Ad Libitum: Was Atkins right?

Ad Libitum: Was Atkins right?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Was Atkins right?

About the need to go below 20 carbs for optimal results, I mean?

I've been doing my little hardcore ketogenic experiment for the last 5 days. 4 lbs gone. What shocks me about this is that normally I eat 50-60 carbs anyway and yet weight loss is so extreme and effortless on <20, as if I'm starting LC for the first time. I really need to emphasise that I'm not someone coming off of the SAD; I've been lowcarbing for over a year and I'm coming to this experiment in a severely weight-reduced state having already lost 60 lbs. It's incredible. What also shocks me is that I have a terrible case of the Atkins flu even though I have been eating at mildly or borderline ketogenic levels for at least half a year. I feel as if I'm ketoadapting for the first time. Is it possible that ZC is qualitatively different from even VLC, let alone bog-standard LC?

I should also mention I'm eating up to 1,700 calories a day on this regime and losing weight. I wonder if that will still be the case once the diuretic effect has worn off. I find that induction works in two ways: first, it kills your appetite dead after about 36 hours. After two days, I felt as if I never needed to eat again and the only reason I eat now is to prevent cardiac complications from electrolyte loss which can happen in total starvation. The second mechanism of action allows you to consume a lot more calories than you could on a balanced (carbohydrate-containing) diet and still lose weight. I seem to be wasting a lot of calories through heat. On the other hand, try eating 1,700 calories of carb a day as a female while sitting around the house all day not lifting your bum off the chair and see how you get on.

Another thing of huge importance (well, to me anyway :p) I have noticed is that it matters HUGELY where the calories come from. It's not just about eating high fat moderate protein low carb. You have to eat virtually all your calories from animals, unfortunately. Now, I just wanna preface this by saying I'm no fan of killing animals and I am not a huge meat lover at all (I used to live on pasta, rice, potato, bread, pastry and could happily eat no meat ever until my untimely demise). I hate paleo caveman carnivore bullshit BUT I must say that satiety is best when virtually no plant food is consumed. Fact. I don't know if this is a carb/insulin issue or is it the fact that things like egg yolk, beef fat, meat and liver are super nutritious and very satiating because the body gets all the essential nutrients and goes "you don't need to eat anything else today", whereas eating nutritionally empty bulk like wheat, well, you can go face down in it and eat for hours while still being hungry because you haven't actually consumed anything of value. I have been eating only two meals a day, spaced by about 5-6 hours, with absolutely zero snacking in between, of nothing but meat, butter, eggs, cheese and lettuce. I am experiencing zero hunger. Zero. It can't be boredom; it appears to be physiological. I crave sugar and crap I love, but I am not hungry. I do not need FOOD.

Now, compare and contrast this with when I used to delude myself into thinking plants were ok and that I could get away with a more varied diet of nuts, berries, yoghurt etc. on top of some meat and animal fat. Looking back on my first stall, I was still eating 65-70% fat. Yet, the hunger was there, the urge to snack on shit was there, and weight loss stalled. A bit of extra cheese here, a handful of nuts there and you're back to 2,000 calories and maintaining instead of losing.

I no longer believe I can get away with a more vegeterian version of the HFLC diet. In fact, I'm more and more evolving toward the Hyperlipid school of thought in thinking that a healthy diet can contain virtually no plant matter. I don't actually think anything except meat, eggs, fat and broth is necessary for life. There's a reason why all these LC doctors - CLINICIANS with first-hand experience of obesity treatment - always recommended basing your diet on meat. Not nuts or dairy. Meat. I would love to be able to eat a bowl of mixed nuts, berries and flax in full-fat Greek yoghurt for breakfast like I used to but it seems that I can't, for reasons that do not appear to be explained by simple macronutrient ratios. 
This is very difficult for me to accept emotionally. I mean, who wants to eat nothing but meat forever?