Thursday, May 28, 2009

South Beach

I am on the South Beach Diet. Why? I've tried Atkins, but that was just too HARD. Literally, way to hard in areas that are not appropriate on a food blog. Also, I do not agree that meat should be the basis of the diet. I think the foundation of the Human Diet is actually green-leafy vegetables and savory fruits (like squash, avocado, zucchini and cucumber).

So, I have been on it for a year now, but have slipped recently. Well, recently means "I've been on it loosely since Christmas, ignoring some of the rules that I want to ignore". You know how it goes.

Anyway, I had a thought recently. Why, on Phase I of the diet, do I get a headache? A really really bad headache. Happens every time I ditch carbohydrates for a few days. It HURTS too, bad headache for three days. I've asked around, and lots of people seem to have this same problem. And nobody seems to know why. We know what the cause is - lack of carbohydrate in the diet, but we have no idea why it makes the head hurt.

I think I have figured it out. Anyway, this is my theory, and "Dammit, Jim, I am not a Doctor".

The fatter you are, the more insulin your pancreas will pump out per meal, and the more likely you'll develop what's called insulin resistance. Insulin also works in the brain to suppress hunger. In other words, as you gained weight, your body would generate more insulin after every meal. Now the higher insulin production that comes with getting fatter would no longer suppress your appetite, because your brain would no longer register the rise in insulin. That is why we are always hungry after eating lots of carbohydrates and what we Americans call "Chinese Food".

If your brain were to lose its sensitivity to insulin, just as your fat and muscles do when they are flooded with it, and then you deprive your brain of massive amounts of insulin, that may cause a headache.

My hypothesis, based on another hypothesis of Michael Schwartz, an endocrinologist at the University of Washington.

Now, what to do about it? Just wait it out. My brain gets 'used to' the new insulin levels by the end of Phase I, and welcomes the new unprocessed carbohydrates that come with Phase II, YUM!

Carbohydrates make Epic Food very sleepy.


* I would say tomato as well, but in the days of early human, tomatoes were very small - like berries - humans have developed them into the watery-monsters they are today. "dammit, Jim, I am not a food anthropologist".

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