Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why I Low-Carb

I'm not so sure that low-carb is a verb...

There is so much debate out there as to what is a healthy diet. I know that many people don't think that low-carb can be a healthy lifestyle. I often find myself fighting the perception that low-fat, high carb diets are the only healthy way to eat, even in myself. However, research has shown that people on low-carb diets are more likely to see increased HDL (the good cholesterol), reduced blood glucose, and decreased blood pressure.

In addition, I am living proof that the low-carb diet works. In 2005, when I was first made aware by my doctor, Stephen A. Foley, of the benefits of low-carb, I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Six months and 50 pounds later, my blood pressure was normal and my cholesterol went down by over 50 points. In addition to that, my HDL had increased.

(Why am I trying to lose weight again after this fabulous success? Silly me, I thought that when I got pregnant I could eat whatever I wanted. And, how come no one told me that some women actually gain weight while they're breastfeeding?)

I'd like to talk to you some more about why low-carb works for me, but I think I'll save that for another Friday. Instead, since I've done such a good job of convincing you that this is the best diet plan, I'll give you a run-down of how to do it. :)

Erica's Low Carb Diet

*disclaimer* I am in no way a diet or weight loss specialist. I haven't even read Dr. Atkins books. Consult your doctor before beginning any weight loss program.

Step One: Sugar Detox

I find it helpful when beginning a low-carb diet, or when you feel yourself getting into a slump, to do carbohydrate detox. For 2 or 3 days, or a week if I can stand it, I eat as little carbs as possible. This means that I am eating eggs, meat, nuts, and cheese.

Step Two: Add in a little more carbs

Low carb dieting should not be boring. You can eat a wide variety of foods, just make sure that you are watching your portions. For me, this means that I eat twice as much protein as carbs everytime I sit down for a meal or snack. My general goal is 30-50 grams of carbohydrates and 70-100 grams of protein each day. I don't worry about fat, because when you are eating this little, fat is what keeps you satisfied and steadies your insulin levels so that you don't need to reach for instant gratification, high carb snacks. This does require you, however, to be a careful consumer. Read those labels! They put sugar in everything these days.

Step Three: Settle in to the Lifestyle

This is the part where I fell off last time. Perhaps you won't always be a perfect low-carb-er, but you really need to make it a part of your life. If you go back to a high-carb diet, you WILL gain the weight back. I would recommend any of Dana Carpenter's books to help you fight off the boredom. Her recipes are down to earth and satisfying. Most of the main dishes don't require artificial or strange ingredients.

I hope this has been informative. Even if you decide that this isn't the right choice for you, I encourage you to challenge your preconceived ideas about low-fat vs. low-carb.

This week's weigh-in: I lost 2 pounds!

Good luck this week to my Fit Friday sisters over at It's Almost Naptime.


Membership Required said...

Yahoo! Way to go. Nice post because;Hi, My name is Merry Lynn and I am a carbaholic.
Good Luck this week fit friday sister.

Lisa said...

Good job! I'm a low-carb-er and have had great success in the past...this week...not so much!

One More Equals Four said...

great job! Low carb is not my thing, but I am glad it is working for you! Theoretically, I just use the old fashioned low fat, restricted calories method although this week I have had a fat and calorie fest

Colored With Memories said...

yay! congrats on your loss!

i am a low-carber...or i prefer to say good-carber...too. i'm not a fan of atkins per se, but have found south beach to be a healthier approach to it...just in my opinion.

keep up the good work!

Sarah said...

I eat carbs, but I only eat the "good" carbs. I don't think I could ever give up all carbs, that would do me in.

Congrats on the 2 lb loss! Keep it up!

Life In Progress said...

Great job - 2 pounds is awesome! Good luck this week.