Low carb doesn’t work (for me)

I haven’t posted about my diet efforts recently simply because they haven’t been all that exciting. I’ve managed to maintain about an 8 pound loss, but not from low carb. My body rebels when trying to lose weight with too few carbs. I know the low carb approach works well for many. Ben has had great success from it. For me, though, I’ve discovered that I had the best results by adding a moderate amount of healthy (read: unrefined/complex) carbs back in to my diet. Oh how I’ve missed you, brown rice and whole wheat bread.

Yes, despite the low carb success stories I hear of all too often, I’m just not destined to be one of them. Which, actually, works just fine for me. Aside from the fact that consuming moderate, healthy carbs is easier in most dining situations, it’s also darn tasty!

So, here’s what I’m doing now…

1. Removing refined/simple carbs where I can. Mostly focusing on fewer “white” things (breads, pastas, rice, sugar).

2. Eating lots of veggies. Prepared all ways. Trying to include them at every meal. Basically shooting for 50% of my plate to be veggies.

3. Eating whole grains when I feel like it. I haven’t had them at every meal, but I haven’t avoided them either. I occasionally have whole grain toast with breakfast. Sometimes I have brown rice with lunch. Dinners are generally low carb, since Ben is still following a low carb plan.

4. Alternating between high calorie and low calorie days. This one seems to be the lynch pin for my weight loss. It’s helping create a lower overall calorie intake, but the key (for me) is that it doesn’t work without some carbs. I should be better about following this one, because that’s when I see great progress in my weight loss, but it means tracking foods, which is just a pain most of the time. It’s possible to do it by just keeping a mental tally, but I’m always surprised at how quickly calories add up when I actually write them down.

5. Exercise. Yup, the dreaded E word. It doesn’t really seem to impact my weight much, but it should be happening anyway, so I might so well add it in to this plan. The exercise bike works well for this… especially since it’s pointed at the tv. :)

6. Following this plan 90% of the time, because, really, life just can’t revolve around what you can or can’t eat. Special occasions means a splurge here and there. Changing my attitude to be ok with not sticking strictly to a “diet”, persay. These spluges just go on my high calorie days and I make up for it the next day.

So, here’s the thing with following the plan above… it’s really helped with my overall mood and stress level, too. I’ve known for years that carbs (especially sugar) really affect my anxiety levels. During periods of high stress at work, too much sugar caused panic attacks for me (where it felt like my heart was doing little flips in my chest). Cutting back on carbs helped tremendously, but I’m surprised that adding complex carbs back in seems to help even more. It seems counter intuitive, but I guess it makes sense. They have a slower release in to the blood stream and don’t affect insulin the same way that processed carbs do.

It amazes me how much foods can affect mood and temperment. It’s something to stash away for when C acts up… looking at what she’s had to eat recently.

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Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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