It’s been a couple of days since Week 1 of low-carb August ended. The most objective result, weight loss, is encouraging. Here’s where I was on August 7, one week after starting. If you look at my starting post, you can see the needle was a skosh above 210 and on August 7 is was a couple of thin little lines below 210. Healthy weight loss is 1-2 lbs. per week, so even though this isn’t as dramatic as what happens on Biggest Loser, it’s progress.
The other results are less objective. How do I feel, how am I doing, that sort of thing. I feel hungry most of the time. I don’t know that this is so much a result of cutting carbs as it is of simply being more aware of what I am eating and not eating between meals. Most of the books that tout low-carb diets are premised on the fact (theory?) that for a lot of people, eating most carbs, especially the potatoes-rice-pasta-bread varieties, is no different from dumping several teaspoons of refined sugar directly into your system. Your body quickly breaks those carbs down into simple sugars. All that sugar causes a release of insulin, but the body overcompensates and releases too much insulin. As a result, blood sugar is quickly lowered and the hunger cycle begins again, usually met by a donut or candy bar. And around and around the mulberry bush we go.
Accepting that fact (theory?), cutting carbs should reduce hunger pangs. Anyway, that’s the story I’m telling myself to keep going, because around 3:00 in the afternoon, I’m about ready to kill for a bag of potato chips or a bagel.
I write “fact (theory?)” because over 30 years of mildly following diet and nutrition trends has convinced me that they (the experts) are making up a lot of it as they go. Eggs were good until they were bad, but now they’re good again. Bagels were considered a safe, low-fat food until they realized that these carbs are as bad, if not worse, than higher fat foods. Steak was a great source of protein until red meat was linked to cancer. In the 1950s and 60s a typical college football team had steak and eggs for a pre-game breakfast. Then the idea of carbo loading came up and those foods were replaced with pancakes, waffles, toast, oatmeal and the like. In recent years research has shown that carbo loading needs protein to effectively utilize the carbohydrates, so the meat is back on the table.
And so it goes.