Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 48

The last couple of days have been a little frustrating. For no reason that I can see, my weight has been up. It was at 187.2 on Thursday and 186.4 this morning. However, as I mentioned before here, it isn't always clear what is going on and I just have to relax. My next measurement update should tell me a little more. I know my clothes are still fitting loosely.

Meals yesterday were a cheeseburger bowl at noon and some leftover hamloaf for dinner. I added even more fat than usual to the cheeseburger bowl. It was very good and more filling than usual. I really didn't hungry again until late, when I had a little of the leftover hamloaf. I'm wondering now if I was truly hungry last night. I didn't get hungry until I smelled the dinner that K was cooking so it was probably triggered by an ancillary insulin response.

I had something interesting happen to me last night. The boys get a small bowl of ice cream twice a week. I was a huge ice cream hound before going ZC so this has been one of the things I have missed a little. I was scooping out some Tillamook Mudslide, which was my favorite, and got a glob of it on my finger as I was digging out the last of it. I absent-mindedly licked it off and found that it absolutely tasted terrible! It was very chemically tasting to me and left a horrid aftertaste. Not so tempting anymore.

I mentioned before that I had checked my blood pressure at Wal-Mart and it was down quite a bit. Well, yesterday I was at the doctor's office and they checked it. It was 110/77 ! That is very low for me.

I was on a weight loss thread on a board that I frequent (not a weight loss forum, though). Someone mentioned that they were doing "no carb". I mentioned to him how I have been doing and the good things happening with eating zero carb. The silence was resounding. I felt like the crazy person in the room.

However, that thread is definitely following the typical diet. People start out gung-ho and go low calorie while exerciing like madmen. They will drop a bunch of weight right off the bat (a lot of that water because by dropping calories, they automatically drop carbs). After a while, the weight loss slows or stops and the cravings start, because the insulin levels are still too high and the cells are internally starving. Injuries start showing up because of over-training. People start to fall off because they can't withstand the call of their starving cells.

The ones that grit it out find the weight loss slow or even starting to reverse since excess insulin will still store fat, despite being in a calorie inbalance. Because the cells aren't getting enough fuel, the bodies' metabolism slows, which makes it even harder to lose weight. With the slower metabolism, it is even harder to get up for exercise. It's a viscious cycle.

Here's a nice blog post that explains the siren call of starving cells:

Calorie Count Menu Laws

Here is another blog post about semi-starvation diets (any diet that cuts calories to create a negative calorie balance is a semi-starvation diet).

Semi-Starvation Diets

One guy who has fallen off the dieting a couple of times sniffed that "eating just meat isn't very healthy".

Well, let's see: I have found a diet that leaves me with no cravings, removes fat and adds muscle without working out all that much or counting anything, dropped my blood pressure to normal and leaves me with way more energy than I have had in years. If that is unhealthy, I'll take my chances.

In fact, I posted this on the ZIOH board this morning in response to the question of "what has ZC done for you?"

I'm still fairly early in my ZC journey (48 days) but this is it, so far.

Down about 12 pounds (it was 15 pounds, but I seemed to have caught Carolina's mysterious 3 pound gain bug this week). More importantly, I dropped from a tight 36 inch waist jeans to wearing a khaki shorts with a size 32 waist. They run big but I can button some old 32 inch Levis 501's from the old days. They are tight but I can button them. Not that long ago I couldn't get them over my butt.

I seem to be putting on a fair amount of muscle, despite not working out very much.

I have a lot more energy. I have done the bare minimum around the house with various projects the last few years because I have been just too tired. I think I have gotten more done over the last month than I had the last couple of years. I still get pretty tired after working around the house/yard, so I have a ways to go.

I went to the doctor's office yesterday to have a weird mole removed for biopsy. They checked my blood pressure and it was 110/77. For the last 10 years probably, it has been in the 140/85 range.

The middle aged men here may understand this, but I can pee a lot harder. It appears that my prostate gland has shrunk a lot. It would get really bad if I ate a lot of carbs.

I used to have a constant problem with tooth pain. It always seemed like I had one molar or another that would bother me for some reason that the dentist couldn't find. I haven't had any of that in four or five weeks.

I was having a chronic issue with both of my elbows. I had bad tennis and golfer's elbow on both arms for over a year and it would not clear, no matter what I did. They still twinge on my now and then but they are a lot better.

I wish I could say that it was helping my hair but I have actually been thinning more since I started ZC. I may have to look into MJH's Zero Hair program soon. Undecided

In general, my hay fever is better, though, with the pine pollen flying right now, it isn't so great. Better than normal, though.

My sleep isn't better but I have always sucked at sleeping.

My digestive system works correctly for the first time in my entire life.

Good stuff and looking forward to it getting better as I go.

Speaking of workouts, I have been doing a Tiger Moves and push-ups routine two times a week for the last four weeks. I do one set of Tiger Moves at high intensity, a joint warm-up routine, several sets of push-ups (I have been doing them against a counter that is about 2.5 feet high because I needed to strengthen my elbows before doing them on the ground), about 20 Hindu squats, 20 Good Mornings and one set of planks for as long as I can go (a little over a minute so far). I was able to do 105 push-ups (in sets of 30, 25, 25, 25) yesterday and felt good (not sore today). I should be able to go to the ground now since my elbows aren't bothering me.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Day 46

Yesterday was a weird day, hunger-wise. I wasn't hungry all morning. By about 1:30, I was thinking about food but still not hungry. Since I was going to cook dinner for G and I, I didn't want to eat a bunch that late so I would be hungry by dinner. I decided to have a few bites of pemmican and a cheesestick to tide me over.

By the time I got home at 3:30, I was really hungry. I had a hot dog and a slice of cheese. I then kind of lost my mind and had a handful of a mix of cashews and macadamia nuts. Not only were they super salty, I didn't even really enjoy them. It was a carb hit, too - about 15g. Ugh.

Dinner was a decent sized ribeye that had plenty of fat.

I was down .6 pounds, to 186.2. That is still up 2 pounds from my low.

One good thing, though. Over the weekend, I was in Wal-Mart and checked my blood pressure on their machine. I don't know how accurate those things are but it read 127/77. I used to be in the 140/85 range, so it is an improvement. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, so will probably get it checked for real then.

I have decided that I am eating too much dairy lately. Originally, I wanted to use cheese mainly as a garnish but it has become a meal finisher and a quick snack when I am hungry but don't want to eat a full meal yet. There is nothing wrong with being hungry for a while until the meal, so I want to make a conscious effort to cut back.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 45 Addendum

The "beef bacon" ribs that I mentioned before are flanken-style short ribs.

Day 45

It's day 45, which puts me halfway through my original 90 trial run with zero carb. I actually don't see myself stopping or adding carbs any time soon. I will probably go at least six months before deciding whether to make this permanent. My feeling at this time is that I probably will make it permanent.

Yesterday was another hungry day. I wasn't real hungry early but had a small short rib and a cheesestick because I was going to mow the lawn. It's a three hour ordeal with my crummy lawn so I didn't want to run out of energy halfway through.

I was beat after mowing. I was hungry and craving carbs. I ended up having several bites of full fat cottage cheese. It is four grams of carbs per serving but I didn't have a full servings' worth.

I had picked up some ribs on clearance Sunday morning and they had been marinating over night. The ribs were a chunk of baby back ribs and also some thin cut ribs that were cut across the bone. I am not sure what the particular cut is called but they looked like big strips of bacon with four oval bone chunks.

I had marinated them in my "Crying Tiger" mix.


1/2 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground pepper
4 stalks lemongrass, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce or Golden Mountain sauce
3 tablespoons peanut oil

I grilled the back ribs until the meat was 150 gedrees. The "beef bacon" was grilled two minutes per side. With ribs, I turn the two outside burners to high and turn off the middle burner. I grill the meat in the middle over the unheated burner.

The "beef bacon" ribs were awesome. They were still quite rare and very, very fatty. I had to stop myself at four as I could easily have eaten all of them. The back ribs were also very good but not as good as the rib strips.

For dinner, I grilled up burgers and hot dogs, Even though I didn't think I was very hungry, I ended up eating three cheeseburgers and three hot dogs (less than a gram of carbs per dog). I also ended up drinking about 32 oz of ice tea during the BBQ. All of this was after 7 pm, so it was a pretty late dinner.

Probably because of the huge dinner, I was up 2.6 pounds, to 186.8. The weird thing is that last week my khaki shorts were tight at this weight. Today, I put them on freshly laundered and they fit fine and weren't tight at all. I don't know where the almost three pounds is but I am not too worried about it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Day 44

Saturday was another "not hungry day". I didn't get hungry until noon-ish and had a lamb sirloin steak. I hadn't had lamb since I was a kid and we always had it with mint jelly. I was looking at the package and it mentioned different seasonings. One of them was dijon mustard. I didn't have any dijon, so tried it with stone ground mustard. It was very good that way. The lamb was also pretty fatty. The fat actually tasted better than the meat.

I didn't get hungry again until late in the day, around 7 pm. I had a big cheeseburger bowl that I added a little salsa (2 carbs), sour cream and a little guacamole.

My weight Sunday morning was 184.4 pounds. That was up .2 pounds.

Yesterday, I was much hungrier. We were grocery shopping in the morning and I got hungry while out and about. I had two colby/jack cheesesticks to tide me over 'til we go home. I then had another lamb steak and a small cheeseburger bowl.

I ended up getting hungry again around 7 pm and had a big chunk of meatloaf. The meatloaf as made with a 2:1 ground buffalo to ground up ham mixture with heavy cream, egg and crushed pork rinds to hold it together. It was good but a bit salty.

My weight this morning was 184.2, back down that .2 pounds. That is three days in a row of close to 184.2. I guess that whoosh was for real.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 42 - Six week update

I have been busy the last couple of days and haven't much time to update the blog. I was bummed yesterday morning when I weighed and found I had bounced up .8 pounds, to 187.4 for no real reason. I was surprised because I have not been hungry lately and have not been eating much.

I have been thinking lately that I have not been eating enough fat. Most of the meals this week have been fairly lean. I have added some fat in cheese and a little cream in my tea, but I don't think it is enough. I have been dragging a little and a little down, both signs of not enough fat. I also think it might be what has contributed to my weight bouncing all week.

Despite not eating much on Thursday, I didn't get hungry yesterday until 11 AM. I decided to up the fat with the meal, so I had four sausage patties and four eggs with cheese. The eggs were fresh farm eggs and the yolks were huge. It was very filling and I didn't get hungry again until right before bed at 10 PM. I had a short rib that I added a little tallow to and a slice of cheddar.

I was completely shocked when I got on the scale this morning and it read 184.2. That's an overnight loss of 3.2 pounds and a total loss of 15.4 pounds. I don't know how real it is yet because I didn't eat much yesterday, I weighed later than usual and I had a bathroom issue during the night. Still, I'll take it and did all my weekly measurements anyway, since it was the six week mark.

Here is list that shows my current measurements and the changes from last time (two weeks) and since the beginning.

My chest and biceps are actually up some since last time. I found that interesting, since I haven't gotten fatter there. I have been doing Tiger Moves and push-ups a couple of times a week the last two weeks. Maybe they are doing some good.

I haven't been very hungry today so far. I am wondering if the hunger is because I am dumping fat. With my insulin levels down, it seems like I should be unclogging those drains from my fat cells. With more circulating fatty acids in my blood, I shouldn't be very hungry, except for when I need protein.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 40

I didn't hungry until about 11 AM and had my ubiquitous cheeseburger bowl. I was hungry again about 5 PM and had a cheesestick to tide me over 'til dinner. For dinner, we had chicken fajitas and I grilled up some short ribs so I could get a little extra fat.

The chicken fajitas were a little carbier than what I usually eat. It was chicken breast, a little onion and red pepper, sauce (from a mix), some guacamole, cheese and some sour cream. I also had one rib. Unfortunately they were leaner than usual and I also accidentally cooked them too much. They cooked much faster than usual, for some reason. The ribs were marinated in fish sauce, soy sauce, garlic and little peanut oil for two hours.

I was down .2 pounds this morning, to 186.6 lbs. I had to move to a smaller pair of shorts since my other pair were falling off, even with a belt. These are a 32 waist and the last were a 34. I would be more excited about the 32 waist if I didn't know these ran big. I have some old 32 inch waist Levis from ages ago that, for some reason, I'm still holding onto that won't button yet. I'm getting there, though, and plan on wearing those Levi's soon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 39

Yesterday, meals were pretty basic - pemmican and a cheese stick at 7:30, cheeseburger bowl at 1:00 and a ribeye for dinner at 6:00. I wasn't terribly hungry at dinner but ate anyway, to eat with the family. At least there was a lot less salt yesterday, so hopefully I can start flushing that out. When I get too much salt, not only do I bounce up with my weight but I also get cramps in my calves. Not fun.

My weight dropped .6 pounds, to 186.8.

I was talking yesterday about people being freaked out about the day-to-day weight fluctuations. I have to admit that they bum me out a little too, but I know that the general trend has been down and my measurements have been smaller. Just to prove the point to myself, I dumped all of my weights into a spreadsheet and set a column to make a running seven day average. The fluctuations went away and I show a daily decrease, except for the week after I gave up diet soda and bloated up.


Sure, I would like to be at my goal weight right now but I am getting there. I keep saying it but I have to just trust in this way of eating.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Reactive Hypoglycemia article

I found a really interesting article written by Liz Pavek. It is about reactive hypoglycemia, which is basically pre-diabetes. I am interested with it because it gives a clear and concise explanation of why carbs harm us and what to do about it. It also explains the diet nicely.

I am copying the article from a different blog. I haven't been able to find the original yet or I would have just linked to it.

Reactive Hypoglycemia
by Liz Pavek

Reactive hypoglycemia is usually the first sign that an individual has reached a dietary point of no return. It is actually the earliest stage of Type II diabetes, but diabetes can be held at bay by hypoglycemics through careful attention to the diet; so far, the only treatment that is available for hypoglycemia.

Under normal circumstances, hypoglycemia isn't much of a problem: You wait too long between meals, and you get cranky, lethargic, shaky, and confused. Eat, and you are fine. This is called "fasting" hypoglycemia.

But there is another type that doesn't behave like anything you have ever experienced. It is not, strictly speaking, the type of "hypoglycemia" that the word implies: (hypo=too little; glycemia=sugar in the blood). Strictly speaking, for this problem, the term is not a true definition. Let me list a few symptoms, just to show you that you are not immune:

* Breathlessness
* Panic Attacks
* Memory Problems
* Inability to Concentrate
* Inner Trembling and Pounding Heart 1-4 Hours after a Meal
* Palpitations/Irregular Heartbeat
* Weight Gain in Abdominal Area
* Nightmares

If you recognize any three of these symptoms in yourself over a period of time, you are probably at risk for reactive hypoglycemia.

A more complete list of symptoms:

* Fatigue
* Irritability
* Nervousness
* Depression
* Loss of libido
* Insomnia
* Flushing
* Leg or foot cramps
* Memory and concentration problems
* Anxiety
* Hypertension
* Impotence and inability to maintain an erection
* Headaches
* Dizziness, and sometimes even actual fainting
* Blurring of vision
* Nasal congestion
* Tinnitus (ringing ears)
* Numbness and tingling of the hands, feet or face
* Bloating
* Abdominal cramps
* Bowel problems

A condition similar to narcolepsy, in which the sufferer's eyes roll back in his head, his head drops forward, and he falls completely asleep for a few seconds can be very dangerous to a RHG sufferer who drives an automobile.

These chronic symptoms are bad enough and are present even when the blood sugar is in what would be considered a "normal" range. The acute symptoms (those which occur with each "episode" at widely variable blood sugar levels) can be quite frightening:

Heart arrythmias, inner trembling and sweating, During sleep, the episodes are accompanied by heavy dreaming and nightmares. During the day, these intense episodes are similar to panic attacks, and can last up to a half an hour. They are caused by the sudden release of very large amounts of adrenalin, much more than would be necessary for the restoration of the blood sugar level.

"RHG is not the same as fasting hypoglycemia, which is low blood sugar that occurs when you do not eat. For this reason, RHG is not always picked up on routine medical tests. RHG occurs within 2 to 3 hours after a meal of excess carbos, when there is a rapid release of carbos into the small intestine, followed by rapid glucose absorption, and then the production of a large amount of insulin. Adrenalin production should be measured as well as glucose, as both occur at abnormal times. RHG is also called "insulin tolerance", "postprandial hypoglycemia", "carbohydrate intolerance" and in severe forms,"idiopathic adult-onset phosphate diabetes". This condition can lead to type II diabetes.

"RHG is common in people with FMS and FMS/MPS Complex. In FMS, it is enhanced by dysfunctional neurotransmitter regulation and other systemic mechanisms. With FMS, you crave carbohydrates but cannot make efficient use of them because of an electrolytic imbalance and other biochemical imbalances in your body. We produce adrenalin even when the blood sugar doesn't fall. We crave carbos, because we need energy. Since our insulin level is high, our bodies take the carbos and store them as fat, often in the belly. We can get the body balanced by eating a balanced diet, and teach it to metabolize our fat for energy."

-- Reactive Hypoglycemia (RHG) FM/MPS Perpetuating Factor by Devin Starlanyl, MD

[Dr. Starlanyl goes on to recommend the "Zone Diet," but, as an "experienced" RHG sufferer, I do not for the simple reason that it contains too many grams of carbohydrate for us who must restrict carbohydrates drastically. Since carbohydrates are not essential nutrients except as a resource for fat stores, it causes no nutritional deficiency to eat without including them in your diet.]

RHG occurs frequently in individuals suffering from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and explains a lot of the symptoms that people with these syndromes have experienced but never had a clear picture of. FMS and CFS are hard to diagnose and some medical systems refuse to admit that such wide-ranging symptoms could all be generated by one overarching disorder.

Thyroid problems and adrenal insufficiency can also be present with hypoglycemia, and they are both frequently found with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. The difficulty with testing for them is that doctors tend to look at test results rather than symptoms. If you come to a doctor with every symptom listed at the above website, but your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is even 1 point inside the "normal" parameters, many times the doctor will tell you only that: "Your tests show that your TSH is within the normal range." (Loosely translated, this means, "Get out of my face with this stupid thyroid suspicion. I'm the doctor here.")

But there is nothing that will cure RHG once it gets established. The only way to deal with it is to put yourself on a STRICT low-carbohydrate diet, and STAY on it. As Dr. Starlanyl states in her article, this condition will lead to Type II diabetes if it is not carefully managed.

Hypoglycemic Episodes

A typical reactive hypoglycemic who has reached a chronic stage will have numerous episodes a day, especially if he is still eating a carbohydrate-rich diet. A couple of hours after a carb-loaded meal, he will notice his heart pounding. Lightheadedness and confusion follow, and his fingers will be cold. Suddenly, there is be a "flash;" a surge of adrenalin.

Eventually, the blood sugar will normalize (thanks to the adrenalin/cortisol, which stimulates a sudden removal of glycogen from the liver, just as if he was running) and he will regain his comfort level once more until the next episode.

This type of pressure is very hard on the body. The adrenalin surges tax the heart repeatedly every day as they stimulate all the "fight-or-flight" reflexes again and again. The body of an individual who has several flashes a day is in a state of constant and total physical stress. A combat soldier under fire might experience the same level of anxiety. (I am not minimizing combat stress. I am emphasizing the debilitating physical stresses of RHG, which at times can feel as if the heart is about to explode.) The adrenals, after years of this abuse, begin to falter. The pancreas, which has worked overtime to produce the insulin needed by the all the repeated sugar loads, fails, which results in Type II diabetes.

"What's happening to my body?"
Now, here's where it gets good: The fat cells store the molecular insulin along with the fat molecules in the fat cells. "Fat tissue is a tremendous user of insulin. An overweight diabetic must produce a great quantity of insulin to keep body cells living. His excess fat deposits divert insulin from its normal activity of supplying the vital organs, such as the liver, brain, lungs, etc. [with glycogen], and the insulin is then consumed by the body fat deposited by the eating of carbohydrate foods." -- Melvin Anchell, M.D. "The Steak Lovers' Diet" Second Opinion Publishing, Atlanta

What happens to that stored insulin?
Does it just wait there in the fat until glucagon comes to call it out for energy? I don't know, and haven't been able to find out. I'm still searching. There are low levels in the blood at all times to help stabilize blood sugar in non-diabetics. When RHG sufferers test their fasting blood sugar in the morning, they will find it elevated. (Normal blood sugar in the fasting range should be between 80 and 100 mg/dl.) Their blood sugar will frequently be between 115 and 135. Over a period of careful diet and attention to other factors, like hormone supplementation, that fasting blood sugar should fall to more normal readings.

As long as the sufferer continues to eat a carbohydrate-rich diet, his body is being covered in a constantly-growing "coat" of fat cells, but more keep coming as the body struggles to deal with the overloads of carbohydrate in the diet. (The body starts out with a certain number of fat cells. More can be stimulated as the body adds fat, but none ever go away. Once they are there, they are there forever, so the ideal situation is to have all these fat cells as empty as possible.) Our blood pressure, as well as our weight, goes up and up. Not only is insulin responsible for the storage of that fat, but it is itself being stored with the fat because the receptors on the cells have been shut down. The pancreas eventually fails from trying to pump out sufficient insulin to keep the blood sugar in the normal range. More insulin equals more fat.

Without carbohydrates to stimulate more insulin, the blood sugar will normalize very soon after this change in the diet is made. If the change continues and the sufferer is meticulous in his avoidance of starchy and sugary foods, the fat cells will begin to respond to glucagon in the blood, and will start to release the stored fat, which is either turned back into glucose and burned for energy or excreted.

If there is too much insulin in the fat and too much insulin circulating in the blood with sugar loads and no place to take them because cellular receptors are shut down, the weakened, strained, overworked, and struggling glands must compete with each other as they attempt to reach a metabolic balance. The consequence of this is a staggering list of disorders and glandular problems, and the sufferer has one disease after another in a cascade of problems and illness.

The sufferer is lethargic, cold all the time, confused and forgetful, and plagued by one adrenalin surge after another. Eventually, it reaches a chronic stage, where no insulin or fat is being used, but insulin is being secreted constantly in response to carbohydrate-containing food. This newly called-up insulin soon finds itself moved to the fat cells just like all the rest, and the cycle repeats and repeats until the pancreas fails from overwork and the sufferer is not only obese but is soon diagnosed with Type II diabetes.

The sufferer's body gets so efficient at storing every available calorie that virtually none is released from the fat for body heat or activity. In the absence of glucose being admitted to the cells, the body "perceives" a starvation situation, and immediately begins to hoard calories against famine. The energy that would have been obtained from the food is stored as fat to keep the brain and heart alive, the most essential organs in the body. Since most of what Americans eat today is composed of some form of carbohydrate, it's conceivable that virtually all the consumed food energy is going to be stored as fat.

The individual finds himself in a real dilemma: His lean-body mass is literally starving to death and shriveling away for want of glycogen for energy, with the muscles getting smaller and smaller, so that what few receptors there are are reduced even further; not to mention the physical weakness of these depleted muscles, coupled with the lethargy of hyperinsulinism. But the cells can't be repaired or replaced since they are closed to the energy available in the insulin-borne glycogen, and they are not able to extract nourishment or energy from the blood for want of receptor sites. All this time, the sufferer is getting fatter and fatter; fat which would be a rich source of glycogen if the receptors could receive the insulin/sugar loads. The sufferer becomes drowsy, cold all the time, and famished around the clock as his body gradually shuts down one function after another in order to conserve energy.

Like a lock and key, the insulin receptors on the cells only receives insulin and sugar. If the receptors are shut down (mutated and/or missing due to hyperinsulinism), there is no lock for the key to open, so there is no way to get the "door" of the cell open and the energy-producing calories in the sugar inside the cell. The more receptors that can be restored by proper diet, the more insulin will be used up.

What can be done?
Dr. Robert C. Atkins, M.D. and others have all clearly explained the sugar/insulin/fat metabolic process and thousands of people have lost tons of fat by following their prescribed programs, all of which work, to a greater or lesser degree. The Atkins Diet is a very good one for RHG.

Dr. R. Paul St. Amand, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine Endocrinology --Harbor-UCLA, says, in a nutshell: "Only a perfect diet will control hypoglycemia." Fasting from carbohydrate foods is a good way to get control of the oversupply of insulin.

Without the carbohydrates that would normally be in the diet, the receptor sites gradually begin to reappear, the insulin is there to take the sugar into the cell for energy. Et voila! The sufferer is suddenly carrying around his very own 24-hour, open-all-night lunch pail.

Once the switchover to the combustion of stored body fat is complete, the body will cruise easily and the "feed me!" signals will disappear. One nice thing about this fast is the fact that if it is carefully adhered to, the symptoms will disappear, and the blood sugar will move into the normal range (80-120mg/dl). The more strictly the sufferer follows the fast, the more relief he will get. The individual will immediately know if he has taken in insulin-stimulating foods because he will again feel hunger pangs, something that disappears completely when the body is utilizing its fat stores. Without insulin, the body has no "feed me!" signal.

In the first few days, the receptors on the muscle cells will begin to reappear, slowly at first, but soon in large numbers. The individual might feel some fatigue or lethargy at this time. This is normal. The body is trying to force itself to switch from consumed sugar to its own sugar, which will take a couple of days. Like your car, when the gas tank is empty, the car chugs and coughs and shuts down until you refill the tank. The same thing happens with your body. When its "sugar" tank is emptied, it struggles for several hours searching for a new source of energy. During this period, glucagon will be released once again and the switchover will be complete.

Soon, all the receptors are restored and over a period of time, if the individual is diligent, all the stored fat will be consumed, and the body will shift into a more normal sugar metabolism. When the blood sugar normalizes, energy is restored, and body temperature is back to normal.

This does not mean that the sufferer can go back to his high-carbohydrate diet, however. His sugar metabolism is broken, and will never be fixed.

This return to "normal" is only because of the stringent diet the sufferer has chosen for himself. But this is a good thing. Carbohydrates are not a part of the natural, prehistoric diet of humans, and they are very difficult for the body to handle because they demand so much from the pancreas and other glands. By removing these carbs from the daily diet and making the change permanent, the sufferer relieves that burdensome metabolic stress and is once again able to enjoy life without the worry of constantly gaining fat no matter how small his meals and portions, suffering from repeated episodes, or dealing with a somnolent metabolism and related glandular insufficiencies.

When the fat is consumed, the sufferer can return to a more normal (but still low-carb) diet, such as the Atkins diet. This process can take days, weeks, or even months, depending on the fat blanket and the amount of insulin stored, but if the sufferer is diligent, the fat will come off and the blood sugar will normalize.

For hypoglycemics, the fat loss is almost secondary to the relief from the terrifying and debilitating symptoms of this disorder. Those sufferers I have talked to all say that it is the ability to sleep through the night without frightening episodes and to be warm and alert at all times that keeps them dedicated. The fat loss is a wonderful "side effect," but is not the primary reason for the fast.

Check your blood sugar once or twice daily with a glucometer to get an idea of what is going on. For hypoglycemics, it will be highest in the morning and lowest in the evening. When it gets down around 90 mg/dl and stays there, you can call your fast a success.


1. Even a small sugar/starch carbohydrate feeding during this fast will shut down the process for about 24 hours and cause the carbs to be stored as fat once more. Only diligent attention to the diet will return the body to the fat-utilization stage.

2. The older you are (especially if you are a woman) the harder this will be to accomplish. Post-menopausal women have a tendency to thickened middles anyway, as a result of the secondary estrogen secretor role of their abdominal fat. If you fast for any length of time and not only don't lose, but continue to gain, the chances are very good that more than your sugar metabolism is at fault. If this happens, get an adrenal and thyroid panel from your doctor. Sometimes hidden problems like hypothyroid or cortisol disturbances can be behind your metabolic problems. Don't hesitate to ask for these tests, and follow your doctor's instructions.

3. The diet must be very strictly adhered to. Meats, poultry, fish, fats, cream, butter, lard, tallow, eggs, and cheese are the only free foods on this control diet (no vegetable oils or shortenings for reasons that are explained elsewhere on this site). Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower may be eaten in small amounts, as well as green beans, cabbage, and asparagus. Eat sparingly, if you wish, but don't starve. Fats are very satisfying if one is not consuming carbohydrates, so don't refrain because you are afraid you will be hungry all the time. Have no fear: This is a very comfortable time as long as no carbs are consumed. And do not be afraid of animal fats in your diet. Rather than being the heart/blood pressure villains they are claimed to be, they are nutrition-dense and highly efficient as sources of energy, besides being like "Roto-Rooters" in your arteries. Steak and butter, if you wish. Fish and cream. Meat and Cheese. Once the normal blood-sugar level is reached, you should be able to add small amounts of other foods (vegetables and small servings of fruits) back into your diet.

Many people won't even attempt this regimen because it is so restrictive. I've had people tell me "But, I can't give up my bread!" "What will I eat??" "I hate fat!" "I'll just die if I don't have my cinnamon roll every morning." Fine. Nobody is forcing anyone to eat the way I recommend. If their cinnamon rolls mean more to them than life, they should go for it. These people will probably have Type II in another couple of years. They will be the ones who will probably die in their mid-seventies, if not before.

But there are some who want to live without needles and Glucophage. They are the ones who will get serious about removing the insulin-loaded fat and untangling the metabolic knot.

4. As long as you have stored insulin in your fat cells, you will continue to have hypoglycemia. The stored insulin spells "no room" in the blood to newly secreted insulin, which means new fat cells must be stimulated for more insulin and fat, and so on ad infinitum. Only by not stimulating any new insulin can the individual begin to use up the fat/insulin stores.

I cannot emphasize enough how very important it is not to cheat on this diet. If you want to regain your health, you must, in the words of Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales, "...get plumb, mad-dog mean!" Get mean with yourself, and you will fool your body into using up its store of fat. Stay with it and don't let anyone distract you from your goal, because, for reactive hypoglycemics, this is a matter of life and death.

5. This condition will never go away. It is yours forever, probably as a result of a family history of defective sugar-metabolism genes, so always keep it in mind. (I even went so far as to get a medic-alert bracelet to remind myself when I am tempted that what I have is lifelong, as well as potentially life-threatening.)

RHG is actually a form of diabetes, and you are stuck with it. So stay with your diet, and avoid having to take insulin, which is what will happen if you develop Type II diabetes. You will get your hypoglycemia under control, but it will always lurk under the surface, waiting for you to slip up. If you don't like the adrenalin flashes and the other symptoms, this is what you have to do to get control of them.

6. Do not fail to eat fat with this diet. Three tablespoons of butter or so a day (more won't hurt), whipping cream in your coffee, or coconut oil two or three times a day is the bare minimum. Without it, you might even get ill. You must have some form of saturated fat on any strict fast or high-protein diet.

Saturated fats are NOT fattening, no matter what anybody tells you to the contrary. They do not stimulate the production of insulin, which must occur in order for calories to be stored as fat. They are, however, extremely nutritious, biochemically essential, and your body needs more saturated fats than almost any other nutrient, except perhaps water and protein. Do not be afraid of butter, steak fat, whipping cream, cheese, lard, cream cheese, or eggs while doing this diet. Butter and coconut oil are very good forms to use, since they are just about the only foods you can be certain are absolutely carb-free.

Coconut oil is the richest source of lauric fatty acids, an essential fatty acid. This lauric acid is so essential, in fact, that mother's milk is the next highest source of it. It is essential for the proper formation of nerve and brain cells, among other things. Coconut oil is unique in the way it is metabolized. It passes directly into the metabolic process and does not even get into the digestion. Learn more about it here.

The information provided above is strictly my opinion. Do not mistake any of this material for medical advice.

Day 38

It was an odd day yesterday. I wasn't hungry at all early and then really hungry all afternoon. I didn't get hungry until about 11:30 and had a cheeseburger bowl. I was hungry again about 2:30. I had several big bites of pemmican and a colby/jack cheese stick. Dinner was late again and I was hungry about 5:00, so had a handful of pork rinds. Dinner was at 7:30 and was two big slices of ham, with cheese slices on them. I was really full after that.

I had hoped to flush out the salt from the weekend but, between the ham and pork rinds, that didn't happen. In fact, I was up .8 pounds, to 187.4, this morning, probably due to the big, salty dinner late.

I can't say I didn't think "Darn" when I saw the number go up but I am still amazed at how people obsess over the scale numbers. The scale can't tell you what is going on inside. .6 pounds is roughly a half pint of water, which isn't much. I have seen people fret over a .2 gain and change up what they are doing based on that.

I think it's a bit silly because there are so many different variables. For one thing, digital scales aren't perfect. Digital scales use electronic sensors to measure weight. These kind of sensors have accuracy ratings that they are guaranteed for, with the very best rated at +/- .1%. The cheaper ones are rated at +/- 1%. This means that if you weigh 200 pounds and have a cheaper scale, your weight could vary as much as 4 pounds with no change in your actual weight (+/- 2 pounds) and .4 pounds for a good one (+/- .2 pounds).

I am going by the sensor ratings because the scale manufacturers don't seem to like to disclose their scales' accuracy ratings. Most scales use multiple sensors and there are techniques to improve consistency so these aren't hard and fast numbers. The point is that there is some small variability and freaking out about tiny changes isn't warranted.

Water weight is one of the biggest variables in day-to-day weight. There are a lot of reasons that the body will hold water - carb intake, hormones, salt intake, inflammation and digestion, just to name a few common ones. Since a pint of water weighs a pound, it doesn't take much water to affect the body's weight. That .2 pounds is 6.4 tablespoons of water.

The amount of food currently undergoing digestion is your intestines is highly variable, too, and can affect day-to-day weight. I have read that the average person can have up to 20 pounds of matter in their intestines at a time (I believe that zero carbers would have considerable less because they aren't all bound up with fiber).

All of this points out why it's silly to obsess over day to day fluctuations or even the number itself. I've already posted several times on this blog about the lies the scale will tell. The last time that I measured myself while doing zero carb, I compared my measurements to when I was pretty much the same weight last fall when I had lost weight calorie counting. I was significantly smaller this time at the same weight, which shows that I lost more fat and retained more lean this time.

I post my weight every day but it isn't that important to me. My measurements and pictures that I take on Saturday every week have been showing a consistent fat loss while my scale numbers have been all over the place. What most overweight people should focus on is losing fat, not getting smaller numbers on a scale (yes, there is a difference). Zero carb allows most people to lose fat while retaining (or even gaining) muscle and other lean tissue. The measuring tape, the mirror and your clothes tell the true story.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day 37

I'm back after a long weekend on the road. Eating on the road when doing zero carb with the family is tough. It is hard to fill up at the fast food restaurants and sit down restaurants are too expensive for what you get, since they apparently make most of their money by trying to fill you up on cheap sides and not the meat. Everything is also mega-dosed with salt. It's easier when I am on my own because I can supplement with pemmican, but K and the kids don't like it.

Friday night, we ate at Wendy's. I had a bunless triple and K had a double. We were both still hungry after that, so we each had a bunless double-stack (which are really small).

When we got to Moses Lake, all three of were getting hungry again. After getting settled in, I went to the mini-mart next to the hotel in search of a snack to tide us over until morning. The absolute best I could come up with was some no carb pepperoni sticks and a small bag of pork rinds. I ended up eating half of the pepperoni stick, a few pork rinds and some pemmican. Not the greatest but better than what I would have done in the past, which would have been to walk over to McDonald's and get McFlurries.

Saturday morning, we walked over to the Denny's next to the hotel for breakfast. I was looking forward to a big omelette that would fill me up for the day, like I got in Boise. Instead, we got these tiny things that were barely filling. I kind of expected more for $7 (they did subtract some off of the normal price of $10 since we didn't get hash browns or toast).

By 4 PM, when the competition was over, I was extremely hungry. We decided that we wanted to get to my parent's house as soon as possible, so didn't want to take the time to eat at a restaurant. I got some cheese sticks, pepperoni and salami at a grocery store and we munched on that as we drove off.

Instead of eating at a restaurant that night, I bought some grated cheese and hamburger and made cheeseburger bowls at my parents'. I was bad and added some guacamole that my mom had.

Sunday morning, we had a big breakfast of eggs and sausage links. My Grandpa loves to cook us a big breakfast when we stay there. Usually, I am so full and sick from eating carbs at my parents' the night before that I don't eat much. This time, we were both hungry so got to eat a bunch. The sausage links didn't sit the best with either of us but it was okay.

Dinner was cheeseburger bowls again because we didn't have anything else available after being gone. I am looking forward to getting back to real meat and getting all of the salt out of my system. I feel bloated this morning and have a headache.

There were a lot of temptations along the way but I think I did pretty well. I did get a Pepsi Max on the way from Moses Lake because I was super thirsty and water just wasn't cutting it. Not a great excuse but I can't say it didn't hit the spot. I also had some Diet Pepsi with breakfast at Grandpa's (it's part of the breakfast routine). I did turn down the ice cream that my mom offered and didn't eat any of the carby junk available along the way. The times that I was tempted, I just thought about how flat my stomach is getting and it was easy to turn it down.

With the salt bloat and eating all of the processed stuff along the way, I stepped on the scale with some trepidation this morning. I about fell over when it read 186.6 lbs, which meant I actually lost .4 pounds over the weekend. I wouldn't be surprised to see a big whoosh when I dump the salt out of my system. As of now, though, I have lost 13 pounds in 37 days.

On a non-diet note, my son J took fifth place in the individual scores at his math competition. He was a little disappointed because he took first last year and third the year before. However, I think placing in the top 5 in the state three years in a row is fantastic. He was only 2 points out of first, so it wasn't like he bombed; it was just a tough test this year with good competition. Our team took fourth place overall, which is really good considering the high power private schools we were competing against.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Day 34

I wasn't very hungry yesterday. I did get hungry early and had a beef rib. Next hunger was around 1 PM and was a cheeseburger bowl. I wasn't hungry at all the rest of the day, despite doing another Tiger Moves/pushups workout at noon. I skipped dinner but started getting a little hungry before bed, so had a piece of cheese and around seven macadamia nuts (less than 2 grams worth of carbs).

Probably because of that and because I weighed a little later, I was down .8 pounds this morning, to 187.0. That's a total loss of 12.6 pounds in 34 days.

I have a challenge this weekend. We are going out of town to go to the state championship for my youngest son's math team. This means we will be eating in restaurants tonight and tomorrow plus traveling quite a bit. After that, we will be going to my parent's house since my oldest son will be staying with them. We will spend the night there (at my grandpa's actually) and then head home Sunday, doing some shopping in Spokane along the way.

The biggest challenge will be at my parent's. My dad is anti-low carb and would be mortified by zero carb. He is a firm believer in doctors as nutritional experts and considers anything against the low fat party line as dangerous fad diets. I am 45 years old and obviously don't need my parent's permission to do anything but I get tired quickly of the arguments and comments.

Fortunately, we won't be eating there so it may not come up. Breakfast will be at Grandpa's and he loves fixing us a big breakfast of eggs and sausage and doesn't think twice that we don't eat carbs with it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Day 33

I was kind of out of sorts all day yesterday. All day at work, I just felt like I hadn't woken up all the way, kind of bleary feeling. My stomach was a bit upset, too. Not sure what that was all about but I felt a lot better after driving to my son's track meet and walking around outside for a couple of hours.

I wasn't super hungry in the morning but had some pemmican and a cheese stick in an attempt to settle my stomach. This was about 6AM. I got hungry again about 1 PM and had a cheeseburger bowl. I hadn't intended on eating any more after that and wasn't hungry through the meet but was a little hungry when we got home at 8:30. K was just fixing us some burger patties so I had two before bed.

I don't like eating that late but it didn't damage anything apparently. I was down .6 pounds to 187.8. That's a new low and the lowest I have been for over two years. That's a total loss of 11.8 pounds in the last 33 days.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day 32

Yesterday was a hungry day. I was hungry by the time I got to work at 5 AM. I ate a beef rib which kept me full until about noon. I had a cheeseburger bowl and was pretty full. Dinner was a bit strange, though. I had given blood at about 2:30 and was feeling a bit run down but not hungry. I was really debating whether to eat or not because I really wasn't hungry yet. K thought I probably should eat something since I had given blood so I ended up cooking a good sized Ribeye. I figured that I would have a few bites and save the rest for lunch today. However, I ended up burning through the whole thing and didn't even feel stuffed. I guess I was hungrier than I thought.

I have been having to reexamine the hunger issue since going zero carb. I am no stranger to waiting to eat until physically hungry since I started doing the Weigh Down program ten years ago. Under that program, hunger was simple; you were hungry when your stomach growled, along with a slight low blood sugar feeling. I pretty much have eaten that way since. However, since going zero carb, my hunger isn't always so simple. Frequently it comes as feeling totally run down. I do sometimes get the stomach growling but I would like something a little more consistent. Some of the folks on ZIOH define hunger as being able to eat and being not hungry is the when the though of meat is nauseating. I'll have to see how this works out.

Maybe because of the big steak at dinner, I was up .4 pounds this morning, 188.4. However, my pants are still fitting nice and loose, so it isn't a big deal. I do know that I got down to 188.4 last October by a calorie restricted diet and I am significantly smaller now than I was then at the same weight.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Day 31

For some reason, I really wasn't very hungry yesterday, perhaps because of the late dinner. I also had to deal with a bout of something disagreeing with me, the details of which are too gruesome to mention. Because of all that, I am down a pound this morning to 188.0 lbs. That's a new low and a total of 11.6 pounds gone. We'll see if it holds up. I hope so. The pants that were tight all last week are sitting on my hips today (beware of plumber butt syndrome).

I was hungry first about 10 AM and had a cheeseburger bowl. Dinner was at 6 (I was hungry then, too) and I had a couple of big grilled boneless beef ribs.

I also did a set of Tiger Moves, a set of the joint warmup exercises, 40 inclined pushups, 20 Hindu Squats and 20 "Good Mornings". It felt good but I have to jump into it slowly because I am not completely keto-adapted yet and I dropped my blood sugar a little afterwards. I was fine, just a little sleepy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 30

Wow - a third of the way through my 90 day challenge already. It has been fairly easy and effective so far, despite my whining after giving up diet soda. I will probably change it to an 180 day challenge eventually since most on the Zeroing In On Health forum claim that you should give it six months to see maximum benefits. For now, though, I'll stick with 90 days.

I expected a bounce up this morning because we ate dinner really late last night and I was up early since I had to work. I was up .4 pounds, to 189, which I didn't think was too bad. Even though I think the bounce was because of the aforementioned reasons, I am not going to try to explain every bounce any more. Last week proved to me that I have no idea what is going on just by looking at the scale. I am trusting to the way of eating and will relax when it comes to weight. If I start obviously getting fatter or go into an extended stall, I will then have to reexamine what I am eating and look to see if I need to drop dairy or something like that. But, for now, I am going to sit back and relax.

Yesterdays meals started with getting hungry while we were out grocery shopping. I bought a colby/jack cheese stick to tide me over until I got home. When I got home, around 1 PM, I had a T-bone steak and a couple of bites of the yogurt that we mixed up last week.

Dinner was eggs, bacon and three small "pancakes" with butter. The pancakes are Protein Pancakes from one of Dana Carpender's books. They are made from unflavored protein powder, eggs and ricotta cheese. They are very low carb but not in the spirit of the whole foods that zero carb entails. I didn't really enjoy them anyway and won't eat them again.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Day 29

Happy Mother's Day everyone.

I wasn't very hungry yesterday. I was really busy all day and didn't eat much or drink much. Possibly because of that, I was down almost a pound this morning to 188.6. I had six sausage links and a piece of cheese about 11 AM and then four chicken thighs for dinner about 6 PM. I also had a slice of cheese around 4 PM because I was hungry and on the run.

I think I have the tea routine down now. I have been having some unsweetened tea earlier in the day and a single tea bag's worth (I make two cups out a teabag) in the evening. I add one drop of liquid Splenda per cup and a splash of cream. It is not sweet; the cream and Splenda just smooth it out. The tea at night is very relaxing and is very nice after dinner. This seems to be working well for me.

The last two days have been very busy doing projects around the house. For the last couple of years, I have been doing the bare minimum. I have been low on energy and I would get tired very easily. I couldn't get much done because of it and a lot of tasks just seemed monumentally difficult to even start. I noticed over the last two days that it wasn't difficult to get going and I didn't run out of energy. I didn't need breaks and got through them. I was tired afterwards but it didn't last long. This is pretty nice.

K has still been eating this way and is doing fine. This was her four week update time but, hormonally, it isn't a good time to weigh or measure. Since we will be gone next weekend, she will have to wait and do a six week update.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Week 4 Update - Day 28

This has been a rough week. I have struggled, both physically and mentally. My weight has been up this week and it has been bumming me out because I haven't changed my eating, except for dropping the diet sodas. Physically, I have felt bloated and have had carb cravings, which I have been able to ignore.

Since I wasn't feeling good about my progress, I almost didn't do an update. However, I had planned on doing a picture update every four weeks, so went ahead anyway. It was a good thing I did, I think. While the scales have been telling me lies, the measuring tape tells a different story. I am getting smaller, which is the most important thing, rather than a number on the scale.

First, here are the pictures comparing how I look today, compared to how I looked at the start. Not a monumental difference, but pretty good for four weeks, I think, considering that I wasn't vastly overweight to start with. Click on the pictures for a bigger version, if you dare.

Front view, relaxed:

Side view, relaxed:

Front view, "flexed":

Back view, "flexed"

I think the back view shows the biggest change. My waist and chest have shown the biggest change so far.

I haven't been able to figure out how to post a decent table with this software, so I have decided to just past a picture of my progress tracking spreadsheet. It shows my weight and measurements from the beginning. The "Net Change" area is the week to week change and the "Total Change" area shows the change relative to the beginning. Click on the picture for a more readable view. The weird numbers are because I measure in centimeters and have the spreadsheet convert them to inches.

The little column floating out to the right is kind of interesting. It compares today to two weeks ago. I am only down .2 pounds from two weeks ago but my measurements are actually down quite a bit. People talk about how zero carb actually causes body recomposition. I need to remember that and quit worrying about weight fluctuations. Whatever is going on in response to dropping diet soda is just something I have to ride out and quit worrying about it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day 26

Well, another day of no sweeteners and cream; another day of a .2 pound gain. I am now up to 189.6 pounds. The weight part is getting a little frustrating but my energy levels are back up and I don't feel quite as bloated, so I think it going in the right direction anyway.

I was hungry early yesterday, despite the tacos the night before, so had a cheeseburger bowl. I ended up getting hungry again at 2 PM, so I had a few bites of pemmican and a colby/jack cheese stick. Dinner was late, about 7:45. I had three fairly large chicken thighs that had marinaded in Frank's hot sauce and then broiled. I followed that up with a piece of cheddar to up the fat a little.

One possible reason for the slight weight gain is that I did a little resistance training yesterday. At lunch, I did a set of full tension Tiger Moves followed by the joint warmup routine (from John Peterson's Transformetrics books). It wasn't a lot as I wanted to ease back into resistance training but I could feel them this morning. I know that sometimes muscles can retain water after resistance training. Since my stomach wasn't as bloated feeling, I think it is a valid theory on why the weight was up, despite feeling thinner.

They felt good, too. Last time I tried them, in my pre-ZC days, I really struggled with getting enough air. I didn't have that problem at all this time and felt strong, even though I have basically done nothing for the last few months. Once I feel like I am making strides, I would like to add back in push-ups and Hindu squats.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Day 25

As I mentioned yesterday, I had no Splenda or cream yesterday in an attempt to get over the effects that I have been having since giving up my diet soda. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be and it did seem to help my energy level. I was feeling quite a bit better yesterday. It also seemed to help with the carb cravings that I have been having. They are still there, but not nearly as bad. Whether these changes would have happened with dropping the Splenda and cream or not, I don't know. Tomorrow will be a week since I gave up the pop, so it may just be finally kicking the addiction.

One place it didn't help was with my weight. I did feel less bloated yesterday but my weight was up .2 pounds this morning. That is probably due to a little carbier dinner than normal.

Lunch yesterday was a cheeseburger bowl again, though there was a change this time. When I browned up the hamburger, I drained the grease and juice into a bowl. I let it sit for a while and then put it in the fridge. The fat rose to the top and hardened after awhile. I popped the fat out, drained the other stuff out and then broke the fat disk into chunks and put it back in the fridge. Yesterday, I added one of the chunks to my cheeseburger bowl. This added a creamier texture and made it more filling. It didn't really make it greasy or anything like that.

For dinner, we "celebrated" Cinco De Mayo by having taco salads for dinner. K and I basically had taco meat with cheese, sour cream and guacamole. It was a few more carbs than normal, probably around 12-15, since I had two bowls. It was slightly offset by not having the carbs from the cream but was enough that I think it caused the bump up in my weight. Hopefully it will drop off tomorrow as I am going back to normal eating today, still minus the cream and Splenda.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day 24

I'm updating this kind of late so there might be some overlap with tomorrow's update.

I am still struggling with the effects of giving up my diet soda. I still feel run down and bloated. I also have been fighting some bad carb cravings since I stopped drinking it. The cravings in particular are frustrating. I was doing really well before and sailing along and now this crops up. My weight has been all over, too, though I was the same weight this morning as yesterday (189.2).

In an attempt to see if anything else is causing a problem, I decided today that I wouldn't have any Splenda or cream in my tea. In fact, I just brewed up a big pot of white tea and have been drinking that plain all day. It has been enough caffeine to keep the headaches away. I haven't really noticed any other changes though it seems like my energy is coming back up. We'll see how it goes.

Yesterday, I didn't get hungry at first until about 11 AM. I had a cheeseburger bowl. It wasn't really enough and I was hungry by the time I got home. I kind of caved to my carb cravings and had about six macadamia nuts and three or four pork rinds. Dinner was a couple of small sirloin steaks cooked "swiss steak" style (boiled over low heat with tomatoes, onion and celery). I had a few of the pieces of veggies that had stuck to the meat but it wasn't much. I had a piece of cheese afterwards to up the fat.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Day 23

Since I dropped the diet soda last Thursday, I seem to be bouncing all around with my weight. I was up .6 pounds yesterday, to 189.4 and was at 189.2 this morning, though I weighed much earlier since I had to work today. Besides the weight issue, the kicking the habit process has been going okay. I had another low grade headache yesterday and was dragging around in the afternoon. I am hoping my energy levels come up soon as the weather is getting better and I have things to do in the yard.

I didn't get hungry until after noon yesterday and didn't actually eat until 2 PM. I had a leftover rib and a cheeseburger bowl. I really like have burger patties around but they are a pain to cook and they splatter grease everywhere. Since our store has hamburger super cheap right now because of Cinco De Mayo, I bought several 3.5 lb packages and browned one of them up. Then I can scoop out a bowl of hamburger when I need it, sprinkle on a little cheese and stir in a bit of mustard. Instant cheeseburgers.

K had been really missing her yogurt. Normally, the flavored kind is really high in carbs because they add so much sugar. I bought some full fat plain yogurt and added some flavored protein powder (sweetened with Splenda). The two kinds of protein powder I had was Strawberry Cream and Dutch Chocolate. Mixed in to the plain yogurt, it was quite good, plus high in fat and protein. It isn't zero carb because of the milk sugar (there are some that claim the lactose is eaten by the cultures but I don't know for sure). It is higher in carbs and sweetener than I want, but it hits the spot with K. I did have a little bit of the chocolate, though it was only about two tablespoons and didn't cause any cravings or other issues.

Dinner was a pork steak and a bit of cheese. I wasn't all that hungry because I had eaten a big lunch so late.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Day 21

I didn't post yesterday because I was really dragging around and didn't feel up to it. Today, I am now three weeks into this, so I thought I would post.

I was up 1.6 pounds yesterday for no reason other than it was after my first day of no diet soda. This morning I was down 1.8 pounds, to 188.8. That make a total loss of 10.8 pounds in the last three weeks. It also means that I have lost .8 pounds a week after the big drop the first week. I have lost .5" off of my neck, .8" off of my chest, 2.5" off of my stomach and 1" off of my hips. I'll update pictures next week, at the four week mark.

Giving up diet soda is going okay. The cravings have been manageable, though it triggered some carb cravings yesterday, which I was able to ignore. I have been lacking energy at times. I have not has as bad of a headache as I normally get when trying this so far, though I have had a low grade one off and on. The strangest effect is one I have never seen mentioned - my muscles get very, very sore. The larger the muscle, the more it gets sore, so my legs, butt and shoulders get really bad and I hobble around for several days. I am getting to that point now.

Food yesterday was leftover ribs for lunch and a ribeye for dinner. I also had a couple of pieces of cheese mixed in there.