Initiation (or what prof. Noakes is saying)

(Week 1) Short introduction into underlying reasoning for Low Carb approach and how the first steps were taken on this journey.

Basically, the main problem in our current nutrition is the addictive nature of sugar/carbohydrates. And if this is coupled with the person’s inability to properly metabolize large quantities of carbohydrates (i.e. condition known as carbohydrate resistance), then this can manifest itself into diabetes, heart disease, weight gain and other now common health issues. His advice on how to change our eating habits (not diet!) is very simple: remove/reduce carbohydrates in your nutrition. Which means no sugar, sugary drinks and processed food, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals, sweets, desserts. And replace them with eggs, fish, meat, vegetables, full fat dairy products, nuts and water for thirst.

What prof. Noakes is saying

What prof. Noakes is saying

As sugar, sugary drinks, sweets and desserts were already mostly out of my diet, this was a no problem for me. Pasta, cereals and rice would be manageable, but being a huge fan of bread (and pizza!) I knew that dropping bakery products would not be easy. Nevertheless, I decided to try this new approach to living and training, as I was tinkering with the idea of going gluten free before and this was a nice opportunity to try this as well.

First, I decided that I would track my food consumption on daily basis in order to get a feel for carbohydrate intake. As a conscious eater I already used self-developed excel sheet for some of my dishes to see and control it’s nutritional composition. With slight modifications I changed it to allow me for tracking of grams of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber and calories on daily, weekly and monthly basis.

With the tools and food scale in place, it was time to start. And it was the breakfast on the 25th of November, when eggs replaced the so-much-beloved cereals-banana-raisins-cheddar cheese-milk combination (usually in excess of 200 g of carbs!!!). Then came lunch, dinner, next breakfast and grams of consumed carbs started to drop. First to about 150 g per day, then as I was getting more feel for sugar containing foods to 100 g and to under 50 g for the third week. As my menu was quite simple rotation of a couple of dishes for breakfast, couple for lunch and dinner and couple as daytime snacks, my adaptation to such lifestyle was quite smooth. The results in terms of weight loss and general well-being were very promising, I also didn’t have any problems with compliance whatsoever. I even got more motivated, started reading a lot of scientific literature on this low-carb living along with excellent books by Gary Taubes, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Loren Cordain, Jeff Volek, Stephen Phinney and others.

Lessons learned:

  • Change of diet was easy, mainly because of high motivation for promising results.

Various observations:

  • Initially it was hard to shop for food, as virtually everything has added sugar in some form. Gluten was additional limiting factor, so basically all processed food are not suitable. The shopping list therefore consisted of real food: vegetables, meat from local butcher, organic eggs, and full-fat dairy products.

Detailed weekly nutrition data

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