I’ve been eating a modified low-carb diet for a few months now. Unlike the usual low-carb fare (Atkins, Paleo, etc.), my diet is not so meat-heavy, because I was a vegetarian for 20 years prior to making these changes. I didn’t want to make a drastic change in the opposite direction.
But I’ve added some fish (several times a week) and have been eating more eggs. I’ve cut way down on grains, potatoes, and beans, and increased my intake of fruits, vegetables, and fats (mostly in the form of olive oil, coconut oil, and goat’s milk butter). I rarely consume regular dairy products, because I’m lactose intolerant.
It all worked really well at first: I lost 13 pounds, and I lost most of my sugar cravings, which was a big plus.
But in the past month or so, I’ve started feeling really lethargic, and I’m having more digestive problems than ever before. (I am missing that whole-grain fiber! I can feel the difference.) My weight has plateaued and my waist measurement (which never went down more than a couple of inches) has not budged any further.
It’s that waist measurement which bothers me the most. Besides making it difficult to find clothes that fit well, I know that belly fat puts me at considerable risk for some really awful diseases.
So I did some more research on various diets which purport to reduce belly fat. And one which came up repeatedly was the low-fat vegan diet.
I’ve been a low-fat-nearly-vegan before, and I have to say, I’ve never been thinner than when I ate that way. Granted, I did still have a bit of a belly back then. But I was also eating candy bars every day. (My fat intake was so low, I could afford the chocolate.)
I eventually stopped eating low-fat because I was worried about not getting enough healthy fats. Also, I was actually worried that I was getting too thin despite eating a lot of food.
And then I came down with a sudden illness (not food-related), had surgery, and started eating convenience foods because I didn’t have the energy to cook at home. This led to some bad habits which I’m still trying to shake, more than 15 years later.
I’ve decided to give the [nearly] vegan diet another try. I’ve done some more reading (The China Study by T. Colin Campbell , as well as related articles and interviews found online) which has convinced me that I needn’t worry about missing out on “healthy oils” from fish or coconuts.
And no, I’m not going completely vegan or completely non-fat. Nor am I giving up caffeine. I’ve never been able to do those things, and I’m not inclined to complicate my efforts by trying them now.
I’ll let you know how it goes!
P.S. I wanted to add that I will continue to avoid refined grains, such as white bread and white rice, and I won’t be eating a daily candy bar, this time around! 🙂