Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Reducing Carbs Without Restricting

So far this week, I'm still not seeing any movement on the scale. I want to keep the trend heading downward, but still am not interested in diving into a diet-and-restriction mindset to get there. But I do think I can make a couple of dietary changes without feeling restricted... and that's by reducing carbs.

My most enjoyed foods (not most craved, but most delicious when I am eating them) are fresh fruits, meats, and vegetables. I've really gotten a taste for healthy, real foods; I also really love avocados, eggs, nuts, and seeds. But if I have a craving, it's usually for grain-based carbs. I might get it in my head that I *want* some candy or a cookie or some crackers... and that's fine, I can have one small serving and move on. But the more often I crave and eat those things, the more often I choose them over healthier, whole food alternatives. And I have seen that obviously when I choose more carbs, I maintain my weight (228) instead of losing. So starting now, the carbs are getting trimmed. No, I am not going to count carbs or anything else. But when I am hungry and think I'd like some crackers, I am going to stop and think about what I would have instead if I were still eating gluten free. I used to eat my tuna salad on cucumber slices or celery sticks, and that tastes good to me! If I really do want some crackers I can have 2 or 3 with my veggies and tuna, instead of 6 or 8 without the veggies. Or if I think I'd like a cookie, I can stop and realize that I would actually enjoy a Clementine more. Funny, but the *idea* of a cookie is sometimes more appealing than a piece of fruit, but the fruit almost always tastes better than the cookie does. It's not to say I *cannot* have certain foods, but that I think twice about whether that food is what I really want. It's a small adjustment that I think will make the difference between maintaining and losing.

It's starting to look a lot like spring (sunnier, but still a bit cold) and I've noticed that the neighbor's huge sycamore tree shed its leaves long after I had already raked my yard... and then gusting winds blew those big leaves all over my yard, into corners around the porch, around the fence and under the deck. That will give me some good exercise this week as I get out there and rake and bag the leaves, trim the trees and bushes, and get the yard ready for spring. I'm excited and can't wait to get out more as the weather improves!

I feel good and believe I am finally on the right track. My eating has changed so much over the past few years and finally feels pretty close to "normal," with absolutely no binge eating, almost nonexistent compulsive/obsessive food thoughts, and a calmness about food that I haven't felt since before I got up to 200 pounds back in the 90's. I hope to never go back to that chaotic, out-of-control, desperate state I lived in for over a decade. Freedom feels good!


Anonymous said...

I'm curious about your typical meals. Random: what was your dinner tonight? What will be your breakfast tomorrow? How low carb are we talking?

Lyn said...


I am not counting carbs, so I can't tell you how many grams I average per day or per meal. When I do eat them I try to make them healthier and not grain based (fruit, sweet potato, winter squash, etc).

Dinner was tacos for the family. I had taco meat over salad with avocado, salsa, and a little sour cream, plus a Clementine. Breakfast will probably be a Greek yogurt, or bacon with avocado and a pear, or maybe some soft boiled eggs with butter. And always some decaf coffee!

TheAgonyOfBeingFat said...

I have never known what it's like to not be obsessive/compulsive about food. At least not as an adult.

It sounds like you have a good plan. I'm sure the scale will move again soon!

Karen said...

Let your home glucose meter be your guide. Don't have one? get one. Some foods will result in higher glucose and HA1c ( and binge urges) some will not.

At this point, using an injectable diabetes medication requires more intense n=1 in my opinion. Your weight and wellness outcomes depend on it.

Lyn said...


It's no fun at all! I would sometimes see or hear about a certain food and get it stuck in my head until I felt absolutely compelled to go buy it and eat it. It is such a relief to be freed from those kinds of all-encompassing thoughts.


Don't worry, I'm in good hands! I have an excellent endocrinologist and I trust her treatment plan for me :)

Lori said...

I love the peace I am reading between the lines here. You are exactly where you need to be mentally. The weight will slowly melt away and one day you'll realize your pants are too big. I am happy for you.

I think I have the same mindset sometimes about cookies. I like the idea of a cookie but a clementine tastes better. I'm going to try and remember that the fruit tastes better and is just as easy to pick up and eat, and it is just a better choice healthwise. It IS a choice.

Lyn said...


yes! That's exactly how I feel. Isn't it nice to realize that fruit actually is what we WANT and not something we "have" to pick over a cookie?? Love it. Glad you have some of this peace too!

Karen said...

Glucose monitoring is not treatment, but simply a monitoring tool that many of us, including me use to work with our MD's. My MD told me to eat pomegranate seeds for dessert

Unfortunately that recommended task produces diabetes like glucose readings. Not my fault, high risk genes are expressing themselves in my fruit environment.

Here's to honoring your genetics and your environment. My food template chose me. No pomegranates required. I have to be an equal partner WITH my MD and my gene expression. I had to go back and tell her, no , here's what's working.

Here's to using the data, when you are ready. the food will choose you. Results you want will be the outcome.

Lyn said...


yes! We need to advocate for ourselves and let our doctors know when we have information that can help them treat us more appropriately. That's why I changed endocrinologists last year... this one is my partner in achieving my best health.

Rachel rbs said...

Sounds like a wonderful plan! I'm trying to cut back on the carbs, too, without completely restricting anything. I find I'm more satisfied with whole, real food.

MICHF1T said...

I love your attitude. I am also on a journey to change my relationship with food. All my life, I've used food to soothe every feeling and I am just admitting this to myself this year. It makes all the difference! No more denial. No more pretending. I've started my own blog and am working up the courage to share it with the world. I'm hoping that this time is different and that I will make a significant and lasting change for my SELF. Cheers to you!

Josie said...

Lyn, just be honest with Karen and tell her you're not interested in glucose monitoring, regardless that you're taking medicine to control it. Karen deserves that for her effort.

Lyn said...

Thanks Josie, but I already have explained to Karen on her past comments that my endocrinologist does not recommend glucose monitoring for me at this time, and that she does regular A1C tests instead.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I've NEVER had an MD tell me NOT to monitor. Even when I was just taking pills. Now, back when I was first diagnosed (25 years ago), monitoring and tight control hadn't quite risen to the status they have now, but even then, I was told to check my glucose levels--now and then--after a meal. Just to see how thigns were going.

Now, of course, glucose monitory has been recognized as a necessary element to good control and wise decision making. Whether for those who are only diet controlled or for those, like you, who have to take meds, glucose monitoring adds light to your situation.

For instance, I know that apples are harder on my glucose than mashed potatoes and that, in fact, an average serving of mashed potatoes has little impact at all. I found that any kind of dry cereal sky rockets my glucose to over 300, even those without sugar. And, if I go more than 5 hours between meals, my glucose rises all on its own, so even if I don't have time to eat, I need to dose up some Novolog to hold me over. Good to know.

Right now, you are fortunate that your diabetes is not fully formed. If you want to test, I would think that your MD would prescribe that meter and your insurance will pay ost of the cost.

JDET said...

Lyn, I found your blog today while searching for a low carb meatloaf. I scrolled all the way back to your weight loss diet journey recap you wrote last year. I found it fascinating in some ways, sad in others, and uplifting in others. I really admire that you have worked at this so long. My husband apparently died the same month you lost your best friend. You didn't give up on yourself for months as I did. You should be proud of yourself for that. Frank and I were both career Air Force officers. When I buried him in Arlington, a college friend and fellow ROTC grad showed up and said she couldn't believe I could still fit in my uniform 8 years after retirement. 6 months later I couldn't. Then I got to the point that almost nothing I owned fit, but I didn't want to admit it, so I wore long sweaters to hide my too tight pants. But, except for a little embarrassment, I still didn't care. I had to lie down on the bed to zip my "big" jeans. I couldn't wear anything else, but was unwilling to admit that I'd lost all control bu buying bigger clothes. I even went to a contemporary church service so I could wear jeans. Thanks to my cardiologist having a yard of my butt,I am losing the weight, but it's not easy. I think your attitude is great. I will be following your progress. It's really inspiring.

Lyn said...


I have never heard of a doctor telling people to do home monitoring if they're not diabetic, but then I don't have much experience with the reasons doctors ask patients to home monitor. I have friends who are diabetic who have to monitor; I don't know of any friends who are not diabetic who were told to monitor. I'd certainly do it if my doctor suggested it. My A1C and fasting blood glucose results have never gotten to even the pre-diabetes range. Close... but always still within the normal range. It's slowly going down; I think my last A1C was 5.1 which is well within normal range. The shots were prescribed to help with blood sugar swings/drops between meals that left me shaky and ravenous. They've really helped with that by stabilizing the blood sugar.

I think most meter companies give out free glucose meters via places like Rite Aid and Walgreens (anyone who wants a meter, you can Google "free glucose meter" and find printout coupons for these). I feel like my doctor's plan for me is working well, so I don't see any reason to start doing home testing on my own right now.


I am so sorry for your loss. I saw your other comment and I relate; my blood pressure also went sky high from grief and I was on a much higher blood pressure medication dose than I am now. Losing your husband had to be so devastating; it would be hard NOT to give up for awhile after that. Be proud of yourself for caring now and working on it now. You deserve that and I'm sure your husband would want you to be healthy and happy. Hugs, I hope you continue getting healthier and healing in every way.