I was trying to figure out what has caused my weight creep starting this summer after my Italy vacation which included obvious weight gain reasons.  July was the last month I weighed under 130.  When I left for Europe I weighed in at 129.  When i got back from Europe I weighed in around 132.  Not too bad really considering the volume of food I ate with the  six course meals, wine and bread and gelato every night.    Still, I expected my weight to go right back down.  Instead, it steadily crept up over the next 5 month until it eventually hit 139.4.  At that point, I got serious and dieted for 5 days and brought it back down to 131 but then proceeded to go back to hearty eating.    I don’t know why I was surprised it sprung right back to 136 in a week.  Mmmmhhhh?  But why did my weight creep so high after  maintaining such a steady weight over the last 7 years?  I guess an easy explanation could be that I just plain overate.  That wouldn’t be so hard to explain.  I love eating just as much as the next person.   Still, I was puzzled because I always eat a lot and I’ve still been maintaining steady for a long time.

When I looked at the changes in my diet over the last 5 months, the only thing I can really see that I’ve eaten differently is a large amount of dairy before bed in the form of protein shakes, cottage cheese and greek yogurt or regular yogurts. And I’ve been making them into sweet tasting dessert-like concoctions.  And yes, I have eaten large portions like a whole quart of yogurt or whole pound of cottage cheese at one time, but I don’t think total calories have been much different than normal.  But then again- maybe they have been.   I’ve definitely noticed on nights I eat my large dairy creations I almost always weigh a  few pounds more in the morning.   That has got me wondering, could my dairy desserts have something to do with the weight creep?

Body-builders and figure athletes are often told to cut dairy as soon as 3 months before a show.  I always thought that seemed  extreme and unnecessary.  After all,  hadn’t I read a study suggesting people who ate dairy lost more fat than those who didn’t.  It’s all so confusing, isn’t it?

The reason body-builders and figure athletes are told to cut dairy before their shows is that even though dairy is low glycemic index it is still highly insulinogenic.  Insulin is a powerful fat storing hormone and many body-building trainers  advise clients to lower their insulin levels during pre-contest dieting to optimize fat-burning.  Dairy produces a lot of insulin which is great for building muscle but also may create an environment that makes it difficult for some to lose fat.  That’s the thinking at least.   Large insulin release  may also leads to greater sweet craving which can lead to even greater eating which might really be at the heart of it for me at least.

Could dairy have caused a high enough insulin response in me to create cravings that resulted in eating more than what I thought I was eating?  I’m not sure of the answer yet, but I’m tracking my diet more closely and interested to find the correlations if they exist for me.   And when I know, I’ll let you know too!  But valuable lesson for all, 10 pounds can creep up on the best of us if we’re not paying attention.  Be vigilant!