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"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!
[ If you missed it, click
here to read Part One. ]
In the last issue, we discussed the definition of a stall and some possible
causes of stalls, such as too many carbs, too many calories, too few carbs,
and too few calories. We also examined the importance of drinking plenty of
plain water, not only for good health but for weight loss as well.
"Treat or Trick?"
There are other possible explanations for a lack of progress in your weight
loss efforts. Letís take a closer look and see if any of these issues might
be a problem for you.
The popularity of low carbing has brought with it the blessing of commercially
prepared and easily obtainable low carb desserts, breads, muffins, pizza crusts,
candies and ice creams. There is probably a low carb substitute available for
almost every high carb food that you used to enjoy. This can make sticking to a
low carb plan much easier because the feeling of deprivation that frequently goes
along with "dieting" is eased by these foods.
However, enjoying all of these goodies
can actually make losing weight much more difficult. Why? Because these treats
are so similar to the very foods that caused us to lose control, overindulge and
gain weight in the first place. Part of making low carb eating a way of life,
instead of just a weight loss plan, is breaking our old, unhealthy eating habits.
If, prior to low carbing, you binged on ice cream and candy and it contributed to
your weight problem, you canít continue the binge behavior with a low carb
substitute and expect to lose. Again, these foods may be lower in carbohydrates,
but they are not calorie free or additive free and they donít make a healthy
substitution for protein and vegetables.
Perhaps you are not in the habit of binge eating and you can stop with just one
serving of these treats. But just how frequently are you enjoying them?
Take another look at your daily menu. If it includes a serving of sugar free gummy
worms as a mid-morning snack, a sugar free chocolate bar as a mid-afternoon
snack and a bowl of "no sugar added" ice cream as an after dinner dessert, you
have just found the key to ending your stall. Itís time to eliminate those treats.
If you are saying to yourself, "But I canít do this unless I have my chocolate
every day!" then you may be resigning yourself to weeks or months of frustration.
What is your goal? To attain a healthy weight and a healthy body or to stay at a
weight youíre unhappy with while enjoying chocolate every day? Go back to eating
the simple foods that helped you get this far in your weight loss journey — meats,
vegetables, eggs, healthy fats and maybe some seeds, nuts and berries. Enjoy the
low carb "treats" only very occasionally.
"Move it and lose it"
Because the initial stages of a low carb diet often work very quickly and very well
without exercise, some may conclude that exercise is unnecessary. Those of us whoíve
experienced a true stall will reach a different conclusion. Exercise isnít optional
on a low carb plan. Itís a "must".
Low carbing has the wonderful advantage of
allowing us to eat full-fat mayonnaise and salad dressings and juicy steaks but
it cannot negate the basic principle that you must burn more calories than you
consume in order to lose weight. If you have not been exercising regularly, you
may find that starting an exercise program at this point in your weight loss journey
will break your stall within a few weeks.
If you have been exercising regularly, you
may find that adding an additional workout session to your week, adding intensity to
your current workout or changing up your normal routine will be an effective
stall-breaker. Itís important to include strength training in your routine because
a body with more lean muscle mass will burn calories at a higher rate, even at rest,
than a body of the same weight but with a higher percentage of fat. So pump some
iron and build up those muscles!
Iím sure that some of you are thinking, "But I donít have time to exercise!"
I have said this myself many times over the years. The truth is that we make time
for the things that are important to us. Learning to love exercise takes time and
practice. Once you start and you begin to see the number on the scale moving downward
again, and the incredible changes in your body and you realize that you are
breathing better and walking taller and you feel great... youíll be hooked. Youíll
wonder why you waited so long to get moving.
"I Did It My Way"
Most low carb plans allow for some flexibility in your food choices, especially as
you move past the initial stages. Experimentation is a wonderful tool because it
allows you to discover new foods and it prevents you from becoming bored.
However, if you arenít careful, experimentation can turn into total deviation from whatever
plan youíre following. Over time you can even convince yourself that you are the
exception to the rules of your plan. Because youíre the exception, you can eat
unlimited quantities of fruit or have "free" weekends when you donít even try to
eat low carb foods. But if youíve stalled in your weight loss — you arenít an
exception. Refresh your memory and renew your commitment by rereading the book
that got you started on your low carb journey in the first place. You may be
surprised to find that each time you read the material, you learn something
new and feel energized and ready to get back on track.
Stalling can be very discouraging — I know from personal experience. After
successfully losing 33 pounds, I remained at the same weight for five long months.
Iím embarrassed to say now that it took me THAT LONG to realize that I could not
enjoy a slice (or two) of sugar free cheesecake with whipped heavy cream every
single night after dinner, and still lose weight. I felt quite perturbed when I
realized that despite the fact that cheesecake is not only low carb, itís also
allowed on my plan — I couldnít have it daily and still lose weight.
Looking back, it certainly wasnít very realistic of me to think that I could have
dessert every single day and continue to lose. During this same period of
time, I came to the reluctant realization that exercise was going to have
to be part of my weight loss plan. I knew that the best type of exercise
for me was something in a class environment — I am not really self-motivated
when it comes to workouts. So, I joined a gym and chose classes at times that
worked well with my schedule and I showed up faithfully for every class. Now
I canít imagine a life that doesnít include regular workouts.
After making these two rather momentous changes (giving up that cheesecake was really,
really hard) I not only broke my weight loss stall but I went on to lose the
23 pounds necessary to reach my goal in a matter of three months.
As frustrated as you may feel when you arenít losing, you need to remember
to never give up. Giving up and going back to a high carb way of life is the
best way to ensure that you will never see your goal weight. You can make a
low carb plan work for you. It may require some changes that are difficult
to make, but they will not be impossible to live with.
Once youíve made a change, be patient and give it a couple of weeks to make a difference. Please
donít assume that because you didnít have your sugar free gummy worms on
Tuesday that the scale will reflect your sacrifice with a three pound loss
Wednesday morning. Each of the changes that you make are steps on the path
to turning your "diet" into a way of life. The longer it takes, the more
deeply ingrained your new, healthier habits will be. And the more likely
it will be that youíll not only achieve your weight loss goal, but youíll
maintain that loss for the rest of your life. And thatís way better than
Copyright © September 2003 Brenda Crump and Low Carb Luxury
Fried chicken was one of the most requested products in our "Chef's Challenge" so The Low Carb
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In the larger 1 lb. tubs, there is enough mix for you to batter about 6 pounds of chicken strips
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The Low Carb Chef's "Aunt" Paula has worked hard to perfect the taste and texture of her Gourmet
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With only 1g of effective carb per pancake, you
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