I started the 800 calorie Blood Sugar Diet on a whim, a couple of weeks ago. Not exactly a whim but I had read Dr Michael Mosley’s book on the 8 week, 800 calorie BSD and finished it on the Sunday. It made a lot of sense and it mentioned that the patients in the clinical research trial run at Newcastle University had been put on liquid “shakes” to ensure their calories were counted correctly. I had protein shake in the house, so I decided that from the next day, I would try the 800 calorie 8 week diet. I told myself that I would try it for one day, that I could last one day and then I could go back onto my normal low carb diet. I was just going to try it out. It can be useful to tell yourself this kind of story, looking forward just one day at a time, rather than saying, I HAVE to do this for 8 weeks, when it can seem like a life sentence!
Two weeks later, I am still on this diet and it has been completely possible, I have NOT felt like eating the table leg because I was so hungry. I can’t say that I haven’t felt hungry at all but it’s odd, the hunger has just been a sensation, a feeling, that I was able to acknowledge was there, without salivating or feeling I had to get something to eat.
I have kept a chart of my progress, with the number of calories I ate each day and with my abdomen girth and my weight taken when I had access to a weighing scale. Over the two weeks, I have now dropped 4.5 Kgs, this is 10 pounds in weight! I am at the lowest weight ever for years and I have every expectation that I can break the 70 Kg barrier tomorrow or the next day. This is REALLY exciting for me, as I have not been this low a weight since I discovered (or was introduced to) the Atkins diet back around the year 2000.
What am I eating?
I don’t have breakfast until about 11.00 am most days, because I go for a walk and do not eat until I return from that. I have found that a 100 calorie protein shake, with a cup of tea or coffee to follow, fills me nicely. I have a shaker bottle and a scoop. I add a little water to the shaker bottle, add 1 scoop of protein shake, put the top on and shake to mix it up. I then add more water up to the 500 ml level (about 15 fluid ounces). I drink this slowly. The current flavor is chocolate smooth. I also enjoy blueberry and strawberries and cream flavors. The shake I use is NOT marketed as a diet aid but as nutrition for athletes. It is high in protein and uses artificial sweeteners, to keep the calories low. It is my feeling that by taking a large amount of fluid with the calories, my stomach can feel full even BEFORE the calories hit the digestive system. I take another of these at about 2 pm. By that time, I am starting to feel a bit hungry but the shake fills me up again, so I last until dinnertime with no problems.
For dinner, I generally have what everyone else is having, except, no potatoes or rice or pasta or bread. I just have the meat and a non-starchy vegetable, such as green beans, or cabbage, or cauliflower, etc. I was surprised and pleased to find that a dinner like that is about 400 calories. (I haven’t actually tried any different recipes but there are plenty of recipes available for the BSD if you want.) Together with the shakes earlier in the day, this makes about 600 calories. You might think that is great but NO! Read on to find out why.
Since I realised I could stick to this diet for at least a while longer, I decided to find a support group online, to share experiences and help. I found a closed Facebook group for the 800 calories, 8 week blood sugar diet and applied to join. They were very quick in approving my application and very welcoming, with lots of members there. I immediately found that I should NOT try sticking to 600 calories a day, as my body might think it was being starved and possibly reduce my metabolism to slow weight loss! They advised that I should add a little fat to make my intake up to 800 calories a day. I love almond butter and have that in the house but a small teaspoonful of that has about 100 calories and I have been used to eating a LOT more than that. I was concerned that I might go back to eating a lot of almond butter, so decided instead to put butter on my vegetables at dinner. One ounce of butter has about 200 calories, so that made me up to the 800 calories a day. Other alternatives suggested, were to add cream to coffee, also very nice. They were also able to point me to information on dealing with constipation.
The group talked about various “rounds” of the diet. It seems that some people go on the 8 week diet, take a rest, then do another round. I had never even thought of that! There is a LOT of information, recipes and support available if you want to do this diet.
Positive Points of the BSD
- Quick weight loss. I have lost about 10 pounds in 2 weeks and feel I could lose a bit more with no real problems. My target weight is 126 pounds, 9 stone, 57 Kgs. According to the height and weight charts available online, I am currently in the overweight category. My target weight is in the middle of the “normal” category.
- Not feeling especially hungry
- no loss of energy
Difficult Points with the BSD
- Constipation. It’s the same with many diets, the reduction in carbohydrate intake reduces fiber intake. In my case, the almond butter provided a lot of fiber. I need to replace that with more vegetable fiber.
- Felt a bit cold during the first week of the diet. The weather was cold but I don’t normally suffer too much with it. Not as cold feeling this week.
Christmas will be here in less than one week and I feel it is highly unlikely that i will stick to this diet over Christmas. BUT the Facebook support group for BSD has planned an 8 week round starting 2 January. I will be on that.