34> 5 Years of Eating Low Carb – March 12, 2012

It is now 5 years since I started eating Low Carb.  On March 12, 2007, I adopted the Low Carb lifestyle and started exercising. I was 62 years, 6 months and weighed in at 260 pounds. I was probably more, but when I got on the scale and saw the weight, I jumped off.  I am not sure I want to know the real number.  I just need to look at my pictures to know what I was. 

My first experience with Low Carb eating was a simple carb counting diet.  The sweet spot was 25 grams and that was what I aimed for.  The weight started to fall off. 

In November 2007, I discovered the Men’s Health TNT Diet.  What drew me to it, rather than Atkins or one of the other pre-packaged Low Carb programs, was its integration of exercise and exercise nutrition with Low Carb eating.  I was exercising and knew that I needed to start incorporating protein shakes in my program.  This told me how.  I went down to 177 and stabilized at 180 +/-, and have spent the next 4 years living the Low Carb life.  A great deal of what occurred over that time and my thoughts about it have been logged in this Blog.  A year ago, on my 4th Anniversary, I wrote a Retrospective.

I have read a great deal about eating Low Carb and the different approaches that are out there in the market place.  Almost all of them will work in terms of losing weight, the same can be said about almost any diet.  Just stick with it.  But what about maintaining?  What about just continuing on the journey.  So many of us hit our goal weight, arrive at our destination and then get off the train.  Slowly we just return to our former behavior and start the long trek back.  We do not look at our weight goal as being just an intermediate step.  Our goal should be – changing out eating and fitness habits to achieve continued good health.

I have always had success on my different diets.  I am a life member of Weight Watchers.  I went down to 156 pounds.  Skin and bones.  That weight did not last long.  Up and down and up and down – way too many times.  I really damaged myself and today my skin looks much like a stretched out balloon.

On 3/6/12, the Editors of Prevention: Healthy Living posted the following on Yahoo:

After all, the biggest reason low-carb diets backfire is that, for the vast majority of people, they aren’t sustainable over the long haul. It’s a rare soul who can pass up birthday cake and pasta dinners for a lifetime.

The question here is straight forward.  Is the TNT Diet version of Low Carb eating maintainable for the Long Haul?  I can not speak for you.  For me, the short answer is YES.  What follows are my thoughts about eating this way.  If you have been on the TNT Diet – long past your weight loss goal and see this or some other Low Carb eating plan as your Way-of-Life, let me know – leave a comment and help educate others who read this.

Rolling up my sleeves, cracking my knuckles and clearing my head, I will attempt to lay out my thoughts.

Does the TNT Diet provide a clear path for weight loss? 

The answer is a resounding YES.  This has been the easiest diet I have ever followed.  There really aren’t a heck of a lot of rules.  Just follow the program as laid out and lose weight.  If you pay attention and dig a little deeper, you will learn a lot about clean eating and good healthy eating habits. 

Does the TNT Diet actually support exercise?

No question there – YES.  You will lose weight and build muscle on Plan A.  Plan B pre/post workout shakes and nutrition do the job to speed up muscle development when you are close to your weight goal.  All you have really done is add fast-acting carbs to the protein powder to get an insulin spike and shuttle amino acids into the muscles for growth and repair.  Are the carbs critical – no – just helpful.

The latter Plans get trickier.  Some individuals get carried away – but even if they do – it is for a very limited amount of time – and they eventually learn how to control themselves.  The goal is to add in complex carbs to re-fill your glycogen stores and give you a greater boost for exercise and muscle development – without the strict nature of Plans A or B.  These Plans answer the accusation that Low Carb eating is too restrictive. 

What Plan am I on?  I’m on Plan A all the way except when I periodically go on Plan B.  Adam Campbell once said that he is on Plan A, except when he’s not.

I am also a Carb Snob.  I will – every now and then have a carb indulgent meal or day.  Special occasions happen.  I want to enjoy them. But – I don’t want to waste my time eating CRAP.  Those Carbs had better be Top Shelf – Top Of the Line – The Best – or don’t bother me.

So many people look at me as being excessive in my Carb restrictions.  “Enjoy, relax, loosen up” they shout at me while they eat cheap Chinese Take-Out.  “Eat sushi” they trumpet – ignoring the fact that you are overpaying for rice rolled around a miniscule piece of protein. They eat 100 calorie packages of carbs – instant meals – bags and boxes of highly processed carbs.  Crap that is marketed as healthy.  And I am the one who is eating wrong.

Bottom line is simple:  I am a guy who has never successfully kept his weight off.  Never.  Except for now.  So – Is the TNT Diet version of Low Carb eating maintainable for the Long Haul?  YES!

Those individuals who find it too hard to follow or who just gain it all back – they only went Low Carb to lose weight.  They did not see all of its health benefits and did not invest in it.  A quick fix is what they where looking for.   They could never get their head around the fact that Dietary Fat is your Friend.  After Low Carbing – they moved onto the Cookie Diet.

If you are looking for the quick fix – look elsewhere.  If you really want to get it together – then – this is the place to be.  Those of us who have learned the value of Low Carbing are here to help.  Stick around – ask questions – read a bit – You will find what I found – Low Carbing is the answer.

And….Can I really find fault with a diet that let’s me have a glass of Shiraz or two?

Don't Be Bashful - Your Thoughts and Comments are Welcome.

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