After a Low Carb Diet -- Where Do I Go From Here?

Smoked Chicken Leg Quarter and Letter Salad: Atkins Induction Foods
After you've tried low carb, where do you go next? 

My diet break this time around has been particularly long.

I’ve had trouble letting go of the low-carb mindset.

My food sensitivities, allergies, and autoimmune challenges have created a lot of internal havoc over the past year. I've been attempting to root genetically modified corn out of my diet, as well as gluten and casein.

As a result, I’ve seen some nice changes in my skin and hair. To me, that says I'm starting to heal.

For most people in my situation, January brings renewed intentions.

It ushers in hope that this year will be the year to finally reach goal weight. It clothes that hope with the faith that whatever diet program is currently being looked at will work.

We see this happening in all dieting communities and circles: the low-carb community, the South Beach Diet, and at Weight Watchers. Folks just want to gain some control over their lives. They want to accomplish what they initially set out to do.

I think the largest lesson I’ve learned over the past few years is that mind over matter doesn’t work.

You can have all of the faith and hope you need to see you through to your goal weight, but if your physical body, food sensitivities, individual metabolism, and limitations do not cooperate, you’re going to fail to manifest that weight-loss goal in your life.

My First Experience with the Old Weight Watchers Exchange Diet

When I first went on the Atkins Diet back in the '70s, I thought it was wacky. Yet, it made sense to me.

Over the course of my life, I had seen and experienced many of the things that Dr. Atkins spoke of in his first revolutionary diet book. I had tried several different types of low-calorie diets, and they had all left me hungry, unsatisfied, and still fat.

When mom announced she was willing to pay for Weight Watchers meetings, that it worked because of some magical formula, I took her up on the offer.

I was desperate, even then.

Counting exchanges worked well for me.

There was no points system gimmick back then. The Weight Watchers diet was totally focused on healthy eating. I knew that because everyone in my family except me was suffering heavily with round after round of boils. They took medication continuously. As soon as one outbreak cleared, another began.

The doctor said the infection had obviously gotten into their bloodstream, and we needed to be more vigilant in attempting to get rid of exposures.

But, if that were true, then why wasn't I getting them too?

What Happened When I Left Weight Watchers

Eventually, I left the old Weight Watchers Exchange Program because I found myself at the point where my body was freaking out about the weight loss.

I was hungry. Really hungry. It was uncontrollable.

Our bodies do that regardless of our diet plan of choice. It's called The Set Point Theory. I know that now, but I didn’t know that back then, so I quit using that diet system.

I was lost inside the dieting mindset that said I had to be either on or off of a diet. I started eating whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to, and the next thing I knew – I had boils myself.

There was something about that moderate-carb, balanced exchange way of eating that kept my immune system functioning properly. When I discarded the plan, ill health resulted.

I can clearly see that now.

Eventually, we conquered the problem we were having with boils because I figured out the link to zinc, but somewhere along the way, balanced nutrition got away from me. The lessons I learned from Weight Watchers stuck in my head over the years, but I never put those lessons into real-life practice.

I can’t exactly say why.

Low-Carb Weight Loss is Tempting

When I reached a point where I knew I had to do something about my recent weight gain, the drastic weight loss I experienced on a low-carb diet in the '70s was extremely tempting.

I thought things would be the same.

I believed that diet would be easy, take care of my weight problem, and help me get to goal weight with little effort.

None of that was true.

None of that happened, even at the beginning of my most recent weight-loss journey that began in January of 2007. To me, that meant something was wrong with the low-carb theory, but I didn’t have anything else to replace it with.

I didn’t have any ideas.

I could tweak the fat content, which is what I did. I could tweak the calorie content, which is also what I did.

But when my body reached that magical number of 160 pounds – the same place where the Weight Watchers Exchange Program failed me – my body began to rebel.

Where Do I Go from Here?

Quite frankly, I don’t know.

I started this blog because I was hoping to find answers within the South Beach Diet approach, but experimenting with South Beach only resulted in sending my body into an inflammatory downward spiral. My blood sugar went out of control. My weight quickly rose to 170, and my vertigo grew worse.

It’s taken me most of the past year to figure out why.

Plus, going off of dairy was incredibly hard for me. It has been much harder than eliminating gluten was.

I joined Weight Watchers online this past week.

I wanted to see their plan.

I wanted to know what they were doing today, how their claim of using updated scientific research for 2012 was fitting into what they were doing.

I wanted to know how they differ from the South Beach Diet.

Within the gluten-free community, Weight Watchers is recommended far more than the Atkins Diet is or any other low-carb plan, so my curiosity wanted to know why.

What makes the current Weight Watcher's plan easier and more special than their past exchange program?

Weight Watchers Online

On the surface, I’m NOT impressed.

Their new points formula is kept hidden, so you have to continue using their paid database tools in order to follow their current plan correctly.

There’s NO list of foods with their accompanying points values. There’s a computation tool where you plug in the carbohydrate, fat, fiber and protein grams, if known, that will spit out the points value for you.

Calories are said to no longer be a part of the equation.

You can record what you eat daily on a chart. The chart is similar to Fitday and other online calorie tracking websites that are hooked into the USDA food composition values.

The menu chart will also generate points values for you, but the listing to choose from is as difficult to use as Fitday's charting system is.

So far, I’m just seeing a fancy way of counting calories.

A gimmick that's similar to how a low-carb diet cuts appetite for most folks, so they eat less.

They are attempting to manipulate people toward making healthier choices. There might be good health information within the content of their members-only sections, such as how to balance meals more nutritiously, but I only joined a couple of days ago.

I’m not familiar yet with everything they offer online.

I signed up under their January special of free registration if I paid for three months in advance. I’ll be taking my time and checking out the site over the next few days. 

So stay tuned . . .