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What Is The Living Low Carb Diet?

Living Low Carb

Living Low Carb is an offshoot of the low carb diet. It's actually a book written by Fran McCullough, known for making cookbooks. Yes, that means the book contains oodles of recipes and meal plans, making this as enticing as possible to a recalcitrant dieter.

The low carb diet has been prescribed by doctors as treatment for diabetes since the 1800's. While it has been proven beneficial for people living with diabetes and other medical conditions like epilepsy, chronic fatigue and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), the lifestyle change it entails make some patients dread the diet more than their disease. Because carbohydrates make up a majority of the food we eat each day, this also became another kind of 'lose weight quick' diet.

Living Low Carb hopes that not only will people lose weight or alleviate the symptoms of their diseases, the whole plan hopes that people will stick to living a low carb lifestyle (hence the name) once they've tried it. The recipes are not the only thing they get, they can also take advantage of McCullough's personal experiences on how to stick to the low carb lifestyle.

Ms. McCullough summarizes Living Low Carb in ten steps:

1. Avoiding refined carbohydrates - all white carbs, like sugar, bread, rice, etc.

2. Eating protein at every meal (.5 gms of protein per pound of dieter's ideal weight)

3. Taking fruits for breakfast (she recommends berries, kiwifruit, melon or peaches)

4. Eating whole foods

5. Avoiding bad fats, eating good fats

6. Carrying snacks for in between meals, in case you get hungry

7. Having dinner early in the evening

8. Drinking at least 2 liters of water a day

9. Weighing yourself only once a week

10. Getting back on the low carb diet immediately if you fall off the wagon.

Dieters are allowed only 30 grams of carbohydrates a day for maximum weight loss. The drawback of this diet is that even with fruits and vegetables, there are a lot of things that you can't eat. For instance, since cooked carrots have high sugar content, you can only eat it raw.

The writer found ways to compensate for this, though. Potatoes are not allowed in the low carb diet, so Ms. McCullough makes her mashed 'potatoes' with cauliflower instead. She also offers some tips for specific low carb dieters, like pregnant women, vegetarians, etc.

Her being an accomplished cook and having published several low carb cookbooks assure the readers that whatever recipes are noted is going to be delicious, albeit they come at a high cost. Proteins generally cost more, and the amount you need to eat entails buying more lean protein. The variety of ingredients in the cookbook may also not appeal to cost-conscious shoppers.

The jury is still out on whether the low carb diet works long term. Some doctors think that this diet poses serious risks to the dieter (the ones who engage in this diet for weight loss) because carbohydrates are essentially the backbone of our diet and provides us with energy. Some experts also cite that the carbohydrates we consume each day contain most of our dietary fibers, and with the load of protein that this diet asks for, coupled with the limited kinds of fruit and vegetables consumed, will lead to constipation and other digestive system problems.

The restricted kinds of fruit, vegetables, milk products and carbohydrates that one consumes also affect the nutrient requirement we get, so going low carb can also make us nutrient deficient.

Some people argue that the only reason why the low carb diet is so effective because it shaves off a lot of calories worth of carbohydrates. Another obvious effect of the low carb diet: Carb withdrawal makes people grumpy.

Most doctors agree that this diet works for weight loss initially, but should not be used for long term. A balanced diet and plenty of unrefined carbohydrates will go a long way to maintaining good health. Oh, and have we forgotten exercise?

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