mylowcarb

my experiences of following a low carb diet

My eyesight has improved!

Yesterday I had an opticians appointment and had my eyesight checked.  I wear glasses for driving and distance sight.  The optician told me my eyesight had improved quite a lot and my glasses were now to strong!

I began to wonder if the improvement might be related to my low carb diet.  A quick search on the net and I have found numerous forum posts from people who had had similar improvements after switching to low carb.

Here is just one: Benefits of Reducing Carbs for Eyesight

I am amazed at this effect of changing my diet and I continue to to be in a state of shock about the total dietary stuff and nonsense that is preached at us by governments and health organisations and how deeply negative and damaging this ‘healthy diet that is low is saturated fat and high in starchy wholegrains’  actually is!  We live in the nutritional dark ages!!

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Omega 3

Today I have been reading about the benefits of Omega 3 in the diet and how these essential fatty acids are often lacking in our modern diet and we consume too much Omega 6.  Omega-3 fatty acids are a key force against inflammation in our bodies. Mounting evidence shows that inflammation plays a part in many chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and even some cancers. This inflammation is enhanced by having too little Omega-3 intake and too much Omega 6.

The foods to eat to boost the consumption of Omaga 3 are flaxseeds, walnuts and oily fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, tuna and mackerel, – also prawns.

I have already started using walnuts in my baking and I plan to buy some flax seed meal from my Wholefoods shop to add into my recipes.  Fish is more of a problem as even though I live on a island surrounded by the sea, fish bought locally is ether very expensive or if from the local supermarket it is not very fresh and unappetising. I don’t feel like buying tinned tuna either after watching a documentary about how they are being over fished, stocks are being depleted and other sea fish are being damaged by the tuna fishing. 😦

I think I will try to buy locally caught fresh fish once a week and maybe try salmon and prawns occaisonally too.

Other things I discovered today – it is best to use lard, butter or coconut oil for frying and use olive oil as a salad dressing as heating the oil destroys the healthy fats and makes them rancid.

I also found this recipe for Flax Meal Bread which looks really interesting – one to try next week!

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Starting on Atkins

So, I wanted to try the Atkins diet and lose weight just like my brother was doing.  As luck would have it I found a copy of Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution for 75p in my local charity shop.  This was the 2003 edition: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Atkins-New-Diet-Revolution-No-hunger/dp/0091889480/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336811835&sr=1-2

I read the whole book before I began.

I learned about problem with carbohydrates and why the Atkins diet works.  I discovered that I had all the signs of glucose intolerance and pre-diabetes – constant cravings for high carbohydrate foods such as sweets, chocolate, pasta and bread, a tendency to binge, bouts of fatigue, mood swings, dizziness, trembling and palpitations to name just some.  I discovered what to eat and what not to eat.  I got started on Phase 1 which limits carbohydrate consumption to just 20g a day.

It felt crazy eating this way.  Typically I was having foods like eggs and bacon for breakfast, prawn marie rose with sald for lunch and steak with broccoli and butter for dinner.  Snacks were cheese and olives or hard boiled egg.  Gone from my diet was all the sweets, chocolate, bread, pasta, rice, chips and potatoes.

Although I didn’t feel hungry, I was very thirsty and wanted to drink lots of water.   The sudden removal of all the carbs from my diet made me feel very light headed and weak at first.  I got a few headaches too.  It remined me of how I felt when I quit smoking – I had very similar withdrawal symptoms from giving up nicotine!  Another more pleasant side effect I noticed was that I no longer felt an overwhelming desire to consume biscuits and crisps and snacks throughout the day.  The urge to snack on such things constantly used to be as strong as the urge to have a cigarette.  I remember going to a school parents evening back then and feeling so empowered because I  had no desire to snack of the big plate of biscuits laid out for the parents!

The best effect of all though was stepping onto the scales and watching in amazement as the pounds dropped off!  I had never been able to lose weight like this before!!

I was still worried about the health effects of following what seemed to me then such a crazy, outrageous diet but a bit like a reckless teenager, I kept on going as I was loving seeing those scales swing lower and lower.  It was like magic, I could hardly believe it was happening!  But it was and it continued to work.  I began to see that finally after years of frustration I was going to get control of my weight and I liked it.

I realised that I wanted to stay in control and that probably meant continuing with this way of eating for the long term.  I knew I could manage that because all the cravings for the high carb foods were gone and I felt in control of my eating habits.  I needed to know more about the health risks of eating this way because I was always being told by the Government and Health Organisations that a healthy diet is one that is low in fat and high in carbohydrates and here I was risking my health by doing the exact opposite.  Getting slim yes, but was it at the expense of risking heart disease by eating all this fat?

So, my next move, was to start researching and I looked on the internet and I bought and read various books about low carb eating to find out more.  What I found out totally amazed me and changed my whole perspective on healthy eating!

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Keeping a Food Diary

One of the things I have found most useful while following this diet is to use a food diary to monitor and keep track of the foods I eat.  There is a great online daily food tracker called fatsecret.com  This site allows you to enter all the food you eat every day and also counts up how many calories you consume, how many grams of protein, fat and carbohydrate you consume.  It also shows you the percentages as a little pie chart and lets you set a target number of daily calories as well as allowing you to record your weight and monitor your progress.

I find this site excellent for helping me to keep track of my food and motivate me to stay on track.

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Hello world!

Two years ago I started out on a journey to lose weight.  I was getting really fed up of being overweight.  Though not massively big, I had gone from being a size 10 in my teens to a size 16 at age 40.  Every time I tried to lose weight by eating less, I failed.  I could manage to reduce my portions for a few days but I felt so hungry and the cravings for more food would become so great that I would cave in and then have a binge on biscuits and chocolate.  The end result was I would put on a few more pounds than before I started to diet.

Then my brother told me he was on the Atkins diet and he’d lost 2 stone in a month!  I had heard of the Atkins diet of course.  It was really unhealthy and dangerous – hardly any vegetables, no fruit, loads of meat and fat.  It was, I knew, extremely unhealthy and dangerous – ignoring all the healthy eating guidelines of low fat, lots of fruit, cereals and  starchy carbohydrates.  However, I was excited to see how well it had worked for my brother and seeing as how nothing else had worked for me, I decided to take a risk and give it a shot.  The results amazed me and led me down a path of discovery about diet and health.  I am now 2 stone lighter, I feel so much healthier and am still following this way of eating and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.

In this blog I will share my journey, my favourite recipes and links to other Low Carb High Fat blogs and sites as well as links to the science behind the LCHF diet and the causes of the current worldwide obesity and Type 2 diabetes epidemic and all it’s related illness and diseases.

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