Low Carb Diet Books

Hey there Guys,

There has been quite a few questions on low carb diets so thought I would put together a bit of a post that explains what carbs are, why they are important and what a low carb diet actually is.

There is lots of confusion around this topic so I hope that this will help increase your understanding and enable you to start making some low carb choices.

Keep in mind that there are many factors involved in the way the body deals with carbohydrates. In this post I am doing my best to make it simpler. To do this I have not gone deep into all the chemistry, it’s the ideas that are important here.

If you want to learn all the nerdy stuff, drop me an email and I can send you some awesome links, but I have to warn, it’s pretty heavy reading!

So to start…

What exactly is a Carbohydrate?

All of the food we eat can be broken down in to three distinct groups: fats, protein and carbohydrates.

Most people have a good understanding of fats and protein, however carbohydrates can be a bit confusing.

Put simply, carbohydrates are any sort of food that, when broken down in the body, create sugar.

Carbohydrates come in many forms. Fruit and vegetables, sugar and sugar-like products such as honey, and grains such as wheat, barley and rice. Products of grain include bread and pasta, and pretty much anything that is made from flour.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body. When you eat them they are broken down to sugars that are used keeps the cells alive.

Different carbohydrates break down into sugars at different speeds.

For example, a sugar in a can of Coke can pretty much go straight from the intestines  into the blood.

On the opposite end of the scale, vegetables such as broccoli are filled with fibre so the body has to work hard to break down the broccoli to release the sugars. This means that the release of sugar into the blood is much much slower.

Why is the speed-of-release of sugar so important?

Everything in our body is designed to stay at even levels, pretty much like a thermostat works to keep temperatures even in a home.

Because our body needs a constant supply of sugar to keep the brain and other organs running, we have a system that helps keep blood sugar even. If the blood sugar drops very low we can go into a coma, develop seizures and even die. If the sugar level in the blood is too high it can damage the organs and also cause coma.

The main hormone that controls blood sugar is insulin.

If we have a sudden increase in sugar in the blood, for example we drink a can of coke, insulin is released to bring the sugar spike back down to normal levels.

Insulin does this is by transporting the sugar into muscles. If the sugar stores in the muscles are full, the sugar in the blood is turned into fat and stored away for use as fuel at a later time.

Insulin is basically a storage hormone. If your blood sugar is frequently high, you will have high insulin levels and your body will be busy storing sugar away mainly as fat.

If the foods we eat breaks down to sugar slowly then the sugar levels in the blood will be more even so there is no need for the release of high levels of insulin, and there is no need for sugar to be stored away as fat. It can be simply burned as energy. The image below is a quick summary…

What does this means for guys wanting to lose weight?

If you want to lose weight, reduce body fat and prevent the creation of more fat stores, you need to work on the green side of the pathway above.

The best way to do this is to eat carbohydrates that are slow to release their sugar into the blood and avoid carbohydrates that release sugar into the blood fast.

The good thing is, it’s much easier then you may think.

Carbohydrates. The good, the ok and the evil.

To help lose weight we need to reduce or eliminate carbohydrates that cause sudden spikes in the blood sugars.

The main culprits are anything that is made with flour which includes pastries, cookies and bread, and yes, this includes whole grain bread. Unfortunately majority of whole grain breads that are sold these days are simply white bread with some seeds added. They are not quite the healthy choice as promoted on the packet.

Other carbohydrates that cause rapid spikes in blood sugar are rice, pasta and starchy vegetables such as potato, sweet potato and pumpkin.

Now just because these items are in the “bad” list this does not mean you cant enjoy them, just that they need to be enjoyed in moderation and not as the sole base of a meal.

There is one group of products that deserves a particular place in carbohydrate hell…drinks that are based on “High Fructose Corn Syrup”.

This additive makes it cheap and easy to manufacture these drinks, and sends blood sugar though the roof.

If you are a regular drinker of soft drink or soda and you are keen to lose weight, just eliminating these drinks is the perfect start to getting your body weight and insulin under control. I could go on and on about this but I will save that rant for another post.

So to sum up…

To absolutely avoid: soft drinks and flavored sodas

To enjoy on the rare occasion as a treat: foods made with highly refined flour such as bread, cake, pastries and cookies.

Foods that will be ok every now and then: rice, pasta and starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, sweet potatoes.

If you do choose to have these foods it’s best to try and have them in their most natural form. Ie. Brown rice, boiled or mashed sweet potatoes. Not deep fried chips or chocolate rice puddings. ;) Also be sure that they are not the main portion of the meal, more a side element to increase the enjoyment of the rest of your healthy meal.

So What Are Some Of The Good Carbs?

With all that bad news out of the way lets get stuck into the great healthy choices you can fill your plate with.

A basic rule would be if it’s green and leafy then eat until you are full.  Salads are great, with so many choices available you will be able to mix and match ’til the cows come home. They are high in fiber, are packed with vitamins and minerals and actually contain little in the way of sugars.

The same goes with majority of veges.

You can pretty much have free reign in the vegetable isle at the supermarket, just be aware that we are working to avoid the starchy carbs we mentioned above.

You can enjoy fruit as well. Packed with fiber and vitamins fruit is a great snack choice and you will frequently see me with a bag of grapes beside me at work.

The only caveat is that you have to have the whole fruit, not just a bottle of fruit juice. Fruit juice is extremely high in sugar and lacks all the fiber and goodness that you get when you eat the whole fruit.

I know that there are some purists out there that preach that all fruits are bad, but again if you are eating the whole fruit, not a bottle of orange juice, you get the benefit of all the vitamins and the fiber slows the release of sugar so insulin tends not to spike.

Next time you are at the supermarket do a bit of an experiment and check out all the fantastic options in the fresh fruit and veg section.

That’s all great but does it help weight loss?

It did for me!

Dr George @ 108kg

For the past six months I have been sticking to the same rules I have mentioned above.

When I started I was 108kg. I was not able to see my feet in the shower, I would get short of breath putting on my shoes and I was starting to get lower back pain and knee pain.

I knew something had to change.

I was given a few books by one of my work mates who had recently had great success in his weight loss.

Reading them something just seemed to click. It made sense. I pretty much eliminated potato, all products made with flour, rice and pasta from my diet, and opted for fresh veges instead.

It was not always easy but I quickly adjusted and even learned to just ask for some extra veg instead of chips when I went out to dinner.

Me 20kg lighter. Feeling great, enjoying life and yes I get to enjoy chocolate every now and then. :)

Today I weight just under 90kg, I can see my feet again and I am no longer getting the dreaded joint pain I had when I was bigger.

For me low carb, or perhaps better put “slow carb” eating was the key to losing my excess weight.

So what do you think?

Would you like to aim for a similar success story? I’d love to help you if I can.

The first step is to join up my mailing list via the box at the top right of this page.

That way I’ll be able to share all the latest info and keep you up to date with my success.

Also, don’t be afraid to send me any questions or thoughts.

You can do it via the comment box below or via the contact page.

Have a great day and I’ll catch ya on the inside.

Dr George

Next: The Flat Belly Diet Reviewed

Leave a Comment