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I used to have a wheat belly for as far back as I could remember. A lot of my friends called it my ‘beer belly’ problem. But the truth was that I never gained the pounds because of binging on alcohol. The untimely & tragic death of a near relation from liver cirrhosis (because of overt drunkenness) was enough to keep me in check. I did, however, suffer from a genetic issue. Which I still do; only that I’ve learned how to deal with it. A condition called hyperlipidemia, which both of my grandmothers also suffered from. And according to my Spectrum Internet health research, I will probably have to wrestle it until my own encounter with the grim reaper!
My Weight Loss Journey – a Brief Account
My mother, fully aware of our family’s genetic history, tried every folk remedy in the book on me. But sooner or later, they all backfired, and I ended up becoming even more bloated. It wasn’t long before she became intensely frustrated, and even put me on a starvation regime. This made me sicker than ever, and I regularly fainted during my classes. And not to mention on one embarrassing date in my junior year, when I also puked all over the T-shirt of a longtime crush. Along with the café table that we had been cozily occupying then – far from any prying eyes.
By the time that I turned 23, I had tried every popular fad diet. My journey started with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) meal plan. Designed to lower people’s blood pressure in a healthy way, many dieters continue to lose a respectable amount of weight on it too.
After two months on this plan, however, I only lost about half a kilo. Disillusioned, I switched to the Atkin’s regime. This fared much better, and I ended up shedding close to 10 kilos! Except that I didn’t achieve my ideal weight loss goal even now. And after being on a strict high-protein & low-card schedule for about six months, I lapsed into a horrible depression. This caused me to binge on all the sugary stuff that I had been craving for well over half a year. With the overall result being that I ultimately gained close to 35 pounds!
More than seven kilos of my starting (original) weight.
After this damaging experience, I approached high-protein diets very cautiously. And half-heartedly; with the despairing belief that I would always remain fat.
Taking the Right Decision – and Consulting a Dietitian
It was at this stage that my mother, and a couple of sincere friends, advised me to consult a dietitian. I acted on their suggestion this time around. And lucky that I did, because the nutrition specialist I met informed me about a lot of things that I didn’t know before.
He taught me, for instance, how every popular high-protein diet was actually designed to put the body into a mild ketogenic state. For the purposes of this blog, I think this concept is worth laying out here (in simple words).
Because unless you – as a dieter – don’t gain a clear understanding of the biological process behind the whole thing, you won’t get thin. Over the long haul. And what’s more, you’ll continue to remain at the mercy of one diet plan after another.
Ketogenesis Explained (The Basis of High-Protein Diets)
In our normal diets, we take in the major food groups of carbohydrates (sugars), fats and proteins. But of these categories, it is only carbohydrates which actually make us fat.
Our bodies, according to scientific consensus, do not require large doses of carbs to function. The vast majority of our ancestors, in fact, only relied on animal proteins and fats for they daily sustenance. And they consumed natural carbs like honey and fruits only very sparingly.
Then along came factory-produced table sugar (sucrose) on the scene; at the close of the 19th century. And it was this culinary invention, more than any other eatable, which wreaked havoc on our health. To varying extents, many nutritional authorities trace a large number of modern diseases to this ‘treat’. Conditions like obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer; to name a few.
It is when we lower our carbohydrate intake that magic happens, however.
Our bodies first try to make do with our stored sugar (glycogen) reserves; accumulated over a lifetime of ‘carb-binging’. And in the absence of any dietary sugar reinforcement, they are forced to target our fat cells. And when this happens, ketone bodies are released into the blood – to fuel all our biological processes. Many of which had previously run on glucose.
The end result of this ketogenic shift is that we lose weight rapidly, and feel very energetic at the same time. This is because ketones, individually, yield much more energy than your average carbohydrate molecule.
The Best Weight Loss Plans?
In my experience, the following two (as per their market profile names) are the best:
Both of these are high-protein regimes (if you haven’t guessed already). They can help you to lose weight quickly, and they are most suited to stay-at-home mom types who have time to prepare meals.
For busy office and shift workers, the Fast Diet (based upon the principle of Intermittent Fasting) can really work wonders in your life.
When starting out with these plans, I first downloaded their soft copies through my Spectrum Double Play account. But it wasn’t long before I was gifting hardcover versions to my favorite friends and relatives on different public holidays. From this, I think you’ll understand how very effective they proved to be!
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