May 8th, 2012 : The first day of the rest of my life.
The Low Carbohydrate Diet (The New Me Part II)
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, nor have I ever played one on TV.
Back in January 2009, when I weighed in at 216 LBS my goal was to get down to 179 pounds. During the 3 year duration of riding the exercise bike, I got down to 180. Then Crept back up to 194 while still ridding the bike. 2 years later on July 4th 2011 when I stopped ridding the bike and replaced it with a 3.5 mile daily walk, I got down to 182lbs during the entire year thus far of walking. On my 1st week of trying out the low carbohydrate diet and combining it with walking, I got my weight down to 181. Now after 4 months of low carb I am down to 168lbs. I have removed the walking and am going to main tain my diet via low carb. I stopped walking on July 4th 2012. Since that time my weight has stayed between 168 -171lbs.
On May 7th 2012, I started listening to a 2 part TWIT live special featuring "Steve Gibson" talking about a low / No carbohydrate diet he has taken part in. I learned some very interesting things about carbohydrates, things I thought I would share with all of you.
The muscles and cells in our body are able to burn 3 different types of things for energy.
1) Glucose, which typically comes from carbohydrates and also from protein
While our body can burn all 3 of those things for energy, it prioritizes carbohydrates above all others. Meaning, If you eat a a lot of carbohydrates (Which isn't hard to do because carbohydrates are in almost everything) and then go for a nightly walk, the body will burn off all of the carbohydrates first, before moving onto fat. This means one of 3 things.
1) You will burn off only what carbs you have consumed and no fat.
2) You will burn off more than you've consumed, in which case the body then moves onto fat.
3) You haven't burned off more than you've consumed, so the carbs you have left over turn to fat and the fat you've consumed also turns to fat.
For a very long time, I was still eating a bowl of rice for supper almost every night. Which is why my body weight stayed
the same and I was never losing any more weight. If I was lucky my walking was burning off only what I consumed.
Now let's think about someone who eats a lot of carbs (not hard to do), fats and does zero exercising. You can then see why most of what they consume throughout the day turns to fat and why obesity has turned into a very serious issue.
So what happens when you eat very little carbs? How does your body survive?
After about a week of eating around 60g's of carbs or 200 calories, your brain tells your body
"Scotty!! I'm running out of glucose, I need more energy". In which your body responds with "Captain, I'm trying, I JUST DON'T HAVE THE CARBS!"
At this point your liver flips a switch and goes into a mode called "Ketosis". Ketosis is when the liver starts burning fat as your single source of energy and in return produces something called "ketones".
This solves a very big problem. Our brain needs glucose but is very lazy and never stores any glucose for a rainy day. A brain without glucose = coma!". Luckily our brains can also use ketones for fuel.
So now our body is in the process of burning fat as fuel and giving us some very nice benefits in the process.
In Gibons case, his appetite went away, to the point where he wasn't craving food anymore. In fact he really wasn't hungry at all. He still ate daily meals, he just didn't have an urge to eat all the time. His heart rate before going on the low / no carb was 153.
He said " When my heart rate was 153 I was utterly exhausted. I stop, I rest on the bars of the stair climber and catch my breath. Then, after I've cooled off and stopped perspiring, and I shower, I'm a little shaky. I mean, I've just - I've worked so hard during that period of time that I'm used to being a little, not really fragile, but I've got to make sure when I'm washing my feet I don't slip in the shower because, I mean, I'm not all there yet.
Now his heart rate was the same 153 but this time something was different.
He said " I didn't even notice it. I mean, I wasn't distracted by how hard this was. And, I mean, as a consequence of having all this instrumentation, I've established broad baselines for how I feel, when and where. And this is a change. This was phenomenal."
Turns out there is a reason for this. " We breathe for two reasons: to get oxygen in and to get rid of CO2. Carbohydrates, sugar, has a respiratory coefficient of 1:1, which is the amount of CO2 produced versus oxygen consumed. Protein is 0.85, so you only produce 85 percent as much CO2 as oxygen. So when you're burning fat, you're producing only 70 percent as much CO2. Thus the respiration is completely changed."
So a low carb diet is very interesting to me. Just today I went to the store to buy low carb food. It was fun looking on the back of packages to see just how much carbohydrates a particular food has. It was surprising to find out hotdogs only have 1g of carbohydrates per hot dog as does cheese. So I bought some hotdogs, cheese, Lettus, Carrots, I also bought a small turkey which has Zero carbs. I'm interested on how this might turn out. You never know, I might finally reach my weight within a very short time.
So look around your house and what is in your kitchen and see just how many carbohydrates you are consuming on a daily basis.
I would recommend everyone download or stream the 2 episodes of the TWIT live special. The links can be found below
So as all of you know by now, I've been doing the low carb thing for about a month. Today I went to Wal-mart to buy myself some low carb snacks. But first I made a stop at the blood pressure machine. Now in the past (pre low carb) when I would read the results on the machine I felt like just standing up might make me stroke out! It usually said 140 / 80 with a heart rate of 75. Today after almost a month of Low carbs it told me 115 / 60 with a heart rate of 69. Hurray! Then I tested myself again and the 1st number was at 123, but that's still the lowest i've ever seen it. Low carb FTW!
I've been doing low carb now for about 4 months. I'm no longer trying the no carb, just low carb. Thus far I am now down to 168lbs, with a BMI of 25 (was 34). I feel great and the low carb diet has been going great. I don't see why I would stop doing it.
Well so far so good. I haven't walked since July 4th 2012, and i'm still just doing the low carb. My weight is still staying between 168 - 172. I'm very happy with that. Included in this update is a before an after photo. The before photo was probably 7 - 8 years ago. it's funny because I look younger in the after photo which was taken today. Low carb the fountain of youth!