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Carb Free Dieting The Right Way

May 29th, 2009

carb-free-dieting

Being both mac-addicted and caffeine addicted (although I’m only on decaf at the moment), I spend a lot of time in cafes. And when I’m there, in between musings and actual writing, I tend to, um, well, okay I tend to eavesdrop. Who knows where inspiration might strike from, right?

Anyway, I was playing with my poached eggs and avocado last week and pretending to work when I overheard one of the waiters make the following comment to a customer –

“I’ve been on a carb-free diet, I really need to lose some weight”

I kept writing. Not that interesting. Until I heard the following snippet –

“Yeah, all I’ve been eating is like salad, and corn, and tuna, and rice crackers

Um, firstly that’s not carb-free, and secondly, are you trying to kill yourself?! Now I’m not really one who likes to impose her views on random strangers (especially when they’re involved in my food preparation), but I figure I can let loose on you, being that you chose to come here and all.

Carb-Free Dieting: Five Key Rules

1. Know Your Carbs

What comes to mind when you think of carbs? Pasta, bread, rice, maybe some mashed potatoes? You’d be right – those are all forms of starchy carbohydrate. Other starchy carbs include rice, noodles, pumpkin, and all forms of processed grain foods. But did you know that all grain products including whole-grain foods and typical dieters foods such as wheat crackers and corn thins or rice cakes are also starchy carbs? And – get this – starchy carbs are just one type of this massive food group. All fruits, all vegetables, all soft drinks and juices, and definitely all baked goods, sweets and chocolates fall into the carb family. Yep, even the greenest, most nutritious vegetables.

2. Be Smart About Starch

With that in mind, can you see how it can be really easy to get things wrong on a carb-free diet? In actuality, going carb-free is a terrible idea for both health and weight loss. Going starch-free, or low-carb is the key, but you’ve gotta be smart about your carb choices. Keep the vegies – especially the green ones. But lay off the cereals, the grains (in all forms, yes, even gluten-free products), the fruit (unless it’s berries for their high antioxidant value), the juices and sodas, the cakes, cookies and sweets, and then you’ll truly be on your way to consistent weight loss, improved digestion, and a massive health and energy spike.

3. Cover Your Energy Needs

You’re not going to lean up eating tuna, salad and the occasional cracker. Nor will you be very good company. But you might just stand a chance if you consider giving your body some fuel for energy and a speedy metabolism. Not that there’s anything wrong with salad (tuna, with it’s high mercury levels, is another story), but it’s not very satisfying, is it? A smart low-carb dieter eats plenty of animal protein with each meal, lots of smart fats like coconut oil, omega-3’s, avocado, and extra-virgin olive oil, and they load up on the green veg. They supplement with raw nuts and seeds, some organic full-fat dairy, and the occasional piece of dark chocolate.

4. Losing Weight

Cutting back the starch is only one part of the equation. Mind you it is a pretty important part. After all, grains have only been farmed for around 10,000 years, and it takes the human genes that much time just to evolve by a mere one percent. So it’s no wonder our bodies haven’t quite figured out what to do with the stuff, and end up storing it as fat. Couple that with the fact that most carbs, such as fruits, are only seasonal in nature, and it just plain makes sense that we shouldn’t be indulging all year round. So what you should eat if weight loss is your goal? Well, the above meal-plan sounds a little more interesting than tuna and salad, doesn’t it?! And believe you me, it’s a great start for improved health and a taut, trim belly. This is because of the focus on quality proteins and fats.

5. Optimal Nutrition

The final part of the equation is nutrition. If you’re at all serious about your health, and if boundless energy appeals to you, then you’ll be very interested in what I’m about to say. And that is this – low-fat, low-cal, low-carb (low-taste!), such as the typical dieters meal of tuna and salad, is not only rubbish for weight loss, it’s virtually devoid of nutrients. I mean, c’mon – we’re talking tinned and toxic fish, no-doubt anemic salad, and a non-digestible grain product. Of course you could spice that meal up a little on both the nutrient and health front. This is done easily just by adding organic leafy greens, some oil and/or avocado, and replace the tuna for wild salmon or free-range chicken. But in my experience those who are on the low-carb bandwagon without fully understanding the right way to do it tend to go for convenience – packaged foods, sandwich meats or tinned protein, and supermarket or food court salads.

If this is you, or if you’ve been thinking about going low-carb but not sure where to start, then now could be the time to implement change and start to seriously transform your body. Of course, as you now appreciate, the right way to do carb-free takes more time and maybe even costs a little more, but it’s a helluva lot better than starving yourself for a desired outcome that never comes. Choose quality, choose variety, and choose the foods that nature intended for you, and your body will thank you.

And remember –

Life is Now. Press Play.

Kat

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15 people have commented
  1. Brenda says:

    I too have noticed that people try to go low-carb without really knowing what it means. They hear about it somewhere in the media or from a friend and decided to try it without reading a book or doing research. I have read critical things in books about low-carbing where it seemed that even the author didn’t do research to fully understand it before slamming it. Low-carbing got a bad reputation from the media and from people trying it that didn’t know what they were doing. Some people claim that it didn’t work for them when really they were going about it all the wrong way. Now I know that the Atkins diet had a few flaws with one being the quality of the food sources but it had it merits too. People thought they knew what the Atkin’s diet was when they didn’t. It was thought of as the “all the meat and fat you can eat diet” which was wrong but people didn’t know that because people didn’t bother reading his book either. Low-carbing got a bad reputation without anyone considering the the truth of blood sugar control.

    • Kat says:

      Brenda, that is such a great comment. Really well put. And thanks for addressing the Atkins issue, I had meant to touch on that and completely forgot until I just read what you wrote! I couldn’t agree more 🙂

  2. Frances says:

    Kat & Brenda, ur both so right! I tested this out over the past week, having just switched over to a protein/vege/full “good fats” diet as suggested. What I can say is that I’m truly satisfied for allot longer eating this way, than when I ate my salads with canned meats low carb diet… This method is absolutely brilliant & I’m sticking to it as I’ve never felt so good 😀

  3. You really have to know what you’re doing in order to live with a low carb diet. The problem a lot of people have is they do it until they lose weight and go back to eating the way they were eating before.

    My diet is pretty strict low-carb (no grains, sugars, starches, high GI fruits, etc) due to insulin resistance. It takes work, but its worth it.

  4. Fish Eyed Dave says:

    My basic philosophy is that if you eat enough high quality whole foods that are nutritious and filling (that fit the basic categories of PROTEIN-CARBS-FAT), it will lessen the addiction to fast high GI junk foods. Fat stabilises and maintains blood sugar levels, thus high-quality fats are so essential. xxxx

  5. Sue says:

    Yeh, great to see another site giving excellent nutritional advice. The best thing its an Australian site!
    Kat, was just introduced to your site by following your link where you commented on Dr Eades’ blog post.

  6. […] cutting carbs. If you take something out, you’ve gotta put something back in. Check out this article on low-carb dieting, the right way, or contact me to find out more about having a BioSignature […]

  7. […] blood work and general well-being, it is important to first focus on what goes in. Of course I’ve touched on this in previous posts, but I’d like to really get down to the nitty gritty of it […]

  8. I love the low carb recipes.

  9. I love low carb, thanks for sharing your experience.

  10. to get slim says:

    Hi everyone. Just read the comments about low carb diet and wanted to tell people about the negative sides to this particlar type of diet. Getting your daily calories from high protein foods like cheese, meat and eggs is not a well balanced diet. You could be eating too much cholesterol and fat which could increase heart disease risk. You could be eating not enough vegetables, whole grain or fruits which could lead to constipation and is caused by the lack of dietary fibre. This low carb high protein diet can also make you feel tired, weak and nauseous. Just wondered if anyone has suffered from these problems associated with low carb diet.

    • Kat says:

      Hi there … I think you need to do some research on the truth about correct nutrition! We are not designed to eat a lot of carbs; not the majority of us anyway. Google my article on understanding low-carb nutrition. The things you mention can happen if low-carb is not approached the right way, which I must admit is common as a lot of people don’t really understand how to do it and therefore don’t eat either enough, or the right quality.

  11. Bill says:

    Awesome post, this is nearly exactly what I posted about last week. Keep up the good work.