Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bad eating habits

As I mentioned, I'm overweight, probably by 70-80 pounds.

I'm also a pre-diabetic, having taken metformin for some time now, which has so far kept my A1C counts in the normal/good range (although it's been about a year since I've tested).

I was doing fairly well on diet last spring and summer, but after moving and taking a new job, it's gone downhill, with weight gain (I'll find out how much when I return home and to my scale on the 7th).

I'm definitely a carboholic (NOT good for someone with diabetes on both sides of his family--uncle and cousin on my dad's side, aunt and mother on mom's side). I like it all: bread, pasta, crackers, chips, sweets, coke, etc.

In the past when I've dieted, I've functioned best on a low carb diet, from Atkins to Protein Power. When I say function best, I mean I feel better, mind is clear, no cravings, lots of energy, etc. It takes me two to three weeks of low carbs to get to that point (past the headaches, initial lack of energy and all), but once there it's pretty good.

So why the trouble staying on it?

There's quite a good post on Dr. Michael Eade's site (co-author of Protein Power and related books, all good) about falling off the wagon. Part of the problem is we live in a carb-rich environment, so our brains are constantly being bombarded with the tempting carbs we love. And for people like me, it doesn't take many carbs to set the physical cravings off again.

That, for me, will be the most difficult task: finding ways to stay in the neighborhood (50 grams of carbs a day? 100?) that keeps me metabolically without cravings.

And, of course, the challenge is changing your life so that these aren't temporary changes, but a complete change in what you eat and how you eat--how you live! While I haven't been successful in the past in such permanent changes, that's what I need to do now . . . and to figure out how to do it.

The next thing I'm pondering, is whether for me it's easiest to go "cold turkey" on carbs and do an Atkins-style "induction" (keeping carbs VERY low for a period of time, around 25-30 grams per day, to force the body into learning to burn fat and not carbs) or to move more gradually (low carb breakfast and dinner, allow more at lunch).

Something I'm thinking about . . . more later.

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