Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Update-Atkins and me

(Post update-   At the time that I wrote this post in 2011 my knowledge of a proper LCHF Ketogenic diet was not yet known to me as it is today.  I have figured out since then that I was not eating enough fat and was eating too much protein to make up for the carbs.  This is not an effective ketogenic diet.)
Original Post-

Well, on the 8th of August I decided to experiment with going super low carb by trying Atkins Induction Phase. I guess I will say that I cheated twice and a few other days I was close to less than 20 carbs but I did go over a bit. I found that it is very very difficult to go that low carb. Even nuts have some carbs and any kind of condiment like ketchup will increase carbs by more than you would think.

I guess my experience leaves me pondering if I am an anomaly. Although the first two to three days I saw some decrease in my BG numbers, overall there was no change from when I was eating 50-60 grams of carbs a day. I still averaged about 138 2.5 hours after a meal, about 120 five hours after a meal and about 135 in the morning. I never saw a number under 100 during these few weeks. I admit that I didn't get my exercise everyday and the days that I did I can't say my results were much different.

I do know that if I go over 60 grams of carbs a day I will suffer with numbers in the 150-180 range which is not acceptable to me so low carb is still the way that I have to go. I will admit that I am disappointed because I had expected to see a huge improvement. I will stay at the 20 grams a day for a while in the hopes that it is just going to take me more time. I admit that I am concerned that I may have more beta cell damage than I thought I did since my blood sugar goes up and stays up while eating so little carbs.

Although today I feel somewhat beaten down, I still say "I won't give up! I won't give up!" Tomorrow is another day!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Atkins Diabetes Revolution and Me

I started reading Atkins Diabetes Revolution last week.  I'm not yet finished but I've already learned so much.  I really like how it's all written in plain language and so easy to understand.

So far, the book has made me determined to make some changes again in my diet, if only for the short term as an experiment.

There are three levels of daily carbohydrate limits suggested in this book.  Although the book is specifically written with diabetics in mind it also addresses weight loss which is an important part of managing or reversing diabetes. The three levels of carbs are 1- 20 grams per day, 2- 40 grams per day, 3- 60 grams per day.  Right now I am eating between 40 and 60 grams of carbs per day.

Although my blood glucose has come down significantly, I have been disappointed that I have remained pretty much in the 120's range just about all the time.  I may at times go down to 103 or up to 135 but for the most part I've remained in the 120 range.  I rarely, almost never actually go under 100.  I do not take any diabetes medication.

The book explained that for some people, like myself, even 40 grams of carbs a day are too many.  Besides lowering blood sugar, "another goal of carbohydrate restriction for diabetics is to "heal" the pancreas and give it some much needed rest so that the beta cells can regenerate".

I have decided to experiment by cutting my carbs to 20 grams a day. I want to see my overall blood glucose numbers go below 100 where they belong.  I'd also like to see if I can get my "dawn phenomenon" fasting numbers down to 100 or less as well. I really want to reverse my diabetes and bring my numbers down to a normal level, I guess I am one of those people who has to severely limit my carbohydrates to stabilize my metabolism.

I'm going to try this for 2 weeks and see what happens.  According to the book, you then increase the carbs by 5 grams a day and see what happens.  If you get to a point where the blood glucose begins to go up then you need to lower it again.  So really, your body will tell you what level of carbs you can handle.  Each person is different.

What I really like in the book is that it gives menus and recipes for each of the three carb levels.  It makes it so easy!   For example, the recipe for beef stew is for the 20 gram a day menu but it gives additional ingredients that you can add for the 40 gram and the 60 gram level.

I never thought I'd get so excited about going super low carb but I'm looking forward to getting my blood sugar normalized and I'm hoping that this will do it!

There are plenty of vegetables and even some fruits allowed within the 20 grams a day so I don't think I will feel deprived at all!  The recipes are great too!  You wouldn't believe the amount of food you can eat and the excellent recipes!

I will report on my progress along the way and I hope that you can benefit from my personal experiment.  In the meantime you can check out some of these Atkins Recipes.  They are so good!