Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Magic Shot: True or Not?

Well, today's news is a thrilling experience for me. It makes me wonder about something called "The Magic Shot."

"The Magic Shot" is the name of a theory regarding weight loss results between first time low-carbers and 'returning' low carbers. That theory states first-time low carbers do wonderfully well as they start out ("The Magic Shot"), but that "returns" - that is, individuals who started lowcarbing, lost some weight, left the lifestyle and then eventually returned to it - don't experience the same success the second time around. In other words, the theory says "returns" will lose the fat but not at the same rate as they did the first time. Hence, first time low-carbers are warned not to blow "The Magic Shot."

I don't know if my 19 day "hiatus" from low-carbing (after living the lc-ing lifestyle since May 2007) applies to that Magic Shot "rule." Perhaps those 19 days was just long enough (but not too long) to convince my metabolism that I was up to no good - for good. If so, I'm glad it's been tricked!

Since re-starting just 2 days ago with EFGT (Eat Fat, Get Thin), I have already lost 7 lbs.! Now that's the sort of loss 'newbie' low-carbers usually experience. However, I can't say that happened to me. Way back when, I did lose an average of a pound a day. In fact, I dropped about 28 lbs. back in May 2007, a loss which I still regard as incredible. Then I hit the infamous 3 (or 4) week "stall."

I've also read that lowcarbers will find that returning to 'regular' or 'normal' eating (while calorie counting) - for a very short time, perhaps a week or two - can reverse "stall gains" or kill plateaus. Maybe that's what did it. Nineteen days of 'normal' eating, and then sliding easily into a 'lower carb" lifestyle of 65 grams might have kicked the metabolism where it needed to be kicked.

Hmmm. All these "if's, and's or but's" can get confusing. But that is also why I'm not afraid to tweak or try something 'new' when it comes to low-carbing, like rotating carbs and fats. Those of us who discovered we need to low-carb for health and fitness have that one thing in common. Still, just because we know low-carbing is our answer does not mean we are metabolic equals. What works for me may work for you, or it may not.

I maintain that low-carbing is not the same for everybody. Some can use one lc plan and stick with it and get to goal, with nary a problem. Some can stick with, for example, South Beach and experience wonderful progress and success. Others could never tolerate the carbs allowed on SB and so follow Atkins or Protein Power. Some of us - like me - have to experiment with various low-carb plans by rotating them, because we get stuck in one place for too long a time. There is the difference between men and women. Everybody knows that men will lose fat quicker than women. Not fair but it's a scientific fact. The differences between two low-carbing women can be just as great as between a man and a woman. We have to find out if we must be tweakers or not. I already know I have to tweak, and it can drive me crazy. I'd much rather stick with one plan. But that is now how my metabolic dice rolled...

So after 19 months of low-carbing (with 12 of those months one mean stall, along with its evil fraternal twin brother - the intermittent stall-gain), I went "off plan" because I was heart-sick, tired, and fed up. I can't say I was calorie-counting during that time, because I was not keeping a food log. I had walked away from all that, taking a total break from my usual low-carb routine, which usually includes weighing myself right away plus faithfully recording activity and menus in FitdayPC.

I can say I did not go overboard with 'normal' eating. However, as mentioned in a previous post, I did eat things I usually avoid like the plague.

Restarting with EFGT seems to be a good choice for me. Of course, it is too soon to tell but I am elated anyway! Perhaps this woe will help me figure what in the world has been going on the past year. Perhaps I need even more fats that I thought I did. Or perhaps it is because I took in most of my proteins, fats and carbs first thing in the morning, lessening the amounts with the remaining two meals of the day. That is because I followed the EFGT recommendation, which goes like this:

In the morning, eat like a king. At lunch (or dinner, as it is also called), eat like a prince. For supper, eat like a pauper.

My daily protein intake is about the same (90 grams, since I decided to try the higher end of the EFGT guidelines. On EFGT, my lowest daily protein gram intake should be about 70). With Protein Power, the recommended protein gram amt. was 120 grams but I have long cycled between 90-120 grams. The highest amount of EFGT carb grams (65) are more than my usual low-carb intake (20-30). Fat grams were 75 and 85, respectively, over the last two days - technically, I should have had much more on EFGT. I think that, when I lower the daily carb grams, I'll up the fats.

Actually, I'm quite surprised at the good results so far. That surprise is not due to the woe, but to the way my metabolism has been misbehaving the last few months. I honestly didn't expect such quick results!

Naturally, I'll stick with it as long as it works (let's hope it lasts for at least a few weeks!). I still have the same goal to lose 8-10 lbs. a month. I would bet money that scale losses will significantly slow down after that (please, Lord, not before). I'll be fine with that if the inches start to defrag themselves and keep defragging. :)

During this quiet time in January, I think I'll again re-read all my low-carb books, too. Every time I go through them, I find gems that didn't apply to me before but may be what I need now.

Know what I mean, sugar-free jellybean?

1 comment:

swatkins said...

Hi, I'm glad you added your blog to your siggy. I feel like I am caught up on the time missed with you. I did miss you so much and am glad you are back at Jimmy's posting. I am also participating in spark people now, as we have a local group in our Nashville. HUGS, Shari