Early weight loss
I’m five days in to my Keto Diet Reboot, and feeling fine. The pounds are melting away — two of them, so far. At my weigh-in this morning, I tipped the scales at 225.6 pounds. That’s about what I weighed in May of this year, so I’m not too excited. In fact, for the next 20 pounds, I’m just going to be losing fat pounds that I’ve already lost one or two times over my years of LCHF living.
That’s how it is in the real world. But I’ve never come close to regaining ALL the weight I lost, and my waist circumference today is five or six inches less than in early 2011.
For most of this week, I’ve been preoccupied with my protein intake. What is the optimal amount of protein for me? It turns out to be a hard question. There are several factors to consider, and competing points of view. I finally decided to consult my old data sets, the food and weight logs that I kept when I was losing serious poundage. After all, I had lost considerable weight, with no apparent ill effects from too much or too little protein.
According to the food logs, during two periods of significant weight loss, I had consumed an average of 128 grams and 87 grams of protein per day, respectively. The calories from protein were 28% and 20% of my total calories consumed. (See Low Carb Nugget 62 for more details.)
It’s the carbs, stupid
Of course, I was eating more than protein. I was eating lots of fat and a little carbohydrate. My main focus was on restricting my net carbs (total carbohydrate minus fiber).
Again looking at my data, during those same two periods of significant weight loss, I averaged 32 grams and 35 net carbs per day. Carbs represented 9% and 10% of total calories consumed.
In other words, my protein consumption in these two periods of weight loss varied a lot, but my carb consumption did not. As a percent of calories, my fat consumption also varied more than my carb consumption did. (The percentages for fat in the two periods were 62% and 69%.)
I assert that the low level of net carbs in my diet was most responsible for my success.
Low carb was my rock.
Be consistent, and keep a food log
Here are some high carb foods that I did NOT eat this week:
- ice cream
- soda pop
Before I started eating LCHF six years ago, I consumed four or five of the foods on the above list every day. Hardly a week went by when I didn’t consume at least one serving of all eight.
I haven’t consumed any of those on a regular basis in the last six years, and have avoided pop altogether, but occasionally I’ve let a small serving of bread, pasta, or rice pass my lips. Even a potato chip. Or three. Yes, even a scoop of ice cream.
But not this week, and not for the next 12 weeks, at least.
That’s part of what my diet reboot is about — getting serious and consistent in restricting carbs. If you’re eating LCHF, that has to be your first goal: CUT THE CARBS. The only way I know to do that is to keep a food log. That’s the level of control necessary.
Where have my carbs come from this week? Mostly from broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, and spinach. Plus a few squares of dark chocolate.
This week (Monday to Friday), my average daily total carbs were 34 grams, and my average fiber, 13 grams. That means I ate an average of 21 net carbs per day.
It’s a lower daily average for net carbs than in those two earlier periods of weight loss, but I think that’s OK. This is an induction phase, after all.