As I’ve posted before, I’ve seen great physical results and better lab results with the Paleo diet, especially removing gluten 100% from my diet.
I’ve consistently kept off 20 lbs for about 15 months. However, I have been yo-yo-ing another 15 lbs for the past 6 months due entirely to eating too much sugar (and other foods that convert to sugar, like chips). My feet/legs also swell up if I have too much sugar.
I went back to low-carb Atkins for a bit and lost the weight, but my hair started thinning again and my fatigue returned. Prior to that, most of my remaining fatigue was resolved with Vitamin D supplements (6,000 iu/day).
So my new solution – in addition to eating Paleo and 100% gluten free – is “carb backloading.”
Although my blood sugar levels are almost normal now, I have had a lifetime history of insulin & leptin issues, since infancy. The good news is that my pancreas is also abnormally resilient. Per my doctor based on my previous pre-Paleo diet insulin levels, I should have become an insulin-dependent diabetic 10 years ago. He said my levels of insulin at that time were toxic, except that I’d built up such a huge resistance to insulin.
Soooo… I think my insulin levels are still higher than normal although my other markers have improved. I still have 60 lbs of mostly central obesity to lose. Obviously a low-carb ketogenic diet is the answer, but if I don’t eat at least 45-70 carbs/day it impacts my thyroid negatively, as much as 25% of function per lab tests. I feel better at about 100 carbs/day.
Enter my solution: Carb Backloading. Based loosely on “The Carbohydrate Addict’s Diet” from the 1990’s. I eat a ketogenic diet for 23 hours a day. For 1 hour per day (dinner is best) I can eat insulin-spiking foods like: fruit, starch, nuts, sweets, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.
The rest of the day is like Atkins “induction” phase with only meat, eggs, veggies and fats. Coffee & tea are also ok. Cream, butter and cheese are also allowed if you can tolerate dairy – I use ghee.
Technically you can “pig out” during the one hour, but I don’t plan to do that often. I have already lost 2 pounds in 2 days by pushing my higher carbs foods to the end of the day. My appetite is totally gone as well! And I don’t feel sick like I do on Atkins “induction” phase.
Obviously I won’t be able to do this every day or on vacation, but if I can follow this approach most days I think it will really help with insulin control. I was eating more fruit and nuts throughout the day than I’d realized. I’ll keep you posted on my progress!