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Old 01-31-2013, 01:07 PM   #1
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Very discouraged - I just don't enjoy this

Hello everyone. I've started my lowcarb journey in October. I've gone low-carb (20-30 g per day) to lose weight and manage my post-prandial reactive hyploglycemia (wasn't severe, but I felt hungry literally all day + mood swings etc). I felt great and managed 2 months on plan, then one sweet treat kind of threw me off the wagon, but not too much. Did well on the holidays, then spent a couple of weeks in Paris and the pains au chocolat got in the way LOL Now I'm back on it and feel quite confident but...

There's one thing I just can't ignore, and it's that I'm not enjoying this diet in the least. I know the science behind it, I agree, I know this is the best way to eat, probably, but I just can't enjoy it. I'm Italian, raised on a culture of pasta, bread, croissants, all kind of delicious sweets, rice, whatever.

I just don't enjoy eating meat, cheese, butter and bacon all the time... even if I eat copious amounts of veggies every day to "buffer" the distaste, I can't shake the nagging feeling that this isn't the way I'm, personally, supposed to eat. If only I could eat some rice and some bread, sometimes... but then I get on the scale, and I've gained a couple of pounds of water retention, and I think about the health benefits, and tell myself I must trudge on the low carb path.

Plus, my social life has become a nightmare. Here in Italy there's no low-carb culture, no lowcarb products, and people aren't really supportive of the lifestyle... It's become so hard to eat out that I just don't do it anymore and stay at home with my meat and my cheese day in day out. It's not that I don't like them, because I adore meat and cheese, but it's just so monotonous, I guess?

I know I'm whining but I just need to vent somewhere... I know this is the right choice for one's health on the long-term but it's so hard for me. I just don't enjoy eating anymore, when once it was one of my biggest pleasures, and don't enjoy my social life that much neither, since it revolves so much around sharing food and drinks I can't have.

I really don't know what I should do at this point... Maybe I'm just looking for someone who understands what I'm going through? Sorry for the rant...

Last edited by dianda; 01-31-2013 at 01:22 PM..
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:15 PM   #2
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Consider trying JUDDD, which is alternate day calorie cycling, without any restrictions on what you eat. Eating very low calorie only every other day gives you lots of choices in terms of what you eat, but also has some health benefits. I do a lowcarb version of JUDDD, but many others on the JUDDD board eat rice and bread sometimes, on their "up" calorie days and are able to eat like the general culture for some meals. Check out the JUDDD part of the board under "plans."
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #3
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My mom immigrated to America from Italy when she was a teenager so I kinda know how you feel. I savor bread and butter, and carbonara is a favorite of mine. It's hard, but I have insulin resistance and know that if I don't do low carb I will end up with diabetes so for me it's less of a weight thing.
I think you need to look for other ways of cooking things. Have you looked into Mexican cooking, minus tortillas is very low carb. Think shredded chicken with cream cheese jalapeño sauce (queso fundido) sometimes just find a new set of recipes can help. My favorite dessert right now when I need it is berries with marscapone. Salami rolled with cream cheese is super yummy....
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svenskamae View Post
Consider trying JUDDD, which is alternate day calorie cycling, without any restrictions on what you eat. Eating very low calorie only every other day gives you lots of choices in terms of what you eat, but also has some health benefits. I do a lowcarb version of JUDDD, but many others on the JUDDD board eat rice and bread sometimes, on their "up" calorie days and are able to eat like the general culture for some meals. Check out the JUDDD part of the board under "plans."
or maybe the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet on this forum (under "other plans") and online. These maybe just what you need. I will say though, Italians (in Italy) eat very well, hardly any snacking at all and they manage to stay trim (for the most part). Maybe as the "locals" how they eat, the ones that seem trim, and see what they say.

The other thing is we all need to find something that works for us. That is the key and one that will make any way of eating a life time change.

Good luck to you and enjoy your time in Italy!
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:34 PM   #5
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First of all Big Hug. If you dislike it so much, you'll not stick with it. How about tweeking it? Something like south beach? Upping the carbs and cut calories might work for you but not to the level of just a regular low calorie diet. Eat mostly low crab when alone and eat regularly when out? But even Italian dining out doesn't have to be all carb, does it? Maybe you can try to make an effort to order a say fish and a small pasta?

At the risk of sounding a bit insensitive I will give you the following quote that resonated with me "If it was easy, everybody would be skinny" – I forget who said it. But it doesn't have to be impossibly hard either like it is for you right now.

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Old 01-31-2013, 01:37 PM   #6
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You know what? This may not be the right plan for you. Plain and simple. Yes, it's healthy, but physical health and emotional health must be in balance.

I grew up in a very Italian-American part of the country, with all of my best friends being Italian. Fresh Italian food was a mainstay (heck, not-so-fresh Italian was a mainstay in my home LOL). But as I grew up, I realized that what I really loved about Italian food was the meat, and the sauces, not the bread and pasta. So I am lucky in that respect.

I haven't been to Italy, much less lived there, to know the kind of options readily available in restaurants, but if this is not workable for you, then it's not.

I tried to go low carb for YEARS before it finally "took". And even after that, it took about 9 months before the switch really flipped. If you're not ready, you're not ready. If this doesn't work for you, it doesn't work for you. Trying to do something you hate just means the fall will be harder, not that you won't fall.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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It is a trade off but I think it is trading up. I will take the beautiful rich foods I can now eat over wheat, sugar, GMO fruits, etc. any day. I will take feeling well and being lighter over being sick, really fat and tired any day. My food choices never stands in the way of going out and being with friends and family. I can always find something to eat and even if it is skimpy, I can eat at home later or before I go.

Btw, I find Europe to be the best place for low carbing with all it's fabulous meats and cheese, fish and olives and olive oil and on and on.....
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:04 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by clackley View Post
It is a trade off but I think it is trading up. I will take the beautiful rich foods I can now eat over wheat, sugar, GMO fruits, etc. any day. I will take feeling well and being lighter over being sick, really fat and tired any day. My food choices never stands in the way of going out and being with friends and family. I can always find something to eat and even if it is skimpy, I can eat at home later or before I go.

Btw, I find Europe to be the best place for low carbing with all it's fabulous meats and cheese, fish and olives and olive oil and on and on.....
ITA w/ Cathy...

My question to the OP.....

Have you read a LC book?

I just have a suspicion that you're not doing this right.....

Maybe it's just me.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:09 PM   #9
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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and being so kind to me. I feel quite guilty for bringing my negativity in this wonderful forum but I just didn't know what to do with myself today (the pasta ad on the tv was looking too inviting I guess lol).

Beeb, I'm a full-blooded Italian and lived in Italy all my life My issue is more cultural than anything, I think. The thought of never, ever eating again pasta or rice or bread or pizza makes me feel just sad .. I feel so torn between eating the way I know is right and my country's way... which can be um quite liberal with the carbs!

I will add, I'm not overweight - and my BMI is already in the healthy range, after I lost a substantial amount of weight a couple of years ago (mainly by spending hours on the stationary bike). I aim to lose not more than 10 pounds, but since I'm already a normal weight it's kinda harder than it looks.

My real concern all in all is the reactive hypoglycemia which made me a famished harpy ready to prey on every little piece of carby food around. I went low-carb to cure my addiction to the carbs, in a sense (and avoid getting more and more insulin resistant)... I had a period, just before making the switch, where I was eating cake literally every day, pasta twice a day, half a liter of milk every day, pizza on the weekends and bread with Nutella spread for snack morning and afternoon. It was ridiculous and so unhealthy, but I was also battling a stretch of depressive thoughts that made food just about the only pleasure in life.

Quote:
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The other thing is we all need to find something that works for us. That is the key and one that will make any way of eating a life time change.
Thank you for this . Maybe that's the truth right there... This can't be good for me if it sucks the enjoyment out of life.

I will check out the JUDDD board, thank you so much for the suggestion!
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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I just think that when you want a WOE to be a lifestyle change rather than a temporary fix, you basically have to see yourself being on some version of it forever. If you can't see this than I think you should find some other plan to manage your weight with. People are succesful and healthy on all sorts of plans. My MIL is happily taking weight off with Weight Watchers, and I have friends who lost weight and kept it off with South Beach. SB might actually be something that you could do and incorporate many Italian specialties. Good luck whatever you decide!
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:24 PM   #11
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ITA w/ Cathy...

My question to the OP.....

Have you read a LC book?

I just have a suspicion that you're not doing this right.....

Maybe it's just me.
Oh I did!

I've read Why We Get Fat and Wheat Belly. I'm doing this the best way I know... I eat lots of vegetables, lunch and dinner, and good portions of meat (pork, beef, chicken etc.). Eggs for breakfast, snack on cheese, one fruit per day if I can sneak it in the carb allowance. I'm not going hungry nor do I have a terribly monotonous diet. It's just that, any way I spin it, I'm not that big of a "rich taste" lover. I can do without the sugary treats, but I just love the bland taste and the texture of rice and pasta, the pleasure of munching on fresh fresh bread, the freshness of veggies and fruits (without worrying if they're too carby), the comfort of a good legume soup
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:35 PM   #12
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Oh I did!

I've read Why We Get Fat and Wheat Belly. I'm doing this the best way I know... I eat lots of vegetables, lunch and dinner, and good portions of meat (pork, beef, chicken etc.). Eggs for breakfast, snack on cheese, one fruit per day if I can sneak it in the carb allowance. I'm not going hungry nor do I have a terribly monotonous diet. It's just that, any way I spin it, I'm not that big of a "rich taste" lover. I can do without the sugary treats, but I just love the bland taste and the texture of rice and pasta, the pleasure of munching on fresh fresh bread, the freshness of veggies and fruits (without worrying if they're too carby), the comfort of a good legume soup
I sometimes wonder if LC is better for those of us with an extreme sweet tooth - I have one. I really could go without rice, bread or pasta but sweets are a downfall and I am pretty euphoric on LC.

Have you gone to a Dr. or nutritionist about the blood sugar issues? Somewhere there's got to be a brain-body connection and you find the perfect plan for you - KWIM?
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:42 PM   #13
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If you don't need to lose weight, maybe you'd be better off with a simpler low sugar, low starch approach instead of all out low carb. As I understand it, it's a myth that food in Italy is all spaghetti and pizza. I understand that carby dishes are served in small servings as a course within a full meal. There's plenty of meat, fish, seafood, cheese, eggs, offal served as the main course, plenty of fresh veggies in the antipasta course and with the main course.

What if you just either skipped the pasta course or ate only a very small portion? For example, when my family has rice or potatoes, I eat about 1 tbsp or so. Not enough to trigger anything, but just enough to get a taste and not feel deprived. WHen I was still eating grains, a BITE or two (but never three!) of bread, slathered with olive oil or butter was enough to satisfy without throwing me off.

The most important thing is to stay away from sugary things--no sweets, little fruit ( and only with plenty of fat--I think that's common in italy--fruit and cheese for example) and eat very little of the starchy stuff if you eat it at all. Eat plenty of fat and a reasonable amount of protein at every meal. Make snacks full of fat and protein, not starchy snacks. But eat what everyone else is eating, to the extent that you can minimize the carbs.

At home, it's easy. I make "zoodles" either with my mandoline (like paparadelle) or with a julienne peeler (like spaghetti) from zucchini when the rest of the family has pasta. And I recently attended a catered meeting featuring FOUR pasta dishes from a good Italian restaurant. I made do with the salad, but there was marscapone cheese to go with the pasta--I just took a big dollop of marscapone and ate it with a spoon on top of my salad! That fit the bill and I loved it. Oh, and I did take some tiny tastes of the gnocchi and polenta dishes. They were great, but since I filled up on the marscapone the tastes were sufficient.

Finally, go all out on the non-carby food you love so you don't feel deprived. Deliberately choose foods you love. Focus on what you CAN have, not what you can't. And enjoy every bite! Lately, I've been craving burrata--I buy myself some and eat it all with a good salad. Yum! So decadent. Who's deprived????
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:45 PM   #14
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Former pasta addict here. Subjectively, I've noticed that not all carbs are created equal....meaning, I don't respond to rice, potatoes, carrots, squash etc the way I respond to wheat, oats, corn or sugar in large amounts. The last group triggers bad cravings but the first group seems fine. If it plays out for you the same way, and since you aren't really overweight, I wonder if you could find a compromise where pasta and bread are "out" but risotto and certain other starches are "in"? Maybe it doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing approach!
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:58 PM   #15
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:03 PM   #16
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Try finding lower carb alternatives for your favorites. I'm not Italian, but I love the food. I do things like this:

Spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and homemade meatballs (important to make them from scratch because the pre-made ones have a lot of carbs)

Meatballs in alfredo sauce (yummy)

Low carb tortilla topped with pizza toppings and tons of cheese. I cook this on parchment to crisp up the crust.

Dreamfield's pasta for spaghetti or mac n cheese

It might help you enjoy it more. Good luck whatever you decide.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:07 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dianda View Post
There's one thing I just can't ignore, and it's that I'm not enjoying this diet in the least. I know the science behind it, I agree, I know this is the best way to eat, probably, but I just can't enjoy it. I'm Italian, raised on a culture of pasta, bread, croissants, all kind of delicious sweets, rice, whatever.

I just don't enjoy eating meat, cheese, butter and bacon all the time...
I really don't know what I should do at this point... Maybe I'm just looking for someone who understands what I'm going through? Sorry for the rant...
I completely get it. I am always just dumbfounded by threads here about how great and fun it is to eat LC. Blech. I do like meat, but in sauce over pasta or a very good steak with a big scrumptious baked potato with lots of butter and sour cream. Just the steak, butter and sour cream on the plate is eh, not so exciting. I love a cheeseburger on a bun with fries, not so much on a plate. I have actually gotten to the point where I just don't really eat much of anything because I don't find it very appealing. I get a lot of my calories from heavy whipping cream so I don't have to do to much fatty meat eating. I struggle to get in enough protein. Sigh....

But, for me, whether I enjoy it or not, LC is really the only option. And I am actually very grateful for it. Even with getting very nearly zero pleasure from my food, my life is much better for it and, as long as I don't get hit by a bus, I think it will be longer.

If I was in your shoes I do think I'd try other things and see if you can come up with something else that works for you. It sounds like you aren't terribly bad off metabolically and quality of life is important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clackley View Post
It is a trade off but I think it is trading up. I will take the beautiful rich foods I can now eat over wheat, sugar, GMO fruits, etc. any day. I will take feeling well and being lighter over being sick, really fat and tired any day.
ITA with this.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:58 AM   #18
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I understand. I am a vegetarian at heart. I was a vegetarian for almost 30 years. Beans, grains, lots of Italian stuff. It almost killed me.

What felt like "what I was meant to eat" was just carb addiction. I know that now. Please reflect on this and try to figure how much of this is the little addicted brain talking to you.

I would go back to carbs in a heartbeat if I could, but between my weight and diabetes, it would be a contest whether I got too fat to move or died first. *sigh*

Best of luck with it!
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Old 02-01-2013, 11:58 AM   #19
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Hi

If it is about the reaction, have you thought about doing low GI rather than low carb. With low gi you can still have brown rice and pasta as they don't have the same reaction as the very processed white varieties, I know it is not quite the same but it might be enough to help you maintain a WOE that you know is healthy.
I love Italy and spending time there, I will often have the antipasta and then meat and veg or salad when we eat out. I do let myself have the occasional carb based dish (the pizzeria in the village we stay in is the most amazing place ever) but try to adjust the rest of my day around it.
The other thing is if you are not trying to lose weight then you may be able to eat a higher carb load than you are currently on without starting to gain weight.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:21 PM   #20
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Thanks everyone for the replies and the suggestions

Rubidoux, I feel your pain, and yours, ravenrose, but I'm pleased to see that you are "at peace" with this lifestyle. It's so healthy... It's just a shame that for some us it doesn't quite work on the enjoyment level. Give me a nice lasagna over a steak every day of the week, month and year.

I'm feeling much better today. I think I'll have to tweak this diet at some point because, seriously, the thought of never ever eating pasta again or pizza (in Italy it's downright sacrilegous to eat only the toppings. My friends looked at me as if I had sprouted a second head when I tried it, once) is awful. But for the meantime, I think I'll keep it, at least until I lose the excess weight - I'll just raise my carb limit a little to allow the odd slice of brown bread here and there... after all I can lose weight even on a normal high carb calorie-deficit diet (actual health notwithstanding) so this shouldn't stall me.

I visited my doctor today (who by the way is awesome and gets the low carb philosophy) and she told me (again) that my metabolism isn't completely off-whack... had I been totally insulin resistant, I probably would have gained a lot of weight during that "cake-Nutella-twice a day everyday" stint that lasted from about July to October, but actually I didn't gain more than a couple of pounds (just mantained my "pudgy" figure lol). The real problem there was my hypoglycemia and how miserable it made me feel.

The thing about low carb for me is that even though I don't enjoy it fully at 30 g per day, I know it's really healthy. And I'm not the most health-minded person out there, at all, but I can't deny how light and clear-headed it makes me feel. So after the weight is gone (wishful thinking! LOL) I hope I'll be able to find my low-carb lifestyle..80-100g per day would be heaven

Last edited by dianda; 02-01-2013 at 01:29 PM..
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:21 PM   #21
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What kind of person are you? Really.


carb addict? where just a few meals of pasta, bread etc. would throw you into a tailspin of gaining weight or are you the type that can have some pasta, bread, etc. and control those portions?

If I had control, real control I absolutely would not be eating LC. The restrictive choices is mind numbing to me. But I have a problem. I eat carbs til the cows come home, then they land on my butt I can't do a managed control eating plan of all foods.


if you can, then you need to check into lowering calories on one day and then eat what you want if going out with friends the next. You know. be smart in your daily choices. control yourself. Be conscious of the foods you choose and portion and control it with the better choices.

Sadly I tried this. Not for me because I need strict control. If I didn't I would be eating a bit of bread, a small bit of pasta, and a ton of other foods higher in carbs.

If you really don't enjoy LC then you must find a new way to eat thru the day and manage your menu. look around cause there are tons of great options. you just have to explore.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:31 PM   #22
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dianda, Why don't you look into the Harcombe diet? Its a food combining WOE. If you want a carb meal you can have one, but you can't add any fat to it. If you eat a fat meal, then you add no carbs(pasta, rice, potato)you can add veggies to either meal. I've not tried this diet, just starting to read up on it.

I did practice food combining about 10 years ago(Somersizing) and had succes until I started adding things I shouldn't have.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:39 PM   #23
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What kind of person are you? Really.


carb addict? where just a few meals of pasta, bread etc. would throw you into a tailspin of gaining weight or are you the type that can have some pasta, bread, etc. and control those portions?

If I had control, real control I absolutely would not be eating LC. The restrictive choices is mind numbing to me. But I have a problem. I eat carbs til the cows come home, then they land on my butt I can't do a managed control eating plan of all foods.


if you can, then you need to check into lowering calories on one day and then eat what you want if going out with friends the next. You know. be smart in your daily choices. control yourself. Be conscious of the foods you choose and portion and control it with the better choices.

Sadly I tried this. Not for me because I need strict control. If I didn't I would be eating a bit of bread, a small bit of pasta, and a ton of other foods higher in carbs.

If you really don't enjoy LC then you must find a new way to eat thru the day and manage your menu. look around cause there are tons of great options. you just have to explore.
What kind of person am I? Nice question

I'm not a compulsive carb-eater, but when I ate my "normal" diet of around 250-300 g carbs per day I was constantly hungry, even half an hour after a major meal, which meant reaching out for carby snacks all the time, only to be hungry right after anyway.

I'll check out the South Beach Diet some have suggested Btw, JUDDD looks crazy interesting from a scientific point of view but it's too hardcore for me
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #24
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dianda, Why don't you look into the Harcombe diet? Its a food combining WOE. If you want a carb meal you can have one, but you can't add any fat to it. If you eat a fat meal, then you add no carbs(pasta, rice, potato)you can add veggies to either meal. I've not tried this diet, just starting to read up on it.

I did practice food combining about 10 years ago(Somersizing) and had succes until I started adding things I shouldn't have.
Thank you for the suggestion! Sounds like a "dissociate diet" like we call them over here... I'm really fascinated by all the WsOE
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:56 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by dianda View Post
Thank you for the suggestion! Sounds like a "dissociate diet" like we call them over here... I'm really fascinated by all the WsOE
It might be what your looking for. I've just started reading the book, so I don't know too much about it yet. She does address Hypoglycemia. She has a lot of youtube videos. Just google Zoe Harcombe.
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Old 02-01-2013, 01:59 PM   #26
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Carbs and fat are the deadly combination for weight gain. You can't have them both and lose weight. So, it is best to pick your plan and decide what works for you.

I did Somersizing many years ago..Carbs/no fat, then 4 hours later you can have a LC/moderate fat meal..
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:38 PM   #27
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where would a big old chunky piece of italian toasted bread loaded with soft melty butter fit into that plan? LOL




dianda if you really know yourself and your eating patterns, then researching a few of the plans that others mentioned is a great idea. one might fit you. Also there is a 5:2 JUDDD plan. eat 5 days moderately and pick 2 days out of the week to cut calories and be more strict. I hear 5:2 is what alot of people are kinda picking for maintenance.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:53 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Trigger828 View Post
where would a big old chunky piece of italian toasted bread loaded with soft melty butter fit into that plan? LOL
It fits in when you've lost your weight. This plan has phase 1,2 and 3. In the final phase you can have the occasional cheat. Mixing carbs and fat.
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Old 02-01-2013, 02:53 PM   #29
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I totally get where you're coming from. I lived in Italy for years, and my father is from Italy and is a phenomenal cook. I grew up eating pasta almost daily, and bread. I completely understand the cultural pressure you're feeling, because I know that my Italian relatives would think I was completely insane if I didn't eat the pasta. Plus, they would feel personally insulted if it was something they cooked.

Because of my diabetes, though, I HAD to stop eating these things, or face high blood sugar and diabetic complications. That fear has so far overridden everything else. I really thought I wouldn't be able to give up the pasta and rice and bread, but I have, and honest-to-God don't miss them. It took a while, and I had to detox my body from its carb addiction, but it happened eventually.

At restaurants, you'll have to just pass up the Primi and jump right to the Secondi.

I would eat a huge plate of mozzarella and prosciutto and call it a day! Or a nice caprese; tomatoes are OK in not-huge quantities.

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Old 02-01-2013, 03:00 PM   #30
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South beach or carbohydrate addicts diet would be my suggestion as you are not too ove weight...I think either would help with cravings and level out blood sugar so you aren't feeling hungry all the time.
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