Friday, 24 June 2011

Update on 4HB Diet and Miscellany

So this is now Week 3. I have lost 2.8kgs to date, walhamdulillah.

Positive points:
• I seem to be cooking more and relying less on takeaways.. this made me realise that although I thought I was cooking at home a lot, in reality breakfast is often a takeaway, and lunch is often skipped, or also a takeaway. Making sure we get enough protein and good fats and staying away from grains requires a lot more home cooking.

• My skin seems to be clearer and looks healthier. At the moment I only cleanse and scrub my face once a week, or whenever it feels grimy, for a few months now. To be truthful, my skin started improving since I started to cleanse my face less religiously, a few months before beginning 4HB. Lately it feels less dry. I think it is all the good fats I am eating.

• My husband's weight loss has also been good, better than mine, in fact. Not a drastic drop, but steady, small decreases.

• Most of the time, I am able to stick to this diet, even though during the week I cheat by having a few spoonfuls of rice. I have switched over to Ponni rice, which needs 3 times the amount of water to cook. Before, we were consuming 1 cup dry (2 cups cooked rice) per meal. Now it is 1/2 cup dry (1 and 1/2 cups cooked rice) per meal. 1/2 cup dry Ponni rice has about 60 calories, according to the label. So we are getting 30 calories each, Compared to about 200 calories for a cup of cooked white rice.

• I do not have an exercise regime as such. Once a week, I go swimming for less than an hour. Occasionally I do stretches or yoga. So the weight loss is mainly from the diet.

• For the 1st 2 and a half weeks I did not use any of the recommended supplements. Yesterday I started popping 1 ALA (alpha lipoeic acid, from GNC) pill before breakfast. We'll see how this goes.

• My husband's blood sugar levels seem to be okay. We measure his blood sugar glucose, blood pressure, weight and pulse everyday.

• We are getting our bloodwork done, so I hope the results are good. We should've done one before we started on the diet, but we didn't have the time to do it then. The results should be out next week.

• I enjoy my Binge day, which is a Sunday so we go out to the movies and eat out. I am surprised that I don't eat as much as I used to. And somehow on Binge day, the thought of being allowed to eat anything makes unhealthy food lose its appeal for me somewhat.

• I only need to lose 5 kgs, so I guess I am halfway there now.


• I still crave unhealthy food. Perhaps this means I need to tweak my food intake a little more.

• In a culture that revolves around food, limiting carbs is very hard. Good thing when I spend time with my parents, they seem to understand. My mother (who is pre-diabetic) is now making a conscious effort to eat more veggies and less rice and sugar. Alhamdulillah.

• I still cheat during the week with some rice. Sigh. But I cook the rice in chicken fat or ghee or red palm oil so I hope the damage is limited.

• I am always cooking so my kitchen was a disaster the 1st few weeks. Things have calmed down a little now walhamdulillah.

• Need to get more veggies in.

• The last few kilos are the hardest to lose, or so I hear. I have a feeling unless I up the ante (exercise... ugh!) my weight loss will plateau.

• Hubby has some joint pain, which he had since before the diet, but it seems to be flaring up a bit. Either from the extra stress at work or perhaps too much protein = gout. I guess the bloodwork will show us which.

• We broke our scale so have to get a new one. Unfortunately the ones in the stores here, we don't like. So no weighings for a few days then.

Anyway we promised ourselves to try it for a month and reevaluate. The blood tests will come in handy then.

Things I am listing and linking so I can read for later (for some reason, I hate using bookmarks):

How the Ideology of Low Fat Conquered America

- interesting read on the origins of the low fat diet.

Where are the No Smoking Signs in Medina? Since they are No Longer in our Hearts, at least Put them on Walls

Despite Exercising More, Weight Continues to Rise
- illustrating correlation does not equal causation. The take home message seems to be exercise alone has less impact on weight loss as other major factors play a bigger role.

Effects of n-3 PUFA on insulin resistance after oral fat load
- "
The current study showed that treatment with n-3 PUFA not only improved lipid profile in a baseline situation, but it also improved all insulin resistance parameters in a post-prandial situation simulated with an OFL."

The case for not restricting saturated fat in a low carbohydrate diet
- "
we believe that the recommendation to restrict saturated fat in favor of unsaturated fat on a low-carbohydrate diet is unnecessary and may even diminish some of the beneficial physiological effects associated with carbohydrate restriction."

Comparison between low-carb diet and standard diet in severely obese people
- "In this 6-month study involving severely obese subjects, we found an overall favorable effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on lipoprotein subfractions, and on inflammation in high-risk subjects. Both diets had similar effects on LDL and HDL subfractions."

The case for low carbohydrate diets in diabetes management
- " These data show low carbohydrate diets to be comparable or better than traditional low fat high carbohydrate diets for weight reduction, improvement in the dyslipidemia of diabetes and metabolic syndrome as well as control of blood pressure, postprandial glycemia and insulin secretion. Furthermore, the ability of low carbohydrate diets to reduce triglycerides and to increase HDL is of particular importance. Resistance to such strategies has been due, in part, to equating it with the popular Atkins diet."

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Help, I am a Sugar Addict! ~ rant

During my student days, my then flatmate went on the Atkins Diet. I honestly thought she was nuts (and also, a little vain!). What, no carbs??? You're eliminating a food group here! And high fat? What's that about? She showed me the cookbook, and said she is aware of ketosis, and because of the the induction phase was only 2 weeks. Okay, I said, but don't expect me to do the diet too (we cook together and share our food). So we ate Atkins-legal main courses, except I added my daily white rice must-haves. I was quite surprised that she actually lost weight, and tolerated the diet well, no hunger pangs and such.

Ah, those were the days when I couldn't gain weight even though I tried hard. I remained consistently underweight for my height. For years I maintained a UK size 8.

Now I have ballooned into a size 14. Argh! At first I was pleased, as I had always wanted some curves, plus it is a good excuse to go shopping. But then I discovered a lot of the stuff I liked was made for skinny Asian pre-teens. And people started commenting on my weight. :-P!

But still I didn't care so much, after all a size is just a number, right? Until a lot of chronic diseases hit home, to family members. Suddenly I started to realise being too fat may be bad for your health. So we did all the usual low fat, low sugar stuff, cutting down on processed food, etc.etc.

And now it seems that it's the carbs/sugar that is making us fat. Seriously????? Now you tell me???

I am the sort of person that NEEDS her daily servings of rice. Otherwise I feel hungry. And now I might just need to watch out coz diabetes runs in the family??? I guess being young(er) just made me feel invincible, like, it could not EVER happen to me, right?

This is Day 2 of restricted carbs. And I have these slight pangs of hunger, but when before I would just down some rice/noodles, now I should snack on eggs. Or nuts. Argh. Yesterday was the worst; I actually fasted yesterday, but managed to pretty much sahur and iftar on the diet. Alhamdulillah. So far it has been a frenzied cooking learning curve for me: adjusting meals so we get enough nutrients yet remain low carbs.

I recommend Gary Taubes' 'Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It' for further details.