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Newsletter 19, January 2009

This issue of the Good Diet Good Health Newsletter includes...

  1. Lose weight and get healthy with the right diet
  2. Did you know?
  3. The Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook hits the spot!
  4. Your successes, requests and questions
  5. Tell us what you think
  6. Visit our newsletter archive
  7. Free resources

1) Lose Weight And Get Healthy With the Right Diet

At this time of year, many of us make 'New Year Resolutions', and one of the top ones is to lose some weight! But which diet to choose?

There seem to be so many different slimming diets, but if we analyse them in detail, there are really only two different types. The first is plain and simple calorie counting (which includes most low fat diets). The second comprises hormonally-oriented diets which stabilize blood sugar and insulin. These include the Atkins and other low carb diets, and their close relations low GI (glycemic index) and low GL (glycemic load) diets.

The big question is: which type is best? Well, traditional advice tells us that to lose weight all we need to do is reduce our calories. However, modern research shows that the so-called calorie theory is a gross oversimplification of how our bodies work. Reducing calories or going 'low fat' may work in the short term for some people. But researchers believe that for up to 60 per cent of people a diet based on carbohydrates disrupts their blood sugar and insulin balance, causing them to store calories more easily than burn them off for energy. For those of us who are carbohydrate sensitive in this way, a 'healthy eating' weight loss diet based on bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, breakfast cereals and fruit juices, even if they are whole grain and high fiber, is entirely the wrong advice.

How do you know if you're carb sensitive? Well, have you have struggled to lose weight in the past on a standard low calorie or 'healthy eating' diet? If so, there is a good chance you are one of the 60 per cent of us who cannot handle a diet based on carbohydrate-rich foods, even 'healthy' whole grain, high fiber ones. And if a low GI diet hasn't worked for you either, then it's more than likely that you are extra sensitive to carbohydrates, which makes a low carb diet a more effective (and healthier) diet for you.

More information on why a low GI or low carb diet may be better for you than the standard low fat/low calorie diet, how to choose which diet is best for you and how to get started can be found in at The Easy guide to Low Carb, Low GI and Low GL Diets.

Researchers are also now beginning to understand that those of us who are constantly dieting risk getting caught in the 'famine syndrome' trap. Our metabolism is programmed to become more efficient when calorie intake is low, and our bodies can become so good at running on fewer calories that further weight loss can become almost impossible. There is more information on how to avoid this and other common dieting pitfalls in Why Can't I Lose Weight.

2) Did You Know?

Did you know that some easy ways to make your diet lower in carbs and GI are:

  • Swap roast celeriac, squash, turnips or sweet potatoes for roast potatoes
  • Swap beansprouts for spaghetti in your spaghetti bolognese
  • Swap cooked cabbage strips for pasta in your lasagna
  • Swap grated and sautéed cauliflower for rice in your curry or risotto
  • Swap granola made with flax, coconut and ground nuts for regular cold breakfast cereals
  • Swap ground almonds for wheatflour in bread, cookies and cakes

These and lots more easy ideas can be found in the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook.

3) The Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook Hits The Spot!

We would like to thank those of our visitors who have participated in our survey to identify the most important features in the ideal low carb cookbook. We've now had nearly 200 responses, and here are the results:

  • Recipes that are quick and easy to prepare (95 per cent agree)
  • Recipes tested by an experienced low carber (91 per cent)
  • Quantities in imperial, metric and cups (87 per cent)
  • Lookup tables for carb counts of commonly used quantities of low carb ingredients (94 per cent)

We were certainly very pleased to learn that these aspects of the ideal low carb cookbook, which are all features of the Low Carb/Low GI Cookbook, would be so popular. What's more, we learnt that the online and interactive features of our Cookbook also receive a resounding 'yes!' as far as the ideal low carb cookbook is concerned:

Online/interactive features:

  • Ability to annotate/amend recipes or add new ones of your own (70 per cent)
  • Choose to save and print individual recipes and/or the whole cookbook (92 per cent)
  • Change the carb count if your brand of ingredient has a different carb value (85 per cent)
  • Carbs retotal automatically if you change an ingredient or serving size (95 per cent)
  • Access the cookbook from anywhere in the world, eg on holiday (74 per cent)

Initially we weren't sure whether the online and interactive features of the Low Carb/Low GI Cookbook were as important to low carbers as the recipes themselves. However, we think the above results speak for themselves and we're delighted to know that our novel Cookbook fulfils our fellow low carbers' ideals.

As those of you who are current subscribers to the Low Carb/Low GI Cookbook know, we issue new recipes throughout the year. Here are this month's exciting recipes: 6-29 Steak And Kidney Pies (only 4.3 carbs per serving) and 6-29 Chocolate Pudding American Style (only 2.9 carbs per serving). You will find these recipes already in your Cookbook next time you log in. For those of you who are not yet subscribers, there are now 127 recipes in the Cookbook.

4) Your Successes, Requests And Questions

This is your spot. Whether it's your dietary success story, a request to cover a particular topic in a future newsletter or a question you would like answered, we would love to hear from you. Please do contact us.

Here is a question we answered recently:

  • Q I am on diet, Atkins diet, low carbs, almost no carbs, eggs and bacon, a cup of tea with splenda, lunch steak, dinner steak and during the day seltzer water. I am in my 4th week and I only have lost 6 pounds, my weight was 140 and now is 134 pounds. Why? I don't understand. Even though i continue because is the diet that I like the most. I used to weigh 124, I am 48 years old.
  • A Six pounds is not a bad weight loss over four weeks, particularly if it is real fat loss. (Those people who say they lose 10 pounds in a week are just losing lots of water weight, which often happens at the start of a diet and doesn't continue). Six pounds of 'real' weight in 4 weeks is one and a half pounds a week on average. This is what I lost when I first did the Atkins Diet.

    Keep in mind that slower weight loss, while annoying, is best for long term success. The last thing you want to do is reduce so drastically that you go into starvation mode, because that will just depress your metabolism, making your body become more efficient at surviving on ever fewer calories. If the weight loss continues at this same rate, that's fantastic. However, if it stops, then you would need to consider whether you might not be eating enough, as your daily food list looks fairly spartan!

    Weight loss is also influenced by hormones, and at 48 the rapid fluctuations that come around this age might be making it harder for you to lose the weight. However, as I said, one and a half pounds a week is good, and if it carries on then you have no need to worry.

    There is a lot more information on how to ensure that your diet works for you, and to avoid common pitfalls such as depressing your metabolism in my book Why Can't I Lose Weight. It's also very important to ensure you have enough variety, interest and 'treats' in your daily menus, or else you risk getting bored and falling off the diet. You might be interested in the Low Carb / Low GI Cookbook, which was and still is critical in keeping me on my low carb diet!

    Are you going to increase your salads and veggies, by the way? There's no reason why you shouldn't be having these, and lots of reasons why you should!

5) Tell Us What You Think

Your opinions matter to us. If there is something you particularly like or don't like about our newsletter or website, please let us know.

6) Visit Our Newsletter Archive

Did you miss an issue? Want to review an issue you really enjoyed? Be sure to check out our newsletter archive.

7) Free Resources

With best wishes for your continued good health

Jackie Bushell
Founder Director, GoodDietGoodHealth.com


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