You may recall that I have embraced a (Gary Taubes-endorsed), low carbohydrate lifestyle - if only experimentally - so I thought I'd give you a bit of information about how I am acting as my own personal guinea pig...
It seems that the best way to determine whether (at least in the case of my own physiology) insulin imbalance is the cause of abdominal weight is to change up the composition of my diet - while (natch) preserving a key control.
You know how those scientists like to use control methodology. In this case, while considering the number of calories consumed is not an element of low-carbohydrate eating (remember, Mr. Taubes does not promote any particular diet, simply the science that underpins them), it's the only variable I have at my disposal.
(Sidebar: I've debated discussing my food diary in detail - the number of healthy, balanced calories I aim to eat daily - have aimed to eat daily for years. I'm loathe to dig into this, not because I'm coy, but because it's not the sort of information I'd like to see floating eternally upon the ethernet. Out of context, it might be used inappropriately. So let's leave it at, if you'd like to know specifics - because you are a woman working to develop your own conscious relationship to food - give me a shout. Otherwise, suffice it to say that I believe in vegetables and adequate (though not excessive) energy intake. My pictures confirm that I have no shortage of body fat...)
Now, according to the low-carb peeps, I'm misguided to be keeping a record of calories at all. Oh, carbs and protein and fat grams, I am welcome to chart all day, but calories - those are so 1989. Whatevs, I like lists and food diaries like calories, so there you go.
Fortuitously, though, if I want to see the impact of low carb eating on my own body, I can change the composition of those calories, while not exceeding the upper threshold, and see what occurs.
If you happen to be an actual scientist, reading this, and you disagree that my experimental method has any value - by all means, let me know. I mean, I was an English major.
Otherwise, we'll see how it goes as I aim to eat approximately 75 grams of carbohydrates a day (not even in the realm of Atkins' extremism), picking up the slack with 100-plus grams of protein and however much fat I come across. There are no refined foods on this eating plan. There is, however, red wine - because I don't choose to live without it. As a result, a good amount of my daily carbs are going towards my evening "chill out". (Note: Depending on what you read, red wine has 5 grams of carbs per 5 ounces, or 20 grams of carbs - if you include the alcohol. Different people metabolize alcohol with different efficiency. I'm assuming, conservatively, that I fall into the "not so efficient metabolizer" category, at least for now...)
If any of you have tried this experiment on yourselves - or would like to debate the merits of high protein, high fat (non-refined) diets, comment away!
I'm going to do this for 2 months - or till I determine that it might not be optimal for my body, should the evidence arise - and see what happens. If I become more lean in my midsection over that time, I will gradually return the carbs to my diet, till I determine a tipping point. After all, I'm not eschewing rice and cookies for no good reason!
So far, it's been interesting, if a bit drab. There's nothing I want so much as that which I've decided to forgo... I don't even like bread, and now I look at it with intrigue. Ah, that's deprivation mentality for you.