Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Carb Frustration

My eating is still off. I am not eating any junk (candy, bakery stuff, no more pizza or chips) but it seems whenever I let my carbs go really high like I did  a few days ago, it is hard for me to get them back down. I crave carbs.

In fact, yesterday I was having some nostalgia as I ponder the comments recently left for me, and I started longing for a simple bowl of steel cut oatmeal with walnuts and berries in it. I was rationalizing to myself about how healthy this would be and made myself 1 serving (1/4 c dry) oatmeal with 2 Tbsp nuts, 1/3 cup of blueberries, some Stevia drops and 1/4 cup of 2% milk. I thought, maybe this will help me feel better. Maybe I don't really have to eat low carb. This is gluten free and sugar free and surely my body will be thankful for the nutrition. Well, my body was not thankful. I felt awful. I got the old familiar headache, slight nausea, and just felt completely awful for a couple of hours. And then I just craved more carbs all day. I think eating that many carbs (40g) at a sitting makes my blood sugar all kinds of unstable. And unstable blood sugar, in me at least, causes headaches and a sort of shaky feeling.

I managed to eat on plan about 80% of the time this week. I've eaten tuna mixed with light mayo in Romaine lettuce leaves, Indian spiced chicken breast with broccoli, and just plain salad. I feel better spacing my food in the Medifast fashion, with a shake or other low carb/high protein mini meal every 2-3 hours.

I think back to when I was a kid and sometimes I get a little angry at the way I was taught and allowed to eat. Who gives a toddler chocolate ice cream for breakfast?? I mean really?? I can almost... ALMOST understand the "standard American breakfast" I was usually given of Cocoa Krispies, Fruity Pebbles, Frosted Flakes and Cocoa Puffs... but ice cream? Why was my lunch so often a hot dog on a white bun with a side of Cheetos? Why was a second grader given potato chips in almost every packed lunch for school, along with a sandwich on Wonder bread? Why was I given Coke, and taken to McDonalds so often I almost thought I lived there? How do you justify having a pantry full of Oreos and giving your kid Kraft macaroni and cheese every weekend, letting them slather margarine on everything, melting Velveeta on their broccoli, giving them a bowl of processed cheese spread for an after school snack, and frying their eggs in bacon grease? I dunno, it just frustrates me because all of those things set my tastes for life. But none of it matters now, really. I am just PMS venting.

I emailed the Medifast dietitians about possibly adding more produce to to my menu (with a 4 & 2 perhaps, which is a different Medifast plan) and am just trying to stay off the carbs and wait til I hear back from them.


CatherineMarie said...

Question...when you eat carbs, do you usually combine them with stevia? I ask because I know people (myself included) who have problems with stevia.

I've found, for me, the secret of including carbs is to have them at night. I feel full all night and sleep well when I have carbs for dinner. Maybe the trick is figuring out WHEN carbs can work for you. Its like Bittman... for him, he does better if he stays vegan before a certain time (I think it is 8). For me, I do better having carbs at night rather than during the day. I keep it more protein/veggie oriented during the day. Last night, for example, I had an omelet for dinner, and I was awake all night... urgh.

Here's an interesting article on stevia:

Noxie said...

I pretty much ate the same way you did as a kid Lyn. My mother just didn't know any better. MANY mornings I helped myself to choco cake or cherry pie for breakfast. I didn't care for hot dogs but I did eat a lot of bologna on white bread with a bag of potato chips and Little Debbie treats for lunch. It does make me angry that I cannot continue to eat that way but like you, if I do, I feel just horrible pain and inflammation. The healthier I eat the better I feel. It truly is a constant struggle to change this lifestyle, isn't it??

Hugs and positive thoughts coming your way.

Sunnydaze said...

I can so relate to you. I lost 63 pounds 3 years ago and gained it all back and then some. I know alot of mine was emotional eating but when I got that under control and still wasn't losing weight I knew something else was up. I quit grains and 95% of sugars and I have no cravings and my weight is coming off at a very nice pace now. I've lost 15 pounds in about 2 months. I feel better than I have in a long while and all of my aches are gone. I know that if I have one bit of grains or sweets I will be back off track in a heartbeat so I've gotta stay strong. I eat fruit if I want something sweet now. I hope you figure out what works for you to get rid of the cravings. You're doing so well.

Anonymous said... (Matt's book on this issue is not updated, but this article is good.)

Just like optimizing metabolism includes eating more, optimizing glucose clearance includes eating those foods that improves the body's ability to clear glucose normally (improved metabolism is part of this). One thing I've learned throughout all of this is that so many of these "weight/diet related illnesses" actually develop as a result of dieting, especially repeated dieting. Dieting/calorie restriction(not eating enough food in order for the body to function properly) is a huge stress on the entire body.

"You need to be healthy to lose weight, not lose weight to be healthy."

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention, if the body is having negative reactions to food (as a result of dieting), it's not proof that the food should be eliminated from the diet, rather that the body needs to be healed in order to be able to handle the food normally again.

When a person takes steps towards eating normally again, it necessarily involves a period of discomfort. Healing of any type usually includes a period of discomfort, beginning with step one until healing is complete.

Anonymous said...

I get upset at the food I was raised on, and have to remind myself that my mother did the best she could at the time. Artificial was considered superior in some sense. The pendulum hadn't swung back to fresh, natural, unprocessed food as the preference. My mother was raised in poverty and she raised me in abundance. So much so that I was over 100 pounds as a 7 year old, and my sister had high blood pressure at the age of 3.
Lifelong struggle with my weight and blood sugar. Honestly, I believe that large amounts of carbs/sugar over a period of time produce changes in brain chemistry in the way that drugs can. Your brain is set up to get that reward rush if you do eat carbs/sugar. I cant do "cheat days" or meals the way many people can, because it sets me up for intense cravings and struggle the rest of the week. Like an alcoholic can't just have one drink.

Lyn said...


actually, I just switched to Stevia about a month ago. I was using Splenda before that. Last time I had oatmeal (and got a headache from it) was months ago and I put brown sugar in it. So it isn't the Stevia... I use that daily without issue. I will read your link though, thank you!

Interesting thought about the timing of carbs.

Thanks all for the support and thoughts.

LHA said...

Lyn, this is such a touchy, difficult issue for just about everyone struggling with weight! The craving for carbs, the (somtimes)comfort attained from consuming them, the inevitable intensified craving from eating seems like an unsolvable problem. I don't have the headaches and joint aches and other side effects from carbs that you have, but I know others do. I certainly don't feel as good when I eat a lot of sugary foods.

I learned long ago that if I follow a very restrictive diet such as medifast, at some point I am going to have a breakthrough carb binge. Complete abstinence gives the food too much power and importance and makes it irresistible to me. Even though it is hard I MUST eat some carby foods, even sugar, at intervals. I try to really limit how often those occasions occur. It is my only hope of losing weight and not immediately regaining it like I have done dozens of times. At this point I have lost about 60 pounds and am still losing. I try not to ever feel guilty or "bad" for eating anything, and that has helped my emotional response to food too.

By the way, I was also raised on lots of sugary foods. I tried to do a better job with my own children.

I hope you find a way to deal with carb cravings and I will be excited to read about it. My solution is far from perfect and I'm open to suggestions. There are so many of us fighting the same battle! Thanks for blogging.

Heather said...

i felt awful when i started eating carbs again too, and then, i started to feel better. emma quoted a lot of good info there.

do you ever take your body temp to see what it is lyn? just curious if it is normal or low.

dlamb said...

Lyn, I understand your frustration with your eating history and ultimately, unless you asked the question and it was answered, you will never know the reason you were fed those specific foods.
I am certainly not in a position to defend anyone, especially in retrospect but I DO remember the commercials for just about all the food items you mentioned. They were presented as "healthy", full of vitamins and nutrients and most importantly, KIDS LIKED THEM. Far be it for me to psychoanalyze a woman I did not know, but considering the limitations of your religion, re. Holidays and special events, I wonder if on some level, you received daily what your mom may have thought you were missing on all those special occasions you did not celebrate.

On some level, as upset as you are with many aspects of your childhood, at least re. food choices, people were misinformed, as they were about cigarette smoking, sun exposure and I don't know, driving without a seatbelt. IF you indicated that you enjoyed the foods that were touted as healthy, perhaps your mom (if she was the primary caretaker), may actually have been attempting to bring you some pleasure. You are really good at introspection and the analysis of your relationship with your parents; maybe you can figure it out and stop torturing yourself. A retrospective look is often helpful, but what you may find even more efficient, in terms of your ability to move forward, is to reach a conclusion and start from there, with the knowledge you have gained about your history and the (hopefully) correct information you have at the present time about health as well as your own, individual needs.
Best wishes as always.

Susan said...

Glad to hear others are catching on to this. You have to eat to live. You have to eat to reclaim your health. You have to get your body temp up to burn calories naturally. I don't want to poo poo anyone's diet.. but this does deserve a look.. is also a good source. Amber lost 80 lbs eating...eating enough so that all her organs were nourished to do their job.

Anonymous said...

I didn't eat any of that crap for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and I still got fat. Possibly I ate it like crazy when I got a chance, since I didn't get it at home.

EmmaW said...

I don't know why my previous comment used my blog name (eattoliveabundantly), but that was me.


I do like a lot of what Amber (gokaleo) says. The calorie calculator she uses is the most accurate one I've seen. The main concern I have with her site is that a person who has a lot of damage from years of dieting/restricting/ED recovers better if they avoid exercise until they recover, and that's not talked about from what I've seen.

Shelley Ubeika said...

Isn't it amazing? I wish my parents and grandparents had loved sticking a big salad in front of me instead of McD's and pizza!

jeanniebean said...

I have a question for the group as a whole. I find that to lose weight I have to do a LOT of cardio. But I have been told to increase your metabolism and maintain weight, you need to build muscle.
Do you think weight and resistance training might help Lyn boost her metabolism and lose weight quicker? I know her injury has prevented the more aerobic type of exercise, but resistance bands and light weights (for upper body) might help her get over this hump.


Lyn said...


last year I joined a gym for about 3.5 months. I went 3x/week and did strength training with increasing weights (upper body, core, and seated lower body work) and while I did FEEL good about what I was doing, it did not boost my weight loss at all. I also was swimming some of the times I went to the gym, but mainly I was focused on the weights.