Disappointment. Failure. Moving forward.
I started slow carb in the beginning on the year, and it has certainly put me through a journey. It has changed my views of food forever, in some ways for the better, and in others for the worse. I started out at about 132 pounds (5'3 woman) and was able to get down to 120, something ive only dreamed of for years. I decided to go off it and "eat normally" during the summer, only to not be able to transition to "eating normally". I gained back all the weight, plus more, which I almost couldn't believe. I would alternate between days like my cheat days and days in which I would restrict my calories immensely. It was terrible. I felt like because I wasn't eating slow carb, I didn't know how to eat. Some aspects of the slow carb diet did screw up how I thought about food. Whenever I don't eat slow carb now, I find myself binging as if its my cheat day (which I shouldn't be doing because I didnt do a full slow carb week). Its dangerous yoyo dieting. So I suggest for all you slow carbers out there, maybe a cheat day isnt the healthiest mental choice. I am going to restart my slow carb journey, but instead of doing a weekly cheat day, I am going to treat myself to a little treat, and just eat normally for one day, but keep it at a healthy amount of calories. I am NOT going to binge. I dont know if any of you have tried to transition to eating normally, but let my story be a word of caution to you. Slow carb can give you a mindset of yoyo dieting and binging off your diet. I am ready to restart my weightloss journey, and hopefully this time around, it will be permanent.
The Best Answer
I think the biggest problem with what I am reading in your story is that you think going back to the foods that are unhealthy to start with is eating normally. The Slow Carb diet is more in line with the way the body is meant to eat. In fact it is more in life even with a more traditional North American Diet than the current one. It has only been since the 1950's and on that food has become more and more processed than it every had been before.
Eating a meat and vegetables is a normal, healthy way of eating. Hence why many of us consider this a lifestyle, a choice to continue eating this way for the rest of our lives, not just a tool to lose weight and then go back to all the junk we ate before.
As for Cheat days, if the binge days don't work for you then definitely adjust to a more controlled cheat. The calorie increase is still important, so I don't suggest cutting it out completely, but just modify it to something that works better for you.
The moment I ever started watching what I ate screwed up how I thought about food. I ate low carb Paleo for about a year and before that, when I was in high school and middle school, ate almost nothing at all, except in private.
If I would mess up and have a cheat I would mentally give up saying "fuck it, this day is ruined" and have a huge binge. As Tim says in the book, logic fails. Of course it will not harm you as much to have one cookie as it will to have the whole bag and a quesadilla afterwards, but when you're in the binging state of mind you make excuses and tell yourself that it's the same and that you've already messed up your diet so why not eat everything in sight because you're not going to be able to eat it tomorrow.
I would honestly say to myself, well I ate some carbs and raised my insulin I might as well have a field day and have all the carbs I can now since this day is already marred with a bunch of sugar and insulin spikes. Stupiddd! And so harmful.
It really is disordered eating and it's been really hard for me to not binge and restrict. What has helped me is not being so harsh on myself. If I have an extra tablespoon of peanut butter and OOPS it did have sugar in it and OOPS I forgot my PAGG, I just really sit and think about how it won't affect me much, but if I start binging it will. I also try not to be too crazy on cheat days, eating with friends and having fun instead of stuffing my face alone or some bingy shit.
I also started tracking food on DailyBurn, which prevents me from binging because entering a binge and having it carved into stone on the internet is too real; you can't deny it or act like it didn't happen. You have to be honest though.
I agree with most people here.
I've been on diets all my life, most of them worked, only my last treatment stuck (though I didn't lose all the weight I wanted to, I managed to keep those pounds off for good, except lately, when I gained 10 lbs for eating like crazy around x'mas); and I can honestly say that since I've had a lot of experience with nutrinionists and doctors and all kinds of diets (be them good or bad), Tim's approach is extremely similar to the way we should be eating everyday, give or take a few food groups/items.
My previous treatment (the one that stuck) was based around protein: you started eating a protein-rich diet for 2-3 weeks, all the meat you could ever want, plus veggies and eggs and a lot of water. I lost pounds with that one pretty fast. Then after the first period, the diet had to be shifted to more balanced meals 3-4 times a day in measured portions. Then you'd start including some fruits and some grains (cereals, mostly); THEN you had to get back to the first protein-rich diet to sort of jumpstart your body. It worked like a charm, meat makes you lose a LOT of weight. It didn't include legums, though. But meat and veggies is good.
I think including legums just makes it work for a more extended period of time, than just a mere few weeks like my previous diet did.
So in my opinion, Tim's diet is probably closer to a daily healthy diet and lifestyle.
I already learnt years and years ago that 'eating whatever crap you want' isn't what a normal diet's supposed to be. And those people who 'can eat whatever the hell they want' aren't necessarily healthy just cos they're thin. Eating crap all the time is just plain wrong, no matter what you look like.
I'm deffinitely trying this one out for a while!
Good words of caution, Mags. You've done well, have learned alot, and I hope you can continue to evaluate what went right and what went wrong on your journey. Your new plan sounds like a good one, stick to it and succeed, GF!
Shows how much of this stuff is mindset oriented.
Someone awhile back recommended a section for thought evaluation/mindset on this forum- I thought that was a good idea.
I do not call DGW day Cheat Day is because it is part of a plan. I love the forum member who calls it "anything day" and knows that eating well/"treating" is really the other 6 on program.
"Lifestyle, not a diet", we have all heard this before, right? I know I've chanted those words when doing a new diet...it didn't change much for me then.
When I evaluate my thoughts around food and learn to separate the Feast Beast's voice from my healthy higher self's drive, eating is normal and easy, but it takes practice and vigilance because the Feast Beast is tricky.
Something that has helped me is Roberta Teme's hypnosis CDs which I used in June of this year. They are usable for ANY plan.
Much love to you,
Couldn't have said it better myself. The first time I did SCD I messed around with it, not really serious about it, while in pastry school. I cheated almost daily, and over the course of 4 months managed to lose 20 lbs. (How, I still don't know) And when I went off the diet and went back to "normal eating" I gained almost every pound back. I am now back up to 239.8 lbs, as of three days ago, and am now four days into the SCD for permanent this time. What I'm trying to say is that, just like JKW said, this IS eating normal, and was right up until only a couple hundred years ago. We are omnivores. Designed by nature to eat the vegetable and the meat. Rawr.
Totally agree, JKW. It seems like you used the SCD to "just get that darn weight off" and then didn't continue to transition the "slow carb way of eating" into your normal routine. NO diet/lifestyle change will keep the weight off unless the person doing it is CONSCIOUSLY and even SUBCONSCIOUSLY eating more healthy. Restricting your calories is something you probably don't want to do next time because it'll just send your metabolism to the crapper and slow it down. It'll hurt more than help. If anything, go back to STRICT SCD again for a few days to shed the water weight.
Going back to old habits is one thing you gotta change in your next slow carb journey. Don't look at the Slow Carb Diet as a DIET, look at it as "a way you eat NOW" The Cheat Day, while it can be interpreted in a number of ways, should merely be a "psychological pacifier" not a "license to go binge and eat badly". Yes, you can eat as much as you want and whatever you want, but the truly successful people, over time, change their mentality on portions, food choices, and just knowing when to stop. If you don't learn that, lose the weight and go "Oh, I can go back to eat the way I did before!" as you have painfully found out...it'll just end up with the weight coming back with a vengeance.
I've been going up and down and up and down for 20 years. This time around, I am getting the weight off AND KEEPING IT OFF. I think keeping it off is the HARDEST rather than losing it. Seriously.
May I suggest something? Do what you normally did before, but on Cheat Day, just have a Cheat MEAL only. Keep all other meals slow carb. If you find yourself prone to binging and not being able to stop yourself.
I believe it IS possible to transition from strict slow-carb to slow-carb-incorporating some white carbs/fruits etc. into the diet and maintain. I haven't gotten there yet and won't get there until about May 2012, but like Tim says, "It's an experiment." When you lose the weight again, transition from being an "experiment to lose weight/burn fat" to "an experiment to keep the weight off and see which foods tend to make your body gain weight faster" It may be months of seeing each week what foods that were not SCD that you incorporated a little at a time to see how that affects your weight. That's how I am going to approach it. Cause there is NO WAY I am going back to 247 lbs after reaching my goal of 115 lbs. This is it!! THIS TIME I WILL SUCCEED!
Good Luck on your next journey and make it more a mental journey rather than a physical one. Mind and Body go together...they have to be in synch!
Wow. I just read your post now and couldn't believe how identical our experiences are. I had the SAME EXACT thing happen. (lose weight on SCD, go back to "normal" eating, only to end up yo-yoing back and forth SCD and stuff-my-face silly until ballooning up massively) That Cheat Day mentality really did me in.
I've just restarted about 2 weeks ago and doing great (I've since rewired my brain to eat a few Cheat Treats, not an entire gorge fest day).
Hope you're doing well!
I have had a very similar experience. I moved to SCD after doing stricty calorie counting for nearly two years. It worked, but it stopped being sustainable.
After doing SCD for 8 months or so (losing about 10 lbs and keeping it off) I hit a time of stress and food-related holidays and reverted... but not exactly. I had clearly trained myself (while doing SCD) to go crazy whenever I had carbs (especially sweets for me). Thus I didn't just go back to eating somewhat poorly... I went back to eating somewhat poorly with punctuated moments of binging. Not good at all. I've put about 15 lbs on from my lowest on SCD (over about 7 weeks).
So now I am struggling to figure out whether I can make the SCD into a sustainable lifestyle, rather than a diet that drives me to binging.
Thanks for your post, Mags, and for all the replies as well.
Join the 4 Hour Body Superhumans!