Sunday, October 23, 2016

A total re-think

So I have been very, VERY quiet lately. So quiet that I have lost all, if any, readers that I had. That's ok. This is going to be MY blog for me and it doesn't matter who reads this.

I have left Banting Buddies. A few reasons.

No 1: My dad died recently and threw me into an emotional spiral
No 2: The word "Banting" has so many negative connotations associated with it
No 3: I was paying them a monthly fee in order to be on their website, but I never received a single client through them. ALL my clients came through my own advertising, so I just found I was paying for nothing. Plus, I had to pay them a small fee for each client I got anyway, even if that client was through my own efforts.
No 4: I have "bodybuilding" roots - and friends and my social network is full of them. And I kept on and on asking myself this one very important question: how do these people get competition lean and yet are NOT Banting? They eat the carbs. They get lean. So surely there are many, many ways to get lean.
No 5: My gym training has never been great on Banting. So lately I have been re-introducing carbs - clean, healthy carbs - and my training has improved again.
No 6: CRAMPS. No matter what, they never, ever completely went away. They improved. I'd supplement with this or that, and they would go away a bit, then come back. But the cramps never left my life. I have magnesium spray, magnesium tabs, taurine tablets, potassium, etc...all in the hopes of keeping the cramping at bay. But living with the constant fear that a debilitating leg cramp is going to bite into your calf at night is just not fun. I'm sorry. I'm done with that. I'm over that. I can't anymore.

So where does that leave me now? I am a little bit in no-mans land I must admit. I don't know, nutritionally, what I quite believe anymore.

I am still experimenting on myself. I have to admit this: I have been wrong to cut out almost all carbs. Carbs can be good in certain cases.

But I have learnt SO much during this time that it certainly wasn't a waste of time.

I have learnt about blood sugar testing. So now that I have re-introduced carbs (just one serving daily) into my diet, I have bought the blood sugar test strips and have been doing the odd random finger prick test.

Friday was my son's birthday, so we had a lot of left over cake in the house this weekend. This morning I joined my son in eating cake - we each had a piece. So I whipped out the blood sugar tester and have tested my blood sugar every half an hour. And you know what? The highest it tested is 6.2 mml. That' LOW for the amount of sugar/carbs I have just eaten.

Now this brings me to my point: last year, when I was low-carbing it, I had a piece of my son's birthday cake and then tested my blood sugar and it went up to 11.7 mml per DL. That is HIGH! Now what could the reason for the huge difference be?

Well, I have heard of physiological insulin resistance - and clearly, back then, it happened to me. I am someone who normally is NOT insulin resistant. But what happens when you don't eat carbs is that your insulin response to them gets sluggish. So after not eating carbs for an extended period of time your body almost "forgets" how to deal with them. Then, you eat some cake, and your insulin response is not there, and your blood sugar goes through the roof.

Now I have been adding in some carbs regularly, and so when I ate the cake this morning, my blood sugar has stayed well within a normal range. Normal is 4-6mml. My fasting blood sugar was 4mml the other morning. And after cake it has stayed low - only 6 mml. This tells me that I should NOT have gone on a low-carb diet in the first place, probably.

However, what about my hypoglycemia? Wasn't that the main reason I liked Banting? Yes, yes it was. Here is what I think about that considering everything I have learnt: for me, I cannot process sugar only. So a can of coke, a sucker, a sweet, candy floss - anything like that - will send me into a sugar crash straight afterwards. However, if I include carbs as part of a healthy meal I will be fine. For example - I have experimented recently having sushi - with the rice. So in total about a cup, or just less than a cup, of white rice with my sushi at lunch. And... no blood sugar crash. I attribute this to the fact that the fish has protein and some oils in it and so the meal itself is pretty balanced.

I am learning, this is all trial and error.

I loved low-carb eating, I still do, but carbs certainly have their place. What that place is, how much and how many and when to eat them is still something I am learning, but I will not stop self-experimenting until I get my answers.

One thing I am sure of: if you are diabetic or IR then going low-carb could just save your life. You will need to experiment with your own blood sugar testing and weight and see what works for you.

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