So what about diets that work? I’ve been going non-stop about them on my food blog for as long as I can remember, but like many others trying to lower the scales a little, I learned that what we have called “diets” are short-lived. The term has become synonymous to losing weight when it really means “the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism.” When you say I’m on a diet – it somehow gives a connotation that one who is on a diet is just wanting to lose weight, when it is also because one wants to be healthy.
Back in the days, I was really active. Aside from the belly dancing classes I attend on Wednesday mornings, I did weight training on Mondays too. Then I do some walking, well not some, I would walk when bringing and picking the kids to and from school and when I buy groceries. I also walk when I get off the tram to reach home, there’s a bus that I can take for one stop to our place but I do the walk for the exercise, though this isn’t really enough to make me sweat.
Later on I also played volleyball regularly, and also had Zumba classes on Friday nights. Those days were fun, but the weight did come back at some point.
It was when I read more about personal experiences of others who wanted to get healthy when I understand the relation of food and exercise with the body. When I treated food as fuel, not as a reward or comfort, it made a difference.
Realizing that food is health care, I changed the way I was eating. It’s not only about the food I take, but the hours involved in eating. I went on a low-carbohydrate diet, and heed the signals my body sends. I only eat when I’m hungry, not when I want to, not when it’s noon, not when it’s 8 in the morning.
I started in March of 2019 at 66 kilograms. I stopped much of the activities I was doing (no more zumba, no more weightlifting) and surprisingly, the weight just came off. The results proved to me what many said – that it’s like an 80% food and 20% exercise equation to keep the weight off, and eventually be on your way to health. By August I was at 56 kilograms – not bad in a span of 5 months.
Low Carbohydrate Way of Eating
Many are familiar about the Keto diet and think that it is the same with a Low-carb way of eating, however, a low-carbohydrate way of eating restricts carbs, such as grains, rice, and starchy vegetables, processed foods, and sugar to 50–150 grams a day, unlike on Keto which is restricted to 50 grams a day.
On Keto, “popular ketogenic resources suggest an average of 70-80% fat from total daily calories, 5-10% carbohydrate, and 10-20% protein. For a 2000-calorie diet, this translates to about 165 grams fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, and 75 grams protein.” (Source) On a lowcarb way of eating, protein intake is not really counted.
What Happened When I Removed Sugar
I’ve always been a chocolate-lover. A day never goes by without me having any. I have attempted at times to cut out on desserts but it wasn’t easy. Even when I started on low-carb, removing rice was easy but I struggled avoiding chocolates (coming from a country were rice is a staple, friends were surprised). In the course of those months, I would still have a bar or two – which would be my carbs for the day. I know that it isn’t ideal but November of 2019, I do not crave anymore. I also found ways to having chocolates that are low-carb – unsweetened cocoa powder, heavy cream, and erythritol were my solution.
On the days that followed, I don’t easily get hungry. Like what others experienced, as a result of burning fat instead of carbohydrates, I could go 16 hours without food – because I’m still full from the last steak I ate the night before. I don’t really feel tired even though I have not eaten.
My skin also got better when I removed sugar from my diet. I have had bouts of acne after I stopped taking pills, and it has been so the past decade.
Doing further reading on scholarly research about low-carb diets, I learned that the primary effect of a low-carb way of eating is getting healthier, and burdening the organs less. I also learned that weight loss is a side effect of these.
Why a Low-carb Diet or Way of Eating is Effective to Be Healthier
Many people are surprised to know that fruits are high in carbohydrates. Well most are but there are still low-carb ones you can enjoy. Before, I felt guilty when the kids don’t eat enough veggies, and even tried to include more of it in our daily intake. But we have allergies to most fruits so we can only have bananas at most. Knowing now about the high-carbohydrate content of fruits made me feel better.
Some of the food that are considered high-carb includes those in this list and we also include the low-carb alternatives.
- Grains (and bread as its product) : almond and coconut flour breads
- Fruits (fructose content) : berries (avocado is a berry)
- Vegetables that grow under soil,
rootcrops (starch) : brocolli, cauliflower, mushroom, greens
- Milk (cow’s milk) : almond milk
- Seeds and Nuts : never have more than a handful of nuts
- Legumes (beans, lentils, peas) : limit when serving
- Margarine : butter
- Sugar : Stevia, erithrytol
The Science Behind a Low-Carb Diet
Simply put, a low-carb diet causes the body to burn stored fat for energy instead of carbohydrate. Growing up, we have known carbohydrate to be the main fuel source of our body.
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