Monday, August 14, 2006

A Week in the Life of Low-Carb

It's been a while since I have reduced carbohydrate this much - to 20g net per day, deducting only fiber from the total.

The last time I restricted my carbohydrate this much was after a vaction with friends to Las Vegas in July 2002. At that point, I'd already lost a lot of weight following a low-carb diet and increased my carbohydrate intake as suggested along the way; I'd still not learned the importance of maintaining a relatively low level of carbohydrate intake consistently, enjoyed a few too many desserts, and returned home with a few too many pounds gained.

Solution? Start again to get back on track.

Within a week the few gained pounds were gone and I was back on track to lose the weight I needed. It was an important lesson for me in the long-term - when the goal is to lose weight and keep it off, consistency is critical. When I went on vacation in July 2002, I'd been following a low-carb diet for just nine months - it was still a "diet"; after a short abandonment from the consistency that had resulted in an effortless weight loss, I realized the dietary modification was more than just a diet, it was a long-term lifestyle. It was after that period of starting again that I really understood how important, and often times difficult, it is to maintain healthful eating in the face of an abundance of junk food.

Last week I decided to join Jimmy Moore in his 30-in-30 Challenge with a few modifications for my own weight loss needs.

Starting again, again!

This time not because I'd abandon eating a nutrient-rich diet each day, but because I need to focus to lose the last twenty pounds gained while pregnant with my son. I decided to do this publically to highlight to those reading that, whether you've gotten off track; gained some weight for any number of reasons; or not paid as much attention as you should to your diet, you always have an incredible option - start again!

Now I have to say, the hardest part this week has been limiting my carbohydrate intake to just 20g net per day; it means paying attention at each meal to what you're eating and making the very best choices at each meal. Success means making the commitment to just do it and following through.

When you do that, weight loss takes care of itself if you maintain your carbohydrate intake, make good choices and eat to satiety your meats, poultry, fish, etc. As I've learned, the last part - eating to satiety your meats, poultry, fish, etc. - is often the undoing of those just starting a low-carb diet. Some start this type of a dietary modification with old habits, like a serving of meat is as big as a deck of cards...they think more than that is too much; or think only skinless chicken breasts are acceptable, other parts of the chicken are too fatty; or they still hold the idea that regular salad dressing adds too many calories and reach for the fat-free instead.

The reason these habits die hard is that it's difficult to detach from the negative messages about eating animal foods and fats/oils; difficult to imagine bread is off limits for a period of time; even worrisome that you're excluding something as "healthy" as bananas.

I'll tell you what - been there, done that and can say, if you set aside your preconceived notions of a "healthy diet," and make the best choices while following a low-carb diet, you'll see success.

So, you may be wondering how I did this first week starting again?

I've lost 10-pounds!

Target Weight Loss Week One: 6-pounds
Actual Weight Loss Week One: 10-pounds
Total Weight Loss to date: 10-pounds

Remaining Weight to Lose: 10-pounds

Here's to reaching my goal in the coming weeks!

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations on such a successful first week. Losing literally half of your goal weight in the first week is amazing. Great job!!

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  2. Wow great first week loss for someone who is not doing this for the first time!

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  3. Thanks!

    I was pretty surprised myself...originally I figured six was a stretch...jumped on the scale and did the happy dance!

    This week I'm certain it will even out or no loss for the second week...we'll see.

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  4. Holy cow, Regina! YOU GO GIRL! I will be sharing your success with the "30-In-30" readers today! CONGRATS!!!

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  5. I'm participating also. But I was on vacation and just got back so today is day 1 for me. My "golden shot" long since came and went and the weight just doesn't come off like it used to. Plus I gained a bit while on vacation. I'm afraid to get on the scale.

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  6. Regina, congratulations!
    I really agree with your statement that consistency is key -- and that has been a difficult lesson for me. As far as low carbing goes, at least for me, one bad day can set me back a great deal. For one thing, the cravings set in again, making it harder for me to stick to the way of eating. Falling off the wagon may mean up to two weeks of struggling before I can truly get back on the wagon. It's just better for me in the long run to stay consistent and make no exceptions.

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