Some notes to myself

I’m just fine-tuning my new lifestyle (not a diet…), so these are things that I have noticed during week 4
(Update 15 February: scroll to the bottom)


…after one week of not needing as much protein as before*: I got so used to the high-protein intake that it’s difficult to come off it. After just three weeks, it now comes to me more naturally to overeat on protein than on carbs. I usually eat roughly (+/-20g) the right amount of fat, but the less carbs I eat, the better I get the amount of protein right. Sure, because I need more protein if I eat less carbs, so I come closer to my ‘normal’ protein intake which is around 80-90g per day (happens sort of automatically with the stuff I tend to eat) if I eat less carbs. And not the other way around… first I had to force myself into less carbs and (a lot) more protein, now I need to come down a little bit from the protein since according to Dr B, it’s okay to just eat 60g protein (1g per kg body weight) while I think I can afford a little more carbs without spiking as long as they are evenly distributed over the day. Need to keep playing with it, obviously.

Lessons learned

(1) What has worked is not to have a snack (just a coffee) all morning, after a filling breakfast with eggs, berries and added fibre (ground flaxseed). It not only keeps me feeling full until lunch, it also prevents me from going too low before lunch. I have a vague idea that it’s good not to snack in between main meals from something I read in Dr B’s book but I don’t remember the exact reason for it. Probably because it keeps the pancreas disoccupied which is vital to save those last remaining beta-cells.
(2) What has worked well was reducing the amount of Metformin from 1500mg to 1000mg after the doc gave me green light for doing that. I am considering stopping it completely, but am still somewhat fearful that I might offend the doc with that. Need to read through the posts in the Metformin group and see if they have any thoughts on this.
(3) What hasn’t worked was that mix of whey protein, ground flax seed and bran for breakfast - maybe I had too little, it didn’t get me to lunch. Could try with 2 Tbs and additional berries (yoghurt?) and see what effect that has. It would be good to have this as a transportable alternative breakfast when travelling.
(4) What has not worked either is having no snack in the afternoon. I should definitely go back to having 50g (max) nuts or 100g yoghurt (test first!) at around 5pm which will keep me going until 8pm dinner time. Have had some real lows in the late afternoon (51, 59).
(5) What also has not really worked is not checking what’s in each and every item I eat. While I had been doing rigorous planning and checking for two weeks, this week I just ate what I found in the fridge and then entered it into the online database ( afterwards. So I ended up eating a different amount of carbs (25-52), protein (78-100) and fat (120-166) every day and I think the range is too wide.

* Here is why: "This calculator calculates your protein requirement
based on the assumption that your brain needs 110 grams of carbohydrate during the first three weeks of a low carbohydrate diet and 50 grams after that. This is a generous estimate erring on the side of caution."

Update 15 February

I have started to use a different website to track my carb intake, It’s much fancier than the Fitday one and has a lot of good features, including tracking bloodsugar levels. What confused me today (one confusion at a time!) is that it kept telling me “You may eat an additional XYZ calories today” so because I had done some exercise in the morning (walking) and evening (yoga), I ended up eating way more fat and protein than I had imagined. So I’m completely stuffed now, and have learned to listen to my body saying “no more” rather than the calorie counting of some website… On the positive side, I have managed to eat 64g carbs without any obvious spikes (I think the 104 after breakfast was due to the walking, at least Bernstein recommends not to do exercise directly after breakfast because it will raise blood sugar - or due to the Paracetamol I took at 6.45 which probably contained some sugar substitutes).

I have also started to realise that I need more help with the low carbing than I had imagined. So I ordered the Atkins for Life book and Bloodsugar 101 because I need to find out a lot more about low carbing for LADA people who do not need to loose weight but rather put some back on. That’s not the people that these books were written for, I guess, and I need to gather a lot more information before I can be sure that what I am doing with my body at the moment is not harmful (as all my doctors suggest). In any case, I have started to feel a dull pain on the right hand side of my abdomen, nothing bad as far as the pain goes but I am SUPER worried that this is my liver or kidney giving in to all the fat and/or protein I am eating! Probably just indigestion, though… I have started drinking a lot more water (2 liters today) to wash out some of the supposedly damaging stuff, who knows if that will have any effect.

What I really want to say is: THIS IS SO CONFUSING! I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH IT!!! HELP!!!