Thought for the Day--March 16, 2011: What Works for You and Insulin Resistance

Today's thought:
Throw away all diet and lifestyle dictums and advice that don't work for and with you.
This website and all the diet and lifestyle plans can give you all the advice in the world, but if it doesn't work for you, then it doesn't serve you well.

Ultimately, you and your doctor need to find the diet balance that will best help you lose weight and develop your optimal lifestyle.

I am insulin resistant, which is a precursor to type 2 Diabetes. If I manage my resistance, I am less likely to develop Diabetes.

A few years ago, I was on a very low carb diet, but, ultimately, I could not sustain it, no matter how hard I tried. I just hated it, I felt deprived, and I was depressed. No matter how much my doctor tried to rah-rah me into staying the course by telling me that the goal outweighed the sacrifice, I just couldn't buy into it.

So, of course, I ultimately slipped off the diet wagon and gained all the weight back and then some. More importantly, I was risking my health, for people who are insulin resistant often revert back to that which harms them: a high carb and high fat diet. In short, from that low carb diet, I had not only given up the low carb, but I had picked up another bad habit (which I didn't have before the diet): eating tons of fatty foods.

On September 11, I decided to take matters into my own hands, to take what I learned about my insulin resistance and develop my own diet, based on my personal needs.

This is what I discovered:
I could incorporate a lower carb diet and still feel satisfied and keep my insulin resistance in check and lose weight.
For about a month, I simply incorporated trial and error into my daily diet. I was looking to achieve four goals:
1. A sustainable weight-loss diet that would incorporate, from day one, aspects of a maintenance program. In other words, I needed to allow myself some leeway, even if it meant a slower weight loss (it has, and I'm okay with that).

2. A healthy diet that addressed my insulin resistance.

3. An enjoyable, non-deprivation diet.

4. Regular exercise (for now, just walking).
I took all that was positive about the low carb diet prescribed to me and, through trial and error, personalized it.

Now I know that
--I can eat some higher carb foods in the morning and in the evening (this surprised me, given that this seems to go against all the "diet rules" for insulin resistant people).

--If I eat three meals and two to three small snacks a day, spaced out every few hours, I don't suffer insulin resistance slump.

--If I cut out most carbs at lunch, I can go longer between lunch and dinner. If I eat higher carbs at lunch, then I will need to eat a low-carb snack within about two hours, even if I have eaten a lot of food.

--When away from home, I need to carry food and drink with me at all times (water and fiber bars are good), just in case I slump (most of the time it's not necessary, but when I do slump, I turn into a complete diva).

--It's best that I work with the typical dieters' "night" hunger, instead of fighting it, so I have learned to "save" some of my food, including 0 PointsPlus foods for those times. I simply eat fewer calories at meal times.

--In order to maintain optimal energy, I need to drink lots of liquids, such as water and decaf tea and coffee. I don't know why; my blood sugar was recently tested, and it was totally normal.

--When I do go off my program for a sustained time (such as my trip to Macedonia), I need to start over, and it will take about three or four days to readjust.

--I can go off my diet for one meal a week and suffer few or no side effects, including weight gain.

--For me, there is a difference between good and bad carbs; I suffer no ill effects from eating fruit; however, if I eat a lot of junk food (low fiber, high added sugar), I will feel cranky and out of sorts.
Weight Watchers works very well within my personalized program; its very flexibility is what makes it perfect for dieters with different conditions, such as Diabetes and insulin resistance.

There is even an option for vegetarians!

No matter what diet program you select, just make sure it can be tweaked to meet your personal needs.

Bon Appetit!

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