Yesterday I did this:
It was loads of fun!!! And I got a PR on my pushpress!! A full 10# above my last lift. Good day for CrossFit.
Yesterday was also my first day of the South Beach diet. This study + Matt’s discussions with colleagues (read: world nutrition experts/physicians at Duke who swear by low glycemic diets) = evidence enough for me that I need to eat like this forever. The study got plenty of press, and after looking around, South Beach seemed the easiest to follow in terms of low glycemic. So no fruit for two weeks. Yes, I know “no fruit” isn’t healthy, but it’s just two weeks. You know what else isn’t healthy? Wendy’s JBCs. At the end of two weeks we’ll see how much fruit my body can tolerate without going into full “I NEED ICE CREAM WITH CRUNCHY CARBY THINGS MIXED IN” mode.
The study basically put a bunch of folks on the same “run-in” diet to lose 10-15% of their body weight. Once that weight loss was achieved, they randomly grouped people into one of three groups for a maintenance diet: low-fat (American Heart Association style), moderately low-carb (low glycemic, South Beach ish), and the bacon fiesta that is Atkins.
The groups ingested the same amount of calories. Folks on Atkins burned 350 calories more PER DAY AT REST. Y’all. Do you know how much exercise it takes to burn off that many calories?
The low glycemic group burned 150 more calories than the low-fat group by just sitting around.
If there’s one thing we ‘Murkins do, it’s sit around. I sit at my desk 8-10 hours/day. I sit in the car for an hour each day. I go home and putz around but usually my afternoon activity involves some sort of movie or reading… also sitting. If I want to nosh on fat-free wheat thins for 1200-1500 calories, I’ll need to run for 45 minutes every single day in order to maintain my weight. If I want to eat some natural (read: sugar-free) peanut butter or some salad with full-fat dressing, I can skip the workout and maintain my weight. Or I can exercise and lose weight. And since exercise is awesome, and we sit around enough, exercise + higher resting energy expenditure = healthy & happy! And once the weight is lost, treats in moderation! All for giving up oreos and wheat thins. DONE.
So Atkins is best for initial weight loss, but if you’re not careful, you can bacon yourself into some cholesterol/sat fat/inflammation/hormone related issues. The science on that isn’t necessarily solid, but I’d rather have some fruit and less bacon than no fruit and veggies and STEAK, BABY, STEAK. For every meal.
The point is: unless you keep dropping your calories throughout your life, you’re going to get fat on the low-fat diet. You’re going to continue the cycle of starve, binge, lose 5, gain 10, for the rest of your life. And what’s worse: your metabolism will keep slowing down. Prepare to be hungry or overweight. I know which one I’d choose.
So I’m hoping this is it. I’m hoping I learn how to eat like this and stick with it. The science makes sense (or so says the science half of my brain, Dr. Matt Summers). The diet is reasonable. Yesterday, I ate:
B: 1.5 egg frittata w/ spinach, onion, 1 slice of bacon and tsp of goat cheese
S: greek yogurt w/ vanilla extract, splenda (I’m trying not to overdo it on the sugar subs) and flax seeds.
L: big old salad, sans my beets and sweet potato, tossed in some chick peas, feta, chicken, shrimp, sunflower seeds; 5 calories of sugar-free jello
S: NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER. GOOD GOLLY THAT WAS DELICIOUS.
D: salad w/ goat cheese, a few pecans, wilted spinach, tomatoes, raspberry blush vinegar; a 5 oz steak that was downright amazing, prepared by the good doctor himself.
Treat: sugar free popsicle.
South Beach makes you snack the first two weeks to ward off cravings. I didn’t really get hungry or have cravings. I did have a headache around 2pm but ibuprofen fixed that. I didn’t miss my normal salad toppings because I could have some egg and chick peas instead. Feta and goat cheese are allowed. As long as I avoid the sweeties, I could do this forever. Not that far off from how I was already eating. And yes, it’s a lot of food. BUT GUESS WHO WAS DOWN ON THE SCALE THIS AM?
Speaking of the scale, I’ve maintained a 7 lb loss since this time last year. Plus I’m stronger. So I’m not where I want to be but I’m moving in the right direction.
So try something low-glycemic. I’m only on day one, but if you don’t trust the science, trust me: