It’s been so many months since I last posted a blog post, and even longer since I wrote about diet or my diet. Many times I found a diet or “lifestyle change” that made my cravings go away, and then weeks would go by, and I felt amazing and fine, and sometimes even months, and then boom, slowly, old bad habits, and old bad cravings would creep back in and bring me back to the same and uncomfortable starting line.
BACK STORY & BINGE EATING
I’m here to say, that I haven’t found the holy grail to a perfect diet, or a perfect way of eating that is without error but I have spent the last several months (and years…) learning more about what is best for me.
I always found it extremely tough and frustrating to KNOW that I need to eat WELL to feel well, and be physically, mentally, emotionally UNABLE to do it. I found myself starting a “healthy” diet over and over and over again every Monday or every first day of the month, only to find myself getting a bit lax on my “diet rules” and then falling off, and then just digging so deep in the hole of shitty eating that eventually that Monday or 1st of the month would roll back around, and I felt hopeful again.
Only to find myself repeat this cycle over and over again, again.
My first success came with CRON, or calorie restriction optional nutrition. In 2009-2010 the goal was to EAT LESS, but ONLY quality foods – lots of greens, raw foods, low calorie but nutritionally dense food. This was pretty awesome. And it makes sense. When you eat REAL FOOD, WHOLE FOODS, you get full, you stay full, because your nutrient requirements are filled and it leaves little room for your body and mind wanting more! (Almost like a love tank, when your love partner fills up your tank, it’s almost impossible to have or want a wondering eye.)
Laters, for a few weeks I used a pill called Adipex which suppresses appetite. And that thing worked. It worked quickly. It was truly amazing to NOT feel hunger, or not feel cravings. I was totally in awe of the feeling of satisfaction! But, your hear rate speeds up and it’s almost impossible to sleep. Today, I would never take a pill, but back then (about 6 years ago), I did because perhaps I wasn’t the brightest bulb on the porch but as soon as I couldn’t sleep a full night a few nights in a row, I was OUT! I knew better than to think this was a long term (or even a short term) way to weight loss.
Then I did really well with the Whole30. Again, a diet that is full of real foods, whole foods, foods that are not meant to spike insulin and therefore prevented food cravings and such. I’m not sure why I stopped following the Whole30, but I did. Perhaps I got bored, or perhaps the holidays came, and eating Christmas cookies was much more important to me than feeling well.
Then I found Isagenix. It was and still is an incredible meal replacement program. It’s a network marketing company – and more of a lifestyle company. I learned soooooo much with Isa, and I would still recommend it to everyone and anyone who wants to get healthy, quickly. Some of the concepts and beliefs Isa puts in their products (like intermittent fasting, and great amount of quality animal protein) are things I still believe today more than ever – even though I wasn’t awed by them when I first learned about Isa. It’s a company that is truly ahead of it’s time! I’m no longer involved with Isa as a consultant, but I am a customer. My kids drink the shakes, and I personally love their 1 carb whey protein. I’m waiting on their free shipping day to order a boat load! 🙂 🙂 🙂
Last September (so almost a year ago), I was on YouTube, and feeling quite lost. Why do my food cravings always come back? Why do I binge eat? Why is this my way of life? Why can’t I just eat normal?
Several different videos kept popping up about keto. I have briefly heard about keto before, but I always thought it was impossible to do, and also unhealthy to do. But this time, because perhaps I was so lost and would give anything and everything a try, I learned more. Keto is about eating a larger amount of real fat, along with a moderate amount of protein, and less than 20 net carbs per day. So high fat, high protein, low carb. When insulin isn’t spiked because you don’t ingest a high amount of carbs/sugar, hunger and food cravings go away or don’t appear.
I gave it a try, and fo sure. It’s a diet that is full of real foods – and it works. Some people get extremely technical with it – measuring out their macros and calories, and tracking it all, and other people just count their carbs (and stay below 20-30 net carbs), and others just eat foods that don’t have high carb counts.
Lots of doctors when they talk about keto, talk about how keto helps to regulate hormones, and I had a inkling that my hormones (and the fact that they were mostly unregulated) had a lot to do with it. Two things brought me to this conclusion:
1 – When I was pregnant with both of my pregnancies, I felt great. I had no cravings or binge eating episodes. I was able to eat “normal” and felt great. I gained 30 and 35 pounds with each pregnancy and as soon as the pregnancies ended, I lost the pregnancy weight because of breast feeding, but my binge eating and cravings came back. And supposedly, when the bod is growing a baby, hormones do most of the work, and therefore have to be at almost perfection for this type of hustle.
2 – When not pregnant, my cycles were always extra long, and especially extra long when I wasn’t eating “low carb.” I have tracked my cycle for years, and 56 days, 75 days, 49 days was the norm, which is neither normal or healthy. When I started Whole30, my cycles went to 36 days, 39 days, 34 days. For the first time in my life I was like WOAH! This is what my body likes! My bod likes a diet of little or no sugar! As soon as I stopped with Whole30, they went back to being 50-70 days apart. When I started keto, my cycles kept shortening, and my best cycle in my adult life so far has been 31 days, which is like Victory Royale to me!!!
Keto is great for me, but it was hard for me to consistently stay on it. If a party came up, or another event arose, it was easy for me to jump off, indulge in sweets, and then it would take me a week or so of shitty eating to get back on keto. I knew this cycle very well, and just didn’t love it!
I always felt like I was working so hard to eat well, do well, feel well, and then boom, I would tumble backwards, and all of my success and results went with the tumble, only to start back at the starting point again.
Yet, I was hopeful for the first time in my life. I liked a lot of things about this “diet” or lifestyle of eating. First, it was just real foods and foods I really loved. Organic grass fed ground beef, chicken, eggs, cheese, most veggies, salads – everything delicious. There was nothing offensive, or nothing that disagreed with my body about keto. I was never bloated or uncomfortable, I stopped eating when I was almost full, it was almost like my bod and I were well in tune with one another – perhaps for one of the first and few times in my life (outside of the months I was preggo.)
Yet, the challenge I had with keto, was – how do I always stay on keto? I don’t want to jump off and on the keto wagon!
And the answer came in the form of the carnivore diet. People are transforming their bods, and health, by simply eating steak. Of course some people just eat steak, and other people eat eggs, all red meat, all white meat, cheeses – and a various of zero carb foods, or a combo of any of the above.
But the results for whatever carnivore diet you follow – are pretty amazing. Depression, anxiety, fat, cravings – can all melt away. What’s pretty cool is that following a carnivore diet, has actually helped me eat keto consistently! I had to actually commit to carnivore, to eat keto well! Funny how that works, but it’s almost like the saying: “If you reach for the moon, you’ll grab a star.” Reach for carnivore and you keto hard!
And this has made me feel like a rock star. I was telling my husband that THIS is what everyone else must feel like when they aren’t always overeating and feeling like crap and under-eating and feeling better, and then overeating and feeling like crap and under-eating to feel better, and re-cycle. It feels pretty rad to just feel normal because I’m eating “normal”.
I’m not saying that my diet is perfect, and that I got a 100% perfect hold on eating well all the time, but I’m getting there. It’s certainly a journey, and a journey I refuse to quit. It’s much better than being on a roller coaster, and it doesn’t feel like I’m on a tightrope anymore. I feel solid, I feel like I’m on solid foundation. I feel like I’m not holding my breath anymore.
For many years, and now for probably two decades I always wondered WHY. Why the heck am I the one who has to deal with these food cravings, while everyone else doesn’t! Why did binge eating and overeating have to affect me, and why am I the one who has to grapple and suffer with this? It was and is exhausting and frustrating and my best attempts at eating well would never last. Whyyyy meeee???
But now, I take a lot more breaths, and am starting to get thankful and grateful for this “issue”. I am learning so much about health, and food and nutrition, and the amount of science behind the carnivore and keto foods, lifestyle and nutrition is pretty amazing. I’m not a scientist, and no need for me to attempt to share the info that is out there, because there are a ton of people on YouTube (High Intensity Health) and Instagram (Shawn Baker) who do an incredible job at that! But the science + real life results mean a ton. It’s fun to eat food, and feel good and go after the exact results you want, and then boom – actually get the results you want.
The idea and shared science behind eating a carnivore diet is that you fill your body with real fat, real protein that fills up your cells with everything that your body needs and craves and little waste. It’s perhaps one of the least complicated diets out there.
Intermittent Fasting is a result of eating a low carb diet. When low carb or no carb, your body starts using fat (your own bodyfat and the fat you eat) as fuel. And when you do use fat for fuel, you are a lot less hungry – and can go longer between meals. I eat my last meal around dinner time, and then don’t eat usually until 11 or 12 the next day.
Low carb or not, the amount of science behind giving our bods that 14-16 hours of food rest is amazing. It gives our bodies a chance to use up what’s already in our system for fuel and energy, instead of waking up first thing in the morning and stuffing it up again. This though, works best when you do eat low carb.
If you have a pasta meal or a mixed meal (carbs, fat, protein) for din din, and then wake up, you will be hungry pretty quickly.
But if you have a steak din din and avocado as your last meal, you will wake up and not be as hungry as if you ate the carbs the night before.
And you can also use Intermittent Fasting if you did party the day before. Perhaps you had a birthday or your child did, and you had a good time ALL DAY LONG. Eating and overeating, drinking, a high sugar and high fat, and high carb day. Well, when you wake up, skip breakfast. Give your body a chance to use up all that grub from the day before as energy, and as a way to clear out what you did ingest, instead of loading it up with more calories.
I’m not a doctor, and I’m not a scientist. I don’t publish scientific articles, but I do love to learn about everything, and especially nutrition, and the science behind it all and then test it out on myself. One doctor I listen to, says it best when he says:
“Our bodies are like a fridge & freezer. The food we eat daily goes into the fridge, and it’s full of food. We also have a freezer full of food, food we ate before and stored. If we never empty out the fridge, we will never get to the freezer, we will always have a full freezer and be full of fat.”
But intermittent fasting allows us to get to that freezer, so we can start using that stored up grub as fuel!
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
If you have gotten to the end of this post, I wish you the absolute best in your food journey. Perhaps you too struggle, perhaps you too are curious how you can improve your mood, and health, and body and life. Know that the answers are out there, and we don’t have to settle for being sick or feeling unwell. We don’t have to have a miserable mind, an unhappy mind full of erratic emotions only because we’re on the wrong diet plan.
Stay strong, and keep pushing forward, and do well for yourself!