Easing back in: not so easy!
Nauseous. Heavy belly. Bad mood. Cravings. Difficulty maintaining stamina while exercising.
As posted priorly, I took a 4-week break from LCHF and simply ate a primal diet without consideration of carbs. I personally don't see anything wrong with changing things up, and even plan to try to change a bit this summer by incorporating lots of fresh berries (mimicking natural eating patterns). We'll see.
Anyway, these past four days haven't been easy. I went back to eating exactly like I had been before (I had been doing LCHF from Oct - Jan. 15). I'm not going to lie, I had many nauseous feelings, a heavy stomach, the first few days! I almost gave up!
However, just yesterday (day 4), I began feeling like my old self - I'm thinking more positively, have more energy, want to exercise, etc.
The first time I started LCHF, I didn't feel this way. I think there are two reasons for this: I eased into it. I didn't know all my fat options, so I slowly added more fat in and decreased the other stuff. Second, I had been practicing IF for a few months, just to see how I liked it. I think this may have helped as well.
It helps to have this perspective. It helps remind me what newbies often experience. I don't think the proper enzymes and/or bacteria in the stomach and gut are ready at first (my very unscientific explanation - I'm a humanist). If I were to recommend this diet, I certainly would never recommend following the LCHF ratios all at once. Instead, I would encourage a gradual change. The same advice goes for me - next time I go off LCHF for an extended period of time (its not always practical), I will ease back into it again slowly.
Good news though: my bloated belly it going down, the small weight gain I did experience is leaving me, I'm feeling more energetic, the cravings are lessening, and I'm regaining my optimism.
While I may have began this diet as a mere experiment to see if it would help me lose the last lbs., the mental benefits have really left a strong impression on me.
One last thing: I don't need "deep ketosis" - which would be eating zero carb or under 10 carbs a day. That is too dramatic for me and leaves me craving other nutrients. I find myself wavering around 20-30 and feeling my best. I usually get these carbs through various milk products and root vegetables or pumpkin/squashes. It is best if I eat the carbs for my evening meal.
I'm on the fence about the speed of getting into NK.
When I started back in September I had already been strict LC for a week or two I think. The transition to NK was not difficult but my approach evolved over several weeks so it was a long process. But I was excited and it was very new to me and I was learning things about it every day.
I quit smoking and went off plan. I stayed off plan for weeks and gained a lot of weight back. I resumed smoking and attempted to ease myself back onto plan. That did not work well for me. I had several false starts. In the end I had to white knuckle it to get back on track.
reddarin: quitting smoking is so hard.... I feel like I had to change everything in my environment to quit - I got a new apartment (too many fond memories of smoking on the balcony of my old apartment), I stopped driving to work (I loved smoking while driving to and from work), stopped drinking alcohol altogether (couldn't have a drink without craving a cig), and started doing intense sport an hour everyday - also lots of long walks to get rid of the nervous energy. It helped me an insane amount that my husband is also an ex-smoker.... so he would gently encourage me to keep up the good work.
White knuckling is definitely the phrase for getting back into ketosis. Although, I'm happy to report that one week after starting back up (which included nausea, and temp. weight gain/bloat), I'm feeling great and energetic again.
I'm not going to weigh myself for a few months. I really want to just see where the diet takes me as far as weight/muscle is concerned. I don't want to feel any stress in any way if the scale is up or down a pound (remnant of eating disorder days). Since I have almost 30 years of bad eating and body abuse behind me, I imagine I just need to sit back and exercise patience.
If there is one thing I've learned in life: trying to externally control your body like a dictator only leads to misery. Doing this will only allow you to maintain a low weight for a period of time. I'm not referring to "intuitive eating", but at some point, we have to use our Reason to meet our body half way - they should learn to work together in a mutualistic relationship.
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