Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dieting (NOT confirming the anti-gluten theory)

So after Thanksgiving I decided to get back on the diet trail once again. I have a love/hate relationship with food, I fucking LOVE to eat it, and I HATE how I feel afterwards (especially with some of my favorite foods). Sugary foods are definitely my achilles heel (like many), but grains tend to produce a very similar effect in me: the feeling of craving and a wild fluctuation of blood sugar that inevitably leads to a crash, feeling tired, and then feeling hungry all over again not too long after eating (within an hour or two). I don't know if it has anything to do with the gluten breads, cereals, and certain chips & crackers, and I don't know if there is any legitimacy to the claim that cutting out gluten can help mitigate problems seen with Aspergers, but I do know that since going on a low carb (not exactly Atkins, but close), I feel like a new person.

This isn't my first attempt at dieting like this, as I was eating almost nothing but junk food and fast food for several years after high school, and had packed on a ton of pounds, maxing out at a size 36 (between 200-210 lbs). Not good. So after a number of years of being in this shape (round) and being single for entirely too long (I now know the weight wasn't the problem),  I decided to start caring a bit about what I looked like and what I was eating.

I first started off doing a diet called SugarBusters, which emphasizes low glycemic foods and talk about little bit about the science of digestion. Cutting out the sugar I was eating AND drinking (at least 180g of sugar, daily) was a HUGE step forward, dropping about 10-15 pounds from switching back to diet sodas and scrapping the various cookies and candies I was eating regularly (Twix, Twizzlers, and chocolate chip cookies). That didn't quite do the trick, as it didn't cut out breads or chips, allowing me to continue eating certain whole wheat whole grain foods and yellow corn chips - two things that STILL triggered something not so good inside me. Wanting to drop even more weight to get down from a size 34 to a size 32, I turned to Atkins and the low carb diet.

I gave this diet a shot with its promise of more energy and a healthier lifestyle, and I was able to do fairly OK with it at the time, given that it was at the peak of the low carb craze in 2001-2002. I wasn't a very good cook and didn't have a very wide palette of food back then, so it was somewhat limiting and boring, but I'll be damned if I didn't feel much better mentally and somewhat better physically (I was lacking in certain nutrients that time around). I did so well weight wise that I ended up shooting past a size 32 and ended up wearing a size 30!

Me before the diet (200+ lbs), me after the diet (150 lbs)

This time around I'm right in between a 31 and a 32, about where I want to be (I'm at most wanting to lose about 10 lbs total and am quite OK with where I am now having lost 5 already). I had some experience in a kitchen living in Savannah, which helped me broaden my range of things to make - and most importantly I don't lack vitamins and minerals with what I typically eat every day. I don't know exactly what it is that is happening, but it is literally night and day how much clearer everything seems. It's not perfect, and I still might need some attention span correcting amongst other things, but I certainly don't feel like there is a fog surrounding my head anymore. If only I can keep this up, as it's only been about 6 weeks now. Wish me luck and let me know if you have any positive experiences with this!

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