A friend and I both went on weight loss plans at the same time. Mine was a low carb one while she went on some doctor-regulated diet where she only drank chemically balanced smoothies. In the beginning, I lost more weight, but she soon caught up to me and passed me by never allowing solid food to touch her lips. I’m not sure what was in the smoothies, but it wasn’t food. After reaching her goal, she looked great and was ready to re-incorporate food in her diet. Whenever I saw her, she was having a free day and eating some forbidden item.
At first, her behavior made me wonder if I was being too strict, counting all my carbs reading labels for hidden carbs, cruising parties with a bottle of water and buffet shrimp on my plate. I joined her in the free day movement telling myself it was only this once. This stretched to family reunions and get togethers where I rationalized someone would be hurt if I didn’t eat their noodle casserole. The occasional restaurant stop didn’t have me wolfing down a cheeseburger and fries, but often I was unaware what went into their dishes. A simple entrée I thought was meat and cabbage arrived in a pastry crust drizzled with sauce.
As you probably guessed, my friend and I gained back the weight we loss. Her gain was twenty percent of what she lost. While mine was five pounds of the thirty. I realized what I had done with the long winter I’d sampled cookies, chucked back mixed drinks, even ate pie on a few occasions. I believed just this once wouldn’t hurt. After all, I wasn’t on the induction phase anymore, but I wasn’t counting carbs either.
I had no clue how many carbs I was ingesting. Even when I ate lower carb food if I ate enough of it while watching television, I still packed on the carbs. I also stretched out the size of my stomach undoing the work I’d done earlier teaching it proper portion control.
My Atkins mentor reminded me to get back on the wagon as opposed to berating my fate. I started back at the induction phase and dropped two pounds in two days. I knew the remedy all along.
I realize there are plenty of people who will insist you can’t subsist on protein alone. I agree. However, all those carb-rich treats I gobble didn’t taste as good as I imagined they would. The potatoes sat heavy in my stomach while the sugar in the desserts grated on my teeth.
On my low carb journey, I’ve discovered low or no-carb products, low carb recipes, and delicious alternatives to traditional carb-rich foods. Switching to low carb isn’t a diet, but a life style. Unfortunately, like my friend I treated it as a diet.
When I was thirty pounds heavier, I ate whatever I wanted from cookies to loaded nachos and consumed the guilt along with them. Thanks to LC Foods, I can still have my nachos and cookies in tasty, low carb varieties. My local Meijer has several low carb brands now, which shows I’m not the only person concerned with my carb intake.
As for free days, they’re never free. They tend to group together similar to sticky buns. One begets another. It probably won’t hurt me to have a free ITEM a week. Notice I didn’t say meal. A meal stretches out the smaller stomach and makes me yearn for more carbs.
Usually after eating low carb for so long, the item I want never tastes as good as I’d imagined it would. Yesterday I dined out with my sister and received a meal I thought would be low carb, but wasn’t. I could have sent the meal back, but I didn’t. An easier option is to stick to meals I know are low carb or restaurants I’m familiar with since I’ll know which entrees to order. As for me, I’ve put myself back on the Induction Phase. I’ve learned my lesson about free days.
Sometimes our reliance on carbs is more of an addiction than a lifestyle choice. Here's an article that delve into this concept.