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Monday, January 26, 2009

Failing at Low-Carbing Getting you Down? Some practical advice.

One day one wakes up and realizes one has been off track for a while and the pounds have crept back on and, ugh, it feels awful. The freedom to eat anything and everything whenever was so much fun and liberating, but it came with a price. It sounds so easy to say, "Go back to low-carbing and back to induction and then gradually climb the carb ladder and you'll lose the weight again, and perhaps this time remain true to low-carbing long term."

The truth is if one is new to low-carbing, one brings a freshness and excitement to the table, that is almost non-existent with someone who has been familiar with low-carbing and someone who equates getting back on track with deprivation and hard work.

So, how about we think this one through? Kudos to those who don't have to think it through, who jump back on the low-carb wagon effortlessly and start getting into the dynamic weight loss phase relatively quickly. This post is not really for you, but will be more interesting to those who lack these skills.

Diets don't work! We all know that. Lifestyle change is what works. Think about your own lifestyle and what you enjoy eating. Keep all those things you enjoy eating, but make an effort to cut out the extraneous, unnecessary, unhealthy stuff (keep those for special occasions - not a cheat - simply an occasion here or there. We don't "cheat" - we make a deliberate decision to have something off plan occasionally). Okay, keep the protein, veggies, fruit, healthy fats (in moderation), etc. and keep the wholegrain bread if necessary (hopefully, a lower carb alternative or one from my books (More Splendid Low-Carbing has a super wholegrain bread) to one or two slices per day during weight loss (depending - you may have to skip this for a few weeks). Skip the treats and desserts for now (yep, even the low-carb ones, unless you simply must have something - then make low-carb crepes or pancakes or waffles (my books have plenty of choices) to have alongside bacon or sausage for breakfast, say - but keep the really sweet stuff (yep, even cheesecakes) to a minimum - maybe once or twice a month. Make something, enjoy that day, and freeze the rest. If you are a diet pop'aholic - try cutting down bit by bit and replace with refreshing water and a slice of lemon in it, perhaps. Keep the yogurt and reduce the amount of cheese. Do exercise and concentrate on eating healthier, as well as reducing carbohydrates (but don't count, unless you want to) and reducing your normal portion size (one way to do this is practice intermittent fasting - see post on this blog (do a search in top left hand corner) a couple of times a week.

This is a no-brainer way of approaching losing weight. Do cut carbs, do take out empty carbs in processed foods, crackers, too many breads, desserts, etc. (but if you would like a bowl of oatmeal a few times a week, then have it and enjoy). Absolutely, have no sugar! And, cut portion sizes and perhaps add walking to your daily routine. This will keep your metabolism humming, even when your food intake goes down a bit.

This is eating "normally", lower carb by far than what you perhaps were doing and definitely lower carb than the average American or Canadian at 300 grams a day.

This moderate approach is healthy, lower carb (good carbs) and something one can do for life. I hope this post will give hope to those who try and try again at very strict low-carbing only to fail time again. That's not fair to you. You can do it - just with a slightly different, less strict approach.



Great article. Fits me to a T

Jennifer said...

Thanks - it was easy to write as it fits me to a T as well. (wink) I cannot stay with severe carb restriction or follow strict diet rules for very long. It simply won't work with my psyche which is really anti-deprivation and strict dietary control (weird, considering my career). That's why I think I was a good candidate for figuring out recipes to replace favorites to prevent feelings of deprivation. It's a long story, but when I was growing up, I sometimes did feel deprived, as my food intake and what I ate and when I ate was strictly controlled. As a result, there is a rebel in me deep down...otherwise, it would be a lot easier to be completely compliant. Instead I choose to low-carb more moderately most of the time.

Anne said...

Yes, hard time low-carbing but I actually cannot afford to loose any more weight at 5' 2.5" at 100 lbs.
If I restrict my carbs I continue to loose weight. Help!

Jennifer said...

Anne, you are skinny and what a nice problem to have. Just kidding, as I realize some people actually do worry about being too thin. Seriously, you can certainly afford to add in plenty of good carbs. I see lots of good eating and variety of foods in your future! :-) Low-carbing is wonderful for many people, however, it is not the solution for everyone. Some people actually do better with more carbohydrate in their diets. Some people do better as vegetarians. Diets are an individual thing.