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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Low Carb: My Eight Tips for Getting Started

The first thing I do whenever I've gotten off track and gained some weight is plan a celebration!
 That's right. In the middle of feeling I've let myself down, feeling bloated from too many carbohydrates, feeling foggy, indigestion and everything that goes with eating high carb, I plan a celebration.
  I celebrate the beginning of a new lifestyle, right then and there! For me, regardless of how I may have eaten yesterday, this morning or this afternoon, that means beginning with a Low Carb Lifestyle, high fat, moderate protein, the stuff that gets me back on track and makes me feel good meal.
  In my case, I get a steak. This is no longer about depriving myself. This about treating me good and giving my body what it needs to heal again. I don't go for the 6oz. petite portion. No, I'm a full grown woman with a body that needs fats and proteins. I'm a "Twelve ounce Rib eye, well done please!" girl, myself, but yours may be Pork Chops, Roast, a hunk of Buttered Salmon. If you don't eat any meats, go for your favorite Tofu dish, but leave out any noodles, potatoes, and bread, and double up that protein. Add Almonds slivers and Avocado, drizzle with Olive oil, have fun! This is important. I have to treat myself like someone who deserves to be treated well, not later, not after I lose the weight, but here and now.

 Shortly after I consume this, my mind begins to clear, the indigestion subsides, and energy begins to return. Nothing gets me through those first three days or so better.
  I've heard it called, "The Carb Flu," where, for me more sleep is needed, more fat and more protein. What's happening is that the body is switching from burning High Carbs for energy that we've eaten, over to stored body fat for energy. Nature takes the easiest, straightest path, and when high carbs are consumed the quickest, easiest way for the body to get needed energy is to use the High Carb food. In the absence of these High Carb foods, the body moves to the next easy, quick, straight source of energy; Our stored body fat. This fat is easier and quicker to use for energy than the fat we will be eating. Subsequently, weight loss begins. During this "Carb Flu" time of transitioning to our bodies using stored fat, here is a list of things I do to help my body do what it does so well...Heal Itself.

 1. Celebrate the Start! Tonight or this afternoon, right now begin by celebrating. That means a good, nutritious low carb meal. It doesn't matter if you ate a dozen glazed doughnuts for breakfast, or went to the burger and fries joint for lunch. Tonight is the celebration. For me, it begins with a rib eye. We are starting a new lifestyle, for many like me a new life! We celebrate new lifes, births are a joyous occasion! smiles. We don't wait and see if the child does what we imagine they should before celebrating. The arrival day is here! This is a big occasion. Do not wait for some goal to celebrate. Do it now. This is very important, and you are worth it!

  2.Donate High Carb Foods to a food pantry if possible, if not throw them away. Many like me got hung up on not wanting to "waste" food, so we told ourselves we'd eat all of this high carb stuff, then start our journey to health. Rethink: When I put high carbs that have been hurting me along with causing weight gain, I am Wasting my body, my children's mother, my loved one's friend. I have no right to treat someone they love like I deserve that. To love them, I have to love me, and let the high carbs go. If I can find a food pantry a neighbor to take them that's fine, but they are not good for me.

3. I get more rest: No longer treating naps as a decadence, they are a matter of being true to me, so no self guilt trips allowed here. This is important. The body heals best at rest. What's more, when I had deprived myself of rest, as I often did on high carb diets, I had to eat more high carbs just to keep going. That is over. We need never do that again. This is the time to be gentle.

 4 .I drink more water: This helps me stay clear minded and flushes out toxins. What is great is that the consumption of meats and fats automatically causes me to want to drink more water, so I don't even try and it happens!

 5 .I incorporate one mug of Bullion a day: The reason is that most of the high carb processed foods I used to eat had enormous amounts of sodium, and that is gone. Cooking now, and often forgetting to use salt, I can get too low on sodium, and the amount in a mug of bullion is sufficient for a day to keep me feeling better and balanced.

  6. Give Myself an Area for My Foods: We deserve, as human beings, a space in our own lives. I designate at least one cabinet for low carb foods: This is my "Go to" for meals. This cabinet contains things like Tuna, Beef Jerky, Pork Rinds, Almonds, Canned Green Vegetables, cans of mushrooms, Jars of Salsa and any Low Carb Shelf foods. I know I'm safe opening that cabinet! I also designate an area of my refrigerator (Initially I lived with someone when I did this, but now I live alone, so the whole thing is mine! hehe). This area of the fridge is for the foods I know I can safely eat in a Low Carb Lifestyle.

7 . Plan Fast Foods: Rarely do I have to feel famished any more, as proteins and low carb take that away pretty quickly in the beginning, but I keep fast eats at the ready just incase. These will be things like a bowl of many boiled eggs, so I can grab one when needed. Cheese slices or Block cheese cut into one ounce chunks are a quick, tasty satisfiers too. Try some different kinds. Ten olives are another quick decadence for me, and a medium Dill Pickle is a must in my day! All of these choices are at or under 1 Carb, by the way! (So are ten Almonds!) In induction, I am allowed 20 carbs a day, and one to love *more* of any food I love, I keep these "at or under 1 carb" choices at the ready. I also usually keep a cook roast, chicken or several burgers at the ready. ZERO carbs there!

8 . The Car and Purse: I always have low carb snacks there. For me it's in the form of ten Almonds or Walnuts, a few sticks of Beef Jerky (Some have one carb, so read your labels), and small bag of pork rinds. Others I love are pumpkin seeds, a few dried cranberries from a natural food store (so they have No added sugar) tossed into the nuts can help too. I also keep at least one of these items in my purse at all times. I'm never without a snack at the ready, and a bottle of water is an absolute staple for me.


A Note on Waiting to Eat:  As I mentioned, the urgency to eat NOW calmed down after the first few weeks for me, but there were times I panicked, and mostly it was when I'd been in my car and out for longer than I thought. Having these low carb snacks at hand helped a lot, but one question did too.
   Am I willing to wait for ten minutes? After that, I could eat anything..just ten minutes.  You see, I'd needed to eat something, even if it was a little meat, a little cheese or one of the one carb choices I'd planed once every two hours for about two weeks. Anything small would keep my metabolism going, and it kept me out of hunger leaving me satiated. I also had full decadent meals, but I planned my two hour foods too. When I'd been out too long without a snack, I'd begin to feel bad and hungry, even sad. The urgency to stop at that McDonald's sign was so, so, so overwhelming! I had to ask myself, "Can I wait ten minutes?" Ten minutes got me past that sign. It also often got me home to healthy Low Carb foods that I knew would make me feel good rather than turning to that old lethargic, bloated french fry state which only depressed me. If it couldn't get me home, I knew and sometimes only trusted that a Quick Market would be within that ten minute time period to get me a small package of Almonds and a bottle of water or even a sugar free soft drink. "Can I wait ten minutes?"

   Information: 
      I highly recommend anyone beginning starting before beginning with reading, "Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution," to see if you feel a Low Carb Lifestyle is for you. There are other Low Carb diets as well, like South beach.
   Encouragement:
     Support and encouragement can be hard to come by. We live in a world taught that fat makes you fat and causes all sorts of problems that were never proven, nonetheless the hype continued, even doctors got on the bandwagon recommending we go "fat-free," and believing it we all gained weight, and many like me got horribly sick from it. So, don't be discouraged when a well intentioned friend, relative or professional tries to scare you into eating low fat or fat free and high carbs. If support isn't available around you, you've got me, plus LOTS of others who have not only lost weight, but seen cholesterol counts go down and blood sugar levels improve so much that many,  no longer need medications for those problems. A great source of support is About.com's Low Carb Forum! There, Laura's recipes and tips, along with a whole group of Low Carbers are right beside you! For a Facebook source of inspiration, I don't know of more encouraging group than "Low Carbing Among Friends!" 

    All of this to say we are NEVER alone, we need never feel shaky and deprived, and TODAY, I hope you celebrate the beautiful you that you are, the healthier you that you're becomming moment by moment, and meal by meal and gentle action by gentle action.
  Take care, With love,
tina jones

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