Thursday, May 16, 2019

Retrospective #90: The “Easy as 1-2-3 Diet”

My wife says, “Most people aren’t like you.” That means she “can’t” do Very Low Carb (VLC) like me because she “can’t” give up… (fill in the blank): a) bread, b) fruit, or c) ice cream – an endless list. That’s okay. I understand that when people say “I can’t,” they mean “I don’t want to.” I understand that is a choice they are free to make.  If they refuse to take charge of their own health – when it becomes clear that their doctors are clueless about how to deal effectively WITH OBESITY and its attendant co-morbidities – then they will inevitably die from the consequences.
If you are one of those who says you “can’t,” then my “Easy as 1-2-3 Diet” is not for you. But if you have an adventurous spirit, you might want to try it for a day or two. I did the “1-2-3 Diet” a while ago, and it worked brilliantly. I lost 7 pounds in 2 days and 9 pounds in 3. I then stopped NOT because I was hungry but because I had achieved my goal, to reverse a trend of weight gain. I stopped the gain and dropped to my target weight for that week. Target weights are good.
My brief diet worked for me in the way I wanted. It would do the same for you if you are already keto adapted, as I was. That means (for the uninitiated) that by eating VLC, I had a low level of glycogen (stored glucose) in my liver. My body was adapted to primarily burning ketones as energy. If you’re not there yet, you probably will get hungry.
Anyway, here’s the “Easy as 1-2-3” diet: You eat a breakfast of 1 cup of coffee with 1 ounce of heavy cream and 1 packet of your choice of artificial sweetener (my choice in 2013 was Splenda). With that you eat 2 strips of bacon and 3 fried eggs. That’s breakfast: 38 fat grams, 26 protein grams, 3 carbohydrate grams, and 465 kcals total.
Then you skip lunch and dinner. Next morning, you repeat the 1-2-3 breakfast; then, no lunch and no dinner.
I did my “Easy as 1-2-3 Diet” for just 2 days, but – here’s the adventure part – I can imagine doing it even longer – maybe for a week. I reached a point many years ago where my body was in balance, where it was in homeostasis while I was eating a VERY low carb, calorie restricted diet: Under 900kcal/day when I eat two meals a day and 1,200kcal when I eat three. My body was telling me that it was getting everything it needs from its energy stores and from the food I eat and the supplements I take. It was the first time I had been there. I listened to my body, and it seemed to be telling me that everything was copasetic. It was satisfied. IT was FED, and I was NOT HUNGRY.
Eating two meals a day, I am still actively losing weight – about 2 pounds a week, exactly according to my plan.
Sidebar: In the Jaminet’s book, “The Perfect Health Diet, -- see Retrospective #38 -- in the section on “How to Raise HDL Levels,” they say “a half bottle of wine per day raises HDL levels by 17 percent.” That’s a good thing. So, if you follow the 2-meal a day basic version, you could eat a small dinner of a fatty meat or fish and a non-starchy vegetable smothered in butter or roasted in olive oil and then add 2 glasses of wine to wash it down. Sound good?
I have been doing Very Low Carb on and off now (in 2019) for 17 years, and I have come to a place where I am very happy with the way I feel and with my health. My mood and my health prospects are much better today than they were 17 years ago (at 78, I’m no “spring chicken”).  And I’m interested in living a lot longer, with “all my marbles.” So, given that I DO NOT GET HUNGRY AT ALL, EVER, ANYMORE, I have two easy choices: 1) Eat according to the “Easy as 1-2-3 Diet” for a day or two, or on alternate days, or some such mix, and 2) eat according to the modified (vinified) two-meal-a-day plan, as we did on our recent vacation. I didn’t lose weight, but I had much more fun.
It’s nice to have choices, especially when they are easy. And they are easy if you don’t feel there are forces beyond your control driving you to eat. Being hungry is a powerful hormonal drive. It makes you seek out food and eat it.  I also know now that I don’t have to convince my wife that “most people aren’t like me.” That’s okay with her, so long as I don’t tell her what to eat. That’s up to her. It’s your choice too.

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