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Sunday, January 22, 2012

A New Diet: Going Low Carb

Hello Everyone! We had cauliflower crust pizza last night!  It's January, official dieting kickoff month.  This year, my husband and I are actually enjoying our new diet plan.  So many folks were touting the low carb results that we have tried it and are big believers in it too!

What does this sort of diet mean?  Well, it is a bit like Atkins, but updated.  By restricting carbohydrates to very low levels (20 grams daily or less for the first 2 weeks, then gradually increasing the amount each week to a maximum of 100 grams daily...if that does not make you gain weight).   This changes your metabolism to one that burns fat instead of carbs; a condition known as ketosis.  It is very important to drink lots of water because your body will be flushing out ketones during this time, and you may suffer from dehydration-related muscle cramps if not drinking enough fluids.  I have found that I need to restrict my caffeine intake somewhat as well.

What do we eat?  Lots of protein (meat, nuts, hard cheese), real butter, full fat dressings and oils, vegetables (green beans, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, onions, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, cauliflower, spinach, kale, and other low carb selections without added sugar), fruit (a few berries, cantaloupe). Splenda, Truvia, Erythritol, and Stevia are all allowed, as is real heavy whipping cream.

What do we avoid?  Grains, sugars, starchy foods.  This list includes pasta, bread, crackers, soda, sweets, peas, corn, beans, potatoes, breaded foods, and most fruits/juices. 

There is a wealth of information on what to eat and what to avoid.  Overwhelming, actually.  We are just sort of making our own decisions based on glycemic index ratings and personal food preferences.  A fascinating new book (Wheat Belly by Dr. Davis) postulates that modern wheat and other genetically modified grains are responsible for the obesity epidemic we are currently experiencing around the globe.  Gary Taubes' book "Why We Get Fat" has a lot of great data to back up the low carb way of eating.

Anyway, how is it working?  I have lost 15 lbs, hubby 16 since late October.  We probably would have lost more but cheated some during Thanksgiving and Christmas (me especially! Pecan pie and cookies).  The single greatest thing about the diet is that we don't get hungry!!! It is like a secret liberation from appetite swings.  The carbs cause your body to release insulin, which locks up the calories in fat cells and stands guard to make sure you don't use that fat.  By switching your metabolism to ketosis, the opposite occurs and you begin to burn that stored fat.  Hallelujah!

I am not an expert on nutrition, and this web post is not meant to be a guide to your own eating choices.  Be sure to read up on this before launching into it.  Happy dieting everyone!   

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