October 12, 2012

Final Update: My Experimental Diet

I continued eating a very low carb, very low calorie, gluten-free diet that matched the parameters set by my nutritional calculator though last Sunday, but I waited to report on the outcome until my glycogen had refilled. That would make clearer what the real impact of the diet had been.

I also went to the lab last Thursday as it was time for my semiannual visit to the endo, which gave me more insight into what changes the diet had made in my health.

Nutritional Breakdown

Here is what I ate during the second week of my diet. As you can see it was only slightly higher than the intake the previous week. Salt was well controlled and protein was slightly higher than recommended for someone on a long term low carb diet, but lower than that for someone not at all adapted to ketosis*:  





Impact on Weight

I had set my calories at the brutally low level that the nutritional calculator predicted should yield a weight loss of 1 lb a week. The level was low because I am old and short, and because I started out at a normal weight. Since it only takes about 1,560 calories to maintain my current weight, the nutritional theories I lay out in my Diet 101 book, which are embodied in the calculator, predict I would have to eat no more than 1,060 calories a day for a week to lose a pound of real fat.

Before starting the diet my weight had been hovering around 146.5 lbs, however, it was 148 lbs the day I started the diet thanks to the very salty Vietnamese lunch I'd had the day before with it's miso-based soup and soy-sauce based sauce. I always gain 2 or 3 lbs after eating a soy-sauce laden meal.

My weight on Monday morning after 2 weeks on my diet was 141.2.  This was a loss of scale weight of 6.8 pounds, but because I was eating less than 20 grams of carbs all week, I knew that a good 3 lbs or more of my weight loss was due to the loss of glycogen, which is the substance our body uses to store glucose in both our livers and our muscles. (Details about glycogen-related weight loss HERE.)

I had stopped taking my metformin in the middle of the first week as metformin does interesting things to glycogen and I wanted my diet trial to be cleaner. So after 10 days without metformin and 14 without carbs, I figured I'd probably flushed out as much glycogen as I was going to lose. In the past that was usually about 3 lbs.

Since glycogen comes back as soon as you raise your carbs I expected to see the 3 lbs come back within a few days after ending my diet and raising my carbs back to their usual level which is around 100 g a day.

I also expected that some of my weight loss was due to the fact that since I was eating so little to meet my caloric goal there was less weight of food in my stomach and gut. That too would come back.

Since this past Monday, I have started using metformin again and eating about 100 grams of carbs a day, while eating a maintenance diet. My glycogen is probably as refilled as it's going to get.  My weight this morning was 144.6. This is almost exactly 2 lbs less than my average weight during the weeks before I started the diet.

This confirms that my nutritional calculator does a good job of predicting weight loss and, most importantly, that there is no "metabolic advantage" for me in eating a very low carb diet. I did not lose any more weight than would be predicted by caloric deficit.

Had I been in a study, however, my specious loss of 6.8 lbs might have made it look like there was an advantage to eating a very low carb diet since low fat diets don't always flush out glycogen and the food may weigh more.

Unfortunately, it looks like, as usual, the weight came off my face and neck which look more wrinkly and stringy than usual. My tummy, which is the only place I carry significant amounts of subcutaneous fat, doesn't seem any smaller.  The Tanita readings are fluctuating so much that I'll have to wait another week or so to see if they show any substantive loss of body fat percentage.


Blood Pressure

My two week diet was designed to be low in salt, because it is too easy to eat a lot of salt while eating a classic LC diet and I have issues with my blood pressure. I bought low salt cold cuts without preservatives at Trader Joe's and stuck with cheeses that were lower in salt, too. No pork rinds or other salty low carb snacks!

My blood pressure was all over the place during my diet, high and normal an then high again.  When I started to cautiously supplement with potassium chloride (in the form of Morton's Not Salt) it dropped to completely normal and stayed that way for the last few days of the diet.

I was supplementing with the potassium because I get leg cramps and palpitations when I eat very low carb without potassium. This is because flushing out glycogen also triggers a loss of potassium. (This loss is measured in some studies as a rough gauge of how much glycogen has been lost.)



My lab results from last Wednesday when my blood pressure was 122/73 showed that my blood sodium level was at the very bottom of the normal range and potassium was in the middle of the normal range. This was reassuring, as I had a concern that the Captopril I take might cause my potassium levels to rise too high. I was not dehydrated, based on my normal BUN. In the past when eating LC I have almost always had a high BUN. Controlling protein might have helped there as did the potassium.


When I ended my diet and went back to eating normally, my blood pressure soared. As a further experiment I went back to supplementing with potassium, thanks to the suggestion one of you sent me, and today my blood pressure is back to being normal, at 114/74, as opposed to the 151/92 it was three days ago.

Since I had a lot of trouble with very high blood pressure while eating a very low carb diet in the past--the exact opposite of what the LC gurus claim happens--I'm starting to think that BP for me is all about those potassium levels. Low carb diets can be very high in sodium and potassium deficient, and that may be why I had so much trouble with blood pressure eating a long-term low carb diet.

Blood Sugar

My blood sugars had continued to be beautiful--in the 70s and low 80s at all times. So it was daunting to discover that the lab said my blood sugar was 92 mg/dl when my meter said it was 83 mg/dl. This means that the FreeStyle Lite meter that my insurer forces me to use reads low.  So it's probable that  my 70s were really 80s and 80s were 90s. It also means my occasional 140s were probably really 150s.

My A1c was 5.5%, which is .2% lower than usual. Some of the drop is due to the low carbing I'd done during the previous 2 weeks. Though doctors think that the A1c reflects the control of the last 3 months, this is not entirely true. The A1c  most strongly reflects the blood sugar control during the previous 2 weeks, with the rest of the past experience only making a smaller contribution.

My A1cs are always higher than predicted by my average meter readings, and this one is no different. I attribute this to the likelihood that my red blood cells are living longer than average which will raise how much glucose has become bonded to them. It is that, not actual blood sugar levels, that the A1c measures.

Mood and Energy

By the end of my diet I felt like absolute crap. I wasn't sleeping well and was having the vibrant dreams that happen early on in a ketogenic diet, but there was no sign of the energy burst I usually experience at that phase of an low carb diet.  This may be a result of how low my calories had to be for me to lose weight. 


Whatever the explanation, I felt exhausted and depressed, and just walking around was a challenge. As soon as my diet was complete and I raised my carbs back to their usual level I felt like my old self with much better energy.

I was very hungry throughout the last week, too, even though my fat intake was reasonably high and my blood sugars completely flat. 

Because my blood sugars are very well controlled right now I did not get into binging once I stopped my diet and started eating carbs again. In fact, I had a couple days when I was very busy with a new project over the past few days where I didn't end up eating all that much. This verified my belief that, for me, when I am eating carbs, hunger is entirely about how high my blood sugars surge. Right now they aren't surging very high even when I eat 20-30 g of carbs per meal, so I'm not experiencing blood sugar-caused hunger.

In the past eating a very low carb diet for a few weeks has given me decent energy and no hunger, but I wasn't limiting calories. However, throughout the past 5 years when I've done a very low carb diet not counting calories, I haven't lost an ounce of real weight.

Miscellaneous Observations

I ended up having a lot of heartburn on this diet. Peanut butter and Greek yogurt both caused it. Cheese did not (ruling out that I'm sensitive to dairy, per se.) When I went back to eating gluten at the end of the diet I did not experience heartburn. There doesn't seem to be any reason for me to go gluten free. 


Conclusions

Calories count. My nutritional calculator is pretty accurate.  It is extremely hard to find low carb foods that meet the caloric target I have to hit to lose weight without boosting protein too high.

This diet confirmed that for me to lose any weight at my age (64) and size (5' 3 and 144 lbs) I'd have to eat no more than 1250 calories a day to lose 2 lbs a month, even on a low carb diet, which for me would be an unsustainable starvation diet.

So my conclusion is that my weight loss diet days are over and that now that I'm heading into my misnamed "golden years" I better get used to carrying a bit more weight because the alternative is a starvation lifestyle.

Fortunately, there is a solid body of research suggesting that the healthiest weight for people my age and older skews towards the "overweight" category (BMI of 25 and a bit higher).

What this may mean for you is that the time to lose weight is when you are in your 30s, 40s, and 50s, when you burn more calories just breathing and walking around. Our metabolic rate drops with each decade we survive--even with exercise--so it gets tougher to lose weight as we get older.

Low carb diets are very effective for people with a lot of weight to lose whose caloric needs are much higher, but their main advantage in respect to weight loss is that when people cut out carbs they cut out all the high caloric junk that is what caused them to gain weight in the first place.  If you control protein it becomes much tougher to overeat on a low carb diet, too.

The true virtue of low carb diets is, of course, that they control blood sugar very well. If my current blood sugar-control regimen stops working, I know that cutting back on carbs will drop my blood sugar (as long as I have functional beta cells, which fortunately, seems to be the case.)

Comments?


NOTE: In response to a point brought up in one of the comments it's worth noting that after Thanksgiving I did 10 days of a classic "Don't count anything but carbs" diet. In contrast to what happened with the calorie controlled low carb diet described above, I lost a grand total of 2 lbs during the "all you can eat" LC diet which came back when I raised carbs out of the ketogenic range. I was spilling urinary ketones from day 3 to day 10. Blood sugar and blood pressure were normal on that diet (after a rocky first few days for the blood pressure, again) but as has been the case for me for the past 5 years, a ketogenic  low carb diet without caloric restriction is worthless for weight loss.
-----
* I used the body fat percentage my Tanita scale provides when using the calculator to estimate intake. If I omitted the body fat percentage, the calculator would tell me that I would have to eat a starvation diet to lose 1 lb a week, which it won't provide numbers for.




39 comments:

Kim Graves said...

Two pounds of what? Body fat or muscle mass?

Shawnmarie Stanton said...

Thanks so much for documenting this experience. One statement confused me though. You said, "Since I had a lot of trouble with very high blood sugar while eating a very low carb diet in the past--the exact opposite of what the LC gurus claim happens--I'm starting to think that BP for me is all about those potassium levels." Did you mean to say you had a lot of trouble with very high blood pressure when going low carb in the past?

Jenny said...

Shawnmarie,

I meant to write blood PRESSURE. I just corrected it. Thanks for pointing out the mistake!

TL said...

Thank you so much for writing about your experiences on a low carb diet--and congratulations on your 2lb loss! I'm attempting to lose around 200lbs--I've started out low carb and was pleased to discover that my calories have been spontaneously reduced to have a 2lb/week loss according to your calculator.

If I understood correctly, your glucose is 'better' for having done those two weeks...how long do you think you'll see that benefit?

Jerzy Gustek said...

Jenny, as written in the The Art and Science of Low CarbohydratePhinney, Stephen, Jeff Volek, ketogenic state is usually achieved after 2-3 weeks, so have you considered you just started that state maybe at the end of your trial diet?
Also, since you felt like crap, aren't you appointing this to very low calories intake?

I myself use ketogenic diet for almost 3 months (and working out 3-4 times a week) and feel like million bucks - but I keep it at my calories intake at the maintaining the weight - not to lose weight.

Gretchen said...

Could you clarify this, which seems contradictory:

"I was very hungry throughout the last week, too, even though my fat intake was reasonably high and my blood sugars completely flat."

and

"This verified my belief that, for me, hunger is entirely about how high my blood sugars surge when I eat carbs."

Jenny said...

Jerzy,

Since I ate a ketogenic diet for over 7 years, my body is very adapted to that state and I was spilling moderate Ketones within 2 days of starting the diet and tested positive for ketones every day after.

The first time people do a ketogenic diet it can take quite a while for their body to adapt, which seems to sometimes lead to a bit more weight loss. But after that adaptation happens ones, there is never that "beginner's luck" period again.

Jenny said...

Gretchen,

To clarify--hunger when I eat carbs is caused by those blood sugar surges. Hunger when I'm eating only 1050 calories a day is not coupled to blood sugar anymore, but is about my body responding to not getting enough food to maintain.

When I was eating 1450 calories a day back in 2002 (when I lost the 30+ lbs) I did not feel hungry. But that's 400 calories a day more than I'm eating now (basically one more meal!)

And my weight loss slowed to less than half a pound a month when I was eating at that level once I had hit 142 lbs (without glycogen)

I definitely felt like I was dieting back then, I just wasn't ravenous. But at 1060 I was ravenous.

Gretchen said...

Thanks. That makes sense.

Maybe you could change "entirely" to "mostly" or add "unless my calories approach starvation level" after the "verified my belief" section so other people don't get puzzled as I did.

Dave Riley said...

As always, Jenny, food for thought -- or si it, thought for food?

Jackie Patti said...

My insurance just switched me to Freestyle too, though I haven't chosen a meter yet. Guess I'll avoid the Lite one.

100 g carb is what I consider "normal eating" too. Because of insulin, I can "cheat", but the doses get too big if I do it much, so I stick to 100 g as my "normal". At 100 g, I can maintain with 45 units Lantus and around 30-50 units Novolog daily.

When I get above that, I start taking 30 units Novolog per meal and going high anyways. There's the point where the insulin is not enough to control postprandials, but if I take more insulin, I go hypo before the next meal and have to take Sweetarts. I guess folks with pumps can be more precise than those on MDI, but I don't want a pump. It's easier to just stick to 100 g carb the vast majority of the time.

100 grams pretty much lets me eat all the nonstarchy veggies I could ever possibly want, a few servings of low-sugar fruit, and occasional starchy veggies, very sweet fruits and grains (though I'm currently off grains for GAPS). IMO, this is sustainable long-term, whereas low carb wasn't so much.

I'm wary of being much lower OR higher carb due to potassium issues, as potassium is lost both with low carbing and with insulin, so it's a balancing act to keep my feet normal-sized and my bp down.

Similarly, a few years back I was literally bedridden for a while with reverse T3 issues, which can be caused by EITHER elevated bG or going low carb for too long, so it's a balancing act to make sure that doesn't reoccur either. So... 100 grams seems about right to avoid the extreme effects of going too low or too high.

Couple decades there, I thought low-carb was THE ANSWER. It would prevent diabetes from getting worse. Except... I wound up on insulin ANYWAYS. So... it's just NOT the answer.

I don't "aim" at protein like you're discussing, though I do have to dose insulin for it (years of "training" my body to be good at gluceogenesis). But... anywhere from 50 - 100 grams/day is OK with me, depends on what I'm in the mood to eat.

Similarly, calories are all over the place. When I first started on insulin, I measured everything* for a year, and had both days under 500 calories and days over 2500, but averaged out at 1400 over the year. Apparently, I just have a wildly varying appetite.

*Everything does not include coffee (which I drink with cream, so it adds calories) or bites of food from my husband's plate (one of my "rules" back then was that a tablespoon of ANYTHING has no carbs, protein or calories - doesn't work on GAPS though).

Jenny said...

Jackie,

Many of us, self included, go on insulin not because our diets fail but because there is something wrong with our beta cells that keeps them from secreting properly.

Honest low carb advocates don't claim that eating LC will prevent beta cell problems of this type. Dr. Bernstein discusses the strategies to follow if diet alone doesn't control blood sugar.

It is only those who promote the diet as a magical cure-all who make it sound like cutting carbs could stop all beta cell problems.

Eating low carb will eliminate glucose toxicity--high blood sugars that kill beta cells, but has no effect on autoimmune attacks on the beta cell or beta cell deficiencies caused by genetic flaws.

v/vmary said...

jenny said: "My tummy, which is the only place I carry significant amounts of subcutaneous fat, doesn't seem any smaller."

Jenny, how can you be sure the fat is subcutaneous and not visceral?

may i ask what your weight was at diabetes diagnosis? when you were 47? i am 47 now and am the same height as you. i remember you saying you were like 110 in your 20s. i was never that light in the US, although i may have gotten to 115 when i lived in taiwan in my 20s and walked everywhere (also ate lots of rice). now i am around 128 to 130 with the belly, but also significant muscle from weight lifting and usually sprinting, which i would do for the feeling of well-being outside of needing it for weight maintenance.

Jenny said...

V/vmary,

I can tell it's subcutaneous fat because I can grab a handful of it and it is all on top of the abdominal muscles. Visceral fat is under the muscles, around the organs.

When I flushed all the glycogen out of my liver with the LC diet my ribs were sticking out, so there isn't any appreciable visceral fat around my organs.

When I was 47 I weighed about 142 which was thin enough that I fit into a size 10 dress and men's 34 jeans. I'm built solidly--huge calves and big feet and wrists, so that's still a normal weight for me.

However, 2 years later, when I was 50 and my blood sugars had been seriously out of control for a year I was up to 170 lbs.

v/vmary said...

did perimenopause have anything to do with lose of blood sugar control. i am going to make an appointment with the doctor about chest pain i am having. all my lipids are good and i don't smoke. maybe i have some atherosclerosis from high blood sugars. anyway, before i had fleeting pains when stressed, but this past week has been more serious. it may be related to my period as it started about the same time. i read that declining estrogen has been found to contribute to angina. when i took 4 baby aspirin i felt much better. did you have any heart issues around menopause? thanks.

Noah said...

How long did it take after starting to supplement with potassium chloride before you saw noticeable change in your blood pressure? And, by supplementing, do you mean that you added it to your existing sodium chloride intake, or did you use it to replace some of the sodium chloride?

Thanks.

Jenny said...

No, perimenopause had nothing to do with my diabetes worsening. A course of prednisone seems to have dramatically worsened my in-born impaired glucose tolerance.

Jenny said...

Noah,

I was both controlling my sodium intake to only 1100 mg a day and adding sprinkles of potassium choride at the same time. It seemed to take about a week, but can't be separated out from the effect of cutting down so strongly on both food and carbs.

NeedANap2 said...

Jenny,

My husband and I did a South Beach diet phase when it was popular, back in 1994 after our 2nd daughter turned one. I never felt the great energy boost that some people claimed. My husband felt better and his heartburn got much better. It wasn't until 2009 that I was diagnosed with sleep apnea and I felt more rested and better energy.

Susanne said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/20/health/in-study-weight-loss-did-not-prevent-heart-attacks-in-diabetics.html?_r=1&hp

Not sure what all this about. 11 year study...probably a high carb diet.

Thank you for putting yourself through private medical trials so we can learn from you. :) Congrats on your -2 pounds. xoxox

Jenny said...

They were undoubtedly using a high carb/low fat diet in this study.

Exercise is hugely overrated as a way of lowering blood sugar as it only lowers insulin resistance for a short time after exercise. The rest of the day IR and blood sugar will go back to being high in most people with Type 2.

Weight loss only helps a small percentage of people regain better blood sugar control. If it is achieved eating a low fat diet full of bananas, oatmeal, whole grains, and pasta it may worsen blood sugar and lead to more complications. A very small number of people will see better numbers with a low fat diet, but they are a tiny minority. Many people will see much better numbers and less complications by cutting carbs, but again, not everyone.

The real problem here is that NO solution works to normalize blood sugars for everyone with diabetes because our diabetes is just a symptom, high blood sugar, not one disease. And the way you prevent heart attacks is by normalizing blood sugar.

So some people can lower blood sugar cutting carbs, some need insulin and they need it to be prescribed properly, which many family doctors don't do. Others will benefit from metformin, a smaller number from Byetta. Some need a combination of these various techniques. Some need insulin pumps. Some need to eliminate proteins to which they are allergic (which may be gluten, but might also be beans.)

The over-simplistic thinking for these overpaid diabetic "thought leaders" who are always quoted in the press leaves me scratching my head.

But most of them are get enormous sums in the form of "consulting fees" and other euphemisms from the big drug companies and they keep their high profile by toeing the lie that is most profitable for their drug company masters.

Not one of these supposed experts ask "What diet didn't work?"

But that's because they will use this study to convince family doctors to prescribe whatever expensive new drug the companies are pushing because "diet doesn't work."

v/vmary said...

jenny ruhl said normalizing blood sugars prevents heart attacks. my blood sugars have been pretty much in control,although i did go on a little bit of a binge a week ago, which coincided with my worst heart pain yet and with my period. i had a sweet barnes and noble coffee one day and a baked apple and vanilla ice cream another day. another day i had 2 slices of cake. i haven't gone this overboard in quite some time, so maybe that is why i had chest pains. i also think there must be hormonal reasons and maybe a problem with my electrolytes as i have been getting more leg cramps at night.

right before and during my last period i had a few days of on and off chest pain and a feeling of fullness in my chest. one day was so scary i decided to take 4 baby aspirin, which brought relief immediately. i have an appointment with a cardiologist on monday, but i am not confident he will be able to tell me anything as this has been my experience with doctors.

my blood pressure, lipids, and weight (except for a little lingering ab fat) are all excellent. i don't smoke or drink alcohol. i found this info that seems like it might be partially descriptive of my situation:

"Women's Symptoms Point to Spasms
It is oxidized LDL cholesterol that clogs the arteries and leads to a heart attack. However, only 50 percent of coronary artery disease (CAD) deaths are associated with clogged arteries, and the majority of those are men. Autopsies show that plaque-obstructed arteries in women are considerably less clogged than those of men, most often only 20 to 30 percent blockage, which is not sufficient to cause their deaths. Men, by contrast, tend to have more than 90 percent occlusion when they have a heart attack."

the article then goes on to talk about possible causes of vasospasms in women including hormonal reasons and magnesium deficiency. does anyone have any further info on causes of chest pain in women?

Jenny said...

v/vmary,

Clarification: normalizing blood sugar will over a long period of time prevent the development of heart disease in people who don't already have heart disease.

If you already have heart disease, normalizing should also be beneficial too, but it won't undo the effect of years of being out of control, or for that matter the effect of having inherited bad genes.

That is why for some people it IS a mistake to stop statins cold after just a few weeks or months of changing diet. For people with existing heart disease they do appear useful, mostly because they lower inflammation in the arteries, not necessarily because they lower LDL.

Mild irritation in your stomach lining often mimic chest pain, as does stomach gas. Metformin can often cause that kind of irritation. An endo I consulted said that this is a very well-known side effect of metformin but not a health issue--as long as you have been checked out for heart disease.

Gretchen said...

"Dr. Nathan, though, said the results meant that people with diabetes might have a choice. The group assigned to diet and exercise ended up with about the same levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar as those in the control group, but the dieters used fewer medications.

“That may be the choice we are highlighting,” Dr. Nathan said. “You can take more medications — and more, I should say, expensive medications — or you can chose a lifestyle intervention and use fewer drugs and come to the same cardiovascular disease risk.”

"He is not going to say which is better, Dr. Nathan added. That is up to the individual. But, he said, “those are real choices.”


This doesn't sound like drug pushing. In fact, the opposite.

Jenny said...

Except that we all know that cutting carbs eliminates the need for all or almost all drugs in people recently diagnosed with Diabetes.

It would just kill Dr. Nathan and company to admit that maybe it was the particular diet they used in this study that was at fault, not the concept of diet.

v/vmary said...

hi jenny- thanks again. i am going to the cardiologist on monday. i also got a breast cyst(my first one ever) a few days after the heart pain- so maybe they are related. anyway, after i am done my antibiotics and IF the ob/gyn says its ok, i am going to go for my oral glucose tolerance test. lab corp says i need to eat 150 grams of carbs per day for 3 days. that's a lot more carbs than i usually eat, and with the heart pain and infection, it's a little worrisome. i may put off the test a little longer because of my current problems. but as a general question not necessarily pertaining only to me- what is the best way to get those 150 grams of carbs a day? i'm assuming spread them out throughout the day, or maybe just for lunch and dinner?? since this is high carb, eat low-fat for those 3 days? and i will eat carbs that i have been eating, but just more of them. thanks as usual.

ps- have you heard of nusi.org set up by gary taubes and peter attia? what kind of study do you think they should fund right of the bat? how would you set it up? I personally would like them to look at the possible nutritional causes of vaso spasms (like magnesium deficiency, nutritional factors affecting the vasodilating signalling pathways etc).

-v

Jenny said...

v/vmary, Your questions are going way beyond the scope of what I should be answering in the comment section of this blog post. Please note I do not give individuals medical advice.

v/vmary said...

ok i could ask my question in a more general/law suit-proof way (i tried to with the phrase "not necessarily pertaining only to me..), but it seems my health is a little precarious and so i understand not wanting to weigh in. i appreciate the information thus far, as always.

Jenny said...

This comment area is meant for comments on the post, not discussion of individuals' health issues. It isn't about lawsuits but the many other people reading here.

v/vmary said...

i think how to prepare for an oral glucose tolerance test is very useful for all the people reading here.

roadrunner said...

It seems to me that two weeks on a diet is way to short a time to draw any steady state conclusions, particularly about things like gluten sensitivity. You hunger and mood problems suggest something like Atkins induction rather than any long term adaptation.

Jenny said...

Roadrunner,

Put it into context. I ate Bernstein's diabetes diet for three straight years, much of it grain and sugar-free and ketogenic. If there had been a long-term adaptation, i'd have noticed. There wasn't then, so it isn't likely there would be now. For a newbie, yes, that might be an issue.

悟康博士 said...

Your experiment did prove a calorie is a calorie. If you eat 20 carbs with the same 1450 calories, while still maintain weight, then that's a prove.

Leo said...

Jenny, like you I need to keep my calories very low to lose weight and like you I don't like eating very small meals.

What helped me is your "two grams cure". I couldn't eat little or stay without eating for hours before because I would get low blood sugar.
Now when this happens I use your "two grams" cure and I feel great for 4-5 hours even without food.

So I was able to eat just 50 calories in the morning and afternoon (yogurt and veggies) and then 900 calories at night allowing me to eat foods I like and in reasonable amount. I'm getting rid of my hypoglycemia moodiness and also losing weight.

More people should know about the "two grams cure" because it's an easy solution to hypoglycemia, hunger, lack of energy, overeating and so on.

Boz said...

I went to a chiropractor for a second opinion on some aches and pains I was experiencing, and right away he asked me about gluten sensitivity. I didn't know if I was or wasn't, but he thought many of my symptoms may be related to food allergies. He did a food work-up and found I was very sensitive to gluten and dairy. I've cut back @ 90% on both. My caloric intake is about the same, but I have dropped 20 lbs since Aug 1st. Then, about two weeks ago, my morning readings have dropped from 140-160 down to 112-119. I'm hoping the diabetes benefit continues, but the good thing is, the joint pains are almost gone.

Carolyn said...

But Jenny, what about the use of physical activity to help you be able to eat more while losing weight? What about using a weight program to help change your body fat percentage? Both have been proven to help people lose weight. Diet alone is very hard, as you noted, due to the low amount of calories you would need. Also, a robust exercise program would change your basic metabolic need. Just some thoughts.

Jenny said...

Carolyn,

Actually, the research I've reviewed shows that for post-menopausal women the impact of exercise programs on weight maintenance and weight loss is nil. Though this effect does not hold true for premenopausal women. That's also been my real world experience.

When I have been able to exercise for long periods of time (most recently two years ago for 18 months) I have never seen any impact on my weight, though of course the muscles bulk up and look better and my endurance improves (up to a point, after which it stalls, again likely because of my age.)

meg said...

Jennie,can you cite that study please. It reflects my own experience.
Meg

Jenny said...

meg,

Unfortunately, I don't have that citation at hand. It was one I ran into while researching my Diet101 book.

Anecdotally, there was a very clear split in people I have polled in the past on this topic. Some found exercise very helpful, others not at all.

And there is other research which shows that genetic variation in mitochondrial genes can also make a difference in whether exercise has an impact on weight loss.

I'm someone for whom it doesn't do anything except make my muscles look better. And after only a few weeks my heart capacity reaches a limit it doesn't exceed no matter how much more intensity I add to the routine. Or at least that is what the fitness tester on the treadmill always came up with.

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