I read all of the you can be thin reviews that readers write about my books, and while most of them are positive (more than 250 five star reviews for You Can Be Thin!) I always make a point to respond if a reader says my methods didn’t work for them. Last week that happened and I wanted to share with you the reviewer’s comment as I think many can learn from it.
While this particular reader did lose 5 lbs in just one week (not insignificant!) following the advice outlined in You Can Be Thin reviews, she said she found restricting all carbs to be too limiting. She also said that cooking for her family meant that she had to cook carbs for them, even if she couldn’t eat them.
I totally understand this problem, though I want to underline that restricting carbs isn’t difficult because your body needs them, it’s hard because so much of the modern diet is based around them. Nearly all convenience foods (sandwiches, crisps, pastries to go) are full of carbs and our favourite takeaways (pizza, curry and rice) seem off limits if we can’t eat carbs.
To some extent though, this reader misunderstood me just a bit when reading my book. For example, the book does state several times that if you want carbs, just don’t have them in the evening. I try to give people options and for many who have been battling weight issues for years, it’s easier to recognise that carbs are always used by the body as sugar so it becomes hard to sustain any kind of weight loss if you eat them every day or several times a day. But if you’re not able to do this, limiting when you eat carbs can have a hugely helpful impact.
Another piece of advice I present has to do with “double carbing.” It’s hard to lose weight while eating carbs unless you are very active but if you always add protein to a carb you will slow down the sugar and lessen fat storage. That means if you eat something like a baked potato or pasta, adding a protein to it like tuna or eggs will slow the sugar down. However, if you add a second carb like baked beans or cheese, you make it twice as bad. Adding a protein to a carb rather than adding another carb to it will lower your sugar levels and initiate weight loss and maintain that you need to always be aware of how much sugar you eat.
If you have a slice of toast and add jam to it, you hugely increase your sugar levels and one you have eaten more than three teaspoons of sugar – which is to a lot – your body has to store the excess as fat (unless you are extremely active in which case you can burn it off.) However if you add sugar free peanut butter or a slice of ham to your toast the protein will slow down the sugar absorption so you don’t store fat, you just stay neutral. You can even do this with a glass of wine, which is sugar so if you eat crisps with it you double carb whereas if you eat olives or some nuts you slow down the sugar.
As far as cooking for a family who need to eat carbs, this problem can be fixed with simple adaptations to the meals you’re already cooking. For example, instead of regular potatoes, you can eat sweet potatoes and opt for lower-carb pasta (like my julienne vegetable substitution) and quinoa instead of rice. You can cook your family pasta and rice dishes too and eat the protein part with just vegetables. As long as you try just avoiding all starch after lunch so that your evening meal is some kind of protein with vegetables or salads or a casserole or curry without rice you can still lose a lot of weight and keep it off for good.
You can read me previous blog here, on Mediterranean Style Of Eating- The Diet That Will Make You Live Longer or alternatively visit the weight loss page.