Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weight Gain, Gluten Intolerance, and Weight Loss Challenge!

I have lots to talk about! I've been crazy busy with work and just haven't had the time to update here. So I apologize. I hope everyone is doing well! The summer is coming to a close - hard to believe, huh?

In May, I was weighing in at around 146-148 and was feeling awesome. I still had a way to go, but felt it was time to take a break from "cutting" (eating at a deficit every day) so I increased my caloric intake. That wouldn't have been bad in and of itself, but I also fell back into the carb addiction I suffered from before and gorged on pizza and beer. That resulted in two issues: one, I gained a crap-ton of weight back (about 12 pounds, with about 4-5 of it being water from the carbs) and worse, I realized I am gluten intolerant. For realz, yo.

Within a couple days of eating wheat, my joints hurt. A LOT. After a couple weeks of eating it, My left shoulder, elbow, and knee were intolerably painful. My right elbow and knee, and also my ankles, toes and fingers ached, too. So I went back to a GF diet and within about a week and half, all my joints were back to their pain-free state except for my left shoulder. My doc thinks I might have done some rotator cuff damage, so if it continues to be painful I might go for an ultrasound just to rule that out.

So we're back to the "this is why you eat non-inflammatory foods" mindset! What better way to prove that inflammatory foods like grains, legumes, and sugar are to be avoided!

I also entered myself into a cutting contest with a FB group I belong to - it had a monetary buy-in, which provides some extra motivation to just not give up, and some healthy competition. There are two categories: bulk and cut, and within each category, participants are divided into male and female groups. I don't have any illusions about the likelihood of my winning, but I'm sure going to try!

I'm not going into this half-cocked: I'm following John Kiefer's Carb Nite Solution (CNS) diet program. Basically, it's a very low-carb diet with one night of carb-ups every 4-7 days once you get past the induction phase. I'm in the induction phase right now (9.5 days of fewer than 30g of carbs per day) and will have a carb night on Thursday coming. I'm on day 6 right now, and weighed in this morning at four pounds less than I did on Monday. I've lost an inch from my waist already! The last 5 days haven't been too rough on me, mostly because I was eating at fairly low carb (under 100g most days, and some days less than 50g). Some people who go from a typical standard diet (over 200 or more grams of carbs per day) would probably be pretty miserable.

If you're interested in learning more about CNS, go here and read about it. Kiefer also has an eBook that details the plan and tells you exactly what you need to know about why it works.

I'm excited to see how it will work. I've never done carb-ups with any regularity before, I just tended to eat higher carbs on training days. But it was a bit different then as I didn't totally cut out alcohol and I'd occasionally have pizza. So it should be interesting to see how a strict plan will work for me. The carb nights will essentially be a "cheat" night but since I can't have gluten, I'll have to stick to sweet potatoes, potatoes, rice, and other high-glucose foods for my carbs. I'm going to check out a gluten-free bakery on Thursday (my carb night) to see if they have any goodies I'll be able to enjoy. Can you say "gluten free DONUTS?" :)

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