Sunday, March 13, 2016

Type 2 Diabetes, a Dietary Disease #319: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off

As anyone who has ever tried it knows, losing weight and keeping it off is the proverbial double-edged sword. When my doctor suggested I try Atkins Induction in 2002, I lost 60 pounds in 40 weeks. A few years later, I re-gained 12. Then, by browsing the web, I found Dr. Richard K. Bernstein’s diet. I had been a Type 2 Diabetic for about 18 years so I tried it and lost 100 pounds in 50 weeks. Eventually I lost another 20 or so (170 total); over the ensuing years I re-gained almost 70. Net lost after 14 years: still well over 100 pounds, but disappointing.
From the beginning my efforts have been challenged by compliance issuesand always somewhat constrained by culture, tradition, and habits. They die hard. Because I’m married and try to maintain an eating pattern compatible with a “family” lifestyle, I have settled into a Way of Eating (WOE) consisting of 3 small meals a day. We always eat breakfast together, eat separate lunches (she married me for better or worse, not for lunch, she says), and a small supper together. Our meals are spaced 5 hours apart, leaving a 14-hour fast after supper. My snack, if I eat one, is before supper. These days it’s sliced radishes with salt – I forego the butter – with a drink.
Last summer, with renewed resolve, I decided to deal with the “compliance issue” and began to lose weight again. However, after losing about 20 pounds, my weight loss stalled. We moved to Florida for the winter, and some old habits began to kick in. So, I decided a more radical approach was required to kick start my weight loss again. Andreas Eenfeldt, M.D., "The Diet Doctor," came to my rescue. As part of a bonus for being an email subscriber (not a “member”), I was entitled to watch two videos. The 2nd one did the trick for me. 
In his podcast Andreas advised a 5-step approach to weight loss, and I have adopted it. If you’re not a subscriber to his blog, you may not be able to view it, so I’ll summarize it here succinctly, as I have interpreted it:
1.  Follow strictly a low carb diet.
2.  Eat only when hungry.  
3.  Sleep 8 hours a night.
4.  Weigh yourself daily.
5.  Exercise (“No! Just kidding,” he says; LOL) Intermittent Fasting
The two forms of Intermittent Fasting (IF) that The Diet Doctor “prescribes” are: 
   a. 5:2, in which you eat “normally” for 5 days a week, and then no more than 500-600 calories a day on the 2 fasting days. I don’t really consider that fasting; to me, that’s a big meal and just an invitation to stall!
   b. 16:8, in which you fast 16 hours, and then eat all your food within an 8 hour window. I can do that easily. In fact, I can do better. I am never hungry in the morning. I am usually up and working or reading for 3 hours before we eat breakfast together, and I’m still not hungry then. So, I’ve started to skip breakfast. I make a cup of coffee when I rise, and I save some to take my pills at the table with my wife. Then, I eat a late lunch, my first solid food for the day, and our usual small supper, sometimes with radishes, salt, and diet tonic or vodka tonic beforehand.
Lunch is usually just one or two hard boiled eggs. If I’m not hungry, it’s one or none. Alternatively, I sometimes eat my old standby lunch: a can of Brisling sardines in olive oil. (Good for Omega 3s – I also supplement with 1 gram of fish oil twice a day.) And I plan to start supplementing with ketones. A lot more to come on that shortly.
Supper is just a small serving of protein and a low-carb vegetable roasted in olive oil or tossed in grass-fed butter, or a salad tossed in my homemade vinaigrette dressing. Some examples of other light suppers can be foundhere.
My goal now is to lose another 10 pounds before leaving Florida, and 20 more by the 1-year anniversary of this, my latest weight loss odyssey. That’s fifty total, and 150 from the start. I hope my marriage survives.

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