Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Straight from the Email Box

I was pretty sure it would happen, and it has - a flood of email asking all sorts of questions about my return to a low-carb diet (defined as less than 60g net carbohydrate, where I only deduct fiber from the total carbohydrate). With a good number of emails asking the same questions, I'll answer here rather than reply individually.

Q: If you were following a low-carb diet, why do you need to lose 20-pounds again?
  • During pregnancy, while following a controlled-carb diet, I gained 60-pounds; after delivery I quickly lost 39-pounds in six weeks, while still eating controlled-carb (about 120-150g net carbs a day), so was advised to do whatever I had to to halt weight loss since it was interfering with my milk supply for nursing. After increasing calories, I lost just one more pound as I tweaked my calorie intake to prevent weight loss and weight gain....and since weaning my son, haven't reduced carbohydrate nor moderated calorie intake enough to lose weight. I haven't gained weight, but haven't lost, now I am making the necessary adjustments to my diet to lose the last of the weight gained during pregnancy.
Q: How'd you gain 20-pounds if you were eating a low-carb diet

Q: If a low-carb diet worked, you wouldn't need to lose 20-pounds after years of following it! Don't you think you should re-evaluate your diet now instead of doing what isn't working?
  • See above

Q: Why does your multivitamin have no iron?

  • My diet is rich with meats and leafy green vegetables, therefore has more than enough iron from my diet alone. Since too much iron can be problematic, I simply use a multivitamin without iron.

Q: Don't you get sick of eggs? Any ideas for breakfast other than eggs?

  • I'm not a big fan of eggs everyday, but for the first week it is a great option to include since they're packed with essential nutrients, EFA's, EAA's and are filling. For this reason, throughout weight loss they will continue to be a major food in my daily menu. If and when I tire of eggs, I'll skip a day or two and then add them back again. They're simply too rich with nutrients to not eat, in my opinion.

Q: Exposing yourself to all the hormones and antibiotics in animal products is harmful, aren't you worried about that?

  • I personally eat only pastured-meats, poultry and eggs from free-roaming (not simply cage-free) chickens; and include dairy that is from low-heat pasturized whole milk that is not homogenized, or raw (cheeses are made from raw milk); dairy is also organic, free of rBGH, antibiotics and grass-fed without grain supplementation. So the answer is, no I am not worried about exposure.

Q: Why do you include the Atkins Shake when you promote eating real whole foods?

  • During the first week, as I am focused on establishing ketosis, the addition of a protein shake (free from soy protein isolates) helps me consume enough calories since protein blunts appetite too well sometimes and retricts calorie intake too much. I target my basal metabolic rate as my minimum calorie intake, therefore need to consume at least 1800-calories per day, which is difficult when I'm eating more protein and fat than carbohydrate. I use the ready-to-drink shake since I don't like having to make it myself with the protein powder - it's less "chalky" tasting to me.

Q: Why aren't you posting how much of the food you're eating? I'd like to follow your menus and it would help if I knew how much to eat!

  • Because my consumption is based on my individual calorie requirements and not suitable for someone with lower or higher needs; therefore I post what I eat without saying how much of any food I'm consuming. Understand, at the end of the day, with the foods included, I am averaging about 20g net carbohydrate (total minus fiber only) with some days slightly less, but not more.

Q: What is your starting weight?

  • I've come to realize the number on the scale is not a reflection of health and therefore do not target a particular weight or BMI. My goal is to be as healthy as I can and right now losing 20-pounds will return my weight to my pre-pregnancy weight where I was comfortable.

Q: Are you exercising daily?

  • I chase an extremely active, almost two-year-old toddler around each day - need I say more?

Q: Isn't it unhealthy to eat that much fat?

  • Not when your body is using it as its primary source of energy

Q: Aren't you worried about eating so much protein?

  • Not at all. Especially when you consider it replaces carbohydrate as the source of the small amount of glucose needed each day.


  1. Q: Exposing yourself to all the hormones and antibiotics in animal products is harmful, aren't you worried about that?

    Hi Regina,

    This is total garbage. There are no toxins in meat, outside of some fish. Animal flesh of a healthy animal is sterile and has no bacteria. As long as you sear the outside of the meat you can eat beef raw. Veggies on the other hand are loaded with toxins and bacteria, and the produce you see at the store is a result of breeding the poisons out of plants, not to mention the pesticides that's needed to grow the stuff in the first place.

    There's more information at my site and my blog

  2. Considering how the question was asked, I'm fairy sure it came from someone following a vegan/vegetarian diet. Personally, I eat grass-fed and pastured meats/poultry/game...better nutritional profiles, especially omega-3 fatty acids; I choose grass-fed/pastured becasue I think it's important that the animals are fed their natural diet, which isn't grain.

  3. Like the Bear has duly noted:

    "There is only one true, inevitable, and defining characteristic which is connected with vegetarians, and that is: They ALL are compulsive liars. ALL opponents of this simple path will attack you and your diet ferociously, and state emphatically that it is "bad" and will "kill you" and "lead to serious deficiencies" and other half-witted utterances.