Sunday, July 28, 2013

If I Could Wave My Magic Wand ...

As I have several friends and family members who are struggling to make the jump from out of control to mostly in control of their health and body composition, I wondered what "the magic formula" would be.  That is, if I could wave a magic wand (My apologies to Rush, who wrote a song by the same name) and make people choose the right food, day in and day out, and ensure they did not fall back into years of habits that drive them towards the foods of defeat, what would that magic eating day look like?

Start with bacon and eggs, some avocado and tomato; unless tall, thin and smart (then more avocado, less bacon). Coffee? Google "bullet proof coffee" so you'll know how much butter, MCT, and/or heavy cream to add.  If not interested in BPC, just add heavy cream to your Joe and you can thank me later.

Feeling a bit peckish or longing for "elevensies"? Have combat snack ready - that's something you can keep handy at all times and which satisfies the need to eat without adding sugar to your system.  I like (and my kids like) coconut oil (unrefined) with macs or sunflower seeds.  Avocado works, high quality jerky works, plain meat works very nicely (leftover steak anyone?), hard boiled eggs, nuts/seeds, pork rinds - just find something (mostly) carb free and keep it close.

You must drink water more than you are likely used to doing.  Add a pinch of salt, and take supplemental potassium.  Do this because your body is "getting off of the sugar/insulin" and your tissues are flushing intracellular fluid.  Diet colas won't kill you, so if they help you stay off of real sugared drinks, and high carb foods, drink them with a smile.

Now it is lunch time and you've been humming along on a healthy amount of protein, some fat you ate, and some fat you are burning. But you are running low on fat oxidizing enzymes (which, since you didn't use them enough, you lost), and hunger may be kicking in. Don't fight it! Eat a salad with olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, and add lemon if you like it. Make it a monster salad - meat, any veggie you like.  Enjoy a few of the sweeter veggies like beets or carrots. Pile it on and chow down. Finish with more macs/coconut if you are not satisfied. Aim for 4-6 ounces of meat in this meal. Tomatoes, cukes, mushrooms, celery, lettuces, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cheese, olives, even peas - the more the merrier.

After lunch, the fun begins. Did I mention water? Keep drinking it, and add a pinch of sea salt for flavor so you'll drink more.  Headache? You went half baked on the water/salt/potassium - get more of same and "knock it back".

After a couple of days of this, you may begin to feel "not your best". Or, you may feel nearly euphoric - it depends upon how hard it is for your body to convert to higher levels of fat burning. How long this stage lasts depends upon your discipline, and how far from "normal" your metabolism had deviated.  A two to three week fat adaptation period is common.  Eat more fat, drink more water!

If you get hungry between lunch and dinner, eat. Salad? Yes. Salami? Yes. Nuts or seeds, with coconut oil? Yes. Another cup of BP coffee? Yes. Also recommended: Olives, hard cheeses, anchovies, sugarless beef jerky, eggs, bacon, or low carb veggies.

Now - you've made it! You ate the right food all day long and you are giving your body the chance it has wanted for so long to stop dealing with emergency sugar bombs. Congratulations! Now you have the last job of the day, which is to build a satisfying, nutritious dinner.

Start your meal like a chef - pick your protein.  What do you like? Make 3-6 ounces of that. Veggies? Pick your favorite. Fat? Butter, sour cream, hard cheeses, olive oil and MCTs on salads and veggies, and nuts. Eat to satiety. The only limit is you should be careful if going above 100g/day of protein, as this can interrupt fat burning adaptation (excess protein may be converted to sugar by the liver).

If you are focused on fat loss, stay away from high density carbs like sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, or apple sauce.  However, after a 30 day super low carb adaptation period, and as you close in on the weight you want to maintain, you may want to add a potato, sweet potato, mashed cauliflower (it's a great excuse to eat butter, and it is very good), or small portion of rice (when you hear rice, think "soaked in butter"), and/or fruit for dessert.

In Magic Wand part II, I'll tell you have to quantify your progress towards metabolic health.
Minor edits August 5, 2013.

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