The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
|So what if all you’ve been taught about dieting is wrong? I first read a book which questioned the low-fat diet we’ve been accustomed to in 2007 entitled Good Calories, Bad Calories: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom on Diet, Weight Control, and Disease by Gary Taubes (available in Print and eBook). But sometimes it takes a while for an idea to sink in. Last January, in the deluge of dieting books that appear after the holidays, I ran across a book by David Ludwig called Always Hungry?: Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently (available in Print and eBook), which again challenged conventional wisdom about dieting and advocated a higher fat/lower carb diet for weight loss. I started reading and decided to do a little science experiment on myself with this new approach.
Now let me just say that Always Hungry is the world’s worst name for a diet. It describes the state most diets leave you in rather than how you feel when following this diet. The idea behind it is that the body reacts to fats differently than it does to carbohydrates. When you eat fats your body uses the energy from the fat and you feel satiated; when you eat processed carbs, however, the body stores the energy and you become hungry. That idea rang true to me. When trying low-fat diets in the past, I had initial success, but ended up quitting after feeling hungry all the time.
That said, Phase One of this diet began with a bit of doubt because it calls for the elimination of all grains. The diet also restricts alcohol, sugar, potatoes and tropical fruits, but bread is my downfall. Luckily, while it removes carbs, Phase One calls for the addition of healthy fats onto your plate. So, olive oil, cheese, butter and nuts make an appearance in your meals and snacks along with a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables. This helped control my cravings for processed carbs. Phase One was completed without any major setbacks and by the end of two weeks I lost my desire for bread, sweets and soft drinks, staples in my previous diet.
I then moved on to Phase Two where whole, unprocessed grains are added back into meals and fat consumption is decreased slightly. I continued to lose weight and started to feel better and have more energy. I also found that I really enjoyed the recipes included in the book. I’ve had fun experimenting with the fish, lamb and vegetarian dishes. The Mediterranean Chicken recipe, in particular, is a new favorite that will enjoy a place in my menu rotation.
So how did I do on the weight loss aspect of the diet? Well, a total of 12 pounds were lost, most in the first two months. Not exactly The Biggest Loser numbers, but I'm happy, mainly because by this time on a low-fat diet, I typically would have fallen off the wagon and regained all if not more of the weight lost. I'm still holding steady even after the challenge of following a diet while traveling recently.
Not a fan of dairy or nuts or looking for a similar diet that also focuses on eliminating foods that are commonly implicated in allergies? Try, Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health by Mark Hyman (available in Print and Large Print). Want to find more books about dieting and cooking? Your library is full of great suggestions.
Featured Image Credit: Bread (Pixabay, Creative Commons License).
Disclaimer: This blog provides information for educational purposes only. Always consult a medical professional before starting any new diet or exercise plan.