I have been eating virtually zero carb for over six weeks now. My blood sugar has normalized and I am firmly ketogenic, according to my blood tests, so I have decided to start very slowly adding back in some carbs from vegetables and other non-meat sources. Why? Because I miss vegetables and I want to eat them if I can without raising my blood sugar. If eating a very small amount of vegetables still raises my blood sugar, I will have to back off again. During this six weeks, I have come to realize that I am a "volume eater" and when you eat only meat and fat, you don't get to eat very much in the way of bulk. I would like, if I can tolerate it, to eat a side of vegetables or a salad from time to time. I am not going back to vegetables because I think I "need" fiber. I don't think I need fiber, but I also don't think that the amount of fiber I will get in a small amount of vegetables is going to harm me in any way.
I know that this opinion is wrong, according to the Zero Carb Community, so sorry if I have offended anyone. I still believe that a person can get all the nutrients they need from just meat and fat. I just want to eat some veggies here and there, even though I know I don't "need" them, nutritionally speaking. If there are people out there who eat just animal products and they are content with that and feel fulfilled eating that way, more power to them! I have given it a good six weeks, and I don't think I will ever feel content eating this way. I want to eat a fresh tomato. I want to eat sauteed cabbage and onions in bacon grease. And you can't stop me.
Some might say, "Yeah, well, I want to eat cake and ice cream, but I don't, because I know it is not healthy, and neither are vegetables!" I agree with the first part, about eating sugar and grains, and legumes, for that matter, but I am not convinced that vegetables are unhealthy, if prepared the correct way. For instance, after all I have learned during this past six weeks, I will not eat raw kale or broccoli again. Cooked, yes. Raw, no.
Today I ate some pumpkin and I am having the much-yearned-for sauteed cabbage and onions for dinner tonight, and I feel happier already!
CHANGING UP THE ALTERNATE DAY INTERMITTENT FASTING
I also have been doing Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting (ADIF) for over three weeks, and I am going to keep that up. I have not been enjoying it very much, although the body fat loss has been steady. Here are my concerns:
1. I am still ravenously hungry on the days that I fast (eating only 300 calories, so not a total fast), and I feel miserable about it. I don't know if I am going to be able to sustain this way of eating if it means that I have to starve every other day.
2. On the days that I eat normally, I am trying not to track my food and just eat to satiety, but the more I try to do that, the more I am losing control and overeating. I have found that the only way I don't overeat is if I track every bite of food that enters my mouth. Day before yesterday, while not tracking, I found that I was thinking about food constantly and eating all the time. All I can think of is that I won't be able to eat the next day, so I am snacking all the time.
3. It's not that I'm not losing weight, because I am, but I don't know if it is worth the deprivation that I am experiencing.
4. Before starting ADIF, I was doing plain old Nutritional Ketosis and very carefully tracking everything I ate, but eating around the same amount of food each day, which was usually around 1500 calories. I was losing weight doing that, too, and one of the reasons I wanted to do ADIF was because all the tracking was driving me crazy. As it turns out, I still have to track doing ADIF, or else I obsess about food all day and overeat. The other reason why I wanted to do it was because eating a "normal" amount of food every day meant that I never got to eat what I felt like was enough to satisfy me. Getting to eat more every other day makes it worth it having to eat less on the alternate day.
5. The more I am doing ADIF, the more unnatural it is feeling. It just does not feel right to only really eat every other day. I guess some people have success eating that way and do not feel deprived and they feel it is very natural. Not me.
6. Some might say that if I am losing weight, what is the problem with eating all I want to on my non-fasting days. The thing is, though, that if I eat all I want, my blood sugar goes up, and that is what I am trying to avoid. Besides, I don't like feeling out of control and eating obsessively.
7. It is tough to basically not eat every other day when I am not the only person living in my house. My husband has been very patient, but I can tell that it is starting to wear on him that he is on his own for meals every other day.
As I go along with this way of eating, I think every day that I can't keep this up and I want to quit. On the days that I eat a normal amount, I feel like I am eating too much and on the days that I fast, I want to eat more.
I put these questions to my fellow ADIF-ers at the Low Carb Friends forum, and I got a lot of good advice.
I have decided to keep on keeping on, but I am going to eat more on my fasting days and track my food on my non-fasting days, instead of trying to eat freely. Here is my new plan, which will keep me in the ketogenic realm, and should help with my hunger on fasting days and with my overeating on non-fasting days:
144.4g fat (70.2%)
105.6g protein (22.8%)
32g carbs (6.9%)
36.1g fat (70.2%)
26.4g protein (22.8%)
8g carbs (6.9%)
Averaging the two days together:
90.3g fat (70.2%)
66g protein (22.8%)
20g carbs (6.9%)
Of course, these are the exact numbers that my spreadsheet gives me, and I would not be obsessive about hitting those exact numbers on each day, but I would attempt to get close to them.
I would think that an average of 1156 calories per day of high fat, moderate protein, very low carb food would allow my body to access its fat stores.
Doing this, I am going to be trying to increase my carbs just a little bit and start eating some lower carb veggies and see if my blood sugar can handle it. Also, I am counting total carbs, not net carbs, so even if I am getting 32 total carbs on my non-fasting day, it is really only a fraction of that number that will impact blood sugar.
So, anyway, that is my plan, and we'll see how it goes. Thanks for reading!