Carb Creep

Could it be that you've gotten sloppy? Are you doing whatever weight loss phase of Atkins you are now in with the same rigor with which you began it? Or has success gone to your head?

Perhaps you're the victim of an innocent error. It may be that those 5-gram increases in your carbohydrate intake have gotten out of hand and you've done a lot more of them than you think you did. Search your memory, examine exactly what you've been eating over the past five or six days, and compare it to what you were eating a few weeks ago. I've seen people who, once they really put their noses to the carb counter, discovered that it was 30 grams and not 5 or 10 that they had added on. Keeping a food diary is an indispensable tool for keeping an eye on your food intake and connecting it with patterns that may hinder progress.

Is it possible that you may have forgotten some of the rules of Atkins? Let's run down the list of possible errors:

• Did you go to the supermarket and pick up low fat foods? Always remember that manufacturers make up for the flavor missing in these foods by adding highcarb fillers and sugar. Not only do such dreadful artificial foods have no place when doing Atkins but most of them are spectacularly unhealthy. Pry open the lid on the garbage can and stuff them in. That's where they belong.

• Check for the hidden carbs in prepared foods. Many canned and dried soups, salad dressings, sauces and gravies and frozen vegetables in sauce contain thickeners such as cornstarch, fillers such as milk solids and even sugar.

• Watch out for condiments. Barbecue sauce, ketchup and sandwich spreads often have added sugar in one form or another. Teriyaki sauce? Three grams of carbohydrate in one tablespoon. If it's your passion, you need to count the carbs. A tablespoon of skim milk or lemon juice each has 1 gram of carbohydrate, a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar more than 2 grams. The numbers add up, especially if your "tablespoon" is more like a quarter-cup splash.

• Avoid aspartame. Although the cause is as yet unknown, clinical observations show that certain individuals find weight loss slows with excessive intake of aspartame, the artificial sweetener sold as NutraSweet, and Equal®.

• Stay out of the java jungle. Excessive caffeine (found not only in coffee but in tea, chocolate and many soft drinks) has been shown to cause a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) reaction, which will provoke cravings and cause you to overeat. Omitting caffeine may be a big sacrifice for you, but, in my experience, weight loss often starts up again as soon as people remove aspartame and caffeine from their regimen.

• Don't go whole hog on the cheese and nuts. These are acceptable foods, but they do contain some carbohydrates. If you've been munching without mercy, scale back the cheese and nuts. Then see what happens. Not much? Cut them out altogether for a week or two and see if that has an effect.

My Life My Diet

My Life My Diet

I lost over 60 pounds and 4+ inches off my waist without pills, strenuous exercise, or any of the things that the diet experts tell you to do...and I did it in less than 4 months! If you have the desire, and can read through my e-book , then this is for you! I could have easily made it a lot more difficult, with stacks of information that people will never read, but why?

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