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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Carb Phobia - A Very Real Problem for Low-Carbers


It even happened to me at one point. I was so leery of eating bread especially, as it was my mainstay before low-carbing. Next in line, I was afraid of indulging in sugary desserts and if I did, I sometimes suffered a bit of guilt. I would often put on 2 lbs of water weight due to glycogen stores filling up after strict low-carbing. Then I panicked and thought it would be an upward spiral, but that's not the case when it is an occasional indulgence.

I am a firm believer in cutting out white flour and sugar as much as possible. I will not tell a lie. I like white flour and sugar and things made with it, just like some other people I know. I can even get quite addicted and I will get fat. That is the way it is. I don't like deprivation (goes back to my childhood) and, therefore, set about trying to replace the foods I loved without adversely affecting my waistline. My cookbooks were the result of that drive.

So, I know plenty of people are diehard low-carbers that prefer to never veer off the course. It is truly wonderful and remarkable if you are one of the few people who can maintain such discipline in the face of temptation forever and a day. Some of us - well, life just happens, and it is difficult emotionally and even physically to keep going at those times in life - that's when trouble can hit our waistlines - quite literally. We lose focus, grab whatever is easily available and often it is carbs that will readily and quickly satisfy the need for a boost in serotonin and in mood and feelings of well-being. We don't have the energy to deal with our diets or the lack thereof and the consequences of eating without thinking. This is a slippery slope, of course, to weight regain. If possible, keep trouble foods out of the house, or freeze them. It is important to cut down on compulsive eating at the very least and make trouble foods difficult to come by. Keep acceptable foods around in abundance and keep them coming and interesting at that. If you're too exhausted to cook, get hubby to barbecue and add a large, interesting salad with a tasty dressing.

Alright, here's how I feel about the guilt involved with occasionally slipping up or making the decision to eat something totally off plan - even if it is a few times a week during stressful times. Sure there will be times when you can remain low-carb and strictly so for long periods of time (I myself have done that for years with hardly a slip-up), but I'm talking about other times, when it is not so easy. Forget the guilt, forget the all or nothing approach. It is nonsense stuff and will lead to failure. Acknowledge the fact that you are in charge, that you make the decisions and that you have the ability to say yes or no to a particular food - even when times are stressful. Whenever possible make the decision to sit down to better food choices and if something in there is not on plan - have a little (don't pig out if possible), don't feel guilty and move on - determine to do better at the next meal. In other words - stop and think - the "low-carb diet" mentality has to be with one 24/7 in a sense to keep our brains active on that score and involved in our choices.

Here is an intriguing, sad and probably common story in some ways along these lines written by a very interesting and knowledgeable lady (she is not against low-carb diets, but feels one diet does not fit all) - "She is a Registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She specializes in weight control, cardiovascular health, polycystic ovarian syndrome, diabetes, sports nutrition and preventative nutrition. A staff dietitian at The New York Presbyterian Hospital for the past 22 years, she also counsels clients privately and is a consultant to physicians, corporations and health clubs. She was the nutritionist for the 1998 NYC Marathon. She was an exercise instructor in NYC health clubs for 15 years.": Case Study Low-Carb Diet Gone Wrong