Wednesday, September 5, 2012

back to (ab)normality

The long weekend went by with limited havoc to my body, and once again i restart my "normal" eating patterns with relief and pleasure.  I breakfasted at 10 with a big patty of grassfed ground beef and coffee, and will dine probably in the late afternoon with a beautiful thick ribeye steak (no bone, alas).  By tomorrow morning, i hope the puffiness in my hands and feet will have disappeared -- i got pretty badly dehydrated one day, and am still feeling the effects of it.

One reason occurs to me why fasting is such an attractive concept to low-carbers and paleoids:  you get the "new diet enthusiasm" from time to time in a rather painless fashion!  I was envisioning how i would be eating today -- how i USED to eat regularly when actively watching my weight, which was pretty much ever since i was 23.

It was low-calorie, and therefore low-fat, and therefore UNSATISFYING.  For about the first three days of any new regimen, one had a great deal of enthusiasm, because the easy weight poured off (literally, down the toilet), and the novelty made it INTERESTING.  I'd start every new diet with a great deal of hope -- THIS ONE has got to be the right one!  Ah, the endorphins....

About a week in, it's not nearly so interesting anymore, and the "hunger" starts becoming a problem.  I say "hunger" rather than HUNGER, because my belly could be full of chicken or fish and vegetables -- LOTS of vegetables -- and yet i'd be pacing around the house trying to stay out of the refrigerator....  Not that there was BUTTER in there, or bacon, or anything my body was nagging me for, but anything that might fill the nutritional void.

I'll actually say what i've thought so many times over the last couple of years -- OMG, if i only knew then what i know now....

But those first three days of a new diet WERE exciting.  I read and re-read the philosophical chapters (and recipe sections) of books, and of course they all MADE SENSE ... they just weren't descriptive of how a body actually works.  CICO "makes sense" but it isn't that easy to make it "go."  Coupled systems and unintended consequences, you know.

Fasting seems to bring back a bit of that old excitement.  We know that all kinds of little invisible changes are happening -- our bodies are gobbling up those little useless proteins that are floating around, using glycogen storage, up-regulating enzymes we need for fat-burning, that sort of thing.  If we're ketone-adapted already, we don't even feel any particular hunger.  On Labor Day, my husband and i cooked and cleaned and shopped, and didn't even notice that we ate nothing that day till early evening.

I've never really felt impelled to do the alternate-day fasting, but eating in a 6-8 hour window comes naturally to me, so long as i'm eating the right foods.  This fits in beautifully with the default diet i've adopted, a personalized version of the Strong Medicine regimen.  Two to three meals a day, comprising 16-18 oz. of animal-protein foods total, and no plant-source carbs till evening, if then.

Back on my diet today -- ah, what a relief!  There's nothing like eating what you really want to.