Friday, August 31, 2007

Silent No More

In good conscience, I can't keep silent about the Kimkins diet any longer.

Yes, I tried Kimkins back in June and July.

Yes, I lost weight, about 14 lbs in about 3 weeks.
Yes, I paid $60 to belong to a forum for support and encouragement along with the dietary guidelines published by "Kimmer", the screenname of Heidi Diaz, whose reputation in the low carb world has....ermmm....fallen into some disrepute lately.
I thought it was the best solution to overweight I'd ever heard.

I got sucked in by promises (and results) of quick weightloss with no exercise.
I'm not a patient person, so this appealed to me enormously. When I do anything important, I tend to go "whole hog" and overboard sometimes. Plus, I travel a lot, and when I'm home it's hard to find time to work out. Oh, this diet just sounds like a dream come true, doesn't it?
I didn't know enough about dieting in general to know any better, so when the pounds began falling off I was raving, excited and told a lot of people about Kimkins. I had no idea what was coming....

At week 3*, my weight loss stopped. I began questioning Kimmer and the admins on the forum. Their advice was "drop your carbs, drop your fats..."that food" isn't allowed on Kimkins etc."

This meant, in a practical sense, drop your calories. So I did. For a little while I dropped my daily caloric intake to approximately 600-800 per day.
How did I feel?
Ravenously hungry. My stomach growled almost constantly. Deciding it was time to kick up my exercise routine a notch, I tried to work out one day on the elliptical machine at the Y (I'd been walking at least a mile a day or every other day at that time in my hilly neighborhood). After about 6-7 minutes I was getting woozy, my knees felt like jello, and I couldn't see straight. I decided to finish my workout on a treadmill. I took it easy, but only could finish another 4 minutes before the dizziness and weakness in my legs made me a little scared and I stopped.

My daughter, the RN, who was working out with me said "Mom, you look kind of funny, are you ok? Maybe you better sit down and just drink some water." Red Flag #1
Oddly enough...the weight loss never resumed. Even at lowered calories. Red Flag #2

Shortly after that day at the Y (I didn't make the connection between my caloric intake and the failed workout) I began experiencing what felt like gallbladder attacks. My GERD was out of control and I had to begin taking double my daily dose of Nexium. Red Flag #3

I began adding some fat back into my diet, knowing by that time that keeping your gallbladder "out of work" is not advisable. Of course this upped my caloric intake considerably.

I began to must be the diet. I didn't want to quit. I wanted to keep going. I desperately wanted to lose weight--still do!
But then I began looking around on the internet. I found a couple of low-carb support forums and to my surprise (and horror) it turned out that on a couple of them, Kimkins as a WOE was somewhat frowned upon by experienced low carbers. Red Flag #4

What???? Why??
I needed to find out why.
The more I looked the worse it got.

...and there are more. Links on all those blogs will open your eyes.
When Jimmy Moore pulled his affiliation and posted his apology to the low carb world, I knew it was time for a serious personal reality check.

There are many bloggers who have explained just why Kimkins is such a dangerous dietary plan. I won't attempt to explain the medicine and science of it here.

Suffice it to give you some important links:
VP Health & Fitness
Most of what's wrong with Kimkins is stated over and over again in the books I've been reading. Kimmer (Heidi) claims to have cobbled together her WOE from Stillman's and Atkins and then tweaked it into something she calls her own. I haven't read Stillman's Diet but I have now read Dr Atkins New Diet Revolution, and I assure you, although the similarities are there between Atkins Induction program and Kimkins - she removed some of the most important nutritional considerations that Dr Atkins insisted on.
Inside the Kimkins organization, there's an ongoing shakeup in the administrative section. Becky (aka Littlebit on the KK forum) has been banned for 'differences of opinion'. Amy (aka Curlygirl) long a forum regular and excellent cook with her own site--is now MIA from Kimkins forum. I don't know for sure but I think maybe some of the Kimkins insiders, even those who did take the weight off with her program and are now trying to maintain their weight, are beginning to see the light.

The bottom line is, Heidi Diaz continues to promote and make a lot of money from her dangerously low calorie-low fat-lowcarb-no exercise needed** crash diet, and people are calling her on the carpet about it.

Just because *some* of the Kimkins followers are enjoying some weight loss success (yes, there are some), I predict that sooner or later most of them will experience metabolic slowdown, thyroid problems, electrolyte derangements, hormonal imbalances, muscle-mass wasting, and many other long term health problems.
Just because it's not happening to them TODAY doesn't make this diet safe!
We're talking long term dangerous effects. Life changing disability or death may result from following any low carb-lowfat-low calorie diet!!
Just because people drink and drive and live to tell about it - does NOT make drinking and driving safe!
Just because people experiment with illegal drugs and live to tell about it - does NOT make illegal and recreational drug use SAFE.
Kimkins, as with any other RISKY behavior, may not kill you may feel ok today and maybe tomorrow and maybe even, if you're really healthy and lucky next month....but sooner or later, as my mom always said....the chickens WILL come home to roost.

*I didn't know that most weight loss in the first week-10 days is WATER!
** Even Dr Atkins advocates exercise! In fact, almost every book I've read recently advocates exercise--not so much to burn calories but for toning, and feeling better and building muscle mass which BURNS calories even at rest. Among other health benefits....

Hey, Happy Labor Day Weekend to all. Be Safe!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Good News...Bad News

Good News Today: BP back to normal for me: 118/76 - Yay!

And there's more good news. Seems that my low carb/high fat diet has pretty much eliminated my GERD. I haven't needed or taken my Nexium in nearly two weeks. I give most of the credit to virgin coconut oil which I began eating in various forms almost a month ago.

Now the bad news :-(

My fasting blood glucose level was 108 a couple weeks ago. Mind you, this is about 6 weeks into low carb dieting.

Not good. This all fits the picture I suspected. I probably do have Syndrome X, or insulin resistance. No huge surprise there, given my years of near-vegetarianism and pigging out on such dietary staples as brown and basmati rice, pasta, popcorn and homemade whole-grain breads.

Furthermore we now know my thyroid medication is also insufficient. I have been reading up voraciously on thyroid disease so I can really talk turkey with my internal medicine doc. Now it seems I'd best educate myself well on pre-diabetes as well.

Once again, I hope and pray I've dodged a bullet. The "cure" for pre-diabetes, insulin resistance is - yep, you guessed it - low carb eating.

Here's a link to a very interesting and important bit of information. Happy Reading and have a fun and safe Labor Day Weekend, all. God bless :-)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Learn Sumpin' New Every Day!

I must say, this past couple of weeks I have learned more about nutrition, diet, fat, carbohydrates, coconut oil yada yada than I ever knew in my entire life!

My recent reading list (in red, not finished yet)
Living the Low Carb Life - Bowden
The Protein Power Lifeplan - Eades
Eat Fat, Lose Fat - Enig & Fallon
Life Without Bread - Allan
Coconut Cures - Fife
Natural Health and Weight Loss - Groves
The Fat Flush Foods - Gittleman
Heartburn Cured (The Low Carb Miracle) - Robillard
Apple Cider Vinegar Miracle Health System - Bragg

And this doesn't even begin to cover all the blogs, low carb discussion forums etc that I've frequented. Whew...time to get a life!!
Like anything else new to me, if it catches my interest then look out...I get obsessive about it for a while.

Notice I've been skirting all the way around Atkin's publications and haven't included them in my new LC library. Hmmmm......maybe I'm just working my way backwards.

Several things have become clear to me.

I have a fat addiction. Oh yeah, you can take away my sugar and my bread. Keep the cookies and birthday cake, donuts don't impress me none (Shania Twain tune), but DO NOT TOUCH MY BUTTER. I want some cream with that fruit, and virgin coconut oil could have cyanide in it...but I think maybe I would still eat it every day now that I've discovered it.

Dr. Barry Groves and I would get along just fine. I like his philosophy and my goodness I do hope he's right. I hope Bruce Fife is right too. Now the Coconut Cures book just floored me with all the claim for virgin coconut oil and coconut products. I will continue to pursue that track.

I've also discovered (about myself) that I have been skating real close to the edge, sometimes going right over the line.

I guess I need some super self-discipline from somewhere, but I haven't been able to find it at Vitacost, Netrition, or Google it anywhere :-(

On the health front: found out I'm undermedicated for my hypothyroid problem. Great. Just what you want to hear when you've been on a diet for almost 3 months and have lost a total of about 10 lbs and that was the first 2 weeks. At any rate, I've got my internist looking into it. Hopefully she and I can come up with a plan. Or an endocrinologist!

Today is the first day of Atkins Fat Fast for me. I'm not sure I'll be able to tough it out but I'm gonna try.

Well that's it for today. Have a good one and stay cool!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Compelling Reading!!

I mainly wanted to post a link to an excellent, thought-provoking article today. It came out in July 2002. I personally think it's one of the most interesting weightloss pieces I have ever read.

"What If It's All Been A Big Fat Lie?" by Gary Taubes

Friday, August 10, 2007

EEEWWWW! Fatty Liver??? (not what you think!)


I just got off the phone with my gastroenterologist's office nurse. Seems I have a condition called "fatty liver". Here is what I was able to find online about this condition: (reprint from Mayo Clinic article)

Now I know I've had the risk elements in place for this for a long time, namely high serum cholesterol and high triglycerides. Thank heaven, I don't drink anymore (rarely).

I'm happy to note from several sites that a high fat diet isn't responsible for the formation of this problem. The treatment IS losing weight and getting blood lipids under control - EXACTLY what I am trying to do by following a low carb diet!

I also have what they say is a small lesion on my liver. Now that I hope turns out to be nothing serious. Time will tell.

I'm feeling those same goose-bumpy feelings about all this that I got when they discovered my cancer. I was already determined to lose weight, have been low-carb eating since June, and then I find out I'm already doing the very thing they recommend to reverse fatty liver.

God is so good to tell us things we need, even when we think we *thought of it* ourselves ;-D