Information and support for low carb and gluten free eating.

Insulin Resistance

LowCarbForLife's picture

Weight Comparison – Then & Now

I have always been close to a petite size with my height of 5'3” tall. Before I got married in 1982, I had turned 23 years old a few months before, and my weight had been hovering around 140 lbs. This was the heaviest weight I had ever reached and I believe I never saw a higher number because of my success at yo-yo dieting. The only diet I had ever tried during that time was a low fat diet and because of my hunger, it took every bit of willpower I had for me to be able to stay on it.

The day of my wedding, I had reached a low weight of 118 lbs. I was successful in dieting myself back to a normal weight, but I only went from a tight size 10 to a loose size 8. Back then I did not exercise, so the weight that I carried was mostly fat since it did not include any lean tissue or muscle mass.

Only two years later, 1984, my weight was right back to hovering around 140 lbs., which was around the time I got pregnant with my first daughter. The day of her birth, my weight was around 210 lbs., and six weeks later it stabilized around 170 lbs. I continued to fight my weight using a low fat diet and every ounce of willpower I had. I gained and lost several pounds over the years, actually reaching the 160s at one point. I was really good at yo-yo dieting by the time my second daughter was born almost four years later, and even better when my son was born only fourteen months after that.

Over the years, I continued with my yo-yo dieting, usually losing around ten pounds at a time before I would stop. The pattern continued, I would get tired of being hungry all the time, feel deprived, and would resume eating the foods that I thought were healthy, eventually gaining more weight than I lost. Since my pattern had always been to gain more weight than I lost, my weight kept creeping higher. Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

Michael's picture

How "Heart-Healthy Whole Grains Make Us Fat" (

Fascinating study results involving obese teenage boys. Feed them three different breakfasts, with identical caloric value, but composed of different food types (low, medium, and high Glycemic Index foods). Monitor blood chemistry and subjective hunger perception. Feed them the same meal for lunch. Let them eat anything they want after lunch. Measure how often and how much they ate. Monitor total caloric intake.

These results speak for themselves:

“Voluntary energy intake after the high-GI meal (5.8 megajoule [mJ]) was 53% greater than after the medium-GI meal (3.8 mJ), and 81% greater than after the low-GI meal (3.2 mJ).”
“In addition, mean time to the first meal request after lunch (2.6, 3.2, and 3.9 hours for the high-, medium-, and low-GI meals, respectively) differed between test meal groups (high GI vs low GI; P = .01; high GI vs medium GI, not significant).”

That’s not a misprint. People consumed 81% more calories during the five hours after eating instant oatmeal than after eating the same number of calories as an omelet and fruit—and 19% more calories after eating steel-cut oatmeal than after eating an omelet and fruit. (Note that the hunger curve for both kinds of oatmeal was rising precipitously at 5 hours, whereas the omelet + fruit curve flattened out. Do you ever have to work late? Is dinner always five hours after lunch?) Furthermore, the omelet-eaters took 50% longer to request any food at all.

Source: How “Heart-Healthy Whole Grains” Make Us Fat

So, according to the study, the modern "heart-healthy" oatmeal breakfasts that we keep hearing about, can make us hungrier, want to eat more often, and consume almost twice as many calories following the meal when compared to the shunned egg omelet.

Go read the article (and the original study, if you have time). Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

Michael's picture

Commercially prepared ranch dressings and hidden carbs

Teri and I had dinner at a local Mexican restaurant the other night, and she ordered a chicken salad with Ranch dressing, which we shared.

Teri used only a small amount of the Ranch dressing on the salad, but I noticed it had a detectable sweetness to it. Then I remembered that most Ranch dressings have added sugar as one of the ingredients.

It's funny, but now that we've switched from prepared mayonnaise and salad dressings to homemade, we can now taste the added sugar in products we once consumed on a regular basis–products that we'd never before perceived as having a sweet taste!

The moral of the story: read your ingredients lists, folks!

Too many prepared foods have added sugar and even though the caloric load of the sugar may be low in the individual servings, the cumulative effect can have a negative impact on your weight loss and health goals.

Another interesting point: You don't realize how we've grown accustomed to the added sugars in our daily diet, until you start to eliminate them.

Michael's picture

Caffeinated drinks associated with increased insulin sensitivity - study

Here's a study which claims that there is a statistically significant, positive relationship between consumption of caffeinated coffee and increased insulin sensitivity. (Insulin sensitivity is what we are trying to increase or preserve by avoiding unhealthy carbs, or following paleo diets.)


In this cross-sectional study, caffeinated coffee was positively related to insulin sensitivity and decaffeinated coffee was favourably related to measures of beta cell function. These results provide pathophysiological insight as to how coffee could impact the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Source: Diabetologia Volume 54, Number 2, 320-328, DOI: 10.1007/s00125-010-1957-8

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Michael's picture

Are carbs more addictive than cocaine?

Paul John Scott, in the March 2011 issue of Details, reports on what may be America's worst drug addiction: carbs.

Your body is virtually defenseless against a dependency on carbohydrates—the substances that really make you fat—and it's time for an intervention.

[snip] But this addiction is not usually apparent to the casual observer. It has no use for the drama and the carnage you associate with cocaine and alcohol. It's slower to show its hand, more socially acceptable—and way more insidious.

I'm in a Panera Bread outlet. The company is on Fortune's 2010 list of the 100 Fastest Growing Companies and earned more than $1.3 billion in 2009, mainly from selling flour and sugar by the railcar. Last year, Zagat named it the most popular large chain in the United States and ranked it second in the Healthy Options category. The company responded by touting its "wholesome" food. Sure, Panera sells a few salads. But why do the scones, pastries, baguettes, and bear claws get all the good lighting? Why are the grab-and-go packs of cookies and brownies next to the register? What need is fulfilled by serving soup bowls made of bread, with a mound of bread for dipping, and then offering more bread on the side? How come it's noon and the couple behind me are eating bagels while the guy to my right is sawing into a cinnamon roll with a fork and a knife like it's a steak?

Source: Are Carbs More Addictive Than Cocaine?

(Via: Twitter @rnikoley) Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

Michael's picture

What's the source of sugar's power over us? New research provides clues.

Discovery News reports:

- Sugar damages our health in ways that have nothing to do with extra calories.
- Sugar's power over us began during a time of starvation, when the ability to get fat off of sugar was a survival tool for our ancestors.
- Sugar may be just as bad as alcoholism when it comes to liver health.

Sugar is the enemy, according to a growing body of research, and not just because it rots our teeth and adds padding to our thighs.

The real danger is fructose -- a main ingredient in table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and fruit -- that actually gets into our cells and alters metabolism.

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LowCarbForLife's picture

CALP & Me!

This is the first and only weight loss program that I have ever been able to follow where the thought of following it for the rest of my life is possible!

LowCarbForLife's picture

CALP Diet Results and Progress Report - January 2011


There are many diet and weight loss programs out there and what works for me may not necessarily work for someone else. It is really easy to follow a program short term, but the problem with that is, we revert back to our old ways of eating and the weight creeps back on, one pound at a time. I have lost hundreds of pounds over the years but it has always been the same twenty or thirty pounds over and over again. I would be successful in getting started, lose weight, and then I would have to rely on total willpower to keep at it until sticking to it would result in total failure.

I discovered the Carbohydrate Addict's Lifespan Program (CALP) ten years earlier, and lost over 50 pounds while on it. I found it to be the easiest weight loss program that I had ever followed and when my weight loss slowed, I started looking for faster ways to lose weight.

A misstep

I felt so confident with my ability to follow a low carb lifestyle that I decided to give Atkins a try. I was able to get started on Atkins and lose a few more pounds, but it did not take me long to discover that it was too strict for me. I felt so deprived while on Atkins, missing the carbohydrates that I was allowed to eat while following CALP, that I lost complete control, got frustrated with dieting, and failed at another attempt to finally lose my excess weight.

My clothes told the tale

With my weight jumping up and down, my bathroom scale became something to be avoided over the years. I gave up dieting but in order to maintain my weight, I had to deny myself foods because I could not control myself.

When I discovered that the largest pair of jeans in my drawer were too small, I knew it was time for a change. It was not important for me to know my actual weight since I could tell that I was getting heavier based on the clothes that I was able to wear. I had t-shirts in sizes M to XXL and my jeans varied from sizes 14 to 18.

Growing out of the largest clothes that I owned was a good indication that my weight was close to 236 pounds. which was the highest number that I had ever seen on my scale. Since buying clothes in a larger size was just not something that I was willing to do, again, I became determined to find the perfect diet for me.

Looking for a quick fix and coming to my senses

I knew I had a lot of weight to lose and began searching for something that would work fairly fast. My youngest daughter, 19 at the time, had ordered Nutrisystem and I actually considered trying it myself until I saw it. I was becoming so desperate that I even considered purchasing a liquid diet. After about three months of looking for quick fixes, I finally came to my senses and decided that the cost of one of those programs would have a long term negative effect on my bank account and they would definitely not teach me how to eat in the long run. Past experience taught me that the best program for me would be to find one that I could follow for the rest of my life. I was searching for information when I remembered how easy CALP was for me to follow the first time. Since I had already made up my mind that I was going to get started on getting myself into better shape, I was finally ready to give CALP and me another chance.

A new beginning

I began following CALP once again on March 3, 2008. Our kids were becoming young adults when my husband mentioned to me that we were both getting older and remaining active was going to be important to our future. I had been battling my weight for the last twenty four years of my life and I was fortunate that I did not have any major health problems during that time.

The first day of the rest of my life began just like every other one, with two cups of black coffee. I consider coffee my breakfast since hunger never does affect me until late morning or noon. My first meal on CALP was a Complementary Meal that consisted of a two or three egg omelet with plenty of bacon, cheese, mushrooms, & spinach. It was extremely filling and I did not become hungry until it was time for dinner four or five hours later. My Reward Meal began with two cups of lettuce salad that I drizzled with Ranch dressing. I then prepared the bun of my bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, pickles, & tomato. Since there was not enough vegetables to balance with the rest of my meal, I also included a side dish of steamed asparagus that I drizzled with mayonnaise. At the end of my first day, I did not feel as if I was dieting in any way and felt as if my future on this program was looking pretty good!

Working out and Getting Fit

Since getting myself into better shape was just as important as getting the excess weight off this time, I introduced the option of exercise into my program. Exercise has never been a steady part of my life and my experience only came from what I have learned over the years. Since I knew that I wanted to begin strength training, my husband and I purchased a Bowflex home gym. Our youngest daughter and son were still living with us at the time and I thought it would be something that could be useful to all of us. I also wanted to begin Walk Away the Pounds so I purchased a couple of DVDs to get started with. I began exercising on April 14, 2008 and established a 6 days a week schedule alternating cardio with strength training.

After two months of following this way of eating, my clothes were becoming too big and I was finally ready to find out what I weighed. When I stepped on the scale on May 6, 2008, I weighed 218 pounds and was feeling pretty good about myself. I was eating healthier by including vegetables and protein in every one of my meals and limiting carbohydrates to only one of them (the 'reward meal' or 'RM') helped to stabilize my insulin levels. From the first day that I started this way of eating, it has felt natural to me.

Ten months after beginning CALP and eight months after including exercise into my program, I began 2009 at 188 lbs. The weight was coming off slowly and I was seeing results by getting into my size 16W jeans. I was extremely pleased with my loss of over thirty pounds the year before and I looked forward to losing more weight in the coming year. I was only twenty pounds away from the lowest weight that I had seen in over twenty four years, and my confidence in following the program remained high.

Staying the course

Following the guidelines of the program continued to be easy for me. My food choices were mine and I made sure to include the foods that I loved. I was eating fresh, delicious, whole foods and did not have to give up the one thing that I never could before, chocolate. I was establishing a way of eating that worked out really well for me and found that eating the right combination of foods helped to keep me hunger free for hours. My exercise program was also working out really well for me and the results were becoming obvious. I introduced Callanetics into my exercise program in November, 2009, and have found that it has been helping to tone and shape my body. It was exciting to be able to get into the smaller clothes that were in my closet and when they all became too big, I was thrilled to have to go out and buy smaller sizes. Since I did not intend on staying in any one size for very long, I began shopping at thrift stores.

Slow and steady

I began 2010 at 164 lbs., with another year and twenty three and a half more pounds gone! I was experiencing weight loss, learning how to eat properly, getting myself into better shape, and dining like a queen! I continued to eat normally by balancing my meals and when the scale would bounce around, I did my best to ignore it. I continued to fit into smaller clothes and thrift store shopping has become an addiction to me. My husband and I spent a week in Hawaii with my sister and her friend and we also took a ten day cruise to Alaska with my folks. I had no problem following my program while traveling and do not believe that it has ever been easier. I am experiencing wonderful results and it is hard for me to believe that I am unrecognizable to friends that I have not seen in awhile.

Nearing my goal

I began 2011 at 150 lbs., another fourteen pounds gone! I am now wearing a size 6 jeans even though I am only 5'3” tall. My upper body is a size M and I was even able able to purchase a couple of larger size fitting blouses in a size S. My eating program continues to be automatic and my exercise program is still on schedule most of the time. I have come to recognize when I am hungry and I make sure to include the foods that I enjoy whenever that time comes. I look and feel so much better and I am proud of the choices that I am making for myself. I eat the foods that I want to eat, exercise, and I hope to live the rest of my life the best that I possibly can. Click here to continue reading, or leave a comment »

Michael's picture

Diabetes to double or triple by 2050: government report

Well, it looks as if the 'carbs are good for you, meat and fat are bad for you' party line's chickens are coming home to roost–and it's an impressive flock:

WASHINGTON | Sat Oct 23, 2010 10:38am EDT
(Reuters) - Up to a third of U.S. adults could have diabetes by 2050 if Americans continue to gain weight and avoid exercise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projected on Friday.

The numbers are certain to go up as the population gets older, but they will accelerate even more unless Americans change their behavior, the CDC said.

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Michael's picture

Get your sleep...

An interesting blog post on Stephan Guyenet's Whole Health Source describes a study of sleep, weight loss, and health effects:

All participants were told to eat 10% fewer calories that usual for two weeks, however half of them were instructed to sleep for 8 and a half hours per night, and the other half were instructed to sleep for 5 and a half hours*. The actual recorded sleep times were 7:25 and 5:14, respectively.

Weight loss by calorie restriction causes a reduction of both fat and lean mass, which is what the investigators observed. Both groups lost the same amount of weight. However, 80% of the weight was lost as fat in the high-sleep group (2.4/3.0 kg lost as fat), while only 48% of it was lost as fat in the low-sleep group (1.4/2.9 kg lost as fat). Basically, the sleep-deprived group lost as much lean mass as they did fat mass, which is not good!

The Big Sleep (

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