06 Jan 2. Is Weight Gain inevitable? (2nd in the series of 6 blogs.)
In the previous blog, we talked about how for most of us, weight starts creeping up and we suddenly find ourselves 20 lbs., 30 lbs., 40 lbs., 50 lbs. or 60 lbs. more than we weighed a decade or two ago. We follow all the nutrition and exercise guidelines that are provided to us by our doctors, the Government, the TV health experts, etc. We start judging ourselves as low will power or too lazy to exercise. However, the root cause for this weight gain is our diet – more than 50% in calories from carbohydrates that are converted to glucose, then the insulin converts excess glucose into fat and stored in our liver and other visible parts of our body. We quickly feel hungry and we eat more carbohydrates since we are told that fat is bad for us. We eat carbs and the vicious cycle starts again and again and again..you get my point.
Carbs are Carbs. Are there good carbs vs. bad carbs? What about the multi-grain bread slices or the steel cut oats or the gluten-free corn or brown rice? Our body is a well-oiled machine that converts them all to glucose. We eventually get a glucose spike in our blood, insulin is secreted and it’s all stored as fat, you feel tired, your brain gets foggy and you may also get depressed from how you look and feel.
How many Carbs can you have? Try it out. For me, 20-30 grams of carbs each day was the only way to lose the first 10 lbs., 30-50 grams for weight maintenance and anything over 50 grams led to weight gain. The choice I had to make was – should I eat ½ cup of cooked rice a day and use up all my carbohydrates for the day or platefuls of colorful vegetables? Look at the powerful graphic below of what you can eat all day for 20 grams of carbs. Each plate contains 20 grams of carbs.
I started eating vegetables and filled my belly comfortably with a side of eggs or meats cooked with unrefined health fats such as butter, ghee, sesame oil and coconut oil. I would add infused olive oils and white balsamic vinegar to my salads. Ahhh..it was pure heaven. I would feel comfortably full all day.
One rule of thumb that I followed the first week are – no limits to non-starchy vegetables, eggs or meats initially. I love avocados and would slice a whole avocado on my salad. I would have berries for dessert with dinner and no snacking or eating in between meals. Whenever I felt hungry, I would go straight to my meal and eat until I was comfortably full. Try it for a week and tell me how you feel! More easy to follow tips on the next blog.
Pictures are from dietdoctor.com. Best site for information on low-carb diets by Swedish doctor, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD.