“My macros are spot on”, “What’s your ratio?”, “Check your percentages”, “Do you even monitor your ketones?”, “Keto-this keto-that”, “Do you even lift?” ok, I snuck that last one in just for giggles…
LC, LCHF, Wheat Belly, Atkins, LC Paleo, LC Primal, JERF, yeah, it’s pretty daggum confusing, right?
Often times in the “Low Carb” or “Low Carb High Fat” communities the question is pondered “It’s worked so well for all of us, why doesn’t every single obese person give it a try?”
It’s easy for those of us who have found success in giving up grains, starches, and sugar to maybe not think about those first hours, days, weeks of starting something “new to us”. There comes a time in our journey where everything really is second nature, we don’t have to think when we place an order at our favorite restaurant for a “burger, no bun please, and can I get a side salad instead of fries”.
We don’t really have to think very hard while preparing dinner at home because it’s been so long since we ate the Standard American Diet (SAD), that we no longer have those kind of ingredients on hand, so we just cook and eat and play it again Sam tomorrow.
Maybe we meet someone on the internet, they are interested in our success, they want to know “What do you eat?”, “What do you order when you dine out?”, or “How do I do this?” The easy answer: No grains, no starches, no sugar.
As easy as the easy answer is, it is often lost in translation. While the acronyms for this that or the other are pretty much second nature to someone who’s been low carbing it for six months or longer, it can sound like a whole ‘nother language to new folks. Toss in some keywords like macros, ketosis, ratios, and percentages, and well, we can lose them before they begin.
The thing is that I went two years and made goal without once thinking about my “macros”, “ratios”, or “percentages”. To this day, I’ve never even tested blood ketones and while in the beginning I had a vial of ketostix, I maybe only pissed color onto two of the fifty sticks.
If you’re lost, bear with me, I have a point, maybe you can see the point already, if not, well, it’s like this > You do not have to buy all these gadgets or products or ketostix to lose weight on low carb. You do not have to worry about macros or percentages or fat bombs or keto-cookbooks. It’s only as hard as you want it to be.
You really, seriously, don’t even have to follow a specific plan, the plan I follow is simple, I Just Eat Real Food (Without sugar, grains, or starches) for the most part. Sometimes when I’m feeling silly, I call my plan Meleo, because it’s not 100% Atkins, Wheat Belly, Primal, or Paleo, more of a take what you need and leave the rest, combination of simply what works for me.
So, here we are, without further ado, what I did, what I still do… I eat chicken with skin, preferably bone in (it’s just juicer that way), beef, pork, fish, eggs to get my protein, and if it happens to be a “lean cut”, I cook it with butter or bacon fat. I eat lots of vegetables, salads, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, Brussels sprouts, turnip greens, the list is pert near endless. For raw veggies like salad, I use full fat dressings like blue cheese or olive oil and vinegar, usually made in my kitchen to avoid the chemical crap storm that is salad dressings these days. For cooked veggies I use butter, real butter, you know, cream and salt or no salt, I’m not that picky, just no fake butter please.
I counted my carbohydrates and that was all.
Because I am Type 2 Diabetic, I do still use artificial sweeteners and I’ll tell you again that to my body, they are far less toxic than table sugar, honey, or agave thank you very much, your argument is invalid. Sometimes I even drink a diet root beer…
The main thing to remember is that while fat has been vilified for decades, it’s not as evil as it is portrayed. It is an essential nutrient that our bodies are capable of making out of carbohydrates if we don’t eat it. The problem with not eating it and leaving it up to our bodies to make it is that when our bodies make it, it’s not dietary fat, it’s body fat, and well isn’t that what we’re trying to get rid of in the first place?
Low carb works for me because I’m no longer spiking my blood sugar. Low carb works for me because I’m no longer eating the things that would fill me up while at the same time, leave me wanting more. Low carb works for me because I realized that while weight loss is partly the scale, the scale is not the end-all. Low carb works for me because I realized early in that weight loss is not a downward spiral into “one-derland” (that magical place those of us who were over 200 pounds long for in the beginning), more of a series of ups and downs where the scale is concerned, but in the end more down than up if you feel me.
Low carb tends to be a higher fat way of eating (don’t call it a diet, you’ll be cheating in no time) because when you break it down on fatsecret or what ever app you use, your fat and protein tend to be where the bulk of your calories come from. There are plenty of folks who will suggest to just eat fat all day and you won’t be hungry, but seriously, there is a fine line between eating enough fat and eating too much fat so that your body never even has to tap into your body fat for energy.
If my ramblings have you thinking that this whole Low carb isn’t going to be as hard as you were thinking and you want to give it a try, just try it. Don’t worry about fat bombs or BPC, just cut out the grains, sugar and starches. Cook foods that don’t have labels or seals of approval from who-evs.
Maybe a couple months down the line, after you see for yourself that there’s just not as much of you in that reflection and you get a hankerin’ to make your way of eating more complicated, look into all the acronyms and gadgets and other things that for me cause undue stress, go for it. Until then though, keep it simple and if you’re Type 2 Diabetic like me, use your meter often, keep in touch with your doctor and let him/her in on your secret to success.