On the subject of going cold-turkey vs. gradually reducing carbs

I posted this as a comment in a friend's journal but it sums up a lot of what I've been thinking about lately.

On the subject of going cold-turkey vs. gradually reducing carbs…

I know people get passionate about their carb sources. For me, going off of them cold-turkey gave me a new appreciation for how low I could effortlessly go… I don't think it's realistic to ever go to 0g but I now know I could live quite happily at <100g for the rest of my life. (Yes I do have planned "cheat days" usually on Saturday, so I could have bread/pasta/sugar at that time if I want… but I really don't crave it as much and I can be satisfied with much smaller amounts. For me an extravagant cheat day might be 250 grams of carbs.)

On the other hand, some people would do much better by trying to cut down slowly, rather than making a huge change, not liking it, and rejecting the concept completely. Cold-turkey is scary (especially if you don't care for cold turkey :) but those who don't feel "brave" enough could probably get noticeable benefit anyway, from trading a serving at a time.  Whether you are going cold-turkey or gradual, it probably helps to track not just calories, but protein/fat/carb breakdown. loseit.com makes pretty graphs.

One thing I can tell you is, since I switched to consuming 60% of calories in the form of fat, and <25% as carbs, I stay satisfied much longer, and when I do get hungry, it's mild… I never get the rush of "OMG hungry now" almost-sick feeling. The biggest change I notice is that I just don't think about food much.  At first I made an effort to seek out fat sources to offset the carbs, but now that I have worked meats, cheeses, bacon, avocado, mayo, and nuts back into the picture, and weaned myself of starch/sugar sources, I can almost go on automatic. 

Now I just don't worry about it, and often end up with fewer calories, almost by accident.  If I do get hungry, I snack on a handful of nuts or something, but most days I could skip entire meals and not really notice it. For once in my life, I eat when I'm hungry, then go back to living my life and not worrying about it.  If I'm distracted and just don't feel like stopping what I'm doing, well that's what my "strategic energy reserves" are for.

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