I am a bit of a nerd and like to read. So reading different diet books seemed to be a good step for me to finally get serious about losing weight. I had read a lot of magazine articles, but they all promised quick weight loss in the same issue with tons of recipes for fattening foods.
I was tempted to try a few of these plans, but only gave them half-hearted attempts. Then I ordered the Rosedale Diet ebook and read through that. Some of his concepts made a lot of sense (good fats, avoid sugar and starches etc...), but I still had this mental block about following someone else's plan and I was having a hard time grasping the concept that fats could be GOOD. We have just had 20 years of FAT IS EVIL crammed down our throats through newspaper, magazine and tv sources. How could eating fats make me slimmer?
A few months later I found the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet at a church book sale. That also had some good concepts, was also a plan to stay away from sugar, lower carbs, etc... but it had this idea of a reward meal every day. It is a sixty minute window to eat the carbs you were avoiding the rest of the day, but the meal is still supposed to be "balanced". Balanced or not, do you have any idea how much food I can pack away in 60 minutes? As I thought about my interpretation of the good and bad points of both diets, I began to understand certain things about myself.
When I ate carbs, it did not satisfy my hunger. Potatoes, corn, bread, rice, pasta... it didn't matter which one. Whenever I ate these kinds of food, I always wanted more. I would eat to the point of being in pain. Only then would I feel "full". Well, more like SICK, but only after a whole box of Little Debbie Swiss Rolls or the whole loaf of garlic bread, or a whole batch of rice would I stop. I tried to resist these items, but I could only hold out for so long, then I would binge...tearing through carby food like a wood chipper through a pile of sticks.
I had a basic start in my low carb education and decided to take it online. I found articles and many interesting websites. Eventually I stumbled on some forums. A world of information opened up before me. So I wasn't some weirdo after all! There where others like me that could not reduce calories without suffering and then binging. There were others who exercised an hour a day 6 days a week and didn't lose a pound. There were others who understood what it felt like to have hunger so intense despite having recently ate that you fell in to a box of snacks and didn't come up for air until they were all gone!
I learned about carbs and how people like me reacted to them (with excess insulin release, lots of fat storage, and uncontrollable hunger). It finally sunk in that dietary fat wasn't the evil enemy popular opinion liked to say it was. I also learned the food pyramid was a complete load of crap and that if I followed it, I would LOOK like a pyramid!
I started cutting carbs and lost 8 pounds in 3 days. Sure, it was water weight at this point, but this was my first weight loss of ANY KIND in almost 5 years. I was elated! Then I seemed to settle in to a pattern of losing about 2 pounds a week. I am still in that pattern and have lost a total of 30 lbs so far with 30 more to go. Low carb works. It works well and I know I can eat this way for the rest of my life! I still learn, I still read, and I still talk to my online buddies while trying to learn as much as I can about low carb living.
As I explored online and made new friends in the battle of the bulge, I also came across more books and included The Atkins New Diet Revolution, Protein Power by Dr.s Eades, and Eat Fat Get Thin by Dr. Barry Groves to my low carb library. Each seemed to give me a valuable nugget of information that I was able to incorporate in to my daily life. From Dr. Atkins, I learned about Ketosis. From Drs. Mike and Mary Eades, I learned about potassium depletion and minimum protein requirements, and from Dr. Barry Groves, the concept of healthy fats was driven home, and also learned how all calories are not alike (it takes fewer excess carb calories to make you gain weight as it does excess fat calories).
I have only been on a low carb journey for a short time. I started low carb eating in Mid-May 2007. But here it is, the middle of September 2007 and I am already down 30lbs. I am in the process of cleaning out my closet because most of my clothes no longer fit. People are noticing and it feels pretty great. But most of all, I am healthier now at 44 than I have ever been.