So if you read my last post, you will see EXACTLY why so many people fail at low carbing. If you give your body “enough” useable (non-fiber) carbs to kick it into USING them instead of STORING them, you leave ketosis. That feels fine as far as energy goes – in fact, you may get a brief rush of energy – but you will also get a rush of weight (as discused below) AND you will then either have to go back through gluconeogenesis (the part that SUCKS) to get back to ketosis, or else you can stay in the land of “enough” carbs.
Note that this is DIFFERENT in a key way from virtually every other type of diet. If you are counting calories, you can go over your allotment occasionally and while it slows down your loss (more to burn before your body returns to burning body fat) it doesn’t change how you feel or how you are internally processing food. I absolutely ADORE her, but I think that is where Lyn at Escape From Obesity can go awry. If you read her blog in one mad read fest (which I did, and recently) you can see EXACTLY how she winds up off plan/bingeing (once she started Medifast, anyway). First there will be a SINGLE bite of something off – a lick of ice cream, a SMALL cookie or piece (or bite of) cake. Since she lost her first 60 lbs by counting calories (a lot easier at 278 lbs than at 215 lbs, because the metabolics of moving around nearly 300 lbs are very different), she was used to being able to take a small deviation and get back on plan. But with Medifast (and other carb controlled plans) that just does not work. You kick yourself out of ketosis and then you have cravings. If you don’t know what’s happening or why, you blame other things – real things (like hormones, stress, exhaustion) and EVENTUALLY your inner brat convinces you that you DESERVE to be off plan until the situation resolves itself, and, well… the cravings eventually win. Meanwhile, even BEFORE the person has given in to the craving and gone totally off the reservation, she is suffering with the cravings and prone to keep nibbling away, keeping herself out of
nirvana ketosis and back and forth into the misery of gluconeogenesis. [Caveat: Lyn is also an emotional eater, which I am well acquainted with, and which is about head cravings/memories/etc – not saying this understanding would “cure” her or that she is doing anything WRONG, it’s just an observation about the science and hey, I may be wrong!]
OK, so why I am I telling you this? Like the title says (rather rudely) I think LC ought to come with a warning label: do it perfectly (ON THE SINGLE DIMENSION OF CARB COUNT) or don’t even start.
Why the “single dimension” bit? because you CAN cheat on an LC diet. You just have to cheat by adding calories from fat and protein, rather than carbs. Add in extra lean meat, or extra butter on your veggies and you will be fine. PMS? Have a small (1/4 cup or so?) cruett of heavy whipping cream mixed with high quality (unsweetened) cocoa powder (like Ghirardelli) and enjoy the extra 150 calories of decadence, but FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING STAY IN KETOSIS! 🙂
I know (from reading her blog) that Lyn worries about giving up “good” foods like starchier veggies, brown rice, fruit, etc. Well my friends, here’s the hard truth. Lots of people have allergies to things that are otherwise good for other people. My particular allergy is that my poor body, for whatever reason, can’t process many carbs at once without going BONKERS. Can I eat healthy without starches? You betcha. Do I “need” fruit? NO. In fact, at this point in my journey I am actually willing to give up that stuff FOR.EV.ER. if it means I can live without the NOISE of carbs in my head. And I will talk about NOISE in another post. 🙂
OH! I said I would talk about the weight gain if you go off. Fact is, to process carbs in your body (to literally push them through the system, digest them) you need water. If you go off them, your body will figure out that it doesn’t need to “hoard” as much water and you will lose water weight. That’s “real” weight – it was actual pounds you were carrying that you don’t need anymore – but weight that you have to start carrying again if you go back to the carbs-for-fuel state. And I have personally observed that if you jockey back and forth enough, your body will be quite reluctant to dump the water when y ou go back on LC after a while – because it doesn’t know WHAT it is going to need.
And as to water? Ketosis is a stinky business, as I said yesterday. So drink your water and push that stuff OUT of your system. I THINK that’s why I don’t usually have nasty breath or BO – most of it goes straight out in my urine.