Weight Management

Curb the Carb to Target Weight Loss

As the name suggests, the Living Low-Carb diet is about reducing the intake of carbohydrates. The diet is high in proteins and banishes all things white - sugar, white bread, white potatoes, rice, etc.

Riding on the popularity of low-carb diets, Fran McCullough first wrote The Low-Carb Cookbook in 1997. It was an instant hit which encouraged Fran to follow it up with another - Living Low-Carb in 2000. It is a self-help guide for maintaining a better lifestyle. More than 400 recipes and explanations are given in the book. Fran does not insist on cutting out all carbs; her plans are more liberal than most others.

The book does not follow a straight line approach and many ways can be interpreted of the what, when and whys. The differences in strict low-carb diets and the liberal ones are described. Although the dieters are given several choices, the plan is based on the following points:

* Carbohydrates should be kept to a maximum of 30 grams a day.
* Proteins are to be had at every meal - about 60 to 85 grams a day on an average. Theory suggests eating half a gram of protein for every pound of one's ideal weight.
* Eliminate white flour, white rice, white potatoes, white bread and sugar from your diet.
* Eat foods high in fiber. Organic, raw food should be preferred.
* Eat a lot of fruits that are low in carbohydrates - melon, peach, berry, etc.
* Cream and butter, though permitted, are best kept as treats.
* Dinner should be taken early and kept to a minimum.

Fiber is good because it allows you to eat more while keeping glucose levels low. Carbohydrates in fibrous forms can be taken more liberally. Fiber is not metabolically active.

The book is full of exciting recipes and suggestions on how to stock up the pantry. Tips are provided for eating out, touring and dealing with the sweet tooth. Fran gives motivational suggestions to overcome likely difficult situations.

There is emphasis on exercise and Fran says that you must exercise not just because it will help you lose weight, but because it is good for you in many different ways.

Positives:
* Medical conditions like diabetes are addressed in the book.
* Helps lose weight quickly in the first year.
* Diet is nutritionally adequate.
* Lot of varieties for a low-carb, high-protein diet.
* Exercising is encouraged for all-round health.

Negatives:
* Low-carb diets are not beneficial over the long term.
* Foods high in proteins are hard on the kidneys.
* Allows fats that could be dangerous for the heart.
* Low-carb diet cannot sustain the dieters' interest for long.
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