Thursday, August 18, 2016

Confusion: Low-Carb/High-Fat vs Low-Carb/High-Protein (lots of links)

There is a bit of confusion for me as I'm nearing the end of Week 3 of the low-carb situation. Someone emailed me and gave me some clarification. So... I've had to regroup.

First, I started out doing a low-carb/high-protein diet. I lost weight and felt better, but wanted to kick-start the whole ketosis thing. I made a first attempt at an "egg fast", which was wonderful (as far as results) but I didn't realize it was a low-carb/high-fat regimen. I simply didn't think about it.

Second, like I said, I am seeing weight loss, though not as much as I would like. Today I realized that I may be switching up on the eating regimens so much that they are canceling out one another. Apparently, I'm sharing company with a lot of other confused folks.

Egg fast with lots of butter and bacon = low-carb/high-fat.

Normal eating with lots of meat, skipping/cutting back on starches - low-carb/high-protein.

I believe my body is as confused as my mind is so I've decided to take a look at meal ideas for the different types of plans. Maybe clearing things up for myself this way will help someone else!

The first thing I had to do was decide which plan I was going to adopt for a daily for-the-rest-of-my-life eating plan. It sure has to be something I can live with ("live with", get it?) and the prolonged high-protein plan is not for me.

"Prolonged high-protein diets are possibly unhealthy for your kidney or your liver." (source)
That piece of advice is a no-brainer and it's been pointed out to me by doctors who treated my family members.

On the other hand, protein is very important. Since it's protein I'm trying to learn to use properly for weight loss, I decided to keep reading that source article for more info. I only had to glance up one space and there was the answer:
"When adopting a low-carb diet, it’s recommended to aim for 60-70% calories from fat, 15-35% from protein and 5-15% from carbs. Making your protein 60-70% (essentially an Atkin’s diet) leaves very little room for fats, and thus is not recommended." (my emp)

Okay, so that is where I might have been going wrong in my first days. I was loading up on proteins, and trying to completely avoid carbs and fats. Then on my egg fasting days, I was going nuts with only fat and protein. No wonder the MyFitnessPal daily breakdown was always out of whack.

Using the above-mentioned guidelines, I taking some pressure off my kidney and liver. Also, I'll be giving myself more room to meal plan because I can work with that amount of carbs and fats.  Let's face it, when there are carbs even in some spices and seasonings, you're going to miss out on lots of flavor somewhere!

Going by these guidelines, I looked at what kinds of meals I could put together for myself. Keep in mind that I have to share a kitchen so I don't spend as much time there as I'd like. So, when it comes to feeding myself, I need simple, quick and (preferably) pre-planned menus. I want to get in, do my thing, then get out of the way.

Based on my weight and activity level, I've mapped out 1800 calories a day for myself. Using the guidelines I just mentioned, I've come up with this as my daily goal:

Meal Ideas that will work best for me look something like this, which is hard to see, I know. It's a really sucky photo, but maybe if you squint. If not, it's bascially a lot of eggs, bacon, and low carb taco bread.

Looka there. Just 1 carb over my limit, but that sodium.... Yikes. I'm trying to compensate for when I go that high on my sodium by drinking extra amounts of water. However, my blood pressure readings are still great. That might have to do with that fact that I'm no longer smoking. Yay, me!

Of course, I can't do the same thing every day. Well, I could, but I don't wanna. I am learning to switch things up with the groceries I still have left for the month - even though I have had to go back to Costco for eggs and bacon.

That freaking sodium! Damnit!

Okay, I only have to persist for a couple more weeks, then I can be smarter with my next grocery-shopping list. So far, it's looking something like this:
  • Eggs (yep, because they are going to be a staple!)
  • Cheese (sharp & medium cheddar, and goat's milk, but not too much b/c of the calories.)
  • Veggies that I will buy in small quantities throughout the month for freshness/lack of waste. Also, I need to watch my budget. (Spinach, broccoli, lot of cucumbers for my water, asparagus, tomatoes, sweet peppers, avocados, and my beloved collard greens and kale.)
  • Nuts (again, not many b/c of calories, but I love sunflower seeds for snacking!)
  • Peanut butter (I've found a great recipe for a peanut butter shake that I can't wait to try.)
  • Almond milk (instead of my delicious Silk Vanilla Soy. (See the chart below)
  • I already have some of the best organic cacao powder around, courtesy of a review I recently did.
  • I also have olive oil, red palm oil, and plenty of coconut oil.
  • Coconut Milk

Apparently, milk choices depends of individual dietary needs. I'm way more concerned about carbs than I am fat, so I can even use heavy cream in some cases.

That peanut butter milkshake is going to be on point! LOL

Once I get through this month and get started on some well thought out meals, I will feel better about my eating regimen. I can't believe that as recently as 40 days ago, I was hitting the stores buying bags and bags of those flavored mashed potatoes (fully loaded, buttered, etc.), and instant soups by the case. No wonder I was swelling up like a black blueberry Wonka chick!

Oh - just for the latest on the weight, so far, I'm down a total of 7 pounds. In the last few weeks, I've lost and gained a couple, but I'm proud of my progress. Also, 7 pounds might not sound like a lot, but I can tell big time when I look at myself naked. Ay yi yi! My face is losing the chubbiness and my clothes are starting to feel more comfortable, probably because most of the loss is in my gut. First to come, first to go.

Here are links to some of the sources I'm using to develop menus and grow into my low carb lifestyle.

This isn't the complete list. Maybe I will put on together at some point. In the meantime, I want to thank Steve, who emailed to help me correct what I was doing wrong. There is also a former co-worker on Facebook who shared some tips. I will ask her permission to share them in another post.

For now, folks, the journey continues. Hope you keep up with me while I ride this out.



I have to emphasis how important it is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. When losing weight and working any way to get into shape, the skin will get nuts if it feels neglected. I'm happy to say that my skin is looking and feeling marvelous.