Inquiring Minds Want to Know
One of the most asked questions I get from folks is, “why did you choose low-carb?” That is somewhat of a loaded question and is generally asked by well meaning folks who know little to nothing about low-carb. Nevertheless it’s a fair question that deserves an answer, so here’s my attempt.
Actually the answer to that question has roots that extend back years into my life, even though I am now in my mid-fifties and had never even heard of low-carb until 2003. I realized as early as my teenage years that meat was the favorite part of my meal…uh, except for dessert of course. A meal without meat always left me feeling hungry and ready to eat again in an hour or so. As a teen I knew nothing at all about health and nutrition, I just knew I needed meat at every meal or I would be right back in the kitchen looking for something to munch on in short order.
Matter of fact I didn’t even know what a ‘carb’ was. If someone had asked me what a ‘carb’ was, I would have no doubt replied that is was short for ‘carburetor’. Of course I would have been dead wrong. What I knew about diet and nutrition could have easily fit onto the head of a straight pin. I’m not bragging about my ignorance, I’m merely illustrating that my ignorance of proper diet and nutrition kept me from making intelligent decisions that would have allowed me to be in control of my own state of health and well-being. Knowledge really is power!
The Problem With Fad Diets
Just as most of you who are reading this blog, you’ve probably tried quite a long list of diets over the years, just as I did. Problem was that most of them were based on opinions, myths, misconceptions, misinformation, misunderstanding and just plain old untruths. Therefore they did not work at all or worked only for a short time. That is exactly why most of them were called ‘fad diets’. They rose to popularity because they quickly produced a few pounds weight loss in only a few days but they were not sustainable as a nutritional lifestyle. So after those few days we all went right back to eating just like we always had. We gained back all the weight we lost plus a few extra pounds for good measure. Sounds all too familar doesn’t it?
What Didn’t Work
I tried low-fat diets as a ‘husky’ kid per instructions from my doctor. I lost a few pounds but stayed ravenously hungry ALL THE TIME! I tried low-fat again as a teen and even into my twenties and always went right back to my old eating habits and gained the weight back. I did not like the foods and I quickly found it just was not sustainable over the long haul.
Then in 1996 I got involved in ‘Weigh Down’, a faith based way of eating, and lost about 45 pounds. This was my first ‘big’ weight loss success. It was based on eating anything one wanted, but ONLY when you knew absolutely sure that you were really hungry. It also put a huge emphasis on portion control, which is really a good thing to learn…but there’s more to a healthy nutritional lifestyle than portion control. Again, just like low-fat it did not work for me because it was not sustainable as a nutritional lifestyle, ‘Weigh Down’ didn’t work out either.
Another problem with ‘Weigh Down’ and many other plans is that ANY food is ‘legal’. Now I’m one of those peeps with ‘addictive’ or ‘compulsive’ tendencies in many areas of my life…food being the chief. Maybe you’re one of those rare people who can eat half a bag of M&M’s and save the other half for later…NOT ME! My theory is that if the bag is opened, then the whole bag is intended for IMMEDIATE consumption. That kind of thinking will get you in trouble big time on a diet that ‘allows anything’, just in smaller portions or only when you are indeed hungry. And don’t sit there with that smug, self-righteous look on your face, ’cause you know as well as I do how hard it is to ‘eat just one’ of anything…especially candy, cookies, donuts, pastries, chips, donuts and other sugar & carb loaded taste treats. And did I mention that donuts are nearly irresistible?
And that’s the reason fad diets make you fat. Really! Most of us can do them for the short term, some shorter than others, but they are NOT sustainable in a practical way for developing a healthy nutritional lifestyle. And LIFESTYLE is the key word in this whole equation. To be successful at losing weight and keeping it off, one MUST seek out a healthy nutritional approach that they like and can feel comfortable doing for the rest of their life. We cannot go back to eating the foods that made us fat and nearly destroyed our health in the first place. As the old saying goes, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is…STUPIDITY!”
So we all have to find what works for us and stick to it. Next time I’ll tell you about my encounter with a ‘Diet of a Different Kind’.
There Really is Life Without Donuts!
Ron, aka The Former Donut Junkie