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A 13 Week Vacation

We all need a break sometimes.

by
Charlie Martin

Bio

May 25, 2013 - 10:00 am

Preparing for my third 13-week season, working to lose weight, control my Type 2 diabetes, and improve my health. You can follow me at my 13 Weeks Facebook page for daily updates, and you can join Fitocracy (free!) and follow my daily exercise, and maybe even start tracking your own.  A new 13 week experiment starts June 1 2013. Join in!

There’s a week left before my next 13 week experiment, and I’ve been taking a bit of a layoff from both the diligent tracking and the careful eating.

I’ve got to say, it’s been kinda nice. I’ve eaten french fries and potato chips and tapioca pudding and corn tortillas and even some bread. And I’ve made some discoveries: potato chips, corn tortillas, and tapioca pudding are good. French fries are okay, but not nearly as good as I remembered. Bread definitely makes my stomach hurt again — in fact I’ve had to take ranitidine (Zantac™) for the first time in months. And I’ve gained back about five pounds — which, once again, shows how the calories-in vs calories-out model just doesn’t work out. There basically ain’t no way that I’ve consumed an extra 15,000 kcals in the last week.

On the other hand, I think it’s been emotionally good. I’m doing it on purpose. This isn’t me not being able to overcome cravings, it’s me deciding to ease up on the dietary restrictions for a little while. By Sunday 2 June, I’ll have had two weeks of vacation.

Also, I’ll tell you a little secret. I don’t feel great. I’ve begun to long for my low-carb diet again. My stomach has been upset a lot and my joints hurt. It’s hard to call this a real control, but it does reinforce the idea that the “treatment” of lowering carbs was a good one. I’m down to 500 mg/day of metformin, and I haven’t had any blood sugar crashes, which is nice.

So, I’m changing the plans a little bit. I’m going to go onto a lower-carb and slower-carb diet starting on Sunday the 26th. That will give me a chance to get sort of used to it and figure out how to do the different meals. I’m also going to try taking at least one 600 kcal partial fast day; I’ve been reading The Fast Diet and I’ve got to say the intermittent fasting idea sounds promising — with the one worry being having another hypoglycemic episode. So, on fast days I’m going to carry the glucometer and take my blood sugar several times a day. I think I’ll continue the intermittent partial fasts into the real 13 week experiment, depending on my experience this week. I’ll have a report on that in the next column.

Oh, one more thing — I’ve had a lot of volunteers to try their own 13 week experiment with me this time. I’m pleased and excited, I’m looking forward to seeing how this goes. If you’re interested, the gate is still open. Send an email to 13.week.experiment@gmail.com. If you’ve already sent me an email, you’ll have a response from me this weekend.

Charlie Martin writes on science, health, culture and technology for PJ Media. Follow his 13 week diet and exercise experiment on Facebook and at PJ Lifestyle

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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As soon as you start back on the carbs you stimulate insulin secretion and the effect on the kidney is salt and fluid retention. And the weight goes up.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Coming off a short Taubesian hiatus here. Used to inhale sweets and sweet stuff, now, not so much. Pretty much mostly meh to the taste buds, these days.

The doc did put me on a much lower dose blood pressure med than I was taking at first but wants me to continue just in case I fall off the wagon.

I get my sugar(s) ration in bourbon, these days. ;)
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
Have you considered adding B12 supplementation to the design of your next "chapter", Charlie? It is supposedly depleted by Metformin and IBS both, and is less well absorbed as we age (I say "we" advisedly, 'cause I was born in June '55, so I'm as young as you!). B12 plays a role in metabolism AND levels can be checked with a lab test, so that might be just up your street, data-loving man that you are!
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I take a B supplement routinely, haven't added extra B12. Interesting idea.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've been doing low-carb for three years. Although it feels good to indulge now and then I also end up feeling lousy after. After a carb heavy meal my stomach feels like I'm carrying around a bowling ball, and I've experienced some severe headaches. Of course it makes it easier to go low-carb again since end up feeling so much better.

I've also found that my palate has changed. Lots of foods just don't taste the same, and are very unsatisfying. One of my must have cheat foods is ice cream, but it has to be something premium (my go to is Ben & Jerry's) or I find it very unsatisfying. I used to love mashed potatoes, but find that even a small amount makes me feel very bloated.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
All french fries are not created equal. Wait, I don't like the grammar there but you get the point.
46 weeks ago
46 weeks ago Link To Comment
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