Sunday, August 17, 2014

What can I eat that will make me feel better?


Apparently people without food issues don't look to food to solve problems that aren't hunger. Isn't that a weird thought? Whereas I (and I imagine a few of my readers) look to food to solve sadness, anger, tiredness, boredom, frustration, and even an upset tummy. And it does kind of work, in the short term.

Tim and I both still have this stomach bug that we'd thought we got over (twice). It's a bit annoying, although I feel ok most of the time. It certainly hasn't stopped me eating! In fact I eat to settle my stomach. But it has stopped me exercising. Funny, that.

I haven't been sticking to any kind of diet for a couple of weeks. That doesn't mean binging, but I haven't been worrying if something is fried, I have some dessert if I want to, I take a chocolate from my hairdresser's reception desk. Last Thursday I was 81.8kg, about the same as I'd been hovering around for a few weeks.

Then this weekend was absolutely horrendous in terms of unhealthy food. We had family staying. I provided desserts and snacks. My sister-in-law brought dessert and snacks. I actually started eating junk on the Friday before they even got here because me and chips in the house? How have I not learned yet that that is a problem? I indulged in everything while they were here. I ate some leftover cheesecake after they left.

This morning, resolving to start over and needing to know the worst, I got on the scales. 81.8kg. No change. I was puzzled but I'm not complaining! The body can be weird. It doesn't do what you expect.

I'm calling this a new diet, starting today. A new plan. The old one has been dead for weeks. I'm doing it this way because I find I do better during the honeymoon period of a new diet. New rules to follow. Some people are better off refreshing the same plan. I like having something new. I just want to stress that I'm am not looking for that one perfect diet that will quickly and effortlessly make the weight fall off. I just enjoy researching and planning a new diet, it gets me motivated again.

That said, I'm thinking about carb cycling. Intermittent fasting is popular at the moment but I can't do that, I feel awful if I try to fast (as I have done for charity - I didn't make it through the whole 40 hours - or for a shorter stretch for medical reasons) - sick, tired, headachy, trembly, miserable and irritable. How can anyone work through that or do anything other than lie in bed? Maybe it's because of my insulin resistance. I also can't do very low carb, I've tried that too and feel almost as bad as fasting, which makes sense because it's the carbs that affect blood sugar. On the other hand, I lose weight if I reduce carbs. And I feel just as sick, in a different way, if I eat too many carbs. Really sleepy and bloated.

Carb cycling, as I understand it, alternates days of low carbs with days of higher carb intake. You eat more protein on the low carb days and very little fat on the high carb days. It was apparently developed by body builders to strip off the fat layer before a competition so all their huge muscles would show better. For me, it would mean 1200 calories on Mon, Wed & Fri (low carb) and 1500 calories on the other days (high carb). As with any reasonable diet, there is a focus on lots of fruit and vegetables, lean meat, and "healthy" carbohydrate (ie not cheesecake). There is a formula for how many carbs and protein grams I should be eating based on my weight that could be a bit fiddly to translate into daily meals - but isn't that what I want? To spend time on the technical aspects? Worth a try.

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