Sunday, December 10, 2017

Type 2 Nutrition #410: My 300kcal “Fasting” Diet

About 10 months ago (the day after the Super Bowl), I began a regimen of full-day “fasting.” I had tried Intermittent Fasting (IF), where I ate within a small window each day (“16-8 fasting”), or I ate just one meal a day (OMAD). I maintained my weight but I didn’t lose. I still wanted to lose a lot of weight, so I decided to just “jump in.” Full-day fasting was new and unfamiliar to me, so I decided to start with alternate day fasting.
It worked. I lost 62 pounds, going from 248 to 186, and my BMI went from 36 to 27. Altogether, since starting Very Low Carb in 2002 at 375 pounds, I’ve lost 189. I’m “not half the man I once was,” my wife quipped.
When people ask, “How’d you lose weight?” I tell them, “Fasting.” Then they ask, “How’s your energy?” They imagine that they would feel weak because their metabolism would slow down due to the loss of energy “in.” After all, we’ve all been told, “a calorie is a calorie” and “Energy in = Energy out,” meaning if we don’t eat, our body is going to defensively slow down until we eat again. And we believe it because, well…’cause it’s intuitive.
Well, it’s not true. It only applies if your diet is largely composed of and DEPENDENT ON carbohydrates for energy. It’s not true for people who eat a diet of mostly fat and protein, limiting carbs to small amounts, in my case just at supper. We are “fat-adapted.” We are “fat burners, not sugar burners.” For us, the “Energy in” is not measured by what we put in our mouth; it is measured at the cellular level – where all the nutrients that are circulating in the blood are taken up by the cells. Thus, you do not slow down because you’re being fed.
How is it that when you eat mostly fat and protein you get to where you can burn body fat? The mechanism is: when you have glucose (from carbs) in the blood, the hormone insulin drives everything you eat into stored body fat and blocks access to your stored fat for energy. But when the level of your blood glucose (from carbs) drops, the level of your blood insulin also drops. That signals the brain to switch from glucose for energy to fat for energy. And then, once the carbs stored as glycogen in the liver are used up, and for so long as you then continue to limit carb intake by mouth to a very low amount, your body will break down body fat for energy.
On a “fasting” day, I have a 12oz coffee with 1½oz of heavy cream (not Half & Half) and 1 gram of pure stevia powder for breakfast. I stay “fat-adapted” with stable blood sugar all morning.
Then, if I’ve been working in the garden and I’m dehydrated, I’ll take some stevia-sweetened iced tea and maybe a little pickle juice for salt. I don’t take anything else by mouth until “supper.” My “fasting” supper is just one 6oz glass of red wine with 8oz of seltzer (a “spritzer”), which I use to wash down pills/supplements.
300kcal Fasting Diet” Macronutrient Composition: Coffee w/cream: Fat: 16g (144kcal), Protein: 1.2g (5kcal), Carbs: 1.2g (5kcal); Total: 154kcal. Spritzer (6oz red wine): Carbs: 4.5g (18kcal), Ethyl alcohol: 18g (126kcal); Total: 144kcal. Fasting day totals: Calories: 298kcal; Protein: 1.2g; Fat: 16g; Carbs: 5.7g; ethyl alcohol: 18g.

If I sense an impulse to eat or drink something after “supper,” I’ll have an ACV (apple cider vinegar) cocktail: 1 Tbs of Bragg’s unfiltered ACV, a few dashes of bitters, and a few drops of liquid stevia, with ice and club soda. The secret for the success of this “300kcal Fasting Diet” is, since I always eat VLC, I am ALWAYS “fat-adapted.”
So, when I return to a “feasting” state, I continue to eat Very Low Carb: The same “breakfast” of coffee with cream and stevia, a small lunch from a can, either 1) Goya Premium squid in its own ink (240kcal) or 2) Brunswick kippered herring fillets in brine (160kcal). I drink the brine. It’s a small lunch; just enough.
Then, for a “feasting” supper, I have a serving of protein with fat and a portion of low-carb vegetable with fat. With this supper I drink 2 glasses of my evening spritzer with my pills. Since I’m not hungry, because I’m fat-adapted, this is plenty. Some days I skip “lunch” and some days both “lunch” and “supper” and fast another day, or two. If you have lots of energy and you’re not hungry (because you’re burning body fat), why not? ;-)

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Type 2 Nutrition #409: When I used to eat eggs…

When I used to eat eggs (or eggs and bacon) for breakfast, my usual lunch was a can of King Oscar brand, Brisling sardines in EVOO (420kcal with the EVOO). I drank the EVOO and usually added salt. I supplemented with 2 grams of fish oil a day, and still do. As a result I had and still have very low triglycerides (about 50mg/dl). 
Now, however, I think that a can of sardines, especially if you drink the EVOO, is too many calories for lunch, particularly if you are not hungry. I am not hungry at lunch. Hell, I was never hungry at breakfast!
So these days I don’t eat breakfast any more. I just have a 12oz cup of coffee with 1½ oz of heavy cream and 1g of pure stevia powder. Then, if I eat lunch, I have one can of either of my two new favorites:
1. A can of Brunswick kippered herring fillets in brine (160kcal). I drink the brine. It’s a small lunch but enough.
2. A can of Goya Premium squid in its own ink (240kcal), packed in sunflower oil. I do NOT drink this PUFA oil.
Both the kippered herring and the squid are less expensive and fewer calories, and less fat, than the sardines. I also think that they would be a lot more palatable to the ‘normal’ person’s taste, but I like all three equally.
Why was I never hungry at breakfast? And why am I still not hungry at lunch? Because my body is fat-adapted, meaning it has been in a fasted state since a few hours after supper the night before, some 12 hours earlier. At breakfast, my body is in mild ketosis. In the absence of food, and as a consequence of eating Very Low Carb at supper and having low stores of glycogen in my liver from generally eating Very Low Carb, my body has maintained a high metabolic rate and energy balance by breaking down body fat during the nighttime “fast.”
Then, with only heavy cream (NOT H&H) in my morning coffee, that high metabolic rate and energy balance continue. With my lunch choices being only protein and fat, my ketosis and stable blood glucose continue into the afternoon while, without hunger because I am in energy balance, my body continues to burn its own fat.
It wasn’t always like this. When I began to eat Very Low Carb in 2002, I kept careful records. In the beginning it was just estimated carbs. Later, I decided to count protein too, and then fat and total calories. I ate a lot more then than I do now. After all, I was twice the man (literally) I am today, but I don’t keep those records today.
Keeping records, though, was in my nature, and I learned a lot from it. But I learned much more from other low-carbers. I joined this Forum of like-minded people and started asking questions. It was a supportive and safe space. I left another site I visited because all that people wanted to do there was argue about which way of eating was best. On the Bernstein Forum, I was very active for years, first as a student and later as mentor.
When you’re ready to make the shift, there are lots of ways to address a Lifestyle Change. But first you have to become convinced that the one-size-fits-all dietary advice given by the government’s Dictocrats and the “old school” medical establishment, and Big Pharma, has sadly been bad advice. It led to the Diseases of Civilization to which the world has succumbed. So, you have to be ready to break with that and manage your own dietary future. When you are ready, give Very Low Carb (VLC), or even Low Carb, a try. Here’s what you can expect:
       You will lose weight easily because you will not be hungry all the time. You will eat less and feel better.
       You will not need a snack in mid-morning or feel sleepy after lunch, or snack after supper/before bedtime.
       Your health markers will improve: blood sugar (A1c) and lipids (cholesterol), and blood pressure.
Some people have difficulty making the adjustment. I went cold turkey. I drank lots of water and I added salt. To avoid hypos (I was on 3 classes of oral anti-diabetic meds), I stayed in close contact with my doctor, who (as it happens) suggested VLC for me, to lose weight. Over time (15 years), I lost, literally, more than half my body weight (190 pounds), and I feel great! I’ve never been healthier or happier. You will be too. Give it a try!