Remember when I wrote this post about my weight? Well, today I got on the scale and I was 20 pounds lighter than I was in January - and I achieved it without having a regular exercise regime, counting calories, or going hungry (mostly.)
Yes, folks, between the end of March and today, I've lost 20 pounds. I'm nearly back to my college weight, and while I need to get more of my waist and belly fat off (because it's an indicator of other health problems, not because I want a flat tummy), I'm in a better place than I ever thought I could be without being able to exercise.
How did this happen? Well, with all the joint pain I've had this year, my mother suggested that I go on Dr. Hyman's "10 Day Detox" to see if it would help relieve my inflammation. I cannot say enough good things about this program. Yes, you spend 10 days on an extremely strict regime, but it tastes good, and you don't go hungry (except sometimes before going to bed, since eating must stop 3 hours before bedtime).
The principle of the diet is taking out all forms of sugar - we (my husband joined me) didn't even allow ourselves Stevia during the first 10 days. So almost no fruit, no dairy or potatoes grains or beans, and even some vegetables are forbidden (beets, sweet potatoes and peas) because of their high glycemic index. Doing this for 10 days resets your body's insulin and glucose and can actually reverse diabetes.
(You ARE allowed lots of good stuff, like nuts, eggs, lean meat, berries and most vegetables).
It was hard during the initial detox phase. We had cravings, we were grumpy and tired, and the first few days were just not fun. But the book had warned us about this, and sure enough, by about day 5 we were feeling lots better, and I had more energy than I'd had in years. Plus we were losing almost a pound a day!
Let me restate - you do NOT go hungry. Sugar spikes your hunger, but once you reset your body, you are satisfied with much smaller, healthier portions. (If you want more science, read the book, it explains it MUCH better than I do.)
After the initial 10 days, we decided to keep following many of the principles of the diet. Eliminating so many foods helped me identify a few other allergens - so I've removed nightshades (tomatoes, potatoes, peppers), avacados, onions, and strawberries from my diet. As you can imagine, seasonings in food has become a NIGHTMARE. However, my joint pain has become more manageable (although it still prohibits some activities), so for now I'm sticking with that. I have to cook nearly all my own food, but it's almost easier, now that I'm not even worrying about grains most of the time.
However, this strictness means that we are more lenient about allowing goat dairy, beans, and the occasional honey/maple syrup back into our diet. Thankfully I can have garlic powder (though not raw garlic), and black pepper and all the herbs and non-pepper spices are fine. I was concerned that the fat in the goat dairy might inhibit my weight loss, but I've continued to loose about a pound a a week!
I thought it was going to be harder to give up my fruit juice than it was. Turns out, lemon water sweetened with stevia satisfies the cravings too without doing havoc on your insulin. And I'm amazed at how many meals I have that don't have any grains at all!
The one "cheat" food I have is salad dressing. Even though I buy the healthiest stuff I can find, it is impossible not to have a little sugar in there. But the amount of salad I consume makes more of a positive difference in my health than the itty bit of sugar (real sugar, not HFCS) is negative.
Healthy foods like kombucha, sprouts and yes, turnips have become surprisingly appealing to me. Our favorite snacks are cucumbers dipped in kalamata hummas, and mushrooms roasted with coconut oil and salt. I stopped eating tuna and started eating sardines... which I love even more!
I've lost 2 inches from my waist, 2 inches from my belly, and almost 3 inches from my hips. I've already had to take some clothes in, and I'm hoping to fit into some of my old jeans by fall! And since cutting out sugar, neither Nathan nor I have gotten any contagious infections, despite how many colds were going around this spring at Nathan's work!
If you have questions about what it was like for me being on the diet, I'll try to answer, but extended typing does make my hands hurt, so if you have questions about how it all works, I really suggest that you go read the book itself, or at least Dr. Hyman's blog. It's an easy quick read and everything is explained.