I have decided to try eating very few carbs for the next week or three, to see what happens.
In the past I have been skeptical of the low-carb (or no-carb) diets, mostly because I feel it should be possible to eat a “balanced” diet, in moderation, and be well, live happy. I have a feeling that the low-carb craze is a direct result of the “low fat” craze that has been omnipresent in this country & culture for some decades. We have become so used to “low fat” items and have traded carbs for fats. Now, the pendulum swings the other way and “low carb” is the craze, but neither of these appeals to my inner sense of symmetry.
However, the following factors have made me decide to try it, at least for a while.
- I have decided that there is probably no harm in trying it for a while, and much possibly to gain.
- I know I should probably eat less (of everything, but mostly less carbs).
- I have for some time thought that I probably eat about the right amount of food. This was not well-supported by the evidence: I can’t deny that I eat a lot, more than can reasonably be described as “normal”.
- What I have read about carbohydrates and insulin leads me to conclude that an excess of carbs makes a person crave more carbs. Therefore, the process is not self-correcting — it is possible for the system to get out of whack, and it’s very likely that my own carb/sweets craving is out of proportion with my actual needs — way out.
- Similarly, I entertained the thought that that all I would need to do is exercise and everything would be OK. Exercise is important to me, but so far I have not been willing or able to do the proper amount. I hope to be able to reach and maintain a “normal” amount of exercise, but it seems very unlikely that I will do the extra exercise needed to offset carelessness in the eating department. Besides, adding exercise to my life requires a time commitment, and eating less food does not.
- I used to somewhat enjoy being carefree (a.k.a. careless) with my eating. I am in the habit of just eating whatever is in front of me, or whatever sounds good, and to eat until I feel full. I have decided that I’m getting too old to be careless in this way. I already have some minor health consequences from eating too much. I would like to avoid major ones.
- I have decided that the best first step toward making eating a more conscious, informed decision is to try limiting my food intake as much as possible. This is probably the only way I will discover exactly what my body needs. I would like to be more aware of how my body reacts to food and the lack of it.
- Finally, I pride myself on being disciplined and careful in other aspects of my life. My eating habits are out of step with this vision of my enlightened self. After all, if my decisions about what to eat are not up to me, they are certainly not up to anyone else :) I believe I have the willpower reserves. There is no time like the present to put it to the test.
So, the current plan is to go low-carb for a while (temporary) but also in general to get in tune with what my body needs, and eat less. This will be hard, but not impossible. I love great food, especially sweets and rich foods, but I think in time I can learn to love them in smaller amounts.