Many of my clients send me their food diaries every day, in which they record not just what and how much they eat, but also their hunger and fullness ratings and how they feel before, during, and after meals. Over the years I’ve noticed a trend. Drastic carb cutting (despite my recommendation to include specific portions of “good” carbs), results in some not so pleasant side effects. I see journal notes like, cranky, irritable, shaky, lethargic, moody, and reports of intense cravings for forbidden foods. Now, a new study also indicates that low carb diets aren’t optimal health wise.I will admit to trying it myself way back when. After a few days on the no-carb regimen I recall feeling like I would be willing to kill my best friend for a piece of bread. Those intense cravings for so-called forbidden foods can lead you to only one place... binge eating.
What about low carb diets? Keeping in mind that any fat loss plan must necessarily involve cutting calories, and that a healthy diet should have a good balance of proteins, carbs and fats, low carb diets may have the same effect. You may find yourself fantasizing about eating your way through a mountain of muffins, or a sea of ice cream. And you'll eventually attempt, albeit unsuccessfully, to accomplish one of these feats.
So what's the optimal plan? It's about quality as well as quantity. Instead of treating carbs as all the same, try slow carbs.
Slow carbs are also known as good carbs, complex carbs or low-glycemic carbs. Here's a helpful definition:
...any carbohydrate that is broken down and absorbed by the body slowly.Simple carbs, by contrast, are usually highly processed and so are broken down and absorbed very quickly. This rapid absorption causes spikes in blood sugar, which in turn causes more insulin to be pumped into the bloodstream, which causes an increase in fat storage.
Simple carbs can do other strange things. Since they cause a kind of chemical high, they are somewhat addictive, meaning they cause intense cravings for more of the same. Your body tells you you must have that slice of cake or you'll die, that large pizza or you'll writhe in agony forever. It's irresistible.
Another awful side effect of simple carbs is fatigue. With every sugar high comes the inevitable crash. And although this may not be proven science, it's possible that an overgrowth of candida and other bad micro-organisms can poison the system with toxins that mimic the feeling of having the flu.
The way to break the addiction is to substitute slow carbs for fast carbs. Whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, seeds and nuts, sweet potatoes instead of white, etc.
Thoughts and comments are welcome!
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