It’s been a year since I posted about my diet mania and I’m ready to report on another diet this year. I’m determined to find the answer for people having a hard time losing weight (myself included). I’m ready to admit that a 2 weeks trial might not be enough to find success – consistency and persistence are something I’ll need to work on.
My most recent attempt at the end of last year (2020 was NOT our favorite year, right?) was a low carb diet. I refuse to do a diet that doesn’t include vegetables so I found a plan that was basically protein and low carbohydrate vegetables. Did this truly qualify as a ketogenic diet? Probably not, but it met my standards of what I was willing to try.
So why did I pick this plan to try? Well, I’ll summarize a recent study review I read where participants were given a very low carbohydrate diet consisting of whole, non-processed foods like leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, fruit, eggs, meat, fish, nuts, olive oil and coconut oil. The results showed that, compared to those on a low fat diet, the low carbohydrate group had:
- Greater weight loss
- Greater loss of total fat mass (fat is inflammatory, so good to have it go away)
- Greater loss of visceral adipose tissue (VAT), the intra-abdominal fat that is located around the internal organs
- Improved HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol)
- Decreased triglycerides (another blood fat that is raised when eating too many processed foods – white flour, white sugar, alcohol, etc.)
- Decreased insulin resistance
Besides the research, I knew based on genetic testing, that a lower carbohydrate diet was appropriate for me and my genetics compared to a balanced diet, the Mediterranean diet or a low fat diet.
Since I really don’t like the word “diet” I really need to talk about lifestyle. Did this method fit my lifestyle? Would it be sustainable?
I have not been as strict lately, but I really do prefer some of the substitutions I found as part of a lower carbohydrate lifestyle. Here are some of my favorites:
- Zucchini spirals instead of pasta
- Almond flour for making muffins, pancakes, etc.
- Cauliflower pizza crust or cauliflower rice (just put cauliflower through the food processor)
- Keto bread (I like the Base Culture brand)
- Keto waffles (Birch Benders brand) with melted butter, cinnamon and nuts on top
- Date palm sugar or monk fruit for baking. (I once had aching pain all over after drinking a green tea latte from a famous coffee chain. Refined sugar is NOT for me but these forms of sugar don’t bother me.)
What were the results you may be asking? I did have a drop of two pounds almost immediately. Carbohydrates will be stored in the muscle as glycogen and that holds onto more water, so it was likely a loss of water weight. I should have been more scientific and taken my measurements before and after, but I did feel like my middle section, which has been growing in recent years, became smaller. My clothes would tend to agree with that assessment.
Is this eating plan for you? Basically, a whole foods plan will always be the right thing for any human being. I don’t like vilifying any particular food group, but watching the amount and quality of carbohydrates seems to fit my body’s needs at this age in my life.