Friday, September 12, 2008

Reading and Planning

Right now I'm in the process of reading Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution. It's the third book I've read in trying to learn about living a low-carb lifestyle. The other two were: Low-Carb Dieting for Dummies and The South Beach Diet.

I can't delay living a low-carb lifestyle until I've read everything written about low-carb eating. Nor do I believe that one approach is going to be exactly what I need. So far it's looking like I'll use a combination of approaches.

When I was reading the Dummies book, I wanted its approach to work for me. I could eat all the fruits I wanted (with the exception of bananas), and limit myself to five carbohydrate servings a day. Unfortunately, I can't just follow the Dummies plan. It includes bread, and bread is out for me. It causes me to crave more and get back into the whole cycle of carbohydrate addiction.

Dummies also counts legumes as carb servings unless they're substituted for meat in a meal. South Beach allows legumes as a high fiber, high protein, balanced carbohydrate food. I'm going to keep the South Beach approach.

Also, I don't like tracking specific carb servings. I'm fine with writing down what I eat when I eat it as a means to monitor what's working and what's causing cravings, but I don't want to be ticking off servings of food.

I'm finding that both Atkins and South Beach have stages to their plans. The first stage is the strictest -- no fruits or carb-rich foods (pasta, potatoes, breads, winter squash). But they both allow fruits and some whole-grain foods in their less-strict phases. And both say that the strict phases is important because it jump-starts weight loss and rids the body of carbohydrate addiction and cravings.

Am I ready to give up fruit and embrace a strict no carb eating strategy for a couple weeks? Or do I want to take a more moderate approach?

As I'm learning and practicing my new lifestyle I've noticed that I'm not so hungry. I need less sleep and feel less fatigued. My water retention has been drastically reduced, and I no longer take a dieuretic. When I avoid carbohydrates in bread and sugars I have fewer food cravings. And overall, I find that I'm less focued on food, and more focused on living.

I'm more committed than ever to living a low-carbohydrate lifestyle and living a healthy life!

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