my experiments with the truth | low carb eating – part 1

If you’ve been following machinegunmeow for some time, then you’ll know that I went low-carb some time ago. You can read about my experience here.

What I want to share today is a different side of the LCHF journey.

About three months ago, I decided to see what would happen if I went back to eating carbs. I wanted to perform this experiment on myself for a few reasons.

  1. Firstly, and mainly, I was curious. I have already illustrated in my post about Banting how going LCHF (low-carb high/healthy fat) changed things for me. I wanted to see how awful I would feel mentally, physically, emotionally and generally if I stopped.
  2. My weight had slowly moved back to pre-LCHF without any change in how I was Banting, exercise patterns (what exercise?) or other factors. This didn’t worry as much as it puzzled me. Having said that, I have been a believer of the notion that your body has a weight it ‘likes’ to be. There is no science behind my belief. But over the past two decades, I have noticed there is a weight +/- 1 kilograms that I tend to sit at on the scales. It’s a perfectly healthy weight even if I wish it was a smaller number.
  3. Next, and related to point two, I found that while I weighed about the same, my clothes fitted me differently. I wouldn’t be quick to blame it on muscle (what muscle?). I can best describe it as a redistribution of weight so my body was a slightly different shape – heavier in the bottom half on Banting.
  4. I missed entertaining. Preparing elaborate or simple meals for friends and family and gathering at the table has always been a pleasurable experience for me. With Banting, I wasn’t doing this much. I hadn’t been enjoying cooking much and consequently, was hardly doing any cooking.
  5. It was my birthday and I didn’t want to be the one ordering special dietary requirements at the celebratory breakfast.
  6. I wondered whether grains had a different effect on me as a descendant of an early grain cultivating people vs. recent grain eaters. It is well known that lactose intolerance is prevalent in East Asian populations – the argument being that the genetic mutation that enables lactase production in adult humans is only present in about 10% of the population (as opposed to about 95% of people of Northern European descent who can digest milk as they have a long history of dependence on unfermented milk as a food). I wonder if this analogy applied to grains and pulses.
  7. I didn’t care for sweets and bread. But man, I really missed eating lentils. Almost as much as I miss my mum. Who makes said lentils.

So I decided to, very un-scientifically, re-introduce different ‘red list’ items to my diet and see what would happen. It was important to me to not bring things in all at once because then I wouldn’t know what effect each food item was having on me.

Before I reveal what results my experiment gave, I’d love to know about your diet journey, particularly if you have tried or still eat LCHF.

What challenges did you face? How did you overcome them?
What worked for you?

my experiments with the truth | low carb eating – part 1

14 thoughts on “my experiments with the truth | low carb eating – part 1

  1. Hey mGm! Interested to know how you went. I’ve done a lot of experimenting in my time for an anti inflammatory diet. Interestingly the stuff i stumbled on from reading a lot on the topic and just giving things a go turns out to be just what an ayurvedic dr tells me is right for my constitution – not much dairy, not much alcohol, avoid sugar, white flour and a number of other things. I also found that my own experiments, whether intentional or just in listening to my body tended to align with the book about eating right for your blood type. The single biggest change ive experienced was in eliminating sugar- weightloss (duh) but also significant alleviation of joint pain. I could go on and on but seriously, I’ll bore you- learning to try to stop talking about this stuff irl ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not boring at all, I’d love to know more. You’re spot on about the sugar. I’ve never had a sweet tooth so it was easy to give up.
      Ayurveda is full of ancient wisdom and you are not alone in your realisation – mine is perhaps late!
      Do you mind sharing what you have been trying to ‘treat’ or control through an anti-inflammatory diet?
      I’ll be posting my personal observations soon so please do come back xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Never too late! It’s only early days for me (1 week). So far I think it’s the caffeine withdrawals that are making it tough. I tried and really got a lot out of acupuncture and TCM but I think ayurveda is a lot more complete in its approach- so ill stick with it fir the year or so it may take to bring my doshas back into balance. I have been trying to treat rheumatoid arthritis. I’ll definately read your follow on post soon. Have a great night x

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Two decades, mGm – your entire life span. I see you’ve been a fan of the scientific method since birth. I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you can’t burn carbs don’t eat carbs. However, I tend to stress eat. Which means that either I reduce the stress so I don’t stress eat OR I stress eat and work out for an extra 30 minutes. Unfortunately, I live in a high-carb wheat-filled gluten-friendly world. Eating clean is a crime here. Also, when people say that you eat healthily they mean you possibly have an eating disorder. That means planning and preparing lunches is bothersome. Is that because people think I have an eating disorder because I don’t eat microwaveable food. So ironic that I grew up in a developing country and our natural diet is organic and clean and healthier than anything I have encountered in an industrial country (outside of Australia). Also, I don’t digest meat (most of it is full of antibiotics and hormones or not grass fed) well. So it’s very easy to have mostly vegetables anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! You are very kind SB, it’s closer to half my life but I’ll take it!

      Yes, I don’t know why eating any way but how everyone else does is immediately suspicious.
      I grew up in a household with just a bar fridge that only had ice cubes and a tiny plastic tub holding about 2 tablespoons of yogurt culture.
      Everything mum cooked was bought and prepared on the same day. No leftovers, no need for microwaves. No one worried about organic and clean because that was essentially how everything was in its natural state. All you did was wash things thoroughly to remove the dirt. Meat was a rarity so like you, I ate mostly vegetables. Still do.
      Simpler times. ‘Developing’ countries really know how to do it right.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for that, mGm. I do the same thing as your mom did, now. I go to the farmer’s section at the supermarket and grab a thing or two. It’s less expensive than you would imagine, especially when certain crops are in season. Recently, Jamaica was praised for having a healthy traditional diet and it was attributed to the success of our track and field athletes. Interestingly, coconut oil, which is now the trendiest health food in developed countries, has been a staple in our diet forever.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Traditional really is best. We live in a time when I hope we have reached a tipping point as we realise all these ‘advancements’ a la genetic modification and perennial accessibility to produce that has flown thousands of miles to sit on supermarket fridge shelves, is doing more harm than good.
          Coconut oil is so delicious, we eat it with a spoon. I also love to dip little steamed savoury cakes in peanut oil for extra flavour.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I went on a keto diet (50g sugar a day or less) about 3 years ago. I lost several kgs. But I stopped because I keep experiencing cramps.

    We have a strong family history of cancer and I found that keto diet could help prevent it (apparently cancer cells don’t switch to fat as fuel when there’s not enough glucose).

    Anyway, interesting theory on food. My stomach gets upset when I eat or drink too much dairy. Have you read ‘The Starch Solution’? The author “studied” southeast asians if I remember right because many southeast asians eat rice but many are still skinny. So maybe we’re really just meant to eat grains over here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How interesting Rae, I was also on the <50g p/d carb diet and dropped a lot of weight initially. The cramps are easily remedied with magnesium supplements. The literature is strong around starving cancer cells of sugar so I am all for it. I don’t really have a sweet tooth anyway.
    I haven’t read the book but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Don’t you think there is no one answer to it all? We are so diverse that perhaps one solution does not fit all . . .


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