About a week ago, I went to the library to return some books. Since I didn’t have any other books on hold to pick up, I head over to my usual aisle (the last one with books about learning different skills) to see if I could find anything to read. Luckily for me, pretty close to the books on making stuff are books on gardening and cooking. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but totally based on their covers, I grabbed the book “Unbowed” about an environmentalist in Africa (which I haven’t started yet) and “Why We Get Fat”. After I read the second one, I thought because you eat more calories than you burn. How could there be an entire book about that. I was going to put it back, but I didn’t see a more interesting gardening or woodworking book, so I kept it.
I started reading when I got home and basically read it straight-thru for the rest of the day. The idea is that it’s carbs that make us fat. I probably don’t have the details exactly right, but it’s insulin that’s the problem here. When you eat carbs, you generate more insulin that stores the fat in your cells. If you don’t eat carbs (even if you eat a lot of food), your body will pull the fat out of your cells to use for energy. Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure that I believed this. But, I had a very slow weekend and was a little bored. So I thought I’d do an experiment.
The author said that if you eat a high-carb meal (say like a bowl of cereal with milk and a banana) you’re insulin it will store the excess in your fat cells or something like that. The net result is, your weight will go up. Since I’ve been weighing myself daily since 2011, I pretty much know my daily weight. And I was in a stage where it was pretty consistent. So that night, I had a small bowl of cereal with a banana for dinner. The next morning, sure enough, I had gained a pound and a half.
That was interesting. But then, the next day, I ate low-carb and I ate what I thought was more than usual. Scrambled eggs with cheese and blueberries for breakfast (minus the tortilla I usually put it on), a salad for lunch and half a rack of bbq ribs for dinner. I had some nuts at work for a snack as well. The next day, my weight was down 2.4 pounds. Hmmm. Could that have been a fluke? So I did it another day, down another 1.8 pounds. The next day, weight stayed the same. The next day, down 1.1 pounds. This brings me to today, down 1.3 pounds. Apparently, this is working.
The bad news is … this past week I’ve eaten more red meat than I have in months. I honestly had been considering becoming a vegetarian lately because I thought it would be good for me and the world. But right now, I’m not good enough of a cook to become a low-carb vegetarian. So I’m going to keep eating the meat and then as I learn how to cook better vegetarian meals I’ll hopefully be able to shift away from it. I don’t think cholesterol is going to be a problem, but I’ll see how it looks at my next doctor appointment.
The good new is … I feel great. I have a good amount of energy, my right knee isn’t feeling achy and (aside from last night) I’ve even slept through the entire night. I know it hasn’t even been a full week, but everything the book described seems to be happening. We’ll see how long I can keep it up, but I think that as I learn how to cook different things, it will get even easier.