Saturday, June 28, 2008

Another food post

Yes, I'm still on the subject....and no, I'm not obsessed. Just working through a few things. :o)

Here's the deal - after a couple of months of maintenance, my body isn't all that happy about reducing calories. I've coped OK so far, and I was actually a bit surprised that my hunger levels have been quite low. I only get seriously hungry just before the time of day when I'd usually have a meal, and that's normal anyway, whether I'm following a weight-loss plan, or eating a lot more.

BUT... here's the bit I'm trying to figure out the right answer to: I'm having some pretty nasty low blood sugar symptoms in the late afternoon. It's taken me a while to realise it - not because I'm thick (well, not very), but because when your blood sugar gets too low, you're incapable of thinking straight and realising that YOU NEED FOOD, DUMMIE.

When I was a teenager, I used to see it occasionally in my grandmother, who had type 1 diabetes. She was a pro at eating the right foods and getting the timing perfect, but now and then something unexpected would happen to delay a meal and she'd have a hypoglycaemic reaction. First she'd get all lethargic and quite vague, then she'd get really crabby, and finally she'd be making no sense at all and if someone didn't force some sugar into her right away, she'd start to convulse and would eventually lapse into unconsciousness. Scary. Luckily my mother always knew exactly what to do...

That's an extreme example, but I've also witnessed Bike Boy's blood sugar bottom out after a long, tough ride. He's snippy and sooo tired and lethargic, and he bites my head off if I suggest that perhaps he needs some carbs, because he's HAD gels and Powerade and he SO does not have low blood sugar. If I can persuade him to actually eat something like a slice of white bread with honey and a small glass of fruit juice, he comes good and feels a million dollars within about 10-15 minutes. Then, of course, I make him follow that up with a low-GI carb and some protein, to stop him crashing again soon after.

Now, none of this makes it any easier to yesterday when Bike Boy suggested around 5:00pm that I was carb-depleted, I had a light bulb moment. Of course, that was after I got all indignant and argued with him....

He's dead right though - these are my usual symptoms
- Extreme fatigue.
- Lethargy, then drowsiness - I actually dozed off on The Baby's shoulder a few days ago while watching TV.
- Feeling cold - no matter what I do, I just can't get warm.
- Crankiness - which doesn't even begin to describe how bad it is. I morph into the Queen Bitch from Hell.
- Inability to concentrate. Or think rationally. Or behave at all like a sane person.
- Emotional instability. More than usual, I mean.

I haven't gone low-carb. My macronutrient ratios are exactly as they've been for the past 4 years or so: 40/40/20, more or less. So I can only put it down to the reduction in food overall.

The solution? Maybe I need to re-jig my meals a bit. I tend to have a carb-heavy breakfast and morning tea, partly because I enjoy it. But it's also because I train early most days, and I feel as though I need that pre-/post-workout fuel. And I wake up hungry most days, then find I'm hungry again by 9:30, and carbs satisfy me far more than protein or fat. Then there's also the habit thing - breakfast foods are traditionally carby. Cereals, porridge, toast, pancakes.

Perhaps it's time for a change. I'll see if I can come up with some higher-protein meals that I can still look forward to, that will allow me to have extra carbs in the afternoon. The last thing I want is to be thinking *sigh* time for breakfast. Better eat it, it's good for me. After all, breakfast IS my favourite meal of the day.


While on the food subject, I'm skipping my treat meal today - going to save it for tomorrow now. I actually had 2 tiny squares of a 35g Lindt block this morning, before my workout. That added up to less than 9g of chocolate. LOL. It did seem to satisfy the urge. And it appears to have reduced the nasty case of SOL I was suffering from too.

Shelley taunted me in the comments with tales of Ghirardelli chocolates, bought from San Francisco, so I went and Googled. They have a gift basket of their famous Squares, in assorted flavours - 120 of them. They suggest it's perfect for the larger group, or corporate gifts. Like hell!! If I got hold of them, they'd be mine, all precious ones.....


And on the topic of treat meals (I've never liked the term "cheat" meals - who's cheating? Not me!), I'm fascinated and amazed by the foods that different people class as "cheat" foods. Some figure competitors eat things like: bananas (or other fruit), yoghurt, muesli, potatoes and call it a "cheat" food. Seriously? I eat those things all the time. Huh.

Treat foods for me are things with little or no nutritional value - chocolate, ice cream, lollies, cakes, fatty, greasy takeaways, stuff like that. A little honey, barbecue or sweet chilli sauce, or some light coconut milk won't kill me, and makes my food taste much better - so I work those things in pretty regularly.

You don't have to cut out fruit, or dairy, OR eat boring, plain food to shed fat. Thank God.


Charlotte Orr said...

Hey Kek, have been enjoying reading your posts lately. My dad is type 1 diabetic and my hubby does lots of strenuous exercise too, so I'm good at recognising those symptoms in him, not so great in myself. As for the diet foods, yes I've trained for competitions with a diet similar to the one you mentioned in my blog (with even less selection in fruit) and longed for muesli, yoghurt and fruit. I didn't even get to have it for a treat as no 'cheat meals' for 8-12 weeks. That's one of the reasons why I've been looking for a healthier way to do things. Still feel like I'm trying to get my head screwed on right after the last one though.

gypsy77 said...

Hi Kek,
I totally understand the feelings you get with low blood sugar.

The light head feeling hits first, then the shakes, but kinda from the inside(which sounds weird) the grumps hit next really, really bad (my poor kids) and the total lack of being able to concentrate. I've had it hit while on the phone to a friend and she though I was drunk. If I'm driving, I actually do feel drunk, which is so bad with my kids in the car.
I felt an episode come on when at my parents a while back. My dad is diabetic, so he took my blood sugar and it was 2.1, very, very low! And it wasn't even a bad attack.
I eat very well. Doctor says its due the exercise, who knows....its bloody awful!!
Please update on this. I'm interested in what you find out!

Debstar said...

Top post Kek. I've been wonering why it is I get so cold followed by needing a nanna nap, always around 2 or 3 o'clock. I might try eating a piece of fruit at that time and see if that works.

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