Posted by: draknor | May 23, 2012

Crash Diet – Day 2

Don’t worry, I’m not going to post an update every day of this diet, but I feel the first couple of days are pretty crucial, since that’s when I’m experimenting with how/what I’m eating and experiencing the different sensations & cravings.

  • Weigh-in (start of Day 2): 197.2 lbs
  • Total Calories: 1650 (above goal)
  • Protein: 197 g (at goal)
  • Fat: 62 g (above goal)
  • Net Carbs (carbs – fiber): 52 g (above goal)

First thing I noticed — wow, it’s hard to consume only protein!  Pretty much everything has some fat or carbs.

Definitely noticed some cravings for sweets yesterday, especially by mid-afternoon.  Ended up drinking a lot of Sprite Zero, which is not a pattern I want to get into (especially since it didn’t really satisfy those sweetness cravings).

Now, I did cheat a little bit — I had friends over to play board games last night, and I historically prepare some kind of baked good for such events.  I baked chocolate chip cookies, but I restrained myself to only eating 2 (and yes, “only 2” IS considered restraint for me!) So that definitely contributed to my excess fat & carbs yesterday.

The other major source (potentially) of fat was the beef stir fry I made for dinner.  It was grass-fed beef packaged by a local processor as “stir fry” (eg pre-cut into long strips), so I don’t really know how much fat it contained.  Visually, it didn’t look like a lot. Some quick Google research suggested beef for stir fry is usually flank steak, and that appeared relatively low in fat (about 6g / serving), so that’s what I recorded in my food diary.  Hard to know for certain.

However, it helped me reach my protein goal, and with some frozen stir fry vegetables made a relatively quick & tasty meal (at least, doused in soy sauce!), so I’m not going to fret about a little extra fat there.

The other great thing about yesterday was I accomplished my protein goal in only 3 meals!  Breakfast was 1/3, Lunch was 1/6, and dinner was 1/2 (yep – I ate a 1 lb of beef and consumed approx 100 g of protein in that meal).  At least so far, this seems like a decent model to follow.

Despite that, I still had some desires for snacking last night; besides the cookies, we had chips & salsa, soda, and other snacks available.  I didn’t have anything (besides the 2 cookies & Sprite Zero), but the urge was definitely there!

I had intentions of going to the gym, but a combination of a busy day + tiredness from a short night + concerns about my forearm (which has been very tight & acting up), kept me out.  (Primarily the first reason, though, if I’m being honest – I just didn’t make it a priority).  I hope to get in later this afternoon/evening and find some things to do that won’t aggravate my forearm.

Speaking of which — sleep. I’ve had 2 short nights in a row (<6 hrs/sleep), and I definitely feel it dragging me down. It’s harder to get motivated, and harder to remain active & engaged.  So that’s my challenge for the rest of the week, is to get a couple of good nights of sleep.  Plenty of research has shown that’s also crucial to fat-loss and overall health (but I’m too lazy to Google for references right now).

Other than the sweetness cravings, nothing too much to report.  The low-grade headache I experienced Monday was absent.  I have a little bit of ocular tension — discomfort when I strain my eyes in different directions, but its very minor and may not be diet-related.

The big question I’ve been wondering is — is my body in ketosis yet?  Quick biology lesson — our bodies (brain & muscles) normally run  on blood sugar (aka glucose), which is stored as “glycogen” (in the muscles & liver).  But our adaptive bodies can also run on fat (fatty acids), and the brain can switch over to using ketones (a byproduct of breaking down fatty acids) for energy.

What does this mean? It means if you don’t eat enough sugar (aka carbohydrates), your body will switch to burning fat all the time.  This process takes a few days (Wikipedia suggests 48 hours).  You can know if your body is in ketosis through a urine test strip known as Ketostix.

Yesterday evening (pre-cookies), I did a sample and the strip just barely showed pink, suggesting my body was starting to produce trace amounts of ketones.  The cookies may have been enough to stall that process for another day or so — I’ll find out later today when I test again.

Important note: There is a lot of confusion about ketosis, because of a closely-related dangerous condition called ketoacidosis.  In ketoacidosis, which typically occurs in diabetics, since the body can’t use blood sugar (due to lack of insulin), it breaks down fat in excessive quantities, creating very acidic blood (= bad!).  Ketoacidosis is a very dangerous condition, which nearly claimed the life of a good friend of mine earlier this year!  However, in a normally functioning human body, the breakdown of fat is a very controlled process and does NOT make the blood acidic. There’s no danger to entering ketosis for non-diabetics.

Alright, long enough for one day! Hope to get my before-pictures up tonight or tomorrow — will post links when I do.