Sunday, September 2, 2007

Why Me? Why Diet?

I went on my first diet when I was 13 or 14 years old. And in the 25 or so years since then, it feels as if I've always been on a diet, some more serious (and successful) than others.

About 10 years ago, I put my nose to the grindstone, started working out and watching what I ate, and lost more than 20 pounds. Sure, that doesn't sound like much, but this was weight I'd been carrying for 6 or 8 years (since I was in college), and I'm a petite girl (only 5'4" with a small frame), so weighing 145 or 155 is a lot.

For years after that, I was able to keep my weight in the 123-128 pound range. It was perfect for me. But a couple years ago, the weight started creeping on. I had a slow thyroid, some sports-related injuries caused me to cut back on my workouts, and I gained a few pounds. In my 20s, I found that a couple days of diligent dieting would help me easily take off the pounds, but that wasn't the case in my 30s.

My doctor recommended that I read the book "The Formula: A Personalized 40-30-30 Fat-Burning Nutrition Program," by Gene and Joyce Daoust. 40-30-30 dieting is similar to the The Zone Diet. By consuming a combination of 40% of your calories from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 30% from fat, you keep your body's blood sugar and insulin at a steady level. If your insulin levels are too high (because you've had too many carbs), your body will burn glucose instead of stored body fat. If your insulin levels are too low, the body starts to burn lean mass (like muscles), as well as stored body fat. At a steady level, you're burning the fat!

As my doctor explained it, when we get older, we lose our ability to efficiently burn carbohydrates. This is why The Formula, Zone and 40-30-30 diets work well for those of us in our 30s and older.

Using 40-30-30 knowledge, I'd managed to get my weight back into the mid-120s. But in the last 6 months, I've once again put on the pounds. Yesterday, I weighed 138, which is about as heavy as I've bene in the last 10 years. This blog will detail my attempts to lose the pounds, and keep them off. Along the way, I'll share tips, diet diaries, recipes and product reviews.

Thanks for reading!

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