although exercise is important helping to keep the muscles too.

I know that one of the opponents of low-carb tries to scare people into thinking that they will just loose all of their muscle, but it doesn't seem to work that way in reality.
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