Thursday, April 24, 2008

Another Way to Cycle (with Stillman Plans)

Here's the scoop. During a five-month bout of stall-gains (a term a fellow low-carber shared with me, which means we not only stall but the scale tends to easily bounce up), I knew I had to be patient and stick with my low-carb lifestyle, no matter what.

As far as I could ascertain, my lengthy battle was due to the winter season. I'm quite serious, since there is no other explanation. To add insult to injury, my chronic inflammatory conditions seemed to be the real culprits. The result: Water retention, with a vengeance. I won't go into all the details, but I researched, tried every trick in the low-carb books, and even had to resort to Lasix, a loop diuretic. Since I didn't want to continue on any form of medication, due to side effects and drops in my potassium levels, I looked for additional natural methods to combat water retention and found the lemon water miracle.

By April 14, I had been busy with a writing project, which kept me in front of the computer (and on my duff) over 12 hours a day for two weeks. Although I stayed on plan, the weight was catching up with me - again. So on April 15, I took what I perceive as a drastic measure. I decided to try the Stillman's 14 Day Shape Up Program.

Within 9 days, I had dropped 15 lbs.!

I've been asked how I exactly did it. First, although I didn't plan it this way, I ended up experimenting by kicking off with the basic Stillman's plan, which means unlimited lean proteins, no added fats, and no veggies - nada, zilch, zip.

The reason I did that was to find out if it was true that 'practically zero' carbs plus no added fats means faster weight loss.

Yep, it's true.

The first day, I dropped a lb. The next day, I dropped 5.4 lbs. overnight. Talk about a Whooshie!

Now here's an interesting tidbit: The minute I noticed the loss slowed down on any given morning, that's the day I switched to Stillman's 14 Day Shape Up program. For me, that meant adding one small, plain salad to lunch and dinner. Doing that resulted in a better scale loss the next day, upon which I immediately resumed the basic Stillman's woe.

When the weight loss slowed again, I did exactly the same thing: One day of the 14 Day Shape Up program, then returning to basic Stillman's the very next day.

A few Divine Tips to follow a similar cycle with great success:
-Pull back on caffeine. Although I had completely broken the habit last spring, once winter hit full force, I started drinking hot black tea again. So it was back to weaning myself off caffeine, limiting myself to one 12 oz. cup in the morning.

-Take at least the basic vitamins and supplements, as outlined in my blog entry, "Do You Know What Your Supplements Are?"

-Use very small amounts of virgin olive oil in a spritzer for home-made "Pam" spray; it's a much healther course to use minimal amounts of real fats than no fats.

-Drink up! Drink green tea, hot or cold, or green tea with fresh lemon (good for the liver and kidneys) and, if desired, use stevia as a sweetener. I recently found Arizona Diet Green Tea with Ginseng (which uses Splenda and not aspartame), so I drank that occasionally but mainly focused on plain, cold water. (That is because I completely avoid aspartame, and try my best to also avoid Splenda. Why? It's chlorinated sugar, which means bleached sugar - done to remove carbs - but what is it adding to our bodies? Avoid diet sodas like the plague!) Keeping the body absolutely permeated with clear liquids is an absolute must while on an all-protein cycle.

-Keep the meals basic and simple. Whenever possible, eat small but frequent meals. By small, I mean a few eggs in the morning, 4-6 oz. of some favorite lean protein a few hours later, another lean protein snack 2-3 hours after that, etc. Doing so helps the metabolism adjust, keeps hunger at bay, keeps glucose levels steady, and keeps the mind focused on your goal --- and that's where the real battle of the bulge takes place!

-If feeling a bit shaky or light-headed, immediately eat a small green salad with an unlimited amount of lean protein and your favorite dressing (preferably low carb, high fat). If that is not possible, eat a few slices of real cheese (not processed cheese food) and plenty of water.

-Alternate every other day between whole (preferably organic) brown eggs and Eggbeaters (or egg whites from the organic brown eggs).

-On the days you incorporate a 1 cup green salad, consider using 1 tbsp. of a full-fat salad dressing, not a low-fat version (since low-fat dressings include higher carbs). If you prefer the low-fat version, keep it to "just enough" - don't drizzle the salad!

-Enjoy a 4 oz. sugar-free gelatin cup either between meals or right after them. (Limit: 3 per day)

-Take it easy with the exercise. Stillman's recommended only two 15 minute light exercise routines, morning and a casual stroll, stretching, that sort of thing. This is not the time to jog, walk miles at high speed, etc. It is a good time to enjoy an easy bicycle ride, do 15 minutes of Callanetics, or other slow, easier exercises.

My plan is to finish the 14 days of alternating between the two Stillman programs, then cycling to the Protein Power Life Plan for two weeks, then back to the two Stillman woe's for another two weeks.

If this works, I'll be at my dream goal before I know it!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Miss M for keeping track and posting such great information for all of us! I love it!


meredith said...

hi Miss M!

i love your writing and reading your posts! your success is an inspiration!


swatkins said...

Hi MissM, I saw your site posted on the latest Jimmy blog. Great Job Tawn, Keep up the good fight.



The Divine Miss M said... ladies are great! I'm so glad you're enjoying the blog!