This post comes from a recent discussion I had with a friend who was questioning my vegan ways of eating and who is also on the no carb, high protein diet…..basically the opposite of what I am doing. It’s funny how there are so many views and opinions on what is “healthy”. It’s no wonder that America is the fattest country and is so confused on what they should and should not be eating. The diet world is a $40 billion dollar industry and is constantly coming up with new ways of eating to lose weight……and we buy into all of them. Looking for that quick fix we want that latest thing that will make us slim overnight. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that. There is no magic diet or pill that will make you lose weight within a couple of days. It took time to put the weight on (although it may not seem like it) and it will take time to get it off. Believe me, I have bought into the fad diets and tried most of them hoping to slim down quickly for an event, vacation, summer, or whatever. What I have learned is that the weight that comes off fast, which is mostly water weight, comes back fast. To sustain weightloss you have to do it gradually and in a healthy way. Every body is different, so different ways of eating will work for different people. This is something I may think about doing a series on. Exploring the different diets out there and letting you all know what’s good and what isn’t. Stay tuned…..
This post, however, is about carbs. When I say carbs, I am referring to carbohydrates. Carbs have gotten a bad rap over the years, but it’s important to know the good carbs from the bad. They are not all bad. Two types of carbohydrates exist, simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates are your refined, processed flours and sugars. You know them in the form of white, or non whole grain, bread, cookies, crackers, white pasta, cakes and sweets in general. These carbohydrates are broken down quickly in the body and cause a blood sugar spike giving you the sugar high and then the sugar low. (Read my blog Life on Sugar for more info) Complex carbohydrates on the other hand are your whole grain breads, whole grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, etc that your body processes slowly causing a gradual rise in blood sugar with no crash. They also keep you fuller longer. These are the good guys, the ones you want to be eating. I eat complex carbohydrates on a regular basis to give my body the fuel and energy it needs to work all day and power through my workouts. Depending on your activity level, you may need more or less complex carbohydrates in your diet. The challenge my friend and I have created is not to see who can lose the most weight, but which way of eating is the most maintainable and provides the most sustenance for daily energy. We both are working out daily and are curious if one diet over the other will make you stronger week by week. So here is the breakdown of what each of us are eating:
Complex carbs for fiber, energy, and protein
Lots of vegetables
Beans, nuts, legumes, tofu for protein
My friend: High protein, no carb
Lots of meat, eggs, cheese, bacon, etc for protein
I will keep you all posted on how it goes week to week. Also stay tuned for the “fad diet” series.
Question: Have any of you tried a crazy diet? Did you lose weight, feel healthy, have energy?