Thursday, January 26, 2012

Almost Everything I Thought I Knew About Food Is Wrong

Let me start by saying I am not a doctor nor a nutritionist. I have never been morbidly obese. I have been a quasi-vegetarian but that years ago so doesn't count.

I believed, bought the line, hook and sinker, that meat was something to eat in the strictest of moderation. Grains, especially "whole" grain were good for you and added bulk and fiber to your 'system' which needed it to help pass the waste out the other end. Fruit and veg ought to be consumed daily and thickly and fats should be avoided at all cost.

How many here have read that "Fat makes you fat! Duh!" ? All of us have and I believed that. It was the fat in my diet that kept the stubborn numbers from heading south. It was the odd chocolate bar or ice cream scoop or (gasp!) butter on the toast what done me in, those saboteurs! That and creeping age has kept the spare tube around the mid-section despite all this plogging around the home front

Hmmmmm maybe not. Since last week when I read an article on how the 'low carb' diet helped children with epilepsy control seizures, I was intrigued.

I have heard about the Atkins plan, the South Beach diet and the Sugar Busters thing that was crazy popular some ten years ago but I didn't even glance at it because I was so convinced, by what I cannot say, that all that was hooey and baloney and no one in their right mind would eat nothing but meat, eggs and cheese and (gasp!) butter and expect to make it out alive on the other end! Heart disease! Clogged arteries! Constipation!!!!!! Fer cryin' out loud, who wants to be that desperately thin? You need whole wheat bread to stay clean... everyone knows that!!!!

ahem...... No. I was wrong. I have been off bread, pasta, rice and potatoes & eating large amounts of all the 'wrong' things now for 9 days. No, it is not easy; not for me anyway, who still finds it difficult to resist bread . But I get to eat eggs!! Eggs and not feel guilty with cheese!!! Eggs everyday and every way. Butter (gasp!) and boiled eggs, yum! The whole chicken breast and brussel sprouts and rutabaga roasted. Yum! Bring on the sausage and bacon!!!!! Oh boy!!

How does this work? If I understand it correctly, it's like this:

We eat carbohydrates to get glucose for energy. The pancreas makes insulin to use the glucose as energy (fuel) for the brain and store the excess blood sugar as fat for future use, in case it needs it. We take in way more carbs than we need to live everyday and therefore, the pancreas works overtime to process all this. But when there is little in the way of carbs to offset, the pancreas stops producing insulin and the body heads over to turn the stored fat into fuel. Pretty simple.

Since the body is not getting the carbohydrates it needs to function, it burns the stored fat. Say that again. Ah ha...... but where does the protein consumption come into play? If you didn't eat a good amount of protein, your body would start to break down your muscles to fulfill it's needs. You don't want that! so you have to find the right balance of enough protein and fat to sustain and a tiny amount of carbs so your body kicks into ketosis, where the stored fat begins to burn.

All of this to the degree that you don't fall to pieces in the process. I have stated all this very simplistically and realize it is not done completely accurately but darn close. The point is, I am a few pounds lighter; I am drinking lots and LOTS of water so don't tell me all I am doing is spilling excess water; I eat plenty all and and therefore am not hungry which is weird; I hope to continue this for 5 more days.

What I miss: orange juice. That and fruit in general. But I get that again next week.

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