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    August 22, 2003    PAGE FIVE      
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      The Low Carb Good Life with Brenda Crump

                                      "A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer...
                                                                  it sings because it has a song."
                                                            
Maya Angelou

We're proud to feature "The Low Carb Good Life" by regular columnist Brenda Crump, who's also one of our smart and resourceful moderators at Talking Low Carb (our Low Carb Luxury Discussion Forums.) Brenda has found the keys to making low carb a true lifestyle, with proper nutrition at the heart of it all!


Few things in life are more discouraging than trying to lose weight and having your progress come to a screeching halt for weeks or even months at a time. Every time you step on the scale, that same number pops up. Or worse yet, you lose a pound or two only to regain it the very next week. Itís just about enough to make you give up and head for the nearest Krispy Kreme.

There are many reasons why you may be stalling on your low carb plan. But before you assume that the plan just doesnít work for you or that youíve hit a plateau that will forever be one of the great unsolved mysteries of our time, consider the possibility that you may already have the key to ending your stall — you just donít know it yet.

First, letís define a true stall. You are not truly stalled if you lost two pounds last week and then nothing this week. As frustrating and unfair as it might seem, you should know that the body does take occasional short breaks from losing and it probably doesnít have anything to do with what youíre eating or not eating. All thatís required in this case is some patience. If, however, you have been faithfully following your low carb plan and youíve gone for three or more weeks without showing any loss on the scale and with no change in your measurements, then you probably have the dubious honor of officially being in a stall.

So what brought this plague upon you? Letís look at some typical "stallers" and see if any of them apply to you:

"Must Have Been Something I Ate!"

The most obvious cause for lengthy plateaus can often be found by taking a hard look at your daily menus. When you began living the low carb way, you faithfully counted every carb and every fiber gram. You ate clean - just meats, vegetables, eggs and some dairy products. But as you became more comfortable with eating this way, new foods probably found their way onto the menu. Did your occasional handful of nuts as a snack recently turn into an every day event in which the handful became larger and larger? Are your cups of coffee getting progressively larger with ever increasing amounts of heavy cream to lighten them up? Is your day not complete without a slice of sugar-free cheesecake topped with whipped heavy cream? Keep in mind that some foods, though low in carbs, are very high in calories. If youíre enjoying them in unlimited quantities, not only do the carbs add up...the calories do too. Though we donít typically count calories on a low carb plan, too many can slow down weight loss. Remember too, that little bites and tastes of things here and there are not freebies just because you ate them on the run instead of off a plate.

Take a brutally honest look at everything you eat and drink in a typical day. Then find areas where you might be overindulging and start cutting back. You may miss those handfuls of nuts or that slice of sugar-free cheesecake every night after dinner, but cutting back on or eliminating them could be the key to ending your stall.

If your carb count isnít too high, then perhaps it is too low. To some this will sound like a contradiction, but it isnít. If you are used to following a low calorie or low fat diet, you may feel that if eating 20 grams of carbohydrate makes you lose weight, then eating only 5 grams of carbohydrate will make you lose faster. Not necessarily. Many people find that when they add a bit more carbohydrate, in the form of vegetables, they will begin to lose again. One possible explanation for this is that when vegetable consumption is increased, more fiber is added to the diet. You may feel more full and therefore actually end up eating smaller portions of other, more calorie-dense foods. Eating a bit more carbohydrate, in the form of vegetables, may also stimulate the metabolism. You want to let your body know that food is available and that you will not starve if it releases stored fat.

"Water, water, everywhere..."

But how much of it are you drinking? You should get a minimum of 64 ounces of plain water each day. Coffee, tea, Crystal Lite, carbonated beverages and other sugar-free liquids do not count as plain water. Water mixed with other substances takes a different metabolic pathway than pure water. The body simply wonít use soda or sugar-free Tang the same way it would plain old water. If you are having difficulty choking down all 64 ounces, then ease into it. Start with an amount that you feel you can reasonably handle. Increase it by one cup every few days until you reach at least 64 ounces. It may be helpful to purchase a sports bottle or large, insulated mug that you can keep with you throughout the day.

How will drinking all of this plain water help your weight loss? By aiding your body in the process of metabolizing fat. Here is how it works: The kidneys canít function properly without enough water. When they donít work to capacity, some of their work load is dumped onto the liver. One of the liverís primary functions is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy for the body. But if the liver has to do some of the kidneyís work, it canít operate at full capacity. As a result, it metabolizes less fat, more fat remains stored in the body and weight loss slows or stops.

If most of your beverage consumption consists of carbonated soft drinks, coffee and tea - itís time to consider a change. Drinking more plain water may be just the thing your body needs to begin shedding that excess weight again!

These are two of the most basic causes of weight loss stalls. If you are stalled, carefully consider what you are eating and how much water you are drinking. See if there is room for improvement in these two areas. In the next issue, weíll examine a few more potential stallers. If we didnít find your "key" today, perhaps weíll discover it in the next issue.

Copyright © August 2003  Brenda Crump and Low Carb Luxury

                                                                             Brenda





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In the larger 1 lb. tubs, there is enough mix for you to batter about 6 pounds of chicken strips or about 3 whole chickens, cut up! You won't find anything else like this in the low carb world! With the flavor that this mix imparts to your chicken, even your high carbing friends won't believe that fantastic tasting fried chicken is actually good for you!

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