Monday, January 2, 2017

The Holidays Sure Tempt One To Go Off Diet

There I was, in the first couple of days of December, about 11-12 pounds lighter over the course of a three and a half month or so period in which I had changed the content of what I was eating. I had not been dieting to lose weight but rather to bring my blood sugar down because I was a mere point away from being labelled a diabetic. So I cut out a lot of carbs. Mind you, I did not cut out all of my carbs nor even did I get as drastic as the Atkins Diet but I went along those lines somewhat. I was not all that concerned about losing weight, just reducing blood sugar. So, I ate much less bread and almost zero junk food along the lines of candy, cakes, donuts, chips, pretzels and such during the week. I also abstained from drinking beer and went to hard spirits because most of them have zero carbs. As for some of what I ate, I ate a lot of eggs, fresh meat & cold cuts, some fish, a salad now and then, veggies when my wife cooked them, horseradish garlic pickles, lots of nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, Brazil, hazel, and macadamia nuts) maybe two or three pieces at most of bread in a day (usually whole grain) potatoes (in some moderation). For condiments and spreads I used coconut oil, olive oil, mustard (usually with horseradish) and way too much butter - gobs and gobs of it. 

I allowed myself to cheat on weekends, some weeks for two days others for three. Regardless of the cheating, the result was that my blood sugar levels in my last two blood tests (in October) were greatly reduced. The first one had me well into the normal range and the next a bit high but much lower than only one point from diabetes. In addition, my triglycerides were 10 or 15 points into the normal level; usually there were at least 50 to a few hundred points high (I kid you not, and that comes from too little exercise and way too many carbohydrates). My triglycerides had not been in the normal range more than one or two other times in about 20 years. My cholesterol was acceptable if not good. I also had lost about 11 or 12 pounds while still eating as much as much or maybe even more food than before I started dieting.

Then the hunting/birthday/holiday seasons came in and I was lost. I went hunting and ate some high energy trail mixes with chocolate in them and had a few beers each night. Amazingly though, I maintained the same weight, I guess because of all the walking I did while out hunting. Back on the home front, in early December, I stopped to get some cold cuts at a German butcher. They had some seasonal cookies that I usually eat at Christmas time. I bought a large bag of one type and a smaller package of another. I had the whole bag gone in two or three nights. When no one else went for the cookie in the package, I ate them too. It all went downhill from there. In less than one month, with both of my kids birthdays and Christmas and all, I gained back every pound I had lost. I found that out on Friday when I was weighed at a doctor's office whose scale always matches the one at my regular doc's office where I documented my weight loss. My guess is my blood sugar is back up there again on the borderline if not over it. All that weight gain came on while I was actually getting in some decent walks of a couple to few miles, a few times a week, for exercise during December.

While it is nothing like a New Year's resolution, I am back on the diet of fewer carbs. I started again on Friday. I allowed myself one mouthful of an apple pie for desert on Saturday and that has been it for junk food since then. Otherwise it has been much of the same of what I ate over the last few months to lower my blood sugar. Maybe in another three months I will lose the weight I regained. I hope I stick with it a little better being that there will be no holiday extravaganzas at my house in that time frame, no birthday parties and very few BBQs (but I will have one or three of them this winter depending on the weather). This time I have added one additional restraint - I have been booze free since Thursday night. I am going to see if that helps because one or two too many and I lost all resolve to stick with my diet at least while drinking. As I did before, I am going to allow myself leeway on the weekends but this time will try better to restrict that to one or two days - not three. Who knows, maybe if I stick with that and my increase my walks by carrying my daypack, I may lose 20 pounds in three months. Time and the end of March should tell.

All the best,
Glenn B

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