Monday, June 18, 2012

Atkins Update

I started Atkins about a week ago, June 7th (Today's the 18th so that'd be 11 days ago) for health reasons, not weight loss reasons. I've read & heard from my mom about the advantages a low carb diet has in regards to things like cholesterol and blood sugar so I thought I would give it a try.

I'm 11 days into my 14 day induction phase of the diet, the most restrictive phase of the diet, less than 20 carbs a day with most of them coming from green vegetables. The omelet pictured here is 2 eggs, a teaspoon of half and half, 3/4 cup brocolli, 2 table spoons cream cheese and bacon all cooked up in cooking spray. It's absolutely on the Atkins diet.
Calories: 313, Net Carbs (That's carbs minus fiber) 7 and that's the important part. Really all that matters for Atkins is the net carbs. Most of the carbs there came from the brocolli (8 but less the 5 grams of fiber). (I use myfitnesspal to track my food.)

One of the side effects of the diet for me that is most surprising is the amount of weight I've lost. I've lost almost 8 lbs, going from 192 to 184. I've hit a plateau or leveling off where I've been around 184, within half a pound for three days. I wasn't as strict as I should have been on Sunday having some mixed nuts (6 net carbs) that were in addition to what I should have been eating. It was Father's Day and there was a thing and there were snacks and well... I had some mixed nuts and thereby went over my count, but I'd known that was going to happen.

So, the impact it's had on my blood sugar, the real reason I'm doing this? It's been consistently down in the 90s in the morning instead of between 100-115 like it was before Atkins. The numbers I was getting pre-Atkins are in line with pre-diabetic numbers and I was eating healthy according to all the normal ideas of what a diet should be. I was big on portion control, doing low fat, not super high calories... but my blood wasn't the blood of a healthy person who intended to be around for a long time.

Diabetes is insidious in that during the early stages, like I was, pre-diabetic, no outward symptoms, the higher blood sugar will rust your organs. OK. That's not really all that technical but that's the effect it has. Just like rust on your car is slow, chronic, and irreversible, so are the effects of diabetes, even pre-diabetes on a person's insides. I'm not being alarmist. It's just that this whole life thing... I'm in it for the long haul. I don't want my body rusting on the inside when there's something I can do about it. Something easy like eat fewer carbs, avoid grains as if they're a slow poison, and do a little exercise now and then.

I'm not a doctor (or I wouldn't have said my insides were rusting from eating spaghetti) and I can't pretend to give medical advice, but I can tell you that following the diet for the first few days has been educational and helpful. How well I'll do on it long term has a lot to do with me. It's doable on the road. It's doable at home. It's doable. I've watched my mom do it and her blood sugar's in line, her cholesterol has LOWERED on this diet, and she's lost weight and looks great and has good energy levels.

(Side Note: I noticed while looking at pictures of her food on her blog that my food pictures cooked at home almost always include my kindle in the shot. Hers do as well. You'd think we were readers or something.)
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