Sometimes I forget that this is a blog and I can write posts without getting too “in-depth” on the topics I cover, or writing ad nauseam to the point where readers will lose interest halfway and stop reading. But that’s me…. I have a tendency to ramble, even when it’s in written form. Just look at right now…. Instead of getting to the point of my post, I’m rambling about NOT getting to the point of my post. But I digress…
I recently wrote about a change in diet where I started to reduce the amount of carbohydrates that I consume. I haven’t been trying to eliminate them, mind you. That would be bad. Carbohydrates are the body’s source of fuel, and trying to eliminate them completely can have some detrimental effects on the body. But in an effort to spur along some weight-loss efforts on my part, I’ve made some gentle changes to my overall diet.
For the most part, I’m not the worst eater in the world. Hell, I’m not even the worst eater in the circle of people that I know. I’m aware of some people that I know that eat like a trash can (their words, not mine) and consume pretty much whatever they want. While some people may have the metabolism to do that and still look stunning, I do not. And I recently took stock of my body, age, weight and overall health and I recognized that I ain’t getting any younger and change to the body becomes harder as you age, for a variety of reasons.
I’m by no means obese. I don’t believe I’m even overweight, insofar as I can tell but I’m no doctor. But I have developed a rather significant case of “dad bod” in the past couple of years, which I attribute to a combination of stress from recent events combined with good ol’ COVID-19. But those excuses will only stand on their own for so long, especially for someone who doesn’t believe in excuses. So, what have I been doing? Well, let me share that with you…
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve cut down on the total amount of carbohydrates that I consume in the course of a day. This has been pretty easy to do and is actually far simpler than people think. When someone tells you, “Cut down on carbs” it suddenly feels like you may starve. After all, what is one to do without potatoes, bread and snack foods on the weekends? They key word here is “reduce,” not eliminate.
My mornings start with caffeine. I think that should be obvious and if it’s not, you don’t know me at all and haven’t been reading my blog for long. Breakfast, whenI have time to consume one, will usually consist of eggs and/or bacon and on the rare occasion, an English muffin that weighs in at about 10 grams of carbs. Any or all of those individual components will do. I typically ensure my lunch, which is eaten at work is entirely carb-free. This is the main area where I make up the difference. It will include a lean protein, such as chicken, as well as some salad and perhaps cheese and a handful of nuts. I’ve recently taken to enjoying the occasional small cup of yogurt for it’s benefits, as well.
Do nuts have carbs? Why, yes! Yes, they do! But they happen to be filled with a bunch of shit that’s good for you, like the healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. And 100 grams of mixed nuts comes in at only about 20 grams of carbs, so I limit myself to an extremely small clutch of them, usually pecans. They’re excellent for adding some crunch to your salad or just eating them on their own. If I DON’T include a few nuts (and I don’t mean my coworkers) then my lunch is typically carb-free. Even if I do, I’m looking at 30 grams of carbs to my day, thus far. Not so bad when you consider that I would typically consume more than that in a single meal before I started limiting my total intake. Hell, the average sandwich will come in at about 30 grams of carbs when one considers the two slices of bread.
At supper, I will allow myself to indulge in whatever meal my lovely wife has prepared, carbs or not. That being said, I’ll limit my portion. So if there are mashed potatoes, I’ll have half the scoop I usually would. Same for pastas, rice or noodle dishes. But dinner is usually where I will allow the MOST carbs of my three meals, bearing in mind that one needs fuel to keep going. Last but not least, I’ve all but eliminated evening snacking. This doesn’t mean I won’t allow myself to indulge during movie nights on the weekend or there won’t be the occasional exception if hunger strikes. But I for the most part, I’ve eliminated snacking, which most people should do since eating late at night is horrible for your body.
So, have there been any results? I’m glad you asked that question (if you’re still reading by this point) because there have! I’ve been at this “mild” change for approximately a month, now. I started out at just below 220 pounds. That’s right, folks! It ain’t ALL muscle…. My wife and I recently bought a new scale and my habit has been to wake in the morning, deal with my morning ablutions (look that up, if you don’t know what it is!) remove my pump and step on the scale.
As of last week, I was down to about 210-213 pounds. Okay, okay, not so bad…. I’m burning some off…. Two days ago, I decided I was hungry enough and my wife had made some shredded chicken, so I made a plate of nachos. I was in the linen closet for something and decided to step on the scale, just for the hell of it. Lo and behold, I was down to 203 pounds! Without removing my pump and cell phone. After a full plate of nachos. I’m considering that I may have been even a pound lighter.
This post ran on for far longer than I expected. If you’ve read all the way to this point, the lesson here is that a small change can make a noticeable difference. And since the warmer weather has kicked in, I’ve started to include some 10k bike rides and outside workouts, which have no doubt helped. Will I ever get back to my 165-pound weight I had after basic training? I’m willing to say not a chance in hell. Besides, I have more muscle mass now than I did, back then. Yes, I’m bragging. But it’s truthful bragging. But to be able to break that 200-pound threshold and maintain it, is my goal.
Last but not least, it’s been a lot smoother on my blood sugars. Less carbohydrates mean less insulin bolusing, less miscalculations on how many grams of carbs I’m actually consuming and less high’s and low’s. So much so, that my pump consistently asks for added BG readings because it hasn’t had to micro-bolus as much. Better blood sugars mean better overall A1C’s and better overall health. I’m not going hungry, I allow the occasional indulgence and I’m losing weight and getting healthier. It’s a win-win. As with all things, even if this works for me, it may not work for you. Be sure to consult your doctor or a dietitian before making any serious change in diet or lifestyle.☯️