Thursday, February 14, 2008


Well, it's the good news and the bad news, I guess. I carefully reread most of the Protein Power Lifeplan, concluded that we're probably not getting enough protein, and so seriously upped it while at the same time, trying to take it easier on the fats. Last week, Michael was down 4.5 lbs, and I was down 2.5. Have to call that good. But all week this week, I'm bloated and drifting up.

I don't know what's wrong.... or if, in fact, anything is wrong. I haven't been drinking enough liquids, and I know that... that's the obvious thing for me. Exercise... well, no. Played racquetball yesterday but otherwise haven't done anything consistent. I'll play again on Friday. I really don't think that exercise is so important in a burn calories sense (don't get me wrong, this IS important, but the number of calories I burn these days isn't huge, and I'm not eating that much). But it gets everything really moving. I think that if I get some more contract work, I'm going to spring for that ridiculously priced tiny step thing on the Jonny Bowden site and try some interval stuff... but all in all, exercise or not, I'm deeply puzzled about what's actually going on here.

I feel good about what we've been eating. But I do think that the difference between the lower weight days and the higher weight days is that on the lower weight days, I was actually eating a slightly higher level of carbs. Puzzling really. AND maybe leaner protein. I think that this may be part of the key, finding some leaner protein options while upping the vegetables, trying to keep the fat within lines.

But then I think, wow, maybe that's all wrong, and this is what makes me so crazy about all of this.


Carol said...

Hi Nina,

I just discovered your blog through the Eades' site. Congratulations on making the decision to go low carb!

I would like to offer a suggestion to you...please try increasing and NOT decreasing your fats. Sometimes we make the mistake of trying to do low-carb dieting with the same old and outdated "must eat low-fat" mantra going on in our heads.

Low-carb eating is by definition also meant to be higher-fat eating. When you lower your carbs, you MUST raise your fat level so your body can start using the fat as energy.

Why is it you think you need to lower your fat? Is it to stay within a certain calorie range? Or is it because you equate eating higher fat with gaining weight? Or are you worried about the "saturatef fat causes heart disease" message? For either of those, I am sure I can find you links and books to read that disprove those beliefs.

I suggest going back through Jimmy Moore's past blogs and also Dr. Mike's to see their past writings on those issues.

You haven't mentioned how much you weigh and how many calories you are taking in. There is a phenomenon that occurs when you don't eat enough that causes you to not lose or to lose slower. So sometimes the answer is to eat MORE! Not just more protein, but also more fat.

I'm speaking from experience here. It took raising my calories to over 2,000/day when I first started at 242 pounds. I would not lose weight on 1,800 or lower. I also had to raise my fact, it seems that the more fat I ate/eat, the more the I lost/lose.

Nina said...

Thanks, Carol! I can't figure out how to comment on a comment, so I'm just adding this at the bottom here.

The reason why I think (and think is really the right word here; if I could just figure out one thing that was the right thing to do, I'd absolutely go for it) is that it seems like the days when I have a relatively lower level of fat (still probably 60% of calories) and a relatively higher level of protein, I seem to lose weight... to the extent that I'm losing weight at all. I'm not worried about saturated fat or any of those things, and I've read... well, about everything I sometimes think! I read pretty much everything on the Eades' site and most of Jimmy Moore's blog and about a billion books, I think. I intend to really post more about my weight history and what exactly I'm eating... but like everything else, I haven't gotten to it yet. I'm at 289 now, and eating about 1800-2000 calories a day and around 30 carbs. Now, how on earth can I not be losing weight?

Carol said...

Possibly because you are not eating enough calories for right now. I don't have time to look for the formula tonight, but I will. There is one out there somewhere that says something like: you need 10 X your current weight to just, for you, that would be about 2,890 calories. Then it says to not lower your calories more than X amount below that or your will slow your metabolism and stall out your weight loss.

I'm thinking it wouldn't hurt for you to UP your calories to about 2,400 to 2,500 and see what happens. (That's what I had to do to start losing!) If you eat protein and fat for the upped calories and leave the carbs at 30, I expect you would start losing much more weight than you are at a low rate of 1,800 to 2,000, believe it or not.

Eventually, as you lose more weight, you will start to drop the calories, too, but right now, I'm thinking you need to eat more.

Are you also drinking lots of water? I've read that 8 to 10 full glasses is the minimum needed to flush out fat and drinking less can also stall weight loss.

Nina said...

I know this is wrong... or I'm pretty sure that this is wrong, anyway... but I have to say that just everything in my head screams that eating a ton of calories just has to be a bad idea. On the other hand, it is undeniably true that I've been at about this calorie level for a ridiculously long time, and I'm not really losing weight.

I figure that there's some point at which that 10% rule of thumb probably doesn't work... maybe not at mine, but at Michael's, which is considerably more. But still.

We're drinking plenty of water, I think anyway (sometimes I count better than others!). Certainly I could try upping the calories... I think I'm just scared that I'll lose the small gains (or losses!) that I've made by doing that. What happened when you did that? Did you gain and then lose? Or just lose?

Carol said...

Nope, Nina, upping my calories -- especially my fat calories -- caused me to start losing period. No weight gain whatsover! And I started losing about 3 lbs a week.

The thing is that it truly is not only about the calories and how many we eat or don't eat. There's a lot more working here. I know it seems counter intuitive to eat fat to lose fat after all the years we have been fed the erroneous information that we need to cut fat to lose weight. Have you ever read the Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution? His approach is a bit different than the Eades'. I know people who have lost tons of weight eating 3,000 to 4,000 calories a day by following Atkins and eating mostly protein and fat, with only a few low carb veggies.

I have a 22-year-old foster son who is autistic, severely developmentally delayed, and who has a terrible form of epilepsy called Lennon-Gastaut syndrome. For years, kids with epilepsy were put on an extreme ketogenic diet with about 90% of their intake from fats and virtually no carbs. It had a high success rate for totally eliminating seizures. More recently, there has been research done on a modified form of the Atkins diet, for kids and adults with epilepsy, with good results. I put my young man on the MAD (modified Atkins diet) in December 2006. It took a few months but his seizures have now been 90% eliminated. The diet is 65% fat, 30% protein, and 5% carbs. He eats between 2,000 to 2,500 calories a day, which makes at least 140 to 150 grams of fat a day and stays at about 15 to 20 carbs. Over the past year, eating that many calories and that much fat, he lost 30 of the 65 pounds he had gained from the depakote he was on...going from 210 to 180. And his lipid panel done in December 2007, after one year, showed his cholesterol at 151, his triglycerides at 88, and his blood sugar at 70.

Have you read the book by Gary Taubes called "Good Calories, Bad Calories?" It's a good read about the lies we've been fed for 30 or 40 years about what and how much we should eat. I highly recommend it.

Below is a link to an article by Gary Taubes that predated his book by about 5 years. I hope you will read it....and I have more links to other articles by other people if you'd like.

I don't think the link is clickable, but you could type it in or cut and paste but make sure there are no spaces in the link when you use it.

Nina said...

I think that all I do these days is read! I've read Atkins, I've read Taubes, I've read nearly everything I can get my hands on.

That's wonderful news about your foster son. It amazes me how many things are fixed by going to this type of diet. For me, even if I'm not losing weight like mad, I feel a thousand times better. I'm not exhausted all the time, and I'm not depressed all the time, and that last thing is huge for me.

I just wish that I could get this right and actually lose some real weight. The one thing that I've learned from reading about everything that I can find on the web is that the range of experience, even within the general category of "a low carb diet" is just huge. People who eat a lot of calories, people who eat many fewer, people who stay below 20 carbs, people who need to eat more like 40 or 50... and so on. I don't think that I've found exactly the right combination that will work for me, although I am sure as hell trying.