Saturday, April 08, 2006

Optimal Diet Ratios

Emma's post today about ON ratios is prompting me to pontificate about my own ratios.

When I started ON, I began with ratios of about 60 to 70 g protein: 210 to 230 g fat: 40 to 50 g carbohydrate (excluding fibre). I started dropping weight right away. Then I stalled. Then I tried reducing my fat a bit. Then I gained. This, of course, made me convinced that dropping the fat was a big mistake and I just couldn't get my head around the ON 'weight loss' ratio, as dropping the fat, for me, had made me put on pounds, not lose them.

It's now, later on, that I see that small fluctuations in my ratios were not the problem. My diet was still full of salicylates and amines. I was eating coconut frequently and regularly had aged cheese, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, kale and asparagus... never ate potatoes or flour. I suppose Atkins had affected my opinion of these foods too much and I just didn't 'buy' the fact that they were the preferred form of carbate.

I was totally dumbfounded as to why I'd lose 3 lbs in a week, then gain them all back overnight for absolutely no reason. Needless to say, it was incredibly demoralising. I would blame minor fluctuations in my ratios... Maybe the protein/fat/carb is too high/low! I would blame a fluctuation as small as 2 or 3 grams as the culprit of a 3 lb. gain, which I now realise is totally ridiculous. I tried every incarnation of protein:fat:carb within the allowed limits, and even sometimes went outside those limits in the hopes it would trigger some consistent weight loss.

These changes in diet, especially when I would increase fat intake, would cause me to excrete more salicylates than usual, which would cause a temporary weight loss, followed by a chemical build-up, followed by weight gain, The weight fluctuations would worsen the mood that was already compromised by all the chemicals, so I was constantly miserable and paranoid about what I was eating.

I am definitely still struggling with my weight and my ON ratios. I do feel that, more important that anything else, consistency is the key. Changing my ratios every couple of days did not help and only caused me to obsess over them. I still do obsess, but am trying to resist tinkering with them. The fact that the reaction to the food I ate last saturday didn't even show up until 4 days after I had eaten it proves that even a one-meal deviation can cause ramifications well beyond what I had previously thought and totally explains why I have not lost the excess weight yet. I'm still having headaches and irritability from all that crappy food - why would my body be ready to bounce back weight-wise, yet? Still, I am discouraged all over again, sitting here at my old faithful 154.5 lbs, which is basically what I started out with before Failsafe.

Having said all that, I have decided to try reducing carbs a bit; I won't mess around with the protein and, if anything, I will keep fat high because I do feel my body still needs a great deal of healing. I had been sticking to the accepted 50 grams of carbohydrates, but now I wonder if that's just too high for my reactive hypoglycemia. I still experience hunger between meals and occasional irritability, which really shouldn't happen with the level of fat I eat. My protein is already quite low, as Homo Optimus apparently states that protein should be reduced to 0.7 g/kg of ideal body weight (which, for me, is 60 kg, according to my height) after the initial 3 months, or 'reconstruction' period, according to the AHOA. I would love to get a copy of Homo Optimus, but haven't been able to get my hands on it. I'm also mildly concerned about the quality of translation, which I've heard is a bit questionable.

More thought is still needed in this department - I'm just not sure which direction to go, or if I should just stick with what I've been doing. I'd started questioning dairy (which I'm still eliminating) and now I'm questioning wheat flour - not because I have any particular reaction to it, but because I have had a bad week and I'm looking to everything to try and explain why my body reacted so poorly (and for such an extended time) to this one indiscretion. Now I'm thinking... is it the flour in my pancakes? The 1 shortbread cookie I occasionally eat at night?

I can't possibly restrict my diet any more than I already have. I just can't do it.

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