When you learn from your mistakes you’re able to continue to make experimental changes which can lead to a healthier life.
In February I made a change to my diet that had other consequences I didn’t expect. The mistake I made was only small, but I learned from it nonetheless.
What was the change that triggered it all? I cut out my regular go-to drink. Caffeine free Diet Coke.
To summarise; I’ve cut out all alcohol, all soft drink (soda) and replaced sugar in my morning cups of tea with stevia. The last drink left was my Diet Coke.
I have heard a lot of rumours that the primary sweeteners in diet drinks isn’t good for you. Namely Phenylalanine. Essentially, it’s supposed to excite neurons in the brain to the point of cellular death. Based on that research, people tell me it’s linked to diseases like Alzheimer’s.
As usual, there’s a lot of information both supporting and damning the product. It’s no mystery that the support is typically from research funded by the big producers and manufacturers who use the product or Big Pharma. So, erring on the side of caution, the Caffeine free Diet Coke had to go.
Now what can I drink?
Water… water… and more water… Zzzzz.
Every now and then it’s nice to have a bit of flavour. My morning cups of tea are nice for that.
I tried a few other interesting suggestions though.
Water infused with cucumber, mint, lime or lemon was OK but didn’t really excite me too much. I even tried cinnamon water because cinnamon is great for reducing LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. While the flavour was ok… it wasn’t really tasty. In each case, I’d prefer a cup of tea instead.
So I decided to juice.
Jayne and I set out and bought a lot of fruit and vegetables and got cracking again with our juicer, which tends to be the flavour of the month for a while then disappear into our pantry for long spells.
There’s been a lot of tv programs about juicing and some you may have seen. It seems like juicing a smoothies are a thing these days. Some weight loss experiences have been quite remarkable as a result – though I’m not sure they are sustainable or practical.
The idea is quite simple.
Juice is absorbed in your body the same as water, but with all of the nutrients and vitamins and minerals that is contained in the juice.
I loved my juice so much, I was beginning to replace a meal with juice. As an example, I’d make a big juice, which would equate to two or three glasses of juice, and skip breakfast. These juices would keep me satisfied and would make a nice difference drinking them instead of water.
But it was a mistake.
At least, drinking these juices in that quantity was a mistake.
My weight loss stalled.
In a six week period, my weight loss was reduced to less than half a kilogram each week. In fact, I’d hover around my weight and it left me feeling confused. All the food I was eating was natural, good food. But my weight loss stalled.
What what did I learn from this?
The amount of carbohydrates and sucrose in the fruit and vegetables was tipping me over the edge so that I was no longer in ketosis. I was right on the edge of ketosis – but not in ketosis.
That means no fat was being burned for energy. No fat burn = no weight loss.
Well, it’s actually pretty good news. For me, it means that juice is equal to neutral foods. Meaning it’s not going to make me gain weight, but it’s not helping me right now to continue losing weight to reach my goal weight of 80 kilograms.
So I’ve learned from that mistake. A simple, but important lesson.
Over the last two weeks I’ve made a couple of adjustments.
- Having a small glass of juice once a day.
- Having no juice at all during week days.
- Having no fruit in the juice, only vegetables.
This trial and error approach has given me some more insight into what works and what doesn’t – at least, what works for me.
- A small glass of juice a day is OK, but if my meals had extra vegetables, I’d get pushed out of ketosis.
- No juice at all during week days kept me in ketosis and my weekends would be ketosis free.
- No fruit in the juice makes for a pretty nasty drink.
So, six weeks passed by with barely any weight loss at all. It’s slowed down my progress towards my goal, but I’ve learned something valuable about how my body responds to certain foods and drinks.
Most surprisingly, I haven’t lost any weight by cutting out Caffeine free Diet Coke. A lot of people said I would drop weight as a result, but that simply hasn’t been true. The Diet Coke didn’t make me put on weight (I was losing weight while drinking it). So it’s not responsible in any way for my weight. It may have other negative side effects, but none that I am physically or mentally aware of.
In summary, if you’re on a healthy journey, don’t be afraid of trying something new. Be open to learn from your mistakes. Keep a note of what you changed and you’ll be able to track things easier and make corrections if you want to.
My weight is a great measure of what I’m putting in my mouth each week. If it’s going down, I know I’m in negative energy mode from food and drink. If it’s going up I know I’m in positive energy mode from food and drink.
Adding a juice is fine for neutral energy mode. When I choose to plateau at the 100 kilogram mark, I’ll re-visit my juices for a few weeks and sustain my weight for a while so my body adjusts to the new weight. Until then, it’s water, tea and a small glass of juice on weekends if I choose.
Is there anything you’ve learned from mistakes you’ve made in the past? Share them with me below in the comments.