Sunday, January 8, 2012

Day 2: evening - finding it tough

My weight: 164.4 lbs (Pre-diet 166.4 lbs)
Charlie's weight: 205.8 lbs (Pre-diet 205.6 lbs)

Thank you everyone for all the comments which are very helpful and encouraging. I will start weighing myself a bit less, as it does become rather all-consuming. Probably just once a day in the morning in these early stages, and then moving down to 2-3 times a week as I get settled in. 

Today both my husband and I are struggling. "Is being on a diet always this miserable?" he asked me this evening. Neither of us feel hungry, but we feel kind of empty and a bit strange. When I heard about Atkins-style diets in the past, I thought, "Wow, it sounds good, eating as much as you want, eating meat, eating fat. But does it work? And is it healthy?" Right now, I'm sort of in the opposite place. Speaking to Gary convinced me that it works, and doing it myself I realize that it is healthy, even by conventional standards: avoiding carbs means I skip the snacks when I would normally eat cookies and chips. I'm not eating more red meat than usual, but I am eating fish and vegetables to fill the gap left by pasta, rice and potatoes. But I'm not enjoying eating very much! I almost can't be bothered to eat. We still have all the ingredients to make a delicious apple crisp: that's what I want to eat, I miss sugar! 

Charlie is so upset with some of the early symptoms that he has just eaten some All-Bran...

What I ate today:

Breakfast - one cheese and zucchini omelette, one cup of coffee, half a glass of orange juice
Mid-morning - one tangerine
Lunch - Sausages and salad
Afternoon - one cup of tea
Supper - "Russian" eggs (like deviled eggs but with sardines and capers)
Baked haddock with spinach and sour cream, one glass of red wine.


  1. Sounds delicious. Once the sugar cravings go away (give it a couple weeks) they are pretty much gone for good, in my experience. It has been about three years for me.

    I just wish when I went to a coffee shop, and sat down with my tea, they sold something I could enjoy with my tea...

  2. I'm sorry you are struggling Sophie. May I point out that you are not following Taubes diet today. You are eating a lot of fruit and drinking wine. This is not the plan. But don't worry! You can get on plan again tomorrow.

    If you were to log your calories in something like, you will find you are not eating enough - you need to eat more calories, more veggies and especially more fat. To succeed - if I may be so blunt - you need to drop the fructose. The fruit and juice are only driving your sugar cravings. Please eliminate the fruit and wine for at least the first 2 weeks.

    I would really like to encourage you to watch a video and start again, esp. your husband. It's hard the first 3 days, esp. when you lack information and aren't accurately tracking what you're eating.

    This video is an actual patient class taught by world-famous low-carb physician Dr. Eric Westman at the eminent Duke University Lifestyle Center. This is an exclusive program that costs quite a bit to attend.

    Westman has worked with Taubes and is an excellent clinician who is pretty much the gold standard for helping people start low-carb diets. This 30-minute video is aimed at his clinical patients who have diabetes, which is why he recommends they start at 10 grams of carbs a day.

    You however can easily start at double that: 20 or even 25 carbs a day, since you're not diabetic. The video is an actual class, so it's not a polished piece of cinema! :)

    Dr. Westman refers several times to a handout. If you sit tight, he actually reads the famous "page 4" of the handout to you about halfway through. I do believe that if you will watch this patient education class, y ou will be much clearer on how to start the diet correctly, and you will be much more comfortable and successful!


    Good luck to you! We're here for you! :)

  3. I would eliminate the dairy, add fats and MORE meat. Use nuts and jerky for snacks instead of fruit.

    Changing a lifestyle of eating habits is not easy. It takes commitment. I do know, when you cannot have something, you want it more. Try not to focus on the food, stop weighing yourself so often, increase your water intake. Hang in there!!!

  4. Way to go! Congrats on trying something new.

    I second the advice you've already been given, and would also just add that;
    1) your taste buds aren't used to this yet. It will take a week or so for you really to be able to *taste* the food without the sugar hit they're used to.
    2) brain fog is normal for a short space of time. battle through and you'll soon feel pretty good - so long as you're actually eating enough calories. It's easy to underestimate how much fat you need to eat to replace all the sugars and carbs you've been eating. Remember - it's not a calorie restricting diet :)

    Best of luck! You'll feel like a new person in just a few more days.

  5. I'm so excited to discover your blog! This new year started me with enthusiasm to do great things for my physiological health (as I implemented great steps to correct my psychological and spiritual health throughout 2011). It is weird to consider that just a mere week ago I was seriously considering that bariatric surgery could be right for me. I brought this issue up with my family for discussion and insight. What ended up happening is through pure luck, my father and I stumbled into Gary Taubes' research!

    I would have to say it is the second most life-changing facts I have ever realized!

    To give a brief background (I apologize, I really and truly am a wordy person) let me explain that my mother is more or less "hooked" on conventional wisdom. Over the years she has overcome her "technophobic" ways and learned how to text me, communicate via e-mail and do web research. Hurrah! Except that her exposure the the internet has a downfall: conventional wisdom, paid for by political sponsors, has inundated her with "research". So much so that she hasn't bothered to seek out alternate hypotheses. This is in no way saying that my mother is intellectually challenged, she herself was a local journalist for a time, she was just trapped by the government supported paradigm of positive caloric intake.

    Now, take my dad and I. We are highly intellectually motivated. If there isn't conclusive evidence, we really don't want much to do with it. So, conventional wisdom has never really even appealed enough to us to make hard-and-fast efforts to abide by its limitations. As soon as we started reading and researching Gary Taubes' findings, we are 100% on board with a primal, or even all-meat (since my parents and I suffer from obesity, even "morbid" obesity by BMI standards).

    We've even got mom on board. She is more of the "Thank God they're even trying!"-solidarity approach, mostly just taking us at our word for the research.

    So I invested in Mark Sisson's 21-Day Total Body Transformation and his 30-minute Quick and Easy Meals cookbook. My parents and even my college roommate and myself are planning this lifestyle reprogramming to begin January 23rd.

    Why plan so far in advance? I don't want to shock my body. I have been a habitual smoker (at my worst a pack a day) from a young(er) age (I'm currently 21) and for the last year I have just resented it. So I quit! 5 days today without a cigarette! My roommate will also quit. My mom needs some time to shift her mind away from paradigm induced calorie counting and chronic cardio, and my dad... well he would start today, if he could!

    I am most excited to observe the effect of a primal diet on the people around me: mom suffers from arthritis, dad is type-2 diabetic, and my roommate/best friend is victim to pancreantitis. All of these things are claimed "curable" (but what I'm thinking more likely is "treatable") simply through a primal diet.

    Admittedly, I'm writing you an entire book here. I apologize, as I said before I am very long-winded.

    Anyway, I agree with Fortune and Home Handymum with the advice. Remember, our brains are wired to run on glucose, which we are used to receiving from carbs, but is also available directly from our liver. This is something Mark Sisson addresses in his book and it is better phrased here:

    So, I look forward to continuing to read about your progress! It is encouraging to see someone making the same transformation around the same-ish time-frame that I am. I encourage you to remember that you aren't going to hit "perfect" 100% every day with this, but strive for at least the 80%. ;] Good luck with your move! Thanks again for blogging!

  6. You can do it! Congrats on making a healthy choice. I spent some time reading up on the evidence before making the change myself. I read "Good Calories, Bad Calories". I read Doctor Bernstein's book even though I don't have diabetes. I consulted with diabetic friends who actually tracked their conditions rather than follow the ADA line. I read Atkins. Then I made the leap. All along the way I informed my spouse about my findings and my decisions. You're lucky that your husband is joining you in this. My wife was much more anxious about my decisions. But the results were obvious. After 4 months I lost 40 or more pounds (I do not weigh myself) and was purchasing a new wardrobe. I've hit a bit of a plateau, but I want to lose another 20 pounds. Through exercise and a loss of a few bad revert habits, I'll get there. You will, too. Lose the fruit. The wine, while not optimal, is not an overindulgence. Drop it for a few weeks in order for your body to reset.

  7. If you're finding the food boring, try they have tons of great paleo (grain free, dairy free, HFCS free) recipes! When I first went paleo/primal it was hard not knowing what to eat. But now I wouldn't think of having grain based bread or even a glass of juice. Good luck!

  8. Sophie, I'm glad to see you and your husband starting this diet. I agree with what everyone else is saying with regards to needing to eat more fat / protein. I also agree with them on the tangerine part as well. Oranges are one of the higher sugar fruits available. I'd recommend sticking to berries if you really need the fruit intake (But maybe try cutting it out for the first week or two!)

    I also recommend reading anything and everything on That website is a gold mine for information.

    I'm not considered overweight, but cutting out carbs and sugar even and going paleo has been pretty awesome over the past month+.

    I wish you good luck and will continue checking in to what I hope to be is good news weight and health-wise!