Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Dark Chocolate, Carbs, and 3 Pounds of Water

It is Tuesday, and I am down to 205.5.  That is three pounds less than I weighed yesterday morning. 

Can you say, post-carb consumption water loss??!!  Literally, following every significant carb intake, I put on approximately three pounds of water, and within a couple of days of being carb-strict, I lose it. 
It doesn't even take much in the way of carb consumption to do it. 

Take this weekend for instance.  I didn't even go carb crazy.  I had maybe 4 corn chips with salsa - say 5 grams; and two s'mores in two days - say about 25 grams per s'more; and 2 x 1/2 pieces of chocolate in two days - say about 10 grams total max; and 1 very small bite of a flourless chocolate thing - say about 2 grams.... total, maybe 67 extra grams of carbohydrate over the course of the weekend.  That's pretty good for being on vacation!

In my experience, I need to keep my carb intake under about 40 net grams per day to avoid this water weight gain.  I get about 30 or so grams from all the non-starchy veggies that I eat, and I really have to be careful with anything extra.  If I even look at a grain product for too long... woosh.  So, I'm going to chalk up my weekend water weight gain to the corn chips and graham crackers. 

I am not going to demonize chocolate!  Let me tell you why:
I have undisputedly had weight loss success over the past couple of weeks even though I have taken to enjoying small bits of dark chocolate on a semi-regular basis.  I am down to 5 bars of IKEA 60% dark chocolate from the 6 bars I bought back on August 7th, which means that I consumed 1 x 3.5 oz bar (a total of 33 grams of net carbs in the entire 100 gram bar) over the course of one week.  That's not too bad.  Figuring that I enjoyed the heck out of every minute of that chocolate consumption, and that I got a whole bunch of healthy out of it (what - you didn't know that dark chocolate has antioxidants, blood-pressure lowering cocoa phenols, and the wonder compound, epicatechin??), I'd say that's a win-win for moi.

Never heard of epicatechin?  Listen and learn, hombre!
According to Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, epicatechin could potentially get rid of 4 of the 5 most common diseases in the western world, including stroke, heart failure, cancer and diabetes, and should perhaps be considered a vitamin.  This is based on observational studies of the Kuna people of Panama, who consume significant quantities of natural cocoa on a regular basis, and have a very low incidence of the foregoing diseases.  In the same article, nutrition expert, Daniel Fabricant, suggested that further studies may show that these diseases are the result of epicatechin deficiency.

Here are some more articles about epicatechin that I pulled up.  Check it out for yourself: here, herehere, and here.  Note: the last link has a number of journal articles referenced that you can follow up on if interested!

I solemnly swear that I will never be epicatechin deficient.  Here's to your health!

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