Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

Low Carb vs. Lower Carb. What’s Right?

Nobody seems to agree on what “low carb” really means.  I mention it a lot on my blog so I thought I should clarify what low carb means to me.  To me, it means 25 carbs a day filled with healthy, unprocessed meats, cheeses and veggies and organic whenever possible. 

low carb food pyramid

Yes, I am an Atkins follower, however, I do not eat fatty meats, nitrate filled bacon and sausage or processed foods all day.  When Dr. Atkins wrote his first book he states that induction should be at least 2 weeks long.  This 2 week period is just to switch your body to burning fat instead of carbs for energy.  That’s it!  The problem here is not many people hang in there long enough to graduate to the next phases of Atkins.  So please take every negative thing you’ve heard about the “Atkin’s Diet” and realize that for someone who has been eating a high carb/sugar unhealthy diet that the 2 week adjustment period is much needed.  It basically gives the body a much-needed shock.  It’s not a long term committment. 

There are others, such as bodybuilders, who believe low carb is 40% of their daily calories should come from carbs instead of the traditionally recommended 55% to 60%.   But this really isn’t low carb at all because the majority of the calories are coming from carbs…yet some people do call it that.

There is a different carbohydrate intake number for everyone.  Not everyone can lose weight on 40, 50 or 60 grams of carbs a day.  It took me a long time to figure out that 25 carbs a day is where I need to be to lose weight.  And sure, I go over that number occasionally but it’s what I stick to as my guide.  Frank’s number is 55.  I envy him for that but he’s also a guy with a very muscular build so I get it.

But for anyone, the most important aspect to your success is to burn more than you eat.  But where carb intake becomes important is in how it affects hormone and blood sugar levels.   That’s why you can’t even cheat here and there ‘just a little’.  Because that tiny bite of Ben N Jerry’s ice cream will send your blood sugar levels way off kilter and make you crave more sugar.

My typical low carb dinner is a protein and a veggie (no carbs except what’s naturally in the vegetables).  This meal is quite filling and will last me until breakfast the next day.   But if I eat a pasta dinner from, let’s say, Olive Garden I will want seconds and possibly dessert at the end!  Because that’s what carbs do – they stimulate cravings and make you want more of them!  Why?  Because your body is not getting what it truly needs.  It doesn’t need all those carbs to  survive.  When you ingest too many carbs at one meal your body makes you keep eating more carbs in hopes that you’ll finally feed it something nutritionally abundant.

Think of it this way, go back to basics.  Eat the way our ancient ancestors did:  an all natural diet filled with meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies. 

Happy Low Carbing!

Here’s a link to my most popular low carb recipes:

Low Carb Shrimp Fettuccine
Grilled Cheese
Low Carb Tuna Noodle Casserole


July 2, 2009 - Posted by | About Me, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Eating Low Carb, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, Organic | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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