The quest for a diet that I can actually eat continues, apparently. Cutting out sugar from my diet helped – my energy levels are higher, and things have generally worked a bit better – but not enough. Of course, I could have simply resigned and said that, well, that’s the disease for you. My doctors have certainly never suggested anything about my endometriosis being influenced by my diet, and it seems like very few medical professionals acknowledge that it might have an impact. And yet I’ve seen person after person saying that changing their diet really worked.
****Please note that even if I am trying to lose weight, in this post “diet” exclusively refers to what you eat as a whole, not a particular and/or temporary food plan for losing weight. I do count calories, but I am only changing my diet in order to improve my health, not to lose weight faster.****
On Thursday, after dance practice, a friend and I talked about it, and she suggested that maybe going low-carb was an idea. She has another friend whom it has worked wonders for – both with regards to health issues (I think), reducing cravings and general well-being. I’ve always been in the high-carb camp, thinking that low-carb is just a craze and that there’s no real science behind it. I still think a lot of it is exaggerated, over-simplified and overly generalized, I don’t think it suits everyone, and I think carbs aren’t quite so bad as the extreme low-carb enthusiasts claim.
And yet there are a couple of things that I cannot ignore. For one, despite being made up of the same things, everyone’s bodies work differently, particularly if other health issues are in the picture. Secondly, after researching online, there are a LOT of people with endometriosis and similar illnesses who have noticed a significant improvement in their general health, lack of symptoms and so on. Thirdly, after going over my food diary at MyFitnessPal, I have noticed a trend. Those times lately when I’ve eaten lots of carbs, my symptoms have nearly always (I’m saying “nearly” because I haven’t kept a log of my symptoms, so I’m taking it from memory) been worse.
I already know that when I eat too much refined carbs, such as candy, my symptoms always worsen, but I assumed that was the sugar. It would explain why I cannot eat pancakes (the Norwegian kind) anymore. It would also explain why I haven’t been able to pinpoint a specific type of food that I cannot eat. Earlier I thought it was gluten, but it didn’t quite feel right or make sense to me, considering what I ate at the time. Back when I tried the 5:2 diet I did notice an improvement, but that may be because my fast days naturally had very few carbs.
If it truly is the carbs, or rather my sensitivity to too much of them, it would explain why my sugar detox only partially worked. I did notice an improvement, but then I still ate quite a lot of pasta, potatoes, rice, noodles and so on. I had a bit more energy, but the dreaded fatigue always seemed just around the corner. Let’s be honest: I’m sick of feeling fatigued and/or in pain, and constantly bloated, no matter what I do or eat, so if this helps, I’ll gladly stick to it. I’m not blindly following anything and everything I come across, but I AM willing to give things an honest try to see if it helps.
With these things in mind, I’ve decided to try low-carb for a while. It won’t be the extreme type with only 15-20g of carbs per day – I do work out a lot and have a competition to train for, after all – so I’ll aim for less than 100g of carbs per day to start with. It will still be around half of my usual carb intake, but not so much that I’ll have problems finding things to eat while being away for work (one two-day meeting and one two-day course, both during the next two weeks) or while visiting my parents, or that I’ll have problems training hard. I’ve read that your first week or two might be hard, while the body’s adjusting, so my plan is to stick to a low-carb diet for a month, at least.
It seems a bit silly to have a “so far” post when I’ve only been at it for a little more than one day, but eh. Yesterday I ate 113g carbohydrates, which was a little above my target, but I’m happy with that. Considering I ate both pasta (whole-grain) and rice noodles yesterday, I was surprised that I didn’t go more over. I ate eggs with mushrooms for breakfast and supper, a little pasta for lunch, and a Korean wok that I love for dinner. And then a soy latte sometime after dinner.
I had far less cravings than I’ve had in a long time now. I also felt pleasantly full for most of the day, contrary to what I’d expected, and I while I felt as if I’d eaten a lot, I actualy ate far less than my calorie limit. (I should probably note here that my calorie limit is very high, it’s for losing only half a pound per week. I do aim to lose more, a pound or so, but I keep it that high to avoid becoming super-stressed about it, which inevitably leads to binge-eating and all that entails. Instead I aim to eat a bit less than my limit.) I also exercised yesterday (Beachbody’s Les Mills Combat DVDs and a core challenge I’m currently doing – I had intended to run, but the rain was pouring, and I gave up after ten minutes) and it went fine. I was exhausted by the end of the combat workout, but it IS extremely tiring, particularly if you have no arm muscles, and I hadn’t done it in a while. Today I feel surprisingly energized.
That was all for today! I’m excited to see how this low-carb experiment will go, particularly during dance practice tomorrow. I really, really hope this will help, but if it doesn’t, well, there must be something that does. Have a splendid Sunday, everyone!