What I Experienced After Reducing The Carbs In My Life
These are the best things I’ve experienced from low carb eating and making the diet change I’ve mentioned many times - from porridge, bananas and quinoa to more greens, more animal proteins (but not too many) and more fat (best change I ever made).
Disclaimer: No I’m not telling you to eat this way, I’m not demonising any food and I’m not promoting eating disorders. My blog is and always has been a completely honest account of my experiences and thoughts and is a place of love, happiness and gratitude.
But if you are interested, these are some of the highlights I experienced…
Naturally maintaining my weight
One of my friends once commented on my ability to not yoyo up and down in weight, but it hasn’t always been this way. Since making this diet change… I’ve found it far easier to maintain my weight without trying too hard. Of course I always eat well, but previously it was like if I had one “off weekend” or had a few weeks where I wasn’t quite as strict, I would see it immediately. Not to mention the mental stress this left me with - feeling like I was on a calorie restricted tight rope, just waiting to fall off at any moment into a heap of shit.
Nowadays… Even if I have a few meals of indulgence, go on holiday, have a few too many drinks or a few too many “tastes” of sugar-free carrot cake while I’m recipe testing, it doesn’t really affect my weight in the way it used to.
Question… How many cookies can one eat before I can stop using the excuse that I’m recipe testing and need to know how it tastes because it’s my job hahaha.
Easily being able to go out and eat out without stress
In my previous diet it was hard to go out and eat without stress because I thought everything would have too much fat or oil, or too much grains (I’ve been grain free for a long time) or too much meat when i was vegan and vego).
Look its still not great as I’m picky with my meat and animal products and like to stick to wild fish, pasture-raised chicken and 100% grass fed and pasture raised beef - and I know many cafes and restaurants don’t pick the stuff that’s up to my standards, but for me it’s about doing the best I can and picking the best option I have. Also many places cook in canola or vegetable oil unfortunately it’s just the hospitality industry - not great but that’s the truth of the situation.
For the most part a piece of fish or grass fed meat is always on the menu at restaurants with greens… Ta da there’s my meal sorted. Since changing my diet I can also enjoy good quality cheeses, dips and charcuterie and delicious veggie sides that previously I would have not eaten due to the fat content or the dairy.
Leaving the table satisfied
And not thinking about food all the time…
This is perhaps my second favourite benefit, leaving the meal feeling totally satisfied and I can move on with my day, not feeling like all I want is to eat more and more or craving fruit or feeling like I could literally eat a whole other bowl of whatever I just finished. Or feeling that I’m just constantly fighting the willpower not to overeat… Remember, willpower is a finite resource and the second you have a stressful or emotional situation, willpower flies out the window and into a tub of vegan ice cream you go, while standing… At the freezer… We’ve all been there.
Fat, protein and fibre are key for satiety, and that’s pretty much my diet - 70% plants, 20% animal protein or hemp protein and 10% extras often high in fat like avo, nuts, oils, tahinis, cheese occasionally.
Water retention and puffiness
Honestly I haven’t totally mastered this and it’s still something I experience (and I freaking HATTTEE it)… But since changing my diet, the frequency is significantly less, and overall I look less puffy, especially in my face. Other things that have helped with this are cold water therapy (literally just cold showers or cold ocean/ lake swimming) which is free might I add, and magnesium supplementation. Also I’m now experimenting with a pinch of pink salt in my water bottle in the morning, since one of the biggest causes of water retention and puffiness is dehydration, especially in the face.
Not feeling like I’m on some sort of diet or plan
This is the best, I can just live life, not worrying about going out, I can be excited about cooking, and going to peoples places for dinner, I can make plans last minute, I’m not a slave to an eating plan, I’m fluid and can make everything work for me. When social plans come about or I’m invited to something, my immediate reaction is “yay fun” instead of “shit this is going to throw off my healthy eating and I don’t want to go”.
And I saved the best for last…
Alleviating my low moods, low energy and depression… HALLELUJAH
Having experienced depression in the past, my number one motivation for everything is to never go back there again. Waking up everyday motivated, happy, energetic and excited is not something I take for granted.
To give a grossly overly simplified explanation, symptoms of depression can be caused by many root causes (no I’m not referring to a serotonin imbalance here, whatever TF that means) but some things include blood sugar imbalance (hello me and how I was eating before with chronically elevated insulin - not that this is the case for everyone who eats porridge for breakfast, but for me it was and I was even bordering on insulin resistance). Also the B12 issue (the change I made from being vegan/ vego to incorporating animal foods into my diet), and omega 3’s (in animal foods you get EPA and DHA, in plants you’re only getting ALA only a small amount of which the body is able to convert). These three things (among many others) have significant effects on the brain, mood and common mental health conditions.
A lot of this came about after reading the work of two well-respected psychiatrists Kelly Brogan and Drew Ramsay, and if this point resonated with you I highly recommend you binge on their content. Start with Kelly’s interview on JRE (get ready to open your mind about anti-depressant drugs) and Drew Ramsay’s interviews on the Mark Hyman podcast and Max Lugavere. Also check out Felice Jacka’s interview on Max Lugavere’s podcast.
Hope you got something out of this post!
And if you’re wondering how I made this change, and gave myself the ability to go into ketosis, my fat fudges we’re my saviour! I’d have one for lunch dessert every day and it stopped me from craving fruit, and allowed me to last well into the evening without being super hungry.