At first glance the prospective reader will come across this title and surmise an article on one of two possibilities; the historic battles fought during World War II or another article on the more common theme of the average Joe trying to lose weight and inches off the waistline. I am a history buff but I will leave the former to the experts and tackle the latter since I have first hand knowledge on that subject.

For at least six or seven years now the ability to maintain a healthy weight has been a battle that at times I have been fully engaged in, modestly aware of or completely disinterested in participating. For the past couple of years though the constant back and forth of clothes feeling comfortable or not has grabbed my attention along with some family members. I have gone from having clothes ranging from medium to extra-large but I would be very happy to settle for the large category. A problem I face in defeating this enemy is that I enjoy good food, delectable desserts and India Pale Ale (IPA) beer. It was time to find a way to battle this enemy, this enemy known as good food, delectable desserts and India Pale Ale (IPA) beer.

First off I knew that none of the famous named diets were feasible in my case. Also anything that required gym time or working out extensively would not work at this time. Several months back our household went one month on a sugar detox but in my case this detox only occurred during the home cooked meal portion, which was actually very tasty in many respects but didn't extend to food eaten outside of home. Oh yeah, it also didn't include elimination of the aforementioned enemy, IPA beer. So in my case I never experienced the weight loss and health benefits that other household members realized. Ultimately I found the ketogenic diet plan to be the weapon I would choose in this battle.

A short synopsis of this diet plan that will explain it to a broad audience is it is essentially the Atkins diet made famous by Robert C. Atkins, M.D. in the 1980's. This diet consists of eating high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate foods. What I found intriguing was the science behind the diet plan, what the introduction of and subtraction of certain types of foods do metabolically to the human body. Since I'm not a scientist or an expert in the field of nutrition I apologize to those of you that are scientists/experts in explaining this at the end user level. Under a normal diet, meaning no special restrictions, just eating whatever we want to eat the human bodies first choice for fuel comes from carbohydrates. This would be glucose, starches and sugars, menu items such as bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. When these types of food are eliminated the body will then utilize the secondary fuel, fat. The human body will need to be deprived of carbohydrates for the process of ketogenesis to begin. Once ketogenesis begins the body produces ketones as the fuel in a state called ketosis. At this point the individual should begin to shed the weight and inches off the waistline that they want to achieve.

With internet resources and many books on the subject available beginning and maintaining this type of diet has become relatively easy. In my particular case just doing the research online has provided more than enough information on how to follow this type of diet. What I like about this diet is it promotes healthy eating habits, eating fresh food, organic is helpful since there are no preservatives that could get in the way of the natural process of ketogenesis. Pretty much all meats, fish, cheeses, dairy, eggs, vegetables (many, not all), and finally some nuts and seeds are all available. Limiting as much processed foods as possible will also be helpful. Most fruits are not good with this diet except for occasional berries (strawberry, blueberry, etc.). Certain artificial sweeteners are okay in moderation. Water should be increased if not already part of your regular drinking regimen. Unsweetened tea's and coffee and almond, soy and coconut milk are good as long as they are natural.

So in my case I have gone about one week into this diet, felt some of the side effects (frequent urination, slight dizziness) early on but have settled into a comfort zone. I have even lost 3-4 pounds already, most likely through lack of several good IPA's but it's a start. Another couple of items that were eliminated from my normal routine were sugarless gum (in some references it is okay to still chew gum) and Wint O Green Lifesavers. The first time in my normal routine when I would pop a piece of gum in my mouth I was conflicted, with the little devil on one side telling me "it's not a problem" and the little angel saying "no, don't give in to temptation!!". The angel won the battle and hopefully when this experiment is more time tested I can report solid results and who knows, inspire someone else to give this diet plan a try. As the next few weeks pass I will have to modify this diet as a summer vacation approaches and we leave the comfort of home for four or five days and head to San Francisco and Napa valley. Curiously red wine is not quite so damaging to this diet but even though parts of the diet will go on hiatus for a short period of time anyway.

Published by Stephen Mickulas