4 Weeks In... A Big Fat Update
I have never been so satisfied with a diet except for times when I haven’t been dieting. Like my husband experienced (as recounted in The Big Fat Diet), I have found more energy, mental focus, and satisfaction while finding interesting ways to cut carbs from our daily menu.
Breakfast brings me back to childhood memories watching grandma cook eggs in the leftover bacon grease. As she swashed the grease up over the eggs so the tops would cook without flipping them, all I could think at the time was, “That can’t be good for you.”
But I also recall her firm belief that margarine was absolutely NO GOOD.
Her argument was that butter softens when left out at room temperature whereas margarine does not. She felt strongly that the hardness of margarine mimicked what would happen in your arteries whereas real butter would melt when consumed.
Even though margarine will melt when you heat it on the stovetop or in the microwave, it’s obvious there is a difference in the consistency when comparing the two. Since it has been proven that hydrogenated oils are really bad for human consumption, causing all kinds of health problems including:
1. Impairing your body’s ability to control blood sugar levels.
2. Causes inflammation, which contributes to heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
3. The hydrogenation process creates trans fats that when consumed, can cause a higher risk of heart disease or stroke.
I figure Grandma’s had it right… so why not cook my eggs in bacon fat?
A Low-Carb Day
Breakfast usually consists of eggs… over easy, scrambled, or hardboiled, with sausage, bacon or ham, and coffee.
Lunch still may include a salad, but the bed of lettuce is topped off with a bun-less hamburger making it oh-so-good!
Dinner has been fun to experiment with. From zucchini lasagna and Chicken Parmesan, to juicy Steaks on the grill and Shrimp Scampi… the only thing I was missing was dessert.
Low and behold, the Internet has millions of recipes for low-carb dessert options. The good news is, “fat bombs” are often recommended to keep the low-carb fires burning hot.
Being this diet is considered a high-fat diet, not a high protein diet like we first thought, we had to find ways to consume more fat to keep things rolling.
Fat Bombs & Favorites
At first, I thought the cookies and cream, ice cream sandwiches were the best. Then I made some super, easy peanut butter bombs that make you drool with delight. As time would offer more recipes to browse and try, the chocolate chip cheesecake bars have become a bomb worth every delicious bite! These bars are just about dangerous, they are so good. I’m glad they are SO filling, like every meal is.
Luckily, with the low-carb diet, you’re feeling very full and content most of the time. I discovered that this feeling of satiety is only possible when you add enough variety to your daily diet, meaning… there’s only so many days of cheese, eggs, hotdogs and sausages that you can take before you fall off this low-carb wagon!
AND like any other diet plan, it is also possible to overeat. Unlike some people may think, it isn’t a free for all, let’s see how many bun-less Whoppers you can eat.
Being a teensy bit on the reluctant side when we started this diet, I have tracked my calories every day. I wasn’t about to go backwards, packing on the pounds with this chow-down countdown, either.
Through the last few weeks, I've noticed that if I overate more than 1200 calories too often during the week, my weight loss would be very little (if any) rather than the losses I could experience if I kept things closer to 1200 calories.
What was really a mind blower was how much fatty food we could eat that would have otherwise been forbidden on the low calorie diet! I mean… Big Mac’s are one of my favorite foods, and it's been forever since I have enjoyed them. It’s not like I eat Big Mac’s every day, mind you, but throw away the bun and chow down for only 330 calories and feel like you’re cheating away the pounds.
Although the low-carb menu was really tough for me to get used to the first week, I have since found my groove and realize… this stuff has holding power! I have never felt so FULL and satisfied while on a diet except for the times I’ve cheated.
What About Weight Loss?
As far as the pounds falling off… well they seem to be just as difficult to lose as on a low-calorie diet.
After 4 weeks on this plan, I have lost a total of 5.3 pounds. Compared to the low-fat diet, I would have probably lost the same amount of weight by now, or more. BUT I wouldn’t have been as satisfied.
By week 3 on the low fat diet, I’m usually slipping. You know what I mean… getting into the potato chips too often, annihilating an entire bag of marshmallows in a week’s time, or nearly overdosing on chocolate every evening.
I suppose this low-carb deal is like any diet… it’s just a matter of sticking to the plan for it to work.
Whether this diet-plan is for you or not is a different question.
A Controversial Diet
There is still a lot of controversy in the medical world when it comes to the low-carb diet. The question is, “Is it good for you?”
My answer is… I really don’t know, but I hope so! I am not a doctor, but I don’t like to jump into anything without really looking into it first.
From what I’ve read, if you are diabetic, this plan could be dangerous… causing ketoacidosis and potentially a diabetic coma. Now that sounds really bad!
Although I’m not a diabetic, fears of producing extremely high levels of ketones has me chugging water to keep myself hydrated and trying to add more carbs every few days to keep the fire burning at a steady clip rather than a blazing inferno.
Another worry while on this diet is the amount of fat we are consuming.
As both my husband and I have elevated cholesterol levels, I am hopeful that future blood-draws will show this diet has lowered our cholesterol levels rather than made them worse… as others claimed it did for them.
My husband also has high blood pressure, but from what I have read, this diet can actually lower your blood pressure too. To be safe, he monitors his blood pressure throughout the day making sure it doesn’t get too low since he is still taking his medication. So far, his regular blood pressure is much lower than before we started this diet, so he is hoping to soon be rid of the prescription.
Benefits of a Low-carb Lifestyle
I can’t lie to you… the first week of this diet was pure hell. I felt like crap and honestly considered nixing the mission. After reading about flu-like symptoms you could experience in the first 2 weeks, I buckled in and rode it out till I started feeling better.
Physically, I don’t have that bloated feeling after eating anymore. After the first week of suffering with an acidy belly, those irritating symptoms have now gone away.
Now I feel energized! And as mentioned by so many others living this lifestyle, my brain seems clearer. Reading that this diet may also reduce risk of Dementia or Alzheimer’s makes it another plus in my book being both diseases are potential pitfalls found in my genes.
I still have quite a few pounds to lose in order to make my goal weight by November, but things are going pretty well so far. And being my husband is enjoying the lifestyle so much makes this an easy plan to stick to.
Keeping my fingers crossed things keep going well.
What’s your favorite recipe for good health?
Thanks so much for reading!
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Link, RS, MD, Rachel, September 25, 2019, What is Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil?, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/hydrogenated-vegetable-oil#side-effects