Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Great Diet Debate Part 2

A little while ago I wrote a post comparing various diets, or ways of eating, in my experience. There is SO much to say about diets and eating and health and nutrition, that I felt I had left out a few things. So I am revisiting the diet topic here again.

The main two "diets"or ways of eating I can mainly compare is Banting/Low Carb High Fat, with Low Fat, High Protein (or the "gym diet"as I call it). This is because I have mainly tried those two.

I am still not sure what suits me exactly, but I do know this for sure: sugar leaves me feeling terrible. By that, I mean it leaves me feeling very hypoglycemic, so if I eat anything sugary, my blood sugar crashes quickly afterwards and I get the shakes. Oddly enough, this doesn't happen as much with chocolate, I guess because of the fat content of the chocolate, but if I have a coke, or a sucker, or even fruit juice, within a short space of time afterwards, I get all shaky and light-headed.

When I eat in the "high fat"way I don't suffer from that at all, obviously. When I eat low-fat but good, slow release carbs (think oats, sweet potatoes, etc) I don't crash, but I do feel hungry a lot more of the time and I find I crave sweet things more.

Now here is a strange, wonderful and weird side-effect of eating high-fat: I definitely notice that I feel a lot calmer. Weird but true. Eating low-carb, higher fat calms me down. It really gives me a feeling of peace and serenity. Maybe that is to do with the fact that I am not worried about when my next meal will be, and I know that I won't crash, or maybe it's to do with stable blood sugar, I am not too sure. But I definitely notice this effect. I have Banted, and stopped, and gone back to it twice now, so I know that this feeling of calm is not just in my head but is real.

However, on the down side, I sometimes feel so calm, to the point where I don't feel motivated to do much. I don't know if any other Banter has felt that? I feel no motivation, when I eat LCHF, to exercise. I feel no motivation to move quickly. And as I mentioned in previous posts, when I eat in the "Noakes"way, I don't have as much oomph for weight training. Now it's not that I CANT weight train, it's just that my power to push seems less. But it's possible that it's more a mental thing than a real effect.

When I Bant, I don't crave sweet things like chocolates, cakes or biscuits nearly as much. Banting pretty much takes away my sweet craving...pretty much. It's not a cure, by any means, as I do love cake. I have to admit that. I am a cake-a-holic and I think I will always struggle with that.

I am very, very lucky in that I don't need to diet in order to lose a lot of weight, but I am very interested in health and I believe that cakes and confectionery are NOT healthy for any us. Maybe once a month, or so, if that? So I would like to rid myself of the craving.

I am still playing around with diets at this point, but I reckon that limiting carbs is a good thing, and I am convinced that sugar itself is not good.

Fruit is a whole other story! I like fruit, but I believe we all overdo the fruit in the mistaken belief that it is healthy. My gut feeling is that a piece of whole fruit a day is okay, but more than that is a little too much. I tend to agree with Tim Noakes when he points out that we have modified fruit so much nowadays that it no longer resembles wild fruit - we have made it bigger, sweeter, juicier and therefore much more high in natural sugars. And if we look at Mother Nature, we can easily see that fruit is meant to be seasonal, which it no longer is in modern times. We do have an overabundance of fruit in modern times, which is lovely, and tastes good, but, like all things, I think moderation is key.

When it comes to my son, who is nearly six, I have noticed the addictive nature of sugar in him. If I let him eat sweet, sugary things regularly, he craves it more and more. The minute I am strict with him and let him have very little, he stops asking for them.

Overall, I always come back to this when I ponder diets: balance is key. Moderation is key. Since I have tried Banting, I have never bought low-fat or fat-free yogurt again. However, I have played around with adding in carbs and lowering other fats.

As a mother I believe that my son needs a bit of everything and a limit on sugar. It's probably good advice for me too.

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