Cookies, Chips, and Pumpkin Pie

The holidays are over – thank goodness. I did really well in the run up to Christmas – not a lot of extraneous December events in my life. But in a span of 11 days I had a Gingerbread House party, Christmas Eve (the big deal at my house), my Boxing Day party, New Year’s Eve out, and a New Year’s Day party. There was a little bit extra food during that time. OK – a lot of extra food. The interesting thing is that after being on my eating plan for eight months now, eating all those foods I don’t normally consume actually made me feel uncomfortable. Of course I felt overfull and sluggish HOURS later so it didn’t do anything to help stop me in the moment, but it means I am listening to my body a little better than I have in the past.

After the New Year’s Day party (my worst indulgence by far,) I clearly recognized the bloated feeling that I regularly used to get in the evenings when I was in my gaining weight phase. Definitely not enjoyable. It made me actively want to go back to my low carb/high fat (LCHF) eating. I don’t want to feel that way anymore. I want to feel terrific and I usually do on LCHF. Even when I experience a little hunger (which doesn’t often happen,) the overall state of my body seems to be good. I am going to get there quickly by going back into ketosis.

“Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body does not have enough glucose for energy. Stored fats are broken down for energy, resulting in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.”

By drastically reducing my intake of carbohydrates, I will force my body to use its stored fat as a source of energy. This can take several days depending on how long/how many carbohydrates you have been eating. I have gone so far as to get myself some test strips (Ketostix) to make sure I really am doing it correctly. Because I have spent months low carb and this was “just the holidays” I expect to both get back into fat burning ketosis quickly and not suffer any of the crankiness often associated with switching from high to low carb intake (often called keto-flu.) I can confirm that this keto-flu is real. I spent just short of a week feeling tired, weak, and irritable. But it did pass like the literature said it would. A LCHF diet also causes your cells to release a lot of excess water (and conversely eating the carbs caused my cells to retain water.) So yes, I understand that some of the immediate weight loss is “water weight”. But when people scornfully say that, they usually assume that you will be returning to your former eating patterns soon enough and yes then the water weight lost will come back. I, on the other hand, am resuming the eating pattern the reduces the water weight, so I expect it to stay off.  Then the fat-burning can continue.

As I said before, this is not for everyone.  It works for me and I have been able to stick to it since May.  I think of it as an eating plan, not a diet and since I seem to be able to “survive” the holidays and vacations, it seems to be sustainable too.  I’ve conquered the menopausal weight gain and I feel great.  I’m keeping it!

p.s. Ketosis is a very dangerous state for someone with diabetes I, it can lead to ketoacidosis.  But don’t confuse the two.  Ketosis in a otherwise healthy person is a generally recognized as a safe metabolic state.

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