Monday, September 05, 2011

Low carbs, high animal protein

On July 29th, with a doctor's guidance, I cut out all carbs, including fruit. Eating only vegetables and protein, I have watched the scale stubbornly show only the smallest changes from week to week. When I cut out carbs in the spring of 2010, the weight came off by about 1.25 pounds a week, but that's not happening this year. What's going on?

My doctor and I believe it's my anti-depressant. That's the only thing that's changed in the past year and many anti-depressants cause weight gain. I thought I was so lucky that it caused no change in my weight when I started taking it last winter, but it turns out that I didn't completely escape that effect. It seems to have affected my ability to lose weight.

So getting rid of those ten horrible pounds I put on in six lousy weeks (in May/June), is turning out to be much harder to lose than it should. After five weeks of vegetables, protein, exercise and sauna-sweats, my weight barely registers almost a four-pound loss. Mental illness sucks even worse than I thought.

But here's the good news: at any other point in my life I would GREATLY resent passing up all the buns and bread, the chips and crackers, the cookies and cakes, the summer fruit, the bowls of cereal and pasta, and my favorite: rice. But after seventeen years of slowly weeding out processed foods, dairy products and everything that now causes my middle-aged digestive system pain, I don't mind the way I'm eating now. After intensive work on my food issues with an EMDR therapist I have broken my emotional connection with sugar. Between the stomach aches I get from grains and dairy and no longer needing sugar as a crutch, eating only vegetables and protein feels good.

So if it takes six months to lose what I put on in six weeks, even on nothing but meat, eggs, fish, beans, nuts and produce, so be it. My stomach is at peace this way. I sleep well at night. I'm finally beginning to understand that all bodies have different needs and the high-carb vegetarian diet that someone else swears by, isn't a diet I should feel obligated to try. Every time I hear someone say that we shouldn't eat meat more than a couple of times a week, I know that might be true for them, but it's definitely not true for me. When nutritionists recommend dairy products, I know they're not talking to the lactose-intolerant.

From decades of experimenting on my own body, I know that all foods can cause me stomach aches except for these: vegetables and animal protein (even too many nuts or beans will upset me). Those are the only two categories that never hurt me, so I eat them happily and let the rest go.


Mick said...

To me the surprising bit is that you don't eat fruit, we are always advised to eat a lot of fruit.

What vegetables do you eat, don't know why I always imagine Americans not eating much veg.

I like most veg and my normal weekly intake will include, broccoli, carrots, sprouts, peas, califlower and someimes cabbage.

What veg do you eat ?

Regina said...

Mick, the reason you probably don't think of Americans as eating many vegetables is because WE DON'T. We just eat potatoes and whatever lettuce or tomato we're too lazy to pick off of the hamburger.

My weekly vegetables are:
Cooked - broccoli, green beans, lima beans, carrots, corn
Raw - tomatoes, dark lettuce for salads, carrots.

Less often I have avocados, kale, cauliflower, collard greens and pretty much any vegetable, except eggplant and bell peppers (don't like them).

Yes, fruit is good for you, but until I take these ten May/June pounds off, I'm limiting that, too. Fruit has a lot of sugar and I doubt there are any nutrients in fruit that I can't get from vegetables.

Anonymous said...

hey guys - i'm drafting a post at the moment that is about this exactly, knowing your body.

after a few days of talking with a friend who sees carbs as evil - which to a point i do too, i know to drop the weight i need balance and cutting carbs is part of that.

i don't like fruit. i have struggled for years to eat it and force myself to do so every day for a long time just because the experts say it.

then recently a friend said to me, why do you force yourself to eat something you don't like? it causes you more stress and harm than any possible benefit you could be getting from it...

like a light bulb - yes, you're right. what is wrong with only eating what i love to make my meals fit me?

sticking to my own healthy choice guidelines i don't need fruit to lose weight!!!

love those light bulb moments!