Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving in the Zone

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend, as I hope you all did as well. I was worried about the holiday for all the obvious reasons...there was so much food! And then there were leftovers! Turkey, treats, drinks, & desserts.... it was all so good! If there was one Holiday that could derail me, it would be this one

The morning of Thanksgiving I weighed in at 4 pounds under my LIW, so I knew I had a little leeway. But I also knew I'd be eating a ton. I didn't plan on skimping...I'd done enough of that over the past few months while my body was reprogramming itself.  I figured I'd be gaining but I was nervous about how much. I didn't really want to do a Steak Day, at least not the day after Thanksgiving. I was trusting my body to stay in the ZONE.

Luckily, I woke up the Day After and I had gained 3 lbs...but still one pound under my LIW! I ended up gaining another pound the next day and then lost one by Sunday morning. So a net gain of 4 but still under my LIW.  Not too bad, considering how much food I ended up eating.

I should explain about the ZONE....

Remember back to all the other times you tried to diet and no matter what you did, your body always seemed to stay at the same basic weight. I would lose some weight and then bounce right back to that same weight again. Or I would gain some over a few days and then somehow I would always drop right back to that same 'magic' weight. I call this the Zone, I've heard it called the Fat Thermostat as well. One of the beautiful things about the HCG diet is that it helps you drop your 'magic' weight and reprograms your body to your new Zone. This is what the 3 week Phase 3 is all about.

 I spent a lot of the holiday weekend trying to convince my mother, who was visiting, to trust in the Zone. She has been doing HCG as well, and has lost almost 70 pounds, but she is still dieting, even though she is in the Maintenance phase. I think she is doing what a lot of us do, which is to get scared of putting the weight back on, so we keep doing what worked to take it off.  The trouble with this approach is that your body will kick back into "Starvation Mode" and start hanging onto the pounds again, so that if you eat anything at all, you have a major weight gain and it messes up your Zone.  She'd had this happen a couple times and so I was trying to get her to understand that she needed to eat a little more and trust in her body to keep her in the Zone.

I haven't spoken to her yet to see if she was able to make this breakthrough, but it has been working for me. If ever I do break out of the Zone, I do a Steak Day and it puts me right back in there. I've only had to do this twice now and the rest of the time I've stayed exactly where I wanted to be!

I love the HCG diet! Our bodies are crazy and complicated machines. I'm glad someone finally discovered the trick to making mine work right! I hope it is working for you too. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them here! I love hearing from you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Questions About Sugar Alcohols

You’ve probably noticed sugar alcohols before in chewing gum, candies, baked goods, ice cream and diet drinks. These products are also often labeled “sugar free”, “low in calories”, “diabetic-friendly”, and even “tooth-friendly”. Suspicious? We don’t blame you—when you see the words sugarand alcohol together, there’s plenty of reason to start asking questions. However, upon learning a little about these ingredients you’ll find they have unique benefits.
Sugar alcohol sounds worse than it is because chemists create names based on structures—it’s not the alcohol that makes you drunk! Sugar alcohols are so named because they are little carbon rings with OH (oxygen-hydrogen) groups on them, also called polyols. These polyols are naturally found in many plants and are easily recognized by the human body (in fact, human cells produce their own sugar alcohols such as sorbitol).
Fewer calories, greater flavor
The truth is that sugar alcohols, when used in correct amounts, can be safe, natural and healthy. They do provide sweetness and energy, but they have fewer calories than sugar (1-3 per gram versus 4 per gram). This results in a low impact on blood sugar and insulin levels, which is why sugar alcohols are often used in products intended for diabetics.
Some sugar alcohols can also be fermented by friendly probiotic bacteria that make up a healthy intestinal flora. A healthy intestinal flora helps support your immune system and can help improve digestion. In addition, sugar alcohols are seldom able to be metabolized by oral bacteria, which is why they’re “tooth-friendly”. They avoid promotion of tooth decay and cavities.
When used in foods, sugar alcohols can be especially useful. They provide bulk and texture that makes foods and candies more enjoyable to consumers. They enhance and deliver a lasting flavor of sweetness as well as provide a “cooling effect”. Particularly in baked goods, they help prevent browning when exposed to heat and also help those foods stay moist over time.
Not all sugar alcohols have the same type and or level of attributes. Maltitol, for example, acts in a different way than, say, xylitol. Maltitol is a disaccharide like sucrose (table sugar) and has almost the same level of sweetness and other properties. This makes it very useful for replacing table sugar while offering fewer calories and avoiding promotion of tooth decay.
When consumed, maltitol is broken down by enzymes to glucose and sorbitol. The glucose is easily absorbed, but the sorbitol is resistant to digestion. Because of its resistance to digestion, sorbitol works in similar fashion to prebiotic fiber, fermenting and feeding that helpful intestinal bacteria.
With maltitol, however, there is a concern about overconsumption, especially in people who are unused to sugar alcohols. Consuming an excess of 10g may cause bloating. And, in absence of soluble fiber, consumption of 20g or more can cause loose stool or diarrhea. You’d have the same laxative effect from eating too many fruits like plums, prunes, apples, pears and cherries. These fruits are all high in sorbitol. (Note: No Isagenix product contains sorbitol in nearly these high amounts.)
Xylitol and Erythritol
What about xylitol and erythritol? These sugar alcohols are not quite as sweet as sugar or maltitol. And they have a stronger cooling effect than any of the other sugar alcohols. You’d recognize their flavor from sugar-free chewing gum. Like maltitol and sorbitol, they offer fewer calories than sugar and don’t promote tooth decay.
Unlike their counterparts, however, xylitol and erythritol are unlikely to ferment and cause bloating or diarrhea. They are considered non-fermentable because  intestinal bacteria have difficulty digesting them. After consumption, most erythritol is absorbed easily into the bloodstream while xylitol is absorbed more slowly.
Xylitol is notable because it’s found to be more effective than other sugar alcohols in reducing cavities. According to recent studies, primarily from Finland, xylitol may not only reduce potential cavities from forming, but even strengthen teeth. Its mechanism is thought to occur by attracting and “starving” cavity-producing bacteria. The Finnish were the first to extract xylitol from birch, but it’s found in many plants, fruits and vegetables, especially berries, plums and raspberries.
Erythritol is naturally found in grapes, melons and mushrooms as well as in fermented foods like wine, beer and cheese. Because of its ultra-low impact on blood sugar, you’ll also find erythritol often paired with sugars to lessen its blood-sugar effects in foods, with other sugar alcohols, or with natural sweetening herbs such as stevia in natural sweetener packets.

(This article is reposted from the Isagenix website, which I do not use or endorse. See original post here.)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Another Steak Day

I have felt this coming on for a while! I should have followed my own good advice, but alas! I succumbed to the temptation of the Halloween Candy. It's been a slow climb, but today I hit exactly 2 pounds over my LIW.

One of the things I like the best about the HCG diet is that it has restructured the way I think about food and it gives me a checkpoint at which I can stop my slide into old habits and re-evaluate my eating patterns.  I like knowing that I can survive without food for a couple of meals (there was a point where I didn't believe this) and that I get an immediate reward-the dropping of 2-3 pounds- for doing it.

I have noticed that whenever I start to go up, it's because I'm slacking off on my veggies and I am eating way too much sugar. A Steak Day is a good time to look at those patterns that set you off! If you are in Maintenance, make sure you are keeping a food journal and if you see something that is triggering a gain, make a change! Let us know if you have any good advice for avoiding these food traps! Wish me Steak Day begins...