Friday, April 09, 2010

Sidestep: Low Carb Diet Progress

Yesterday, I went to see Dr. Westman. He's a Duke internist who's specialties include bariatrics and addictions, and he has a new book out that updates the Atkins diet. I've been seeing him since mid-January, so yesterday was my monthly appointment, as well as my first visit to the lab since my initial visit in January. I'm happy to report that I'm down about 18 lbs and 7 inches in my waist! My labwork also tells an interesting tale. Below, I'll give my numbers from mid-January and yesterday:

A1c: 7.1--> 6.3
Total Cholesterol: 246-> 193
Triglycerides: 161--> 114
HDL: 46--> 42
LDL:168--> 128

Most of these numbers are rather good, and all without medications! I still need to stay the course, as they could be better still. The goal for my A1c is to get it below 6.0, and the HDL should be higher. I'm encouraged by the improvement, though! And the whole cholesterol thing fascinates me, since Atkins has the reputation for being all about fats--steak and cheese, and all of that. I must admit, I have stayed away from red meats, by and large, and usually choose low-fat cheeses when I can.

I'm still pondering the differences between the Rice Diet, which I spent numerous months on with success, and the Atkins Diet, which is successful so far as well. One is low-fat, the other low-carb. How do they both achieve similar results for me?


Michelle said...

See Lesley, I told you low carb works.

I believe it all has to do with the insulin. As far as fat goes, do not be afraid of fat.

Wow, 7 inches in your waist is amazing!

Can I write about your story on my blog?

Talk to you soon,



Michelle said...

Also, let me correct you. Atkins is not about just eating steak and cheese. What Dr. Atkins was really trying to teach people is to stop eating all of those processed white and sugar foods that raise insulin levels so high. It was never about a diet for people to eat all of the steak and cheese that they wanted to eat. It is about eating good protein sources, good fats, lots of vegetables. Basically, Atkins is about eating a whole foods diet. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is mainly a diet of junk food.

Good Work, Lesley.


Lesley said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Michelle! Feel free to share my story. :)

You're right, Atkins is more than about steak and cheese, but that's part of the reputation I think it carries among at least some non-Atkins people. When I was on the Rice Diet, I know several people had that impression as well. In fact, we'd talk about it over our low-fat, vegan meals. :) When one of my fellow "Ricers" asked one of the staff health professionals how people lost weight doing Atkins, the response was that people probably ate a lot worse before getting on Atkins. That's probably true!

Your comment about not being afraid of fats rings true. When I went to see Dr. Westman in March, and he looked at my common foods list for the previous month, he told me the very same thing! :) So, you're on the right track too, Michelle!

Thanks for commenting! :)


Anonymous said...

congrats on getting your A1c down!
What level of carbs are you eating? (grams per meal or day)

Lesley said...

Thanks, Anonymous! I'm especially excited about progress in my A1c! I'm eating around 20-30 carbs most days.

Anonymous said...

20-30 g/day means that you are very close to the Bernstein diabetes diet (plenty of non-diabetics follow it - it is perfectly healthy). If you're interested in more info on this, there's a Bernstein Diabetes Forum open to anyone interested in keeping their blood sugars in the normal range. That is, controlling or preventing diabetes. Great low carb recipes there.

Skylar Masey said...

Great news Lesley! I know it can be hard but stay the's paying off :0)


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