Monday, April 7, 2014

Liquids, Protein and a New Way Forward

Good Monday, friends!

I apologize for the "radio silence." On March 26th in the midst of a very busy day, I became very ill and was in terrible pain. I soon learned it was an attack of diverticulitis, not entirely unprecedented since I knew I was susceptible to it, but unexpected nonetheless. Long story shortened, I spent the next week on a clear liquid diet and am just finishing the course of two antibiotics and a "bland" diet. I feel great now, but it certainly did throw a wrench in the works.

One thing became abundantly clear to me: I do have will power. I have often accused myself of not having it because I struggle so to stay "in the box" with my eating plan. I can't have that excuse any more; it simply isn't true. In fact, I did learn a few things during the week of clear liquids:

  1. Drinking a lot of fluids really does help that "full factor."  During the entire week, I was only "stomach hungry" once.
  2. I am capable of following my plan 100% when I know there is a good reason for it.
  3. There is a good reason for my plan! Despite my "fit but fat" status, research shows that otherwise healthy people who are obese still have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and early death.
  4. I need to just put my big girl pants on and do whatever it takes to get this excess weight off once and for all.
Today I am cleared for both exercise and "normal" diet. What this means is that today I go back to my "physical readiness training" program of exercise. The long break made my feet feel better and since my cardiologist took me off warfarin after a nasty drug interaction with my antibiotics, I get my ibuprofen back too! It's been a long year of exercise without ibuprofen. It's a brand new day!

Food plan wise, I am going to try a protein week quick start, followed by a few weeks of getting most of my calories from protein and vegetables and strictly avoiding refined carbs (noodles, sugar) while still enjoying fruit in a limited way.  I realize this is a departure from my normal "whole foods, restricted calories" plan, but I got some advice from my doctor who thought this might be a good way to shake up my metabolism. It is pretty clear now that a regular "whole eating" plan is simply not going to work. This is not a "Paleo" plan nor a "Low-Carb" plan in the traditional sense. It's closest to a modified Dukan diet. I hope it works.

There are risks, of course. One risk is a lack of potassium; I am mitigating that by including enough higher potassium foods every day to make sure I get by full dose of this heart-guarding nutrient. I have a list of best foods (including sweet potatoes and beet greens). Another risk is ketosis; that's why I am only staying on the strictest form of low-carb for one week and then will be adding in more and more foods with carbs over the next many weeks, so that I will only be completely avoiding foods with refined flour and sugar. Naturally occurring sugars will be part of my plan. I will be writing more about this in weeks to come; sorry if it's a bit murky here.

That's the weight loss forecast from here. What's new in your world of "fight the fat?"


Kitty said...

Did you do the protein week quick start? I did something similar (sort of a modified Phase I of South Beach a few months ago - I didn't eat fruit but I did eat nuts). It was a nice jumpstart and got me out of the habit of eating some of the refined carbs.

Dreena M. Tischler said...

I decided against it because of my heart health and having recently gone through diverticulitis. I did mainly protein foods but added in high-potassium foods and made sure I got 26 grams of fiber each day which included a lot of veg and some whole grains. I was successful though, since my first week included Easter and I was not on program that day and I still lost 2.6.