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Showing posts from April, 2010

Carbs can Make you Fat? How does that Work?

A few people have asked me how it is that carbohydrates can cause weight gain, but eating fat doesn't tend to do so. The thing is, "calories in, calories out" is a myth. Unlike a car that simply burns gas, our bodies respond differently to different fuels. There are a few reasons that carbohydrates, more so than fat or protein, can cause weight gain: It's easy to overeat carbohydrates. Most carbs aren't very filling. Everyone who has ever eaten half a box of cereal, a bag of chips or box of cookies in one sitting, raise your hand. Ever eaten a stick of butter or a whole jar of mayonnaise at once? I didn't think so. Carbs are addictive for some people. Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, recommends a low-carb, wheat-free diet to all his patients. He reports that 30% of them go through wheat withdrawal . Carbs can make you hungry. Eating carbohydrates raises your blood sugar, which causes your body to release insulin into the bloodstream. In some people, this is

Seeking Hidden Allergies

When I was nine years old, I had a allergy test that involved a nurse putting about 100 scratches on my back and applying a potential allergen to each scratch. If I remember right, I was allergic to about 90 things. I took weekly allergy shots for years after that, completely desensitizing me to needles. But the allergies never really left. It's the wrong time of year for allergies, but I've had them over the past few weeks. I used to just take a Sudafed and ibuprofin and suffer until the pain went away. Lately, though, I've noticed that allergy attacks happen when I eat something different: non-dairy creamer, a particular brand of sausage (which probably has something that's not on the label), and a cookie (which contained wheat). A test a few years ago showed that I don't have celiac, a condition where gluten (a protein in wheat) damages the intestines. But you don't have to have a permission slip from your doctor to eliminate things from your diet. A few mon

Weight Loss for Lazy People (Like Me)

My calculus II teacher, Monica Fleischauer, once told our class, "Good mathematicians are basically lazy." I took that to mean that they didn't make extra work for themselves--the opposite of the saying, "You get out of it what you put into it." The statement about being lazy seems to apply to losing weight. A few months ago when I was on Body-for-Life, I was working out six days a week: lifting weights, doing intense cardio workouts and ballet strength conditioning. And I'd gained 20 pounds over the last few years. About two months ago, I dropped BFL and slashed the carbs. I eat meat, eggs, nuts, greens, and protein powder drinks (homemade) until I'm satisfied. I'm pretty good about limiting the carbs. Last night, I had a Netflix night with half a bag of pork rinds, hot wings and a diet root beer. Right now, I'm enjoying a low-carb brownie made of protein powder, peanut butter, nuts and coconut, and a coffee with cream, no sugar. For exercise, t

Homage to the Low-carb Cookie God

Last Tuesday I had a chocolate chip cookie. "I've been awfully good, and one cookie won't hurt me," I rationalized. But eating that cookie gave me a stomach ache, acid reflux for two days and painful nasal congestion--the viscous, sticky kind that won't move--for four days. How did one cookie make me feel so bad? Was is the extra carbs? According to Pepperidge Farm's web site , one of their chocolate chip cookies (similar to the one I ate) has 20g of carbohydate. That's quite a bit if you eat low-carb, but that's less than a Luna bar, which has 25g of carb--and which I can eat without any ill effects. The Luna bar also has more sugar. What the Luna bar doesn't have is wheat. I stopped eating wheat months ago; this was my first lapse since then. There's a saying that it's not the poison, but the dose, but in my case, wheat is poison in any amount. Some people are amazed at those of us who don't eat wheat, but I never found it the hardshi