Dieting progress – back on track! With one major drawback…

After the onslaught of misery and negativity I dished out the other day (er, yeah, sorry about that), I feel back on track.  I feel good.

Now it’s day 11, and I have lost 10 lbs.  I have more mental clarity, I feel lighter, I feel more in control.  I feel, dare I say it, happier.  Everything is going well.

I’ve been eating reasonably healthily and keeping to my rules (most of the time… the incident with the block of cheese never happened.  IT NEVER HAPPENED.)

I made myself a truly delicious Greek salad for tea that was filling and nutritious (see below).

photo (1)

Salad including rocket, spinach, watercress, avacado, fetta cheese, olives and a dressing of olive oil/lemon juice/taragon. Yum.

So what’s the problem?

The problem, dear readers, is what they might call the fly in the ointment.  This diet I’m on has so much to recommend it – it offers rapid weight loss, clear skin, mental clarity, constant energy; and if done in the right way, it is extremely healthy.

The problem is: I can’t run.

I mean, I can run.  But all the joy has gone out of it.  I’ve been running a few times since I started this diet, and each time has been miserable.  I have had to stop after about 4k; one time in the gym I ended up with my head between my knees, about to faint (an excruciatingly embarassing experience, if you’re interested: all the gym posers looked at me warily as if I might suddenly whip out a machete).

So what do I do?

I love running.  When I don’t run, I feel like something’s missing.  When running is going well, I feel like air moving over the Earth.  That’s not how I feel now.  I feel like a bull seal moving over a hill.

So now I have a dilemma.  Do I carry on with this until I reach my target weight (11 pounds to go), or do I find a more moderate diet which allows me to run, but without all the other benefits which go with the low carb regime? Decisions, decisions.

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24 thoughts on “Dieting progress – back on track! With one major drawback…

  1. Okay, I’m a low carb person. I’ve found it’s the only thing that really works to keep the weight down, I also run about 5k every two days. A common mistake people make with low carb is restricting themselves. Make sure you eat enough, lot’s of people don’t!

    • ooh a different viewpoint 🙂 That’s really reassuring that you can run 5k so frequently, did you find it hard in the beginning with the low carbs? I do eat a lot (an awful lot) I just hugely restrict my carb intake which leaves me with no energy (although lots of mental energy, funnily enough). I think what I’m going to do is stick with the low carb, but introduce some carbs such as fruit/fruit juice just before exercise to give me an edge. Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

      • Your salad looked lovely, but I noticed there was no meat protein? If you are veggie, you may find it difficult to get enough protein iron and good vitamins restricting to low Carb. The one good thing about low Carb is you can do stuff like leave the skin on chicken, eat pork rinds, etc. I’d also advise that you vary your diet. Make some low Carb muffins and cheesy bread. Eat some starchy veg too. Especially on days when you are running, they give you good Carbs that your body can use for the exercise. Use plenty of oils, dark toasted sesame is my favorite. Oh and macadamia nuts are a godsend. Berries are a great treat and relatively low carb….

      • Thanks so much for all this fab advice. I’m semi veggie… I rarely eat meat but I do eat a lot of fish. I hear what you’re saying about protein but I do eat a lot of tofu, eggs, dairy and so on. Love the toasted sesame seed idea… will also get some macadamia nuts! I like to eat brazil nuts as they are relatively low carb. Thanks for this 🙂

      • Sorry for the epic comment…… I’ve found low carb works but only if you do it properly. This means varying your diet. Eat three meals a day. Ensure that you have some starchy vegetables. Try and avoid any kind of carb that is not in fruit and veg form. I find the first week quite difficult…. Then my cravings just disappear and I’m no longer hungry… BUT, eat enough and vary it. Or it becomes a diet not a healthy choice. I’d also recommend reading some of the excellent and sensible low carb blogs on here. Yummy recipes and they give some great advice.

      • yeah i totally agree about making it a healthy choice rather than a diet. I’m trying to have lots of things I enjoy. I have checked out some of the low carb blogs and there’s some really great info out there. I suppose it’s just a matter of experimenting and finding what works best. Thanks for your comments 🙂

  2. 4k is still a decent run though and any exercise that’s up to 15 minutes is effective for weight loss, especially if it’s cardio.
    You can do a balance maybe- like, half an hour to an hour before a cardio session, have a small banana or peanut butter on celery to give you that extra edge. That way, you don’t feel so depleted during the work out and you can go longer without fatigue.

    • Hi Skye, thanks for dropping by 🙂 I guess it’s not really the distance (you’re right, 4k is better than nothing), it’s the fact that it’s so hard from beginning to end. I’m not the world’s best runner (by any stretch!) but usually I feel reasonably fit for at least a good 5/6km, and it’s really hit me how difficult it’s become on the low carb regime. I really like the banana idea though, I think I’m going to try that later on and then see how I go. Thanks so much for commenting! 🙂

  3. This has happened to me a few times, but not when Ive been running. Because I don’t run. Is it possible with this diet your sodium is too low? Or protein? Or water intake? Just some thoughts. Hope you can figure it our so you don’t continue to feel icky.

    • Thank you! I think it’s just because my carb intake is so low, and my body isn’t used to running on fat (which is annoying, as there’s so much of it to use! 🙂 ) I’m hoping if I keep plugging away at it, I will adjust and get used to it… fingers crossed! Thanks so much for commenting 🙂

  4. I would definately go with your second option. Running will keep your body strong, you don’t want to lose heaps of weight and have a weaker body because of it. Get onto a few Carbs only brown ones, Brown Rice, Brown Pasta and hopefully that will give you the energy you need, stick with small serves the day before you plan on doing a big run. It might help! Im no expert, but this is what works for me.
    Good luck!!

    • yes that sounds like a really sensible idea! I might give this a shot, because I really miss the running and I don’t want to sacrifice all my fitness (well, what little there is of it). Thanks! 🙂

  5. Congrats on the 10lbs! Bonus! I like the previous posters idea of adding in a few carbs, maybe just before you are due to run. You don’t want to give up something good that brings you joy.

  6. I’d say you should run like the wind! If you are being too restrictive with your diet the weight will come back on anyway. Stay healthy but be reasonable with your carbs. It might take a bit longer to lose the weight but it will be a lifestyle you are maintaining rather than a “diet”. Congratulations on everything you have achieved so far x

    • Hi Emma,
      Thanks so much for commenting, you’re totally right. It’s true what they say, weight that comes off fast will go back on fast! I think I might restrict the carbs to just when I’m exercising, and have some fruit. I’m really glad I asked you all – it’s really made me seen there’s only one answer to my dilemma!

  7. Well, I’d vote B because it’s more sustainable and if you love running then it’s important to feed both your body and soul.

    Also, well done. Also, I am going to steal that salad. I could eat it right off the screen. Nom. Nom.

    Lilly

    • I must admit the salad was really delicious – even for a salad! I think you are definitely right and you’re all very wise! 🙂 I suppose I’ve been resisting adding the carbs because we all like the idea of a ‘quick fix’ and there’s something alluring, almost addictive about getting on the scales each morning and watching the number go down. But the sensible part of me knows that fast weight loss isn’t sustainable and I should really slow it down. Thanks so much to everyone who’s commented – really given me a much needed kick up the @rse!

  8. So I am in the same boat as you – just with a lot more weight to lose. Low carb doesn’t work for me though. I certainly pay very close attention to my carb intake, especially carbs from grains but I don’t cut them out completely. Carbs from fruit and non starchy veg I don’t worry about. My absolute bottom line is that whatever I do has to be sustainable and enjoyable because if it isn’t an epic binge will result as surely as night follows day! I am losing weight the fastest I have ever done in my life (55 pounds in 3 months) so I also vote for a moderate diet that allows you to run – at least give it a try and see if you still lose.

    • I think that’s a great attitude to have – you’re so right that if you don’t enjoy what you’re eating, you end up having a huge binge at some point. Also many congrats on your amazing weight loss – that’s fantastic!

  9. If you’re aiming to burn fat by eating low carb and running, are you sure you’re running slow enough? If you run too fast you’ll burn blood sugar, glycogen, and then body tissues once those have run low. Your body won’t burn fat unless it’s the most efficient way of providing energy. Walking or slow, longer distance running will burn fat more effectively. If you feel giggly or dizzy, have cold sweats, feel irritable or taste acetone, you’re definitely not burning fat efficiently.

    “some people think that if they deplete their glycogen stores by following a low carbohydrate diet, they will force their body to break down more fat and lose weight. This is not the case: you risk losing muscle as well as fat, and there are many other disadvantages too.”
    Complete guide to sports nutrition – Anita Bean

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Complete-Guide-Sports-Nutrition-Guides/dp/1408105381

    Your heart rate gives you a pretty good idea of what your body is currently doing.

    Disclaimer: I eat a very high starch diet (rice, potatoes, bread) and do a lot of mid/long distance (20-40km) fell running. My experience might not apply that well to you.

    • Hi there,
      This is really interesting. I must admit I have been assuming my body is burning fat, without really considering that I’m shedding muscle too: I thought I was protecting myself from this by doing lots of sprints, but it makes more sense (like you say) to run slowly. I am considering doing what many on here have advised and reintroducing some carbs into my diet. I have read about something called ‘carb cycling’ which means only eating carbs in days of tough workouts. There’s a lot of experimenting to be done! Thanks so much for leaving such thoughtful and helpful comments 🙂

  10. Oats are popular even on a low carb diet but in terms of energy I’d go for millet, it’s the one food I’ve tried that has given me an incredibly consistent, sustained and long lasting energy supply. It’s light in the stomach and won’t put you to sleep like some of the heavier carbs. Lots of recipes online, I generally have them as porridge with low fat milk, honey and grated apple. If you estimate how many calories you’ll burn for a run and eat them beforehand they can fuel the run and it should burn off without sabotaging your weight loss. Eating too little will not only consume more than fat you won’t be able to exercise in good form which can put you at risk for injury.

    I have one meal a week where I have anything I want, hamburger, pizza, whatever, I just don’t have too much of it, it kills any cravings I might be having and tops up my energy level. As soon as I eat it I jump up a few lbs on the scales (from extra fluid and readily available energy stores being replaced) but it comes straight back off a few days later when they begin to deplete again and I’m generally still losing weight by the end of the week. My weight loss is slow but I’ve been able to hold onto muscle while losing weight. Incidentally you might want to look into “body composition”, there can be a huge difference between women with the same height and weight but different body fat and muscle percentages, as much as several dress sizes.

    • Thanks for that really helpful information! And well done on your weight loss. I definitely like your idea of having one treat per week – i suppose it keeps psychological deprivation at bay and stops you going on a huge binge at some point in the future. Thanks 🙂

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