I have bombed my earlier attempts to lose weight.
I thought that I would eat less (about 1600 – 1800cals/day) and workout 3-5 times a week and it would all come together. And like I said in an earlier post, that about after 2.5 months of this, it became painfully clear that it wasn’t working.
On paper, I was doing all the right things. Eating less, getting plenty of veggies, fats, proteins and reducing my carbs. Drinking enough water. Mixing strength training with cardio. Varying my cardio.
Then–What. The. F**k?
That is when I started to lose energy, got constipated, recovery started to slow, exhaustion set in and started to lose sleep…and even GAIN WEIGHT.
Some people would have said to push through it. That I didn’t put enough time in.
Some would say, work harder and cut more calories.
Some would say, increase calories and work harder.
Some would say, take a small break and start again.
Some would say increase my water.
Some would say stand on my head, count my belly lint and magically I would lose weight.
I have done all of those things, one time or another. I knew that this was my body giving me the big finger. I finally found a website by a doctor that made total sense. He spoke about metabolic syndrome, endocrine disorder, chronic fatigue, etc. And pretty much all of the symptoms I was experiencing were a dead-ringer for it. His solution was pretty simple. Two options;
- Eat less, do less…workout way less
- Eat more and keep workouts the same
The key was to address the metabolism and reset it. If putting your body in undue stress (eating less or working out more or both) will send signals to your system that all is not right in the world, creating a cascading effect of issues that will lead us to feel many or all of the symptoms I was feeling at that time. In other words, if our bodies think they are threatened; you can bet your bottom dollar that it will DO WHATEVER it takes to survive. And slowing you down and holding onto fat weight and water is what it will do. Not ideal when you want to get bikini ready.
And this especially holds true for women. I have always said that losing weight effectively for women should be more of a guarded, slow approach. You can shock men’s bodies and they will respond shedding anything extra in order to meet their current demand. Women, however….our bodies are like….HELL NO!! I have to be ready at any time to have a baby. I have to have back up and if you are going to threaten me…well, I will hold onto E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. And I will remember this next time you try to pull this shit.
Yup, ladies, we have to coax that weight off. Or else. And that is not what I was doing. I get so impatient!! I see my husband make one small change, one small sacrifice and BOOM 10 lbs is GONE. OMG…. I, so-much as look at or even think of an ice cream cone and mysteriously almost magically his 10 lbs ends up on me!!
You know what I speak of. It is like on Harry Potter..We must not say his name!!!
Well, being that I can never settle or accept what is happening to me. I go back to research. I review what has worked for me before and revisit why I didn’t continue and see if there are any tweaks I could make to finally have success. And what would be success?
Maintaing my ideal weight, without counting calories (YUCK) and without killing myself working out. In other words…
It is our bodies saying that all is right in the world and there is this wonderful ebb and flow to it all. We eat to maintain vitality and our body uses (not stores) what we eat. Nice.
Which brings me to my next dealio. Ketogenic diets.
I have done this before to varying degrees, mostly with or around bodybuilding shows. Cycling Carbs touches the surface of ketogenic dieting, you are thrust in and out again in hopes to trick the body into burning fats. The problem was, that at that time I was also taking in very reduced calories and working out anywhere from 2-4 times a day. Yes, you read that correctly.
This…was no good. And set me up to destroy my metabolism.
Then years later and after taking a much needed break from the bodybuilding world, I tried the no sugar thing again with the goal of controlling candida. (it is a misnomer that you can rid yourself of candida, it lives in you and always will, but it will turn into a dictatorship quickly if you give it all the control by eating butt loads of sugars)
My husband and tried it together and gave it a full 2 months. No carbs, no sugar, no starches, no dairy, no fruits. It was very…very tough.
But I started to notice something, once I got through the cravings, the fatigue, the headaches (all candida die-off symptoms) I noticed my digestion improved, sleep improving and even started to lose weight with limited exercising. (just walks)
But then, eager to add carbs back in (because I deserved it! and because I love and miss the taste of them) We started introducing carbs. Just Sweet potatoes, some fruits, and coconut flour. So basically we were Paleo. But even those carbs can catch up to you and soon enough I was back to eating sugar, gluten free grains and a whole host of other normal SAD (standard american diet) fare.
Boy did I feel like shit.
So, through all of this I came to the end of myself and said, “Self…here is the one thing we haven’t tried yet. No sugar, no grains, no starches, high fats, moderate protein and NO EXERCISE. (basically keto)
So, that is what I am doing. I am eating a ketogenic diet which is very high in fat, moderate carbs (.6-.8 grams per lb of bodyweight), lots of leafy greens, and only 20 grams CARBS…of any kind.
And surprisingly, I feel pretty fantastic. I am already sleeping better. I don’t have tons of energy, but it can take about a minimum of 14 days to get your body to switch over to burning fats as your primary source of fuel. And I am 6 days in. I haven’t experienced to many of the side effects of the switch other than loose stool sometimes diarrhea due to the fact that I don’t have a gallbladder. But I take bile salts and enzymes to help digest fats. And that is a somewhat common side effect as you start the switch. It can even be some of the candida dying off, I have read other places.
I am also losing weight, which I know is mostly water. But isn’t that the point??? Reducing chronic inflammation is very important to me, so I have extra water to begin with. As long as I stay hydrated I am fine. And boy, am I drinking the water!!
I don’t know if I will stay on a Ketogenic diet for the rest of my life. Maybe some version of it. But for right now…I am going in the right direction. And that is what matters. And I am eating eggs again!!
Just keep trying, keep moving, keep reading and find what works best for YOU….even if you have to stand on your head and count belly lint!
Eat the Whole Egg!