June 10, 2001
In this issue:|
(at least in our area of the country), it was slow getting here,|
it seems Summer is finally here. And with a lot more skin showing, aren't you glad you went low-carb?!
No column from Richard this week... he's had to be out of town on business.
It's still a pretty large issue this time, though... On with the newsletter!
"It's not just what you eat; it's when!"|
How many of you can relate to this as either your current pattern of eating, or at the very least — the way you ate before low-carbing?
You tend to skimp on food early in the day, then eat huge meals in the evening. You might go right on eating all evening and may even get up at night to raid the refrigerator. And you tend to eat fast — very fast.
Time and again I hear this in letter after letter I receive. It finally occurred to me to look into this as a very clear pattern was emerging through my correspondence with my visitors.
They omit breakfast entirely or they snatch an inadequate breakfast "on the way out the door." Why? They say it's because they don't have time to eat. They get up too late. Or they just aren't hungry in the morning. Or they don't like to eat alone. Or a host of other reasons.
Blood sugar is usually at its lowest when we first get out of bed. Four or more hours without food after rising will almost guarantee that the blood sugar will plunge even farther down. And when you're finally desperate for food, you can bet someone will have a "carby" snack on hand "because it gives quick energy, you know..."
Most overweight individuals will try to get by with little or no lunch (often trying to "starve" themselves believing THIS time they will put an end to their heavy plight.) By late afternoon, hunger pangs, headache, fatigue, and even faintness will win out. Gorging time is here... this is the pattern that brings on "night-eating syndrome".
So, how much does this have to do with the current state of America's overweight dilemma? Look at it from an evolutionary standpoint. From the beginnings of recorded history, mankind ate when they were hungry or when there happened to be food available. And nowhere in history is there any law which says that human beings should eat only three times a day — or two — or even one.
Doesn't it seem reasonable that early man (hunting or gathering food) ate whenever he found something edible? In this regard, here are a few findings reported in various medical journals:
From The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: "...evidence from a Czechoslovakian study that boys and girls in boarding schools gained weight when they ate three meals a day; yet did NOT gain weight when they ate the same food in five smaller meals each day."
From the National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases: A study showed that animals eating only once or twice a day had more susceptibility to diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and obesity, than animals that nibbled all day long.
From the University of Virginia Medical School: A report showed that rats which were "trained" to eat within a two-hour period consumed more food in that time than fellow rats which were permitted to eat all day long — nibble that is. Dr. William Parson who conducted the study said that about 60% of all obese people eat only one big meal a day, perhaps skipping breakfast, skimping on lunch and fasting between meals. He has found, he says, that periods of "starvation" have been shown to alter the chemical content of fatty tissue. The rats which ate only during the two-hour allotted time all became overweight. Those which nibbled all day did not.
If you are counting carbs — and we assume you are — then the object lesson here is that you can lose more efficiently, and perhaps stop or avoid stalls and backsliding if you remember it's not just what you eat, but when. The goal is to spread your eating out over the day — eat no more than you've already been eating at two or three meals, but have them over the course of the day, winding down to very little late in the evening. And if you do still feel peckish before bedtime, make sure whatever you have is as close to zero carb as possible. A piece of cheese, a slice of ham, a hard-boiled egg...
I once saw a weight loss physician on television remark that he'd never seen an exceptionally obese person that did not eat fast. Since that time, I've taken note myself (and you can too — in restaurants, food courts, or at parties.) You'll see the larger people eat with great dispatch. The thinner of the groups tend toward just the opposite. They linger over their food and nibble.
The blessing here is that low-carb lends itself to longer eating times. Low carb foods just naturally need more chewing. Nobody has to spend much time chewing a piece of cake, a Twinkie, or a slice of Wonder bread. All the fiber has been removed from these "foods" and they have an unnatural tendency to "melt" in your mouth — leaving you little reason to spend time chewing. It's amazing how fast these things can be wolfed down. It's a lot harder to quickly eat a strip steak. Meat, fish, poultry, cheese, vegetables — these must be chewed. So enjoy them that much more. Learn to linger. Learn to nibble. And break yourself away from the need to eat full hefty meals. If you can relate to this, and try this for yourself, we want to hear from you. Let us know your experiences with switching to more frequent, smaller meals.
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Get The Rats Out of Your Race! ©
Clothes and Your Closet
By Alice Fulton-Osborne
The bottom line: we want to fill our lives and homes with quality rather than quantity, and create an atmosphere conducive to eating appropriately...one that encourages, supports, and fosters our new way of living...
And one of the best ways to do just that is to get the rats out of our race. The rat always discussed in this column is the clutter/junk rat, and as promised in the last newsletter, today's topic is the most efficient approach to dealing with clutter and junk... streamlining. Today's topic: How to streamline your clothes... the criteria for keeping or tossing.
Here we are in the closet. And what's the goal? To create a space that serves you each time you go there. You should be able to find what you need or want quickly and easily, and what you do find should look good on you and help you feel great about yourself. You're going to touch each and every item and ask yourself "Do I still like this?" (Never mind how much it cost.) "Do I still use this?" (Never mind who gave it to you.) "Do I still need this?" (Yah, you'll need another some day... but meanwhile give it to the person who needs it TODAY.) "Do I still want this?" (This is where you must watch out for over-sentimentalizing. My co-author, Pauline, was still wearing the gingham checked granny dress she wore when she was dating her husband, twenty years ago. It was sadly out-of-style, and gave her a frumpy dated look. She was talked out of keeping it and has never missed it. If you're bogged down in sentiment, maybe you could bring in a brave and trusted friend who would offer an unbiased opinion on our clothes. Pauline and I both needed this outside perspective and the process was sped up.) And finally ask, "Do I even have room for this?" (Forget about the day when you add-on... deal with TODAY.)
There is a clothing checklist we use to help this process along:
This process usually starts with everything on the closet rod, then you move to the closet floor and deal with shoes. Study each pair to see if they're still in style (different from fad), need repairs, fit well, look great, and of course... if you still like, use, need, want, or have room for them. After the floor you deal with everything on the shelf, asking the same keeper questions. I keep a pretty little basket with spare buttons (the extras that come in tiny zip-lock bags on a new blouse or shirt), black, navy, and white thread, needle, and small scissors on the shelf. I also put my folded sweaters on the shelf (I don't like hanging sweaters or knits as they tend to sag and stretch).
I have small decorator hooks on the end closet wall for my belts and purses. I also separate my spring/summer clothes from my fall/winter clothes and rotate according to seasons. The clothes not currently in season can be kept in a cedar chest, large trunk, garment boxes, or hung in a spare closet. Even if yours is a large walk-in closet, it will serve you better if there are only in-season clothes in it. It will look nicer, also.
Closets should look pretty and smell nice. Thus I use pretty scented shelf paper where appropriate, hang my clothes on satin padded hangers (husband's on hardwood hangers) and keep potpourri in a lovely bowl on the shelf. If this seems extravagant or out-of-reach right now, consider at least banning all wire hangers and going the plastic tubular route (in one or two coordinated colors only, for a visually pleasing look).
Closets tend to house a lot of stuff that should really be kept someplace else. To avoid the chucking and stuffing pattern, live by the rule that the closet is for clothes and clothes-related items only. No golf clubs, tennis rackets, ski poles, soccer balls, shot guns, luggage (sure it holds clothes, but there's a better place for it), Christmas ornaments, etc. etc. allowed. Not even extra bedding. Bed linens and spare blankets can be folded in half and placed between the box spring and mattress. Even electric blankets can be stored this way, complete with controls. No one will know the difference, they are easily accessed, and precious closet space is free for clothes-related things. Again, your goal: Closets should look and smell nice and truly serve you. Each time you open your closet door, your heart should skip a beat and your reaction should be "Oh! I LOVE this!"
If you still have questions or struggles with your closets, you might consult our book It's Here...Somewhere (Alice Fulton and Pauline Hatch), or e-mail me at alice.Osborne@gecapital.com. Next time: Ideas on dealing with laundry, and when we meet again, may there be fewer rats in your race!©
Low Carb Connoisseur — we put the Dash in Low–Carb!
Recipes from Dee
This week we received some terrific recipes from one of our readers who would like to share these with you. These are from Dee in Cincinnati and we think these show her creativity! They're really simple too. Thanks, Dee.
Spicy Vegetable/Muffin Pizzas
Homemade Low-Carb Lemon Curd
Dee's Crockpot Thai Pork
"The Only Difference was Sugar..."
In doing a little research through my public library (yes, even after the internet, these still exist!) I happened upon a report from 1967 described as "a very crude experiment" that was far too good — far too impacting in its scope to pass up sharing this with all of you!
What they describe as "a very crude experiment" was performed in 1967 by two doctors and two dentists at the University of Alabama Medical Center and reported in the Alabama Journal of Medical Sciences, July 1967.
Dr. E. Cheraskin and three associates conducted an experiment in weight loss or gain, using 121 dental students as subjects.
They weighed each one on Monday, then divided them into five groups. The first group was given 50 grams of sucrose in solution twice daily under supervision, to be sure that it was taken. Fifty grams of sucrose is about a quarter cup of sugar — plain white table sugar. The second group received no changes to their diet.. The third group had, every day, 75 grams of glucose (another kind of sugar) in a drink. The fourth group received three times daily, a drink containing no calories whatsoever (a placebo) but which looked exactly like the drink given to group #3. The fifth group of students were told to eliminate from their meals all foods containing refined carbohydrates. This means everything that has white sugar, white flour, or processed cereals in it. At the end of the week, all students were once again weighed by someone who had no knowledge of which students had been eating what kinds of diets during the week.
In the space of one week, half of the students who were getting the sugar gained weight. The average weight gain was one-half pound. In the third group (glucose group) MORE THAN HALF of the students gained weight — eight-tenths of a pound on average. Of the students who eliminated all refined carbohydrates from their meals, 63% LOST weight — an average of 1.2 pounds. In one week!
The authors go on to say what this would mean in the course of a month... the students adding just that 1/4-cup of plain sugar to their meals could be expected to gain two pounds each month. By the end of a year, they'd gain about 24 pounds! (And please note that they made no other change to their eating habits.) They ate the same amount of meat, eggs, milk, potatoes, and everything else — but they added just 1/4 cup of sugar!!
Now if you realize that here we are in 2001 — 34 years later — and food companies have easily managed to add at least an extra 1/4 cup of sugar to the amounts of processed foods we eat in a day (more for most), you can see why the obesity rate has jumped.
On the other hand, by skipping all refined carbohydrates, and making no other change in their diet, these experiments show a person might expect to lose as much as 4.8 pounds a month, or more than 57 pounds in the course of a year. Now, we realize that a water weight loss occurs in the first week of a low-carb diet and that this could account for some of the loss of these students, but keep two things in mind —
If you want to find good research on aspects of sugars and carbohydrates, you need look no further than history.
"Ouch! My head aches..."
I started low-carbing just this week and from the second day on, I have had terrible headaches. I am wondering if this is normal, or if I am having a bad reaction to the diet? A friend at work told me the brain needs sugar and I could expect more of this and was probably doing myself damage. Is this true? I'm sure it doesn't happen to everyone or there would be no one that low-carbs! (Who could stand this pain?!) But I really need to know if this is normal. I am thinking of quitting the diet and just found your site.
Dear Joline —
Actually what you are experiencing happens to about 60% of new low-carbers. It's a withdrawal from sugar (yes, sugar acts as a drug and there IS a withdrawal.) Many get headaches for the first few days and some have problems for up to 10 days. It all depends on how much sugar you routinely took in beforehand (and remember, your body sees white flour and other highly refined carbs as sugars.)
Take a mild analgesic like aspirin but keep them to a minimum if you can. Warm baths help too. And here's a really interesting piece of research that I have found ACTUALLY works:
Research conducted at Washington State University and published in the journal Horttechology (yes, this is the correct spelling) suggests that people in rooms with a lot of greenery can tolerate more physical pain that those in surroundings without any plants. 200 people were tested for how long they could keep their hands submerged in ice water. The findings reinforce previous studies that found that people work more efficiently when they can see houseplants, and patients recover more quickly from surgery and use fewer drugs when they are in a room with a green view.
So surround yourself with greenery, get plenty of sleep, fresh air, and sunshine, and stick with that low-carb diet. You'll soon be feeling better than you have in years!
Thanks for all your letters, everyone! I get hundreds of letters each week and try to answer as many as I can.
Thanks for reading! Keep your suggestions and questions
coming in — we always want to hear from you! Remember, we
can't address every request and query, but the ones we hear
about the most or offer the greater potential to help others
will surely make their way here.|
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