That's a lot.
That's more than I've lost on any diet, ever, and I lost it during the fall & winter, which is to say I lost 11 pounds at the same time of year (the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year's-Valentine's Day time of year) when normally I'm regaining the 5 or 6 pounds I managed to lose by dint of determined calorie counting & food logging in the spring and summer.
So, doing my bit for the Campaign, here's my story:
- the diet: plant-based, whole-food, no added fat, sugar, or salt
- and: calorie counting via LoseIt (see: "Dose This Pencil Skirt Have an App?")
- not essential but terrifically helpful: Get Running - I have kept up a running program through the depths of winter, thanks entirely to this app along with iAchieve
- still working on incorporating the glycemic index
- you lose your taste for meat &, to a much lesser degree, fat, over time (but see below)
- minimal hunger
- more energy
- so far, going back on the wagon has been as easy as going off the wagon, knock on wood
- sounds dreadful going in but your tastes change
I deviated from the true path in two respects: I eased into the diet instead of going cold turkey, and I calorie-counted. Thanks to Magic iTouch, I plan to carry on calorie counting. Fuhrman, Barnard, and Esselstyn all say there's no need to count - or restrict - calories if you're following the diet closely, but given that I'm not following it as closely as I ought, I count calories. Also, I'm guessing that calorie restriction in and of itself is probably going to be as good for me as it is for yeast cells and mice (haven't read that article, fyi).
The hitch: I ended up having problems with the no-added-fat part. First I got cranky, then I started waking up in the middle of the night feeling despairing and grim. So now. . . now, I'm not sure. My plan at the moment is to a) add some walnuts & avocados to my salads and b) cheat more.
We'll see how that goes. Maybe Gerald Reavan is right that what some of us need is a relatively high-fat diet? Dunno.
- apples & soup
- apparently, vegetables actually do consume more calories than they contain
- plant foods plants seem to increase metabolism (that may not be the right way to put it: Campbell found that rural Chinese peasants, who are essentially vegetarian, consume more calories than we do but weigh less - see here)
- Campbell also found that animal protein promotes cancer growth (terrific summary)
Last month I had total cholesterol of 131, LDL (bad cholesterol) 62, HDL (good cholesterol) 60. (I know those figures don't add up.) Triglycerides: 43 (normal is below 150).
So that's it.
For me, adopting a don't-get-diabetes diet means placing a bet -- or, at this point, placing a bet on plant-based/whole foods/no added fat, sugar, or salt and hedging it with plant-based/whole foods/somewhat more fat & somewhat less carb. I don't know and can't guess which expert is right.
But there's no question this works brilliantly for weight loss.
books & blogs
blog: Happy Healthy Long Life
Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman (for diabetes: "beans and greens")
Emily's Postmodern Transformation
The China Study by Thomas M. Campbell
20-year study of Chinese diet & health – “this project eventually produced more than 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease...”
Introduction (pdf file)
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselsstyn - all plant food all the time, "not one drop of added fat"
The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselsstyn (haven't read - Rip Esselstyn is Caldwell Esselstyn's son - 28-day before & after photos!)
Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes by Neal D. Barnard
Neal D. Barnard
The Calorie Restriction Experiment by Jon Gertner New York Times October 7, 2009 - people undereating for two years straight
Calerie study: Comprehensive Assessment of Long-Term Effects of Reducing Energy Intake
The "i" Diet by Susan Roberts (haven't read but it sounds great - Roberts is part of the Calerie study)
Just to confuse everyone: Syndrome X: The Silent Killer by Gerald Reaven, Terry Kirsten Strom, and Barry Fox
Anticancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber "All of us have cancer cells in our body. But not all of us will develop cancer."
Volumetrics Eating Plan by Barbara Rolls - "Eat big food."
And: Younger Next Year
the Ed diet
Barney adopts a healthy new eating style