Low Carb Life: First Year

Living low carb – amazing, sustainable results

Hoboken411 low carb life works - Low Carb Life: First YearHoboken411 has been living low carb for about the past year now, and I’d like to recap what my new lifestyle has been like.

For one, the current weight loss count is 70lbs. And staying off. Will never come back, and have maybe another 10 or 20 left to go (slow and steady now to win the race.)

I’m not going to revisit the science behind it too much here now, instead you can check out my low-carb category here and read about 50+ stories.

And see some of these websites to get you started: Eating Academy, Living La Vida Low Carb, Zoë Harcombe and Carb Smart.

Instead – I’ll share some tips and observations that I’ve realized over the past 12 months, which might help those struggling, or looking to try something that actually works. And works well.

Getting over the first hump of low carb

Here are the top three reasons I think many people fail when trying to live low carb:

  1. Can’t get past the first couple weeks. If you choose to live low carb correctly – you will encounter some “funny feelings” in the beginning. The major symptom is light-headedness. This is because your body is “switching fuels.” Many will rush to put sugar in their bodies to alleviate the symptom. Big mistake. Even fruit is a bad idea. Best bet? A moderate amount of lean protein (chicken), which your body will take only the amount of sugar it needs via glucogenesis. Regardless – a good chunk of the people will stop their new lifestyle at this point and revert back to their old ways.
  2. Misinformation / Half-hearted effort. A true low-carb life isn’t “just a few less carbs a day” than you used to eat. It’s essentially eliminating putting carbohydrates in your body voluntarily. Almost all of the well known “studies” out there which compare various diets (low carb, low fat, calorie restricted) still have 100’s of grams of carbs, and will work only for the small % of people who are genetically blessed. Go all in, or not at all is my advice.
  3. Sharp learning curve. Going properly “all in” with a low-carb life is not easy the way the world is set up. 90% of the supermarket is bad for you, and most menu items at restaurants contain excessive starches. Plus – you will find that most of what you were used to eating is off limits. But if you’re diligent enough, the whole thing is as clear as day – and you will make it easier over time.

Cruising along on your low carb ride

pot belly gone living low carb in Hoboken NJ - Low Carb Life: First YearIf you manage to get through the “boot camp” phase – you’ll be amazed at how fast the fat will melt off you. Additionally, you’ll find that there is virtually no desire to snack whatsoever. In my previous life – I was a perpetual snacker – and didn’t know that the need to pick at foods all day would be eradicated.

Listen to your body.

Naturally (and only if you’re a true super-low carber), if your body is hungry – by all means eat. But picking the right low-carb snacks is important. Ideally – you want HIGH fat, very moderate to low protein, and next to zero carbs. At the very least avoid pure sugars and refined carbs. Avocados, nuts (macadamia, almond), certain cheeses and fatty meats make great snacks that satiate you without over-eating. In fact – over-eating is a thing of the past. So are stomach aches. The only time over the past year I’ve felt uneasy – were the few times I may have cheated – even if it was just a tiny piece of bread.

Which leads me to my next point…

Built-in protection against reverting back to your evil ways

A true low carb lifestyle essentially means no cheating. Even though some folks suggest one cheat day a week – others have also found that it offers no real benefit, and will only stall your progress. Your body will get the sugar it needs from protein.

But if you’ve been in nutritional ketosis for long-periods (body fat as the primary fuel source), “cheating” actually becomes so painful and unpleasant (worse than an alcohol hangover without the “high” of getting drunk). I’m not kidding. You essentially feel like sh*t. Your body is telling you something – and you ought to listen. If you don’t experience bad side-effects of “carbing out,” then you haven’t been doing it right.

Low carb patience – and beyond your appearance

Living a low carb life is not just about weight loss. While improving your appearance and rectifying the obvious problems associated with obesity or excess weight is certainly fantastic – those are just a few of the benefits.

You’ll likely reduce your risk of cancer to virtually zero, stave off or prevent other diseases like Alzheimers, have improved skin, joints and much more.

The fact that we have all these fruits and grains at our finger tips 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – plays a giant role in why so many people are rapidly expanding in girth. Avoid the grains, cereals, processed dairy (i.e., skim milk), breads, sugars (and substitutes), fruit and pasta like the plague!

Lastly – living low carb even helps those who are UNDER-weight, bringing you to a normal, healthy state. Check out Life Without Bread to read more about it.

Quick Hits – 8 helpful things I learned living low carb

low carb quick tips - Low Carb Life: First Year

  1. Low carb / High fat is the best – but also limit protein – as excess protein will end up turning to sugar. This is probably one of the top reasons people fail to see dramatic results in their diet. See this story on Carb Smart.
  2. Myth: Small frequent meals are better. Absolutely not. You cannot possibly burn stored body fat (and enter ketosis) if you’re constantly shoveling food in your body. I can get away with eating one meal a day with no need to snack. Also – you can push your first meal of the day way past lunch and even dinner once you’re humming along.
  3. Cheating erases your progress. Like I wrote earlier in the year – you want to treat your perfect low carb days like a batting streak. Doing good for most of the day doesn’t give you “credit” to cheat and eat ice cream later in the day. You just went 0 for 5 and ruined the streak. Carbing out halts fat burning in its tracks.
  4. Going to the gym is NOT required. You know how many tubby people I see coming from and going to the gym? A lot! And most of the time they have some sugary energy drink in hand because they’ve been brainwashed into thinking some electrolytes are hard at work. Nope. Garbage! There is no real need to waste your time at the gym if your diet sucks. Just go for long walk (better on the joints), or take up a useful hobby that may involve physical exertion. Once I reach my end goal (in body weight and fat %), I will do another experiment at the gym – so I can actually see results on a lean body (not underneath layers of blubber).
  5. Kick all sweet things to the curb. The first few months – I was still using artificial sweeteners in my coffee. I quickly cut it out entirely. But then about three months later – I had a “craving” for a diet soda. It sent my body (and mind) into a tailspin. I felt drugged. You’re better off without it – just see if you have the strength to do it. Most people can’t. The only barely sweet things I’ll have (and rarely) are the low-sugar fruits: Blueberries, blackberries or raspberries. An occasional strawberry or two.
  6. Salt. The importance of good unrefined salt. Salt is an interesting topic. When they say too much salt, they’re only partially right. Refined, bleached table salt is actually bad for you. But unrefined, unprocessed sea salt is an absolute necessity – especially for low carbers. Check out 16 important functions of sea salt – as well as to salt or not to salt as your primer. My preferred brand is Selina Naturally Celtic Sea Salt.
  7. Quit the low-fat club. Inaccurate studies coupled with intense media indoctrination has led to an entire society that is afraid of dietary fat. Suckered into believing that low-fat food is beneficial. Do your reading and you’ll realize that you’re walking amongst brainwashed zombies that cannot (and outright refuse to) accept that they’ve been taken.
  8. Vegan organic “hot air.” Same with this group, as well as the trending “gluten-free” garbage. Just know this much – any food, product or restaurant that generously tosses these labels around doesn’t automatically mean it’s beneficial for you. It’s 99% marketing. Just sayin’.

Hoboken411 has spoken to many people in town who have been inspired by the tidbits I’ve published on this website – and I’m happy to have helped! That was the goal of this endeavor in the first place. But can you believe I’ve actually received hate mail too? (It probably came from those 10 John Does that are getting sued.. haha) Click below to read my parting thoughts…

Hoboken411 gets hate mail for helping people improve

Funny thing has happened in 2012 here at Hoboken411. We get HATE MAIL for trying to help others. Sort of like a sniper shooting a fireman as he climbs up a ladder to rescue a senior citizen from a burning building.

There is so much hatred in this city – and amongst the readership here (and within our society in general), that it’s kind of heartbreaking. However, I understand the dynamics of a flawed society like ours, and don’t let it bog me down. But let me shed some light on, and remind people what it’s all about.

Helpful Low Carb info has NO boundaries

Hoboken411 is an independent, free web publication. Regardless of the title, or previous content – it has no bearing on what content we choose to publish now or any point in the future.

We put some effort into trying to convey what we’re passionate about, or what might need more attention that other things.

At the same time, we try hard not to regurgitate commonly accessibly information as well. But there comes a time that you feel that information needs as much propagation as possible…

With that being said – Hoboken411 never proclaimed that all stories had to be specifically about the Mile Square City.

When a local network news channel (2, 4, 5, 7, etc) airs a story that might be national, global or even “off the beaten path”, do you get angry that it wasn’t about the NYC tri-state area? Of course not, you just appreciate the effort they put in to share with you.

But why we get such hatred for sharing mostly positive information with a massive audience (in the millions), it only leads us to believe that it’s jealousy, envy and angry disposition.

Enjoy your weekend!

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Sunday, October 21, 2012 7:23 am

Congrats on your first year! I passed the ten year mark myself this past summer!

Friday, October 19, 2012 11:41 am

I think this is one of the ironies of vegans – for all their self professed health consciousness I see them substitute lots of sugary foods, pasta, and cereal for their hated meat.

So instead of looking fit and healthy many look downright sickly and dumpy.

Friday, October 19, 2012 10:35 am

Amen on the misinformation. Especially at the supermarket checkout!

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