Saturday, November 23, 2019

Retrospective #280: Putting Fat Loss on Autopilot

The key to losing body fat “on autopilot” is learning to “fly” in a space without turbulence or cross-winds – where you can just sit back and let your body “fly” on autopilot. This requires that you navigate to a place where there is less resistance, fewer disturbances and conflicting “traffic.” Your attention will be required at take-off, but once you are up to speed and “on course” – where you have reached a certain comfort level – you can safely put fat loss on autopilot.
The first thing you need to do is go to school. You need to learn how to get into autopilot. But learning how to “fly right” requires that you first have to unlearn what we, and virtually every doctor who is alive and practicing today, has been taught about nutrition, both in medical school and in “postdoc” medical education. That shouldn’t be too difficult for them because they’ll be the first to tell you they didn’t learn diddly squat about nutrition in medical school.  However, medical doctors are required to get Continuing Education “CEUs”” to maintain their licenses, so the best we can hope for is that they recognize that Big Pharma has corrupted them with incentives and self-serving info.
For your own part, if your own experience acquired from observation or experiments leads you to the conclusion that eating a low-fat, high-carb diet is not a good way to lose weight and keep it off, that it’s a bumpy ride– hands on the stick all the way – then you might be open to a change in direction or flying at a different altitude for a smoother ride.
A Very Low Carb “eating pattern” is one such alternate flight path. It is like having a tail wind all the way. It’ll require your full attention to get started, but once you’re on the path, it’s “smooth sailing.” No hunger. No cravings. Just effortless, cruising at altitude while you burn body fat for energy. Your body wants a smooth ride. It seeks energy balance. Eat Very low carb, and your body will fly itself. You can sit back and relax; YOU WILL BE ON AUTOPILOT.
The conventional wisdom is that take-off, i.e., getting started, is the hardest part. It wasn’t for me. I went Very Low Carb “cold turkey” 17 years ago. In my recollection it takes only a couple days – maybe 2 or 3 – for the stomach rumblings to stop, after which you won’t feel “hungry” any more, if you eat strictly Very Low Carb. I salted my meals to remain hydrated. Some people drink a cup of bouillon in late afternoon to avoid dehydration/headaches. And if you’re taking meds for diabetes, you’ll need to carefully monitor your blood sugars and stay in touch with your doctor as your BS will dramatically lower, especially if you are taking a sulfonylurea like glipizide or glyburide (Micronase).
I stayed strictly on 20 grams of carbs a day for 9 months and Iost 60 pounds. I then moderated my carb intake a little, but didn’t gain any weight back for several years… until I started cheating (bedtime freezer raids for ice cream).
At first, I kept a food log of everything I ate. I just estimated grams of carbs for everything I ate. I tracked nothing else. I just wanted to raise my awareness about carbs, and my knowledge of what foods contained carbs and how many. Later I used a web-based resource to track calories, fat, protein and carbs, and I began to study macronutrient ratios. Eventually, after I felt well enough educated to make good food choices, I stopped keeping a food log. Now, I just take a fasting blood glucose and weigh myself daily (for raised consciousness), and see my doctor 3 times a year for labs.
But you don’t have to keep a log. Today you can “go to school” by joining an online group of dedicated, enthusiastic low carbers. There are plenty of them. My favorites are Andreas Eenfeldt’s “Diet Doctor” and Megan Ramos’s “The Dr. Jason Fung Fan Club.”  Of course, there are also lots of good books out there, and bloggers like me, to help you.  
If you decide to try it, of course I hope you’ll hang out here. It’s not the upper-deck lounge of a 747, but it’s almost as safe. And in writing some 500 columns over the last 10 years, I have covered just about everything relating to “fat loss on autopilot.” Obviously, I think this is the right way to fly for weight loss, regulating glucose metabolism, metabolic syndrome, lipid health (cholesterol and triglycerides) and chronic systemic inflammation. I have also addressed Type 2’s macrovascular complications (CVD, stroke, some cancers, Alzheimer’s) and microvascular complications (peripheral neuropathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy, i.e., end-stage kidney disease with dialysis), all of which I have avoided.
And each week I discover bloggers who knock my socks off. The skies are full of helpful resources, and most of them are knowledgeable pilots who will guide you to fly above the clouds where the sky is clear and the winds favorable.

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