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A weight loss wonder

December 11th, 2012 at 06:42 am

I'm really amazed.

While I was sick, I lost 7 pounds (!!) but I was quite sure I put it all back on when I started on the Prednisone, which is known to increase one's appetite. I distinctly remember one period where I ate pasta four meals in a row! That's how hungry I was.

So after putting off a weigh-in, I stepped on the scale this morning, and was amazed to see I'm holding steady at 140 pounds, just 5 lbs. shy of my Dating Dr. Bob weight 5 years ago.

While I was sick, I read William Davis's best-seller, Wheat Belly. And while I'd like to give a wheat-free diet a shot, I don't anticipate giving up wheat products entirely, at least not to the degree he advocates. But anyways, I haven't really purged wheat from my diet.

So what accounts for the weight loss, even despite the Prednisone?

It wasn't hard to figure out. Sugar.

Since I'd been on antibiotics for weeks, and since I've had problems with intractable yeast infections in the past, I was rather obsessively preoccupied with ensuring I wouldn't come down with another yeast infection. So I eliminated the many foods and ingredients that feed a yeast imbalance: cheese, bread and yes, SUGAR.

I drastically cut back on sugar in my diet these last 3 weeks. Although I always felt I ate a healthy diet, sugar is hidden in everything, and you won't know it unless you look for it.

I always read ingredient labels when food shopping, but truth be told, I would usually be looking at saturated fats, sodium and unhealthy preservatives. Sugar was not something I really paid attention to.

Years back I got hooked on Kozy Shack rice pudding. I figured it was a healthier alternative to cookies or ice cream. That may be true, but it's still loaded with sugar.

The kefir yogurt drink that tastes so good. LOADED with sugar! As is most commercially made yogurt, even my favorite, the "healthy" alternative, Stonyfield Farms. I can no longer justify eating their yogurt, organic or not, because of the high sugar content. 25 grams of sugar in a 6 oz. container!

Even the vanilla version of coconut/almond/soy milk is also quite high in sugar. You have to read EVERYTHING.

Of course, those coconut macaroons I recently found, are also filled with sugar. Oh, they tasted good.

About the only sugar I'm allowing myself now is that found in fresh fruit. The fruits higher in natural sugars include bananas, pineapple and mango. I happen to love those fruits, so jury's still out whether I'll ban those from the diet. In fact, I know I won't.

I also still like Trader Joe's reduced sugar jams: apricot, blueberry and raspberry all come in at a reasonable 6 grams of sugar per tablespoon.

So anyway, it had to be the sugar. It's funny, with all the diets out there, I never hear anyone talking about sugar. Sugar converts into glucose, which in turn converts into stored fat, so it makes sense to monitor sugar intake as well as be conscious of the glucose levels of different foods.

For that reason, I don't think it would be too hard to switch over from whole wheat bread (which shockingly has a glucose level nearly equal to white bread), to pumpernickel, which has a significantly lower glucose level.

I don't know how long I can sustain the radically low-sugar diet, but I'm going to try, monitoring my weight as I go. I'm not going to go crazy and try to eliminate condiments like ketchup from my diet, and I don't have the time to make my own, so there will have to be some compromises. But excess sugar brings with it a lot of problems like accelerated aging
and inflammation in the body, not to mention diabetes/obesity.

So this shall be my first resolution for 2013. Closely watch sugar intake!

9 Responses to “A weight loss wonder”

  1. Another Reader Says:

    Try making your own bread. The sugar in most bread recipes is minimal and you can reduce the salt as well. I have found homemade bread stays with me longer, even if I make white bread. No sugar rush followed by pangs of hunger.

    You can buy a breadmaker if you don't want the work - add the ingredients and the machine does the work for you. These machines are often for sale on Craigslist for less that $20. Just be sure to use bread flour in the recipe.

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    I've known sugar is a health issue. I know I need to cut back too. This might be a good resolution for me beginning in January. I did diet pop last year, and have had only about one pop per month. However, I put sugar in my coffee each morning...and my youngest daughter likes to bake!! This one will be a challenge.

  3. patientsaver Says:

    I've wanted a breadmaker for years...maybe i should do something about that. Though of course the Wheat belly author says that wheat/wheat flour itself has changed, genetically, since our grandmothers used to make bread, to increase yields and ease of harvest. That's why,he says, wheat is no longer the healthy food it once was. I guess there are recipes that use other types of flour?

    CCFree, i drink 2 or 3 cups of tea daily. I use Stevia, a plant-based sweetener that doens't contribute to glucose level at all. It's not cheap, but at least i don't have to worry about the sugar thing.

  4. patientsaver Says:

    Oh, I meant Truvia, not Stevia.

  5. skydivingchic Says:

    DBF lost nearly 30 pounds by eliminating the sugar and wheat from his diet. No exercise or other changes, simply eliminating those two things. He has also noted that his weight seems very dependant on sugar consumption. If we go crazy and have a lot of desserts, he gains a few pounds. Knock that stuff off and he loses the weight again.

    Wheat and sugar are in EVERYTHING. I'm an obsessive label reader now. For the yogurt, I have switched to plain greek yogurt - only two ingredients - milk and yogurt cultures. Mix it with some frozen mixed berries, cinnamon, and vanilla and it is quite yummy. I've also lost weight, but mostly with exercise in my case. However, I've also changed my diet to eliminate wheat and added sugar. I don't limit natural sugars like from fruit and I do have 3-4 servings of fruit every day. But anything that has sugar or one of its derivatives (high fructose corn syrup, honey, etc) is out. We still have dessert once or twice a week, but the vast majority of what we eat doesn't contain sugar or wheat.

    Read up on paleo or primal diets. We aren't as strict as those diets (still eat some beans and peanuts, etc), but we both look better, feel better, and perform better than before. Blood work has improved as well.

  6. patientsaver Says:

    I'm going to look more closely at the plain greek yogurt next time i'm in the supermarket. I suspect what happened to DBF may happen with me. (We can only hope.)

    I've been reading labels for years, yet it I still am amazed when the vast majority of people at the supermarket I see are not looking at labels at all. They're just tossing things into the cart!

    I know honey is very sweet, but I am reluctant to give that one up. and it does have those anti-bacterial properties.

    But could it be that losing weight is simply a matter of eliminating sugar, and maybe wheat too? Forget Atkins, forget Weight Watchers and the hundreds of other authors wo have made a mint on their own hair-brained ideas. It will be hard to bypass the entire center of the store, and stick to the periphery where the "real" foods are, but I can try. If I were working f/t, I think convenience would begin to win out, becus eating healthy seems to require more time to make things from scratch.

  7. LuckyRobin Says:

    I have found that by eliminating sugar and any form of corn syrup, but keeping a small amount of honey in my diet that I do quite well, especially if I keep it to one meal a day. Honey has so many healing attributes and it is a whole food. All the other sweetners and sugars are so highly prossessed that there is no nutrition left in them. I still eat wheat, but probably only once or twice a week.

    I didn't know that cheese fed yeast. How does that work?

  8. patientsaver Says:

    Here's a list of what to avoid...

    Diet That encourage the growth of yeast and should be avoided

    AVOID All sweets including hidden sweeteners in processed foods, such as soups, all fruit and fruit juice. Avoid grains such as prepared flake cereals sprouted grain cereals such as: Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Rice, Rye, Spelt, Wheat.

    Avoid Granola, Pearl barley, Instant oats, Cornmeal, degerminated Hominy grits, degerminated Microwave popcorn Blue corn meal

    Pasta Pasta is flour and water, the flour may be white bread flour and it may be durum flour made from semolina. All types of noodles are made from the same base and they should all be cut out of the diet, with Bufin, the Japanese noodles, Ramen instant noodles, farina, semolina and white flour noodles and pastas.

    Baked goods and Breads Avoid all cakes, pastries, cookies doughnuts or other processed baked food containing sugar. This list includes white bread, or any bread containing wheat, which includes parathas, nanas bread, pita bread, white flour tortillas, wheat dough tortillas, sourdough, or any other ethnic bread made from wheat. Mochi the sweet unleavened bread made from brown rice should be avoided.

    Legumes Avoid beans and peas with sweeteners, bean sprouts, tempeh which a type of fermented tofu, tofu and textured vegetable protein.

    Nuts & Seeds Coconut, Peanuts, Pistachios, Walnuts

    Dairy Products Buttermilk, Soymilk (sweetened), All kinds of cheeses, Cottage cheese, Kefir, Milk, Sour cream Creme fraiche Sweetened yogurt.

    Fruit Never eat dried fruit, and when you start the Candida cleanse diet it is best to avoid all fruit because of the fructose the sugar it contains. Once you have eliminated the current Candida infection then eat fruit with a moderate amount of sugar. Low sugar fruits are apples, grapefruit, melon, and strawberries.

    Beverages Alcohol, Cereal beverages, Coffee both regular and decaffeinated Fruit juices Soft drinks including the diet soft drinks. Processed tea drinks such as lemon tea. All fruit teas, Black tea

    Condiments and Sauces No Ketchup or catsup or any type of tomato sauce Cream sauces such as Alfredo Steak sauce, NO Capers, Dried or powdered garlic, Miso, Dried or powdered onion, Pickles or chutneys, which include anything made with sugar and distilled vinegar. Spices, Distilled vinegar Sauerkraut.

    Proteins: Meat products such as beef chicken or pork have added antibiotics and hormones and they should be avoided if you want to eat meat then eat free-range organic products. Smoked meats such as bacon, sausages and salami products such as pepperoni have added sugar and should be cut out of your diet.

    Vegetables:

    Avoid - Beetroot Canned tomatoes Carrots Cucumber skins, Mushrooms (all types), Potato skins, Prepared soups, Canned tomatoes

    Eat - Beans, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers Green pepper, Kale, Lettuce Onion, radishes, Parsley, Peas, Rocket or arugulla Spinach, Tomatoes.

  9. Dido Says:

    see http://blog.peertrainer.com/tip_of_the_day/2012/09/hormone-sensitive-lipase-unlocks-the-doors-to-your-fat-cells.html about why cutting sugar helps...in a word--or three--hormone-sensitive lipase.

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