March 2009


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Today starts my new high fat/lower protein way of eating. See blog from yesterday for details. It’s not been a bad day. I haven’t been hungry. The afternoon/evening was a challenge but only because we have houseguests and that entails ‘happy hour’ of nuts/chips/beer/wine – all of which I passed on. Sparkling mineral water was my beverage of the afternoon with good company and visiting as my sustenance. How’s that for turning a potential sticky situation into a positive? :o)

I think the most difficult part of this change will be keeping the protein consumption down. I do love my protein. Typically, I either eat left over protein from the previous nights meal or have a protein shake for breakfast. I’m trying to come up with alternatives to a protein brekkie yet have enough fat to sustain me until lunch without hunger (I hate to be hungry). Today I had chai tea with coconut milk followed by a milk-based cappo a few hours later. About 12 I was starting to feel hunger pangs so I had another tea w/coconut milk which took away the hunger until my lunch was ready. Coconut milk and coconut oil may be the key to me successfully doing this plan. It gives me the fat I need but doesn’t contribute the protein and most importantly, it satisfies my hunger.

At the market today I did buy several ‘new to me’ products….marscapone, greek yogurt & a small can of 4 bean salad. I’ll be testing these out over the next couple days and see what I can create with them. I also grilled some boneless chicken thighs today and packaged them into little baggies. I’ve pretty much only eaten chicken breast over the last several years and I’m finding my taste buds have changed and I enjoy the thighs – they are more juicy and tender – especially the boneless ones.

This is what I’m shooting for:

Protein: 69g
Fat: 121-164g
Net carbs: 34-55g
Minimum caloric intake: 1501
Maximum caloric intake: 1972

6am: Chai Tea, 2 Splenda, 2 1/2 oz coconut milk, 1 coconut mcnugget (1 TBSP co + 1/2 tsp flake coconut)

9:30am: cappuccino (1/2 cup whole milk)

12:30pm: peppermint tea, 2 Splenda, 1 oz coconut milk

1pm: Salad of (1 med cucumber, 1 stalk celery, 1 slice red onion, 7 kalamata olives, 2 Tbsp mayo, capful of vinegar), 62 gms grilled boneless chicken thigh

3:30pm: Chai tea, 2 Splenda, 1 oz coconut milk

7:30pm: 3.5 oz sirloin steak, 1/2 sweet potato, salad (2 cups lettuce, 4 cherry tomatoes, 1 oz Paul Newman dressing), 1 TBSP butter, 1 glass red wine

Calories: 1723
Fat: 125 (67%)
Carbs: 52-11=41 (12%)
Protein: 60 (15%)
Alcohol: 6%

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I’ve decided to track my food intake for the month of April, not only in Fitday but also on my sybilizedliving menu blog.

In doing this, I’m trying a different mix of macros. This plan is based upon Dr. Kwasniewski Optimal Diet plan. Basically, it’s a high fat/low protein plan. My hope is that it will generate fat loss as this continued incredibly slow fat loss/stall is really starting to tick me off. I’m ready, mentally and emotionally to release more fat/weight – now if I can only convince my body to let it go!

For the first month, my daily allotment of minimum & maximum nutrients:

Protein: 69 g
Fat: 121-164g
NET carbs: 34-55g
Minimum Caloric intake: 1501
Maximum Caloric intake: 1972

How is this different from my current eating? Right now I probably average about double the protein and 1/2 the carbs with the fats falling in about 100g/day. I’m actually looking forward to the increase in carbs but not so much looking forward to the decrease in protein. The increase in fat will satiate the hunger. I must remember though that this is simply another test – another test of what is the optimal way of eating for my particular body.

Below is an excerpt from a discussion on a LC forum that led me to decide to give this a try:

Quote:
And why reduce protein on a LC diet at all? From a review of GCBC:

“Moreover, while carbohydrates elevate insulin more than the other macronutrients, they are far from the sole contributor. Protein, an important component of any low-carb diet, generates about 60% of the insulin production of carbs on a gram for gram basis. Most meat, which has little or no carbohydrate content, nevertheless generates a very significant insulin response. While protein also spurs an increase in glucagon (normally thought of as a fat-reducing hormone), in this case glucagon is merely helping to break the protein down into glucose, which is necessary before insulin can do its thing. For more about insulin production, Google “Insulin Index” to see the true insulin production associated with different types of food.”

Insulin Index: http://www.mendosa.com/insulin_index.htm

This is fascinating, because it becomes clear that many of our favorite LC protein foods — eggs, beef, cheese, nuts, and even ice-cream — contain almost no carbs, but a very high insulin index.

…It’s not the calorie reduction that’s doing anything, it’s that by cutting those particular calories, protein is being cut — as well as the insulin index!

It also explains why some people have declared that removing dairy from their diets is the magic bullet that starts them losing again. It’s not the dairy – it’s the protein/insulin index. It also explains why some folks on the forum claim that it’s adding coconut oil to their diet that is the silver bullet because it ‘decrease their appetite.’ My guess is it’s not just their appetite that gets decreased – but their daily protein intake. The good news is that once you understand this, you can easily decrease your daily protein intake while keeping some of the dairy you love.

This is also why the Metabolic Ward experiments on MagicBus.com make perfect sense: by vastly increasing calories with fat (while cutting out eggs and dairy — cheese & cream, etc), participants have lost a LOT of scale weight while doing no exercise. And by a lot of calories, I mean about 5000 calories a day for a month. When you put the protein/insulin index knowledge into that mix, it all becomes very clear: once you’re within a certain amount to your goal, it’s not the calories that matter, or the carbs per se, and especially not the fat — it’s the protein.

Conversely — and importantly — there are some people (women, mostly) on MagicBus who are doing Zero Carb — and stalling. When you read examples of their diet, it becomes very clear that although they are eating a lot of fat (but nowhere near the amount eaten by the guys on high fat/calories), they are also eating a lot of protein. Now I know why they’ve stalled.

This Excess Protein explanation is never addressed by Eades or Taubes, but it is the one that ‘satisfies’, from a scientific viewpoint, every single criteria for explaining why some of us stall completely after losing so much on LC. And why we can eat thousands of extra calories a day (of certain nutrients and not others) without gaining an ounce, but losing pounds instead. And when you can find one criteria that explains a lot of theories without being invalidated by any one of them – I believe you have a valid working hypothesis.

As to the lower protein hindering muscle building or performance, that has never made scientific sense to me, since muscle specifically creates extra mitochondria (fat burning furnaces) to grab extra fuel. Thus, the more fat you are feeding your body, the happier your muscles should be. Once again, counter-intuitive and certainly counter to all prevailing ‘conventional wisdom’ on the subject, which tells me it must be right.

Plus, if you lower your protein intake, it will be your lean muscle mass that grabs it all, leaving nothing to be turned into fat.

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So, there you go. Plan starts tomorrow. This is the only change I am making for the month of April. April isn’t an easy month to tighten up my food as we have house guests twice this month, two dinner invitations, a trip to the BIG SMOKE for a Rugby game and it’s my 50th birthday. However, I won’t use these as excuses. And, I will use the daily blogging as accountability. I don’t expect a perfect month, but I do expect that I can make this work.

I will continue with my two Slow Burn strength training sessions per week and no additional cardio. I will continue with my boogie boarding, swimming and the developing of my yoga practice. I refuse to give up on my goal for additional fat removal. SOMETHING has got to work – it’s my job to find out what that is.

Cheers and WAGONS FORWARD!