Marco's Blog

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Low-Carb Diet

2009-01-02 3 min read marco

[Note: this is the first post in a new section, Diet & Health. As my pics prove, I used to be seriously overweight (108kg, about 240 lbs) and lost all the extra weight, replacing much of it with muscle. I felt I can add to the plethora of diet advice on the Internet, because I had to learn so much about weight management.]

It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions, and this year I decided to try a low carb diet. I am just human, and in the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year, there is a certain amount of risk I abused the ever-present cookies and sweets. Trader Joe’s, in particular, has a section devoted every year to Christmas candy, cookies, and chocolate that has almost magical syren song qualities.

I loaded up on carbs, especially sweets in the days leading up to the resolution, ending up about 9 pounds above my target weight. From there, I thought, it should be quicker to lose and hence to get motivated to continue.

What you may not know is that about 99.999% of my caloric intake consists of carbohydrates. Well, ok, I am exaggerating, but I get well over 50% of my daily intake from carbs. Sugar is such a huge portion of it that in a year of trying I haven’t had a day with less than 100g of it. Going on a low carb diet, hence, meant that I would likely starve, soon.

My reaction was comical almost from the first moment. I woke up and didn’t put cereal in my yogurt (Trader Joe’s Greek Style, barely has any carbs). Ten minutes later, I started having the first cravings – that’s two hours into the diet!

The first day went on and on. My workout was short, mostly because it was New Year’s Day and I was in a daze from the night before, anyway. I went out for lunch (Indian) with my friends Scott and Ken. An excellent choice, since I am not particularly fond of the carbs in Indian food (breads and rice, mostly). I had a chicken dish with mushrooms, sampled from Scott’s shrimp/mushroom dish, and retired happily ever after.

In the evening, it was a big omelette with salad, keeping with the idea that you still need quite a huge amount of vegetables in your diet, albeit ones without starches.

I had no more cravings. But then, when I woke up I had gained weight. So far, not so good.

I did look in the mirror, though, and noticed that despite the improbability of seeing results in such a short time, I could actually create the illusion in my brain that my muscles were more defined.

The downside certainly was that I started having strange discomfort in my belly. It felt like it was coming from the pancreas, kidneys, or liver, but i couldn’t really tell. Despite having had a huge lunch, I also feel like there is a hole in my stomach.

I’ll keep you posted!