Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cheating

I am frequently asked if and when I cheat on my low carb diet. The answer is: I rarely cheat. And when I do, it's intentional. Planning on having pizza and pasta while on vacation in Italy and enjoying a perfectly made croissant on my birthday are intentional cheats that, for me, are worth it. The rest of the days of the year, I adhere to a low carb lifestyle.

It's not that I have loads of will power and it's not that I am a rigid and structured person. I have little in my personality that even resembles will power and rigidity.

What keeps me from reaching for the occasional cookie, potato chip or slice of French bread? It's a combination of the following:

1) I am Committed with a capital "C".  We all have at least one friend who follows a vegan or a vegetarian diet. Do you find that they ever stray away from their commitment to not eat meat? My guess would be rarely; maybe even never. I have become the same way about my low carb way of eating. I am not eating this way temporarily as a way to help me shed a few pounds. I believe wholeheartedly that a life without sugar and flour is the healthiest life for me.

2) I am in ketosis. I have skirted this topic all these many months because it is controversial and often misunderstood. Ketosis is a complicated condition to explain and so instead of me ineptly trying to do so, I would like to refer you to a few links at the bottom of this post that expertly and thoroughly explain what ketosis is and how it happens.

Photo Credit and info about  ketosis strips


I am still losing weight and have yet to reach weight maintenance so for now, I plan to be in ketosis. I check myself regularly with ketosis sticks I buy at the drugstore. Checking my levels helps me determine if I am staying on course or not. And it will help me see, literally, if I am consuming something that contains hidden sugar, like a restaurant's salad dressing, for example.

If I cheat, I will go out of ketosis. It sometimes takes a few days to get back in.

3) Is the cheat worth it? When a temptation presents itself, I ask myself that very question. Is it worth the bloat, the immediate water weight gain, the sluggishness and fatigue, the eventual cravings for more? The answer is almost always, "Hell no, it's not worth it"! Works every time.

And those are the reasons why I don't cheat. This mindset did not happen over night. It's taken months, if not years, to reach this point. Reading up on the topic was instrumental. Currently, I am reading The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living and Wheat Belly. I recommend both books to you as excellent sources for living your life sugarless, flourless and fabulous.

Ketosis articles:

From The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D.

The War on Insulin 

Livestrong 



Adrienne 

1 comment:

Rebekah Bonde said...

Excellent post, A. We each need to examine and thoughtfully explore the ramifications of all we do, especially adherence to a lifestyle and deviations - intentional or casual - from it.