Well, here we are one week into the plan. For those who may just be joining in on the blog, I started a weight loss regimen (You can read about that here). The goal was to follow the South Beach plan on March 1st. I realized a problem with my plan early on, however...I really should have mentioned this to my family - my wife, in particular. She's definitely more of the planner in the household when it comes to setting up meals, and springing my plan on her 1 day before I was going to start wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. I thought I heard her mumbling something about "should have listened to my parents about him" and "reason number 479".
I initially thought about going all-in, full-bore with the plan, starting with "Phase 1"...for you Atkins followers, think of Phase 1 as the induction portion of the diet. Basically, the idea is to quit carbs cold-turkey for a couple of weeks in order to start getting glucose levels to a more stable level. It's also a period of fairly rapid weight loss, as water weight, along with actual fat, is shed off fairly quickly. It is only for a couple of weeks, however, in part because the food choice is somewhat limited and going any longer could burn someone out on the diet quickly, and in part because there are potential health risks with burning a lot of fat for energy - namely ketoacidosis.
(NOTE...this is one of those A.D.D. moments I warned you about)
I know of several friends who are also embarking on a weight loss program that includes restricting/elimination hi-carb items, particularly wheat. For those who are starting the journey of the Wheat Belly diet (or any low carb diet), make sure you read up on ketosis and ketoacidosis as it could be a potentially VERY dangerous side effect. I've read quite a bit of the book by Dr. Davis, and I don't recall him mentioning this anywhere in the text. While the literature about the changing genetic composition of modern wheat is very interesting (and I hope to start reading about research of this in places like the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association), a lot of the weight loss occurs through the same channels that other low-carb ideas do - namely reducing carbohydrates (especially those with a high glycemic index), eliminating the cravings, and ultimately getting your body into what is called ketosis, which is the processing of fat rather than carbohydrates for energy. IMHO, so long as you are not diabetic or have kidney problems, ketosis itself is not a bad thing, and I think most people would agree with that if you are trying to lose weight. One of the byproducts of burning fat is the creation of ketones (thus the name "ketosis"). Ketones are usually just eliminated from the body the normal way; however, if they are not allowed to be eliminated from the body, they can build up and ultimately cause ketoacidosis, which can be potentially fatal.
One of the things that I always do when starting a low-carb plan is to head to my local drugstore and buy ketone strips. After a couple of days of the lower-carb eating, ketones are usually present, and the strips will detect them. The stricter you are with carbs, the more ketones typically are present. Again, this is usually a good thing, but you need to make sure that your body is able to keep getting rid of them. If you start seeing "moderate" or"large" amounts of ketones registered on the strips (by color coding), please be careful!!! MAKE SURE YOU ARE DRINKING MORE WATER THAN YOU NORMALLY DO as this helps flush the ketones out of the body and reduces the chance of a buildup of them (and, subsequently, reduces the chance of ketoacidosis). I think this is extremely important, whether your following Wheat Belly, South Beach, Atkins, or any low-carb plan.
Okay...back to weight loss.
I decided not to go strictly Phase 1...I know I could have lost 8-12 lbs in the first week, but I wasn't ready/willing to go that far again, especially as this decision impacts not just me but the rest of my family. I went with a modified Phase 1-Phase 2. Sheri (my wife) is awesome with this, and we're looking around for lower carb meals that we can all eat (as much as we can make a picky 7-year old eat). We went to a couple of restaurants over the past 7 days, and I'd eat the top of pizza and skip (most of) the crust, or I'd eat the meat/condiments of a fajita and skip (most of) the tortillas.
The end result? In the first 7 days of the diet, I'm down over 5 lbs!!!! I'll take that as a huge success, considering that included a lot of Phase 2 dining and a couple of cheats (the freshly-baked brownie in the kitchen was calling my name incessantly, and the only way to silence it was to eat it). This is with no additional exercising, other than taking the stairs to my office at work instead of the elevator. If/when I get down another 10 lbs or so, I'll bring the running back into the schedule. It has been nearly 2 months since I've been out there, and it is absolutely driving me crazy not to be running. I hope that the time off has given my back/knees/IT band enough time to heal up and that the weight loss will reduce the load on them as I pound the pavement.
With that, I hope to see a sub-250 weight for the first time in several months with the next update.
Current weight: 251