Thursday, April 25, 2019

Retrospective #69: In Praise of Small Meals, after 10 years of VLC

Like many Americans I succumbed in my 40s to one of the ubiquitous Diseases of Civilization: Metabolic Syndrome. See Retrospective #9 for the indications. My doctor didn’t diagnose it (yours wouldn’t have either), but the signs were obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure), low HDL and high triglycerides. Note: No mention of high Total Cholesterol or high LDL. I was, however, also diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes and obesity are epidemics of “epic” proportions. They are so often seen together that they are commonly called “diabesity.”
And like many others, I found, on the suggestion of my doctor, a way of eating that is an effective treatment for diabesity – one that can reverse all the markers of Metabolic Syndrome. And lose weight, without hunger, using the Very Low Carb (VLC) diet advocated in this blog. The benefit of the VLC diet is that it will reverse or ameliorate all the symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome – the obesity, the hypertension, the dyslipidemia and the dysregulation of your blood glucose metabolism – so long as you continue to eat Low Carb.
You can lose weight without hunger. I lost 170 pounds. Your high triglycerides will plummet and your HDL will soar. For evidence of my own improvements, scroll down to Retrospective #68, “Triglycerides, Fish Oil and Sardines” and Retrospective #67, “HDL Cholesterol and the Very Low Carb Diet.” Your blood pressure will also improve. I went from 130/90 to 110/70 (on the same medications). And the best news of all: your blood sugar will greatly improve, eliminating or substantially reducing the need to take oral diabetes medications.
In addition, if strictly adhered to, a Very Low Carb diet will put your T2 diabetes in full remission with no clinical signs of disease. Mine is. And once you have reached your goal weight, all of your gains will be retained so long as you continue to eat Very Low Carb. So long as you keep the weight off, and continue to eat VLC, you will have “normal” blood sugars and lower A1c’s, great lipids, especially triglycerides and HDL, and improved blood pressure.
This Way of Eating is very effective for weight loss and weight maintenance because if you aren’t hungry, you will not eat as much. You can eat a small meal and be satisfied. Not sensing hunger, you will not want to eat between meals, and you will not have the desire to scarf down more food than you need when you do sit down to eat.
Think about it. If a small VLC meal satiates your hunger, you will be satisfied and thus learn to eat it and no more. Similarly, if you are not hungry for 5 or 6 hours after a small VLC meal, you will learn that you do not need to eat a between-meal snack. I have learned these two lessons during 10 years of eating VLC and found it easy to apply them. Small meals and no snacks. Let me illustrate:
For 10 years I have been eating a breakfast of 2 fried eggs, 2 strips of bacon and a cup of coffee with half and half and Splenda. It is about 6 grams of carbohydrate (2 eggs = 1, 2 Splenda = 2, and 2oz H&H = 3). It is mostly protein and fat (21g protein; 27g fat). Total calories: about 350. Believe it or not, this small meal is good for 6 or 8 hours!
For lunch (as a creature of habit) I have a can of Brisling sardines in EVOO, eaten from the can: 13g protein, 24g fat and zero (0) grams of carbohydrate. Calories, including the olive oil in the can: 270. If I have a beverage, it is either a glass of water or diet ice tea. I usually eat this small meal approximately 5 hours after breakfast not because I am hungry (I am not), but because I want to eat some protein, with some good (monounsaturated) fat, at “lunchtime,” to remain Ketogenic without fasting. Because I am not eating carbohydrates for energy, I continue to use dietary and body fat all day long as energy sources.
Dinner, renamed supper, is likewise a small meal of mostly protein and fat. It is a smaller-than-previously-eaten serving of protein plus a non-starchy vegetable (carbohydrate) tossed in butter or roasted in olive oil (again, a healthy monounsaturated fat). Alternately, I sometimes eat a salad with my homemade vinaigrette dressing.
Together, these three meals combined are about 1,200 calories, 75g protein, 90g fat and 20g of carbohydrate. This meal plan is about 25% protein, 70% fat and 5% carbohydrate. And all of these meals are small and very satisfying.

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