- What Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy Says
- 10 Lies About The Atkins Diet!
- Lie 1: The Atkins and other low carb diets don’t work
- Lie 2: There’s a ton of new research proving the Atkins diet is effective
- Lie 3: The new studies prove that the Atkins diet is healthy and doesn’t raise cholesterol as previously believed
- Lie 4: The Atkins diet will help you keep fat off for good
- Lie 5: Calories don’t count and you can eat as much as you want while on the Atkins diet
- Lie 6: A brand new study just proved that the Atkins diet gives you a metabolic advantage so you really can eat as much as you want
- Lie 7: The Atkins diet causes faster and greater FAT loss than conventional diets
- Lie 8: Carbohydrates make you fat
- Lie 9: Ketosis makes you feel better and doesn’t affect your performance
- Lie 10: Ketogenic diets (very low carb) are the secret to fat loss
- What Is The Best Way To Achieve Permanent Fat Loss?
- Everything I Believed About Carbs Is Wrong
- 51 Celebrities That Follow A Low Carb Diet #51Scoops
What Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy Says
Does It Work?
The Atkins diet is one of the best-known low-carb diets, and the research shows it can work. If you fill your day with processed carbs like white bread, pasta, and white potatoes, and you don’t eat many fruits and veggies, then this diet may be the jump-start you need to lose weight.
You can quit your usual go-to foods and start with the Atkins food list. The initial phase in the Atkins 20 plan is limited in food choices but focused on protein, fat, and vegetables that are low carb and not starchy. In each phase you add back food groups: first nuts, seeds, and berries; then fruits, starchy vegetables, beans, and whole grains. With the Atkins 40 plan you can choose from a larger variety of foods and carbs but still little to no starchy foods.
With Atkins 20, the closer you get to your weight loss goal, the more variety of foods you’re allowed. Ideally, you’ll stick to their healthy list and not go back to your old ways.
If you like variety in the foods you eat, the Atkins 40 plan would likely be better for you. Of course you’ll still need to keep your portion sizes under control, which may be easier as a low-carb diet can help tame hunger.
Is It Good for Certain Conditions?
When you’re overweight, shedding pounds can improve your health, and we know the Atkins diet works. But it’s still unclear how the higher amounts of animal protein and fat in the Atkins diet affect long-term health.
Recent research suggests that people on the Atkins diet who chose foods rich in plant fat and protein did better with their health than those who went with the diet rich in animal fat and protein.
This makes sense to me, and the Atkins 20 and Atkins 40 diets reflect this idea. They focus more on getting fat and protein from heart-healthy choices like olive oil and protein like soy and lentils.
If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or high cholesterol, talk to your doctor before starting this diet to make sure the balance of carbs, fat, and protein is right for you.
The Final Word
For the person who needs structure in their diet, limiting starchy, sugary carbs will help cut calories and allow for weight loss. And focusing on proteins and fats that are plant-based is the healthy and smart thing to do.
For your long-term health, you have to move on from the initial Atkins 20 diet. It’s the later phases of the diet, especially the Atkins 40, that give you the variety of foods that are important for health. You have to exercise and keep portions small while you start eating nuts, seeds, beans, fruits, starchy vegetables, and whole grains again.
10 Lies About The Atkins Diet!
Low carbohydrate diets such as Atkins have always been controversial, but with the recent wave of new research and publicity, the controversy is now raging hotter than ever. One headline in the San Francisco Chronicle said that the battle between the low- and high-carbers had become so heated since mid 2002 that “Knives had been drawn.”
From my vantage point (as a health and fitness professional down in the trenches), it looks more like tanks, artillery and machine guns have been drawn! Tragically, the people being hurt the most by these “diet wars” are not the experts, but the dieters.
After its original publication in 1972, The Atkins Diet was regurgitated in 1992 as “Dr. Atkins New Diet Revolution,” creating a new surge of interest in low-carbohydrate dieting.
Then, in July of 2002, the controversy reached an all time high when the New York Times Magazine published an essay by Gary Taubes titled, “What if it’s all been a big fat lie?” The article suggested that new research was now proving the late Dr. Atkins had been right all along.
More research in 2003 seemed to corroborate the Taubes story: Two studies in the New England Journal of Medicine in May of 2003, and another in June 2003 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggested that Atkins was equally, if not more effective for weight loss than conventional diets—at least in the short term.
With the publication of this new information, Atkins supporters boasted, “See, I told you so,” while their opponents fired back in defense of their high-carb, low-fat positions. Meanwhile, low-carb foods and supplements became all the rage, bread and pasta sales took a nosedive and the wheat industry cried the blues.
With differences in opinion as opposite as the North and South Poles, it’s become unbearably confusing and frustrating to know which weight loss method is best and safest. At the date of this writing, in late 2003, obesity has reached an all time high—AGAIN!
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 64% of Americans are overweight and 31% are obese, and it’s still getting worse.
Obviously, the popular weight loss methods today—including the low-carb diet—are still missing something? But what?
If you’re confused by the whole high-carb, low-carb thing and if you’re frustrated with your attempts at trying to lose weight and keep it off, then this may be the most important report you will ever read.
In the next few minutes, you’ll discover the real truth about low-carb diets and a real solution to the problem of excess body fat that is beautiful in its simplicity, yet powerful in effectiveness. Read on to learn the 10 Lies about the Atkins diet and the truth that will set you free?
Lie 1: The Atkins and other low carb diets don’t work
If your definition of what “works” is quick weight loss, then the Atkins Diet DOES work. Recent studies showed that the Atkins Diet causes greater weight loss than the American Heart Association-recommended high-carb, low-fat diet.
In fact, for obese people with disorders of carbohydrate metabolism (hyperinsulinemia, hypoglycemia, and insulin resistance), Atkins-style diets have been shown to work especially well.
However, if your definition of what “works” is permanent fat loss, then the Atkins diet doesn’t fare so well… but then again neither do any other diets. It seems that despite some encouraging initial successes, Atkin’s dieters still face the same difficulties in keeping off the weight as everyone else.
Some of the same studies showing rapid weight loss on Atkins in the beginning also showed substantial weight gain as soon as the diets ended.
Truth is, a growing body of evidence is mounting that carbohydrate restriction can accelerate weight loss in the short term, but it has yet to be proven that it keeps the fat off in the long run.
Which approach towards low-carb dieting is best is also up for debate: Not all low-carb diets are high fat or ketogenic and not all are “ultra-low” in carbs. A low-carb diet can be low in carbs and high in fat, it can be low in carbs and high in protein, or it can be somewhere in the middle.
I predict that continued research will discover that moderate carbohydrate restriction (especially in a cyclical fashion) and careful selection of carbohydrates, will in fact assist with fat loss via hormonal control, metabolic efficiency and appetite regulation.
I believe that neither extreme—the severely restricted low-carb diet (ketogenic diet) or the very high-carb, low fat diet—will emerge the victor.
Lie 2: There’s a ton of new research proving the Atkins diet is effective
If you surf around the Internet for a while searching for “Atkins Diet,” you are likely to see a lot of advertisements and news briefs pointing to the new research “proving” that Atkins is effective.
“New England Journal of Medicine Vindicates Atkins diet.”
“Studies suggest Atkins diet is safe.”
“New research challenges 30 years of Nutritional Dogma.”
Truth is, these headlines are not giving you the full picture.
Until and unless you have closely examined these studies and the researcher’s interpretation of the results, don’t be so quick to believe the diet hearsay and gossip.
The general conclusion of nearly all these studies is that Atkins IS equally if not more effective for short term weight loss than conventional diets. However, nearly all the researchers also conclude with remarks such as:
“The results are very preliminary,”
“The take-home message is that this diet deserves further study.”
“More research is needed.”
Furthermore, consider what the Atkin’s diet was being compared to in these studies: The traditional “food pyramid” diet with 60-65% carbs including plenty of pasta, cereals and bread, right?
What if the traditional high-carb diet is wrong too?
Don’t write off carb restriction completely, but don’t ditch all your carbs yet either?
Lie 3: The new studies prove that the Atkins diet is healthy and doesn’t raise cholesterol as previously believed
In a May of 2003, the results of a 12-month study on the Atkins diet were reported in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). One group followed the traditional food pyramid with 60% of the calories from carbohydrates while the second group followed the Atkins diet.
After one year, Atkins participants had a greater increase in the good HDL cholesterol and a larger drop in triglyceride than the high-carb group.
The leader of the study, Gary Foster said, “Our initial findings suggest that low-carb diets may not have the adverse effects we anticipated.”
Conventional wisdom has dictated for years that saturated fat and cholesterol were dangerous and unhealthy, contributing to coronary heart disease. This led most health professionals to condemn low carb diets that allowed large amounts of saturated fat.
This belief is now being questioned. Many authors such as Mary Enig and Uffe Rashnkov have presented compelling cases that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat do not cause heart disease. The latest research seems to confirm this. However, many factors affected the results of these new studies.
In some studies, the subjects did not follow the Atkins Diet to exact specifications and never entered ketosis, so conclusions about saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, ketosis and coronary health cannot be drawn yet.
In other studies, cholesterol-lowering drugs were used. And in still others, some subjects actually showed increases in total cholesterol. Those who did show improvements may have previously been on a high refined sugar, high saturated fat diet and dropping the sugar was one step in the right direction.
Furthermore, some of the drop in blood cholesterol could be attributed to the decrease in body weight.
Clearly, you can’t lump all dietary fats into the same category. Processed and chemically altered trans fats have been condemned by virtually every health and nutrition expert on the planet.
Other fats, like salmon and fatty fish, are among the healthiest and cardio-protective foods you can eat. Much evidence is showing that reasonable amounts of naturally occurring saturated fats such as those found in whole eggs and red meat also need not be feared (especially in the absence of sugars).
Truth is, all the information we have available at this time indicates the “fat phobia” and “fat makes you fat” scare has been unfounded because not all fat is the same. However, claims that diets very high in overall and saturated fat are healthy and safe for long term use are still premature.
Lie 4: The Atkins diet will help you keep fat off for good
Dr. Atkins writes that his diet “Is so perfectly adapted to use as a lifetime diet that, unlike most diets, the weight won’t come back.”
It’s a weight loss axiom that the more extreme a diet and the faster the weight loss, the more difficult it usually is to maintain the results. Slow, steady and balanced seems to win the race when it comes to weight control.
Unfortunately this isn’t what most people want to hear. The four pounds per week and up to 15 pounds in the first two weeks that Atkins promises sounds much more impressive.
There are two things you really need to know about rapid weight loss:
- What kind of weight was lost? How much of it was body fat and how much was water, glycogen and lean tissue?
- Are you going to keep the weight off for good?
Most low-carbers won’t keep the weight off for more than a year, and many will fall off the wagon long before that.
Keith Ayoob, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, said in an official ADA statement about the 2003 NEJM studies: “Twelve months is an equalizer; you hit a wall. Your lifestyle starts to be affected and you get bored. A high dropout rate is a sign that extreme diets can be difficult to maintain.
Truth is, despite Dr. Atkin’s claims and the new research apparently supporting them, we still don’t know what will happen in the long run. Based on the results of the recent three, six, and twelve month studies, researchers have begun to organize longer trials. One of them will be five years in length.
What I believe you will see in long term studies is that Atkins and other low-carb diets, while effective for weight loss in the short term, will be found no more effective for long term fat loss than any other restrictive diet (and that’s NOT very effective).
Lie 5: Calories don’t count and you can eat as much as you want while on the Atkins diet
Dr. Atkins proposed that calories don’t count and he advised his clients to eat as much as they want while on his program. Atkins wrote, “The so called calorie theory has been a millstone around the necks of dieters and a miserable and malign influence on their efforts to lose.”
Here’s the truth about calories and low-carb diets:
When you go on a very low-carb (ketogenic) diet with more fat, your appetite is diminished and you feel fuller (because fat is more satiating than carbs).
Appetite control may be a legitimate benefit of the Atkins diet, especially for individuals who struggle with hypoglycemia, hunger and cravings. As Dr. Atkins points out, “Our physical urges are hard to combat.”
However, this does not mean you can eat as much as you want. It means that your hunger may be blunted on Atkin’s plan, causing you to automatically eat less without counting calories or even thinking about calories.
People on the Atkins diet who lose weight are not eating more than they burn and losing fat in spite of it. Whether you count calories and consciously eat fewer than you burn, or you don’t count them and unconsciously eat fewer than you burn, either way, the end result is the same.
While counting calories in the literal sense is clearly not always necessary, you always have to be aware of calories and portions. No diet or special combination of foods can override the law of calorie balance.
Anyone who believes that you can eat as much as you want and still lose weight is living in a dream world.
Lie 6: A brand new study just proved that the Atkins diet gives you a metabolic advantage so you really can eat as much as you want
A 12 week study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and presented in October 2003 to the North American Association for the Study of Obesity found that subjects on a low-carb regimen lost just as much weight as those on a standard high-carb, low-fat diet.
The shocking part was that the group on the Atkins diet could eat 300 more calories than the group eating the conventional high-carb food pyramid diet. This left researchers scratching their heads saying:
“It doesn’t make sense? it defies the laws of thermodynamics.”
“A lot of our assumptions about a calorie is a calorie are being challenged,”
Unfortunately, some of the Atkins troops were quick to interpret the results as meaning, “See, I told you calories don’t count.”
Actually, calories do count and the explanation for these results is quite simple.
A calorie is NOT just a calorie. If all calories were created equal then a 2000 calorie diet of Krispy Creme doughnuts would have the same effect as a 2000 calorie diet of chicken breast and salad vegetables. Do you think these two diets will have the same effects on your health and body composition?
Certain foods and certain diets DO give you a metabolic advantage. One advantage is the effect of a diet’s composition on your hormones; namely insulin and glucagon.
A second advantage is called the thermic effect of food. The thermic effect of food means that a certain number of calories are used just to digest and absorb the food, leaving a net calorie value substantially less than the total amount of caloric energy that was contained in the food.
For example, a lean protein food such as chicken breast has a thermic effect of around 20-30%. This means that for every 100 calories of chicken breast consumed, the NET energy utilized by the body is only 70-80 calories. (Some people call this “negative calories.”)
Stated differently, this means you really CAN lose weight on a higher calorie intake if you eat foods with a high-thermic effect.
What’s especially interesting—providing confirmation of the metabolic advantage of a high protein diet—is that the foods provided in this study were low carb, but NOT typical Atkins fare. Instead of lots of red meat and saturated fat, the subjects in this particular study ate mostly fish, chicken, salads, vegetables and unsaturated oils.
I think the study’s director, Penelope Green, hit the nail on the head when she said, “Maybe they (the low-carb, high-protein group) burned up more calories digesting their food.”
Truth is, not one study has ever proven that you can “eat as much as you want” on Atkins or any diet. Even when a diet provides a metabolic advantage, AFTER that advantage is factored in and you look at NET calorie utilization, you are still left with the calories in versus calories out equation.
Lie 7: The Atkins diet causes faster and greater FAT loss than conventional diets
Most health, medical and nutrition organizations recommend that you lose weight (body fat) at a rate of no more than 2 pounds per week. In his book, Dr. Atkins says that the average weight loss in the first two weeks on his plan is 8 to 15 pounds.
Like many diets, Atkins overstresses total weight loss (and quick weight loss), while not stressing enough the difference between body weight, body water, body fat and lean body mass.
Truth is, low-carb diets definitely cause greater weight loss, especially in the initial phases. But this is mostly due to a large drop in water weight and glycogen (stored carbohydrate), not necessarily increased fat loss.
Weight loss is the wrong goal! Your goal should be permanent fat loss and you should be measuring and tracking your body fat percentage and lean body mass on a regular basis.
Don’t gloat over large, rapid “weight losses”? it might be mostly water and muscle.
Lie 8: Carbohydrates make you fat
Dr. Atkins wrote, and I quote, “Carbohydrates are the very food that makes you fat.” He also wrote, “Diets high in carbohydrates are precisely what most overweight people don’t need and can’t become slim on.”
These are very misleading statements of half-truth.
The “carbs make you fat” myth is probably the most pervasive and damaging lie about weight control ever told. It’s caused tremendous confusion and frustration to already confused and frustrated dieters.
First, focusing primarily on any macronutrient (protein, carbs or fat) or macronutrient ratio should be secondary to energy balance. What makes you fat is eating too many calories.
Truth is, you can’t blame all “carbohydrates” as a group for why we are getting fatter. What type of carbohydrates are we talking about? There are good carbs and bad carbs. The “bad” carbs are the refined ones; white flour and white sugar products like white bread, white pasta, sugar sweetened cereals, candy and soft drinks.
To avoid confusion, I would suggest never using the word “carbohydrate” without putting the adjective “refined” or “natural” in front of it.
Ironically, Dr. Atkins does make this distinction in his book, yet he still chose to recommend removal of almost ALL carbs during the induction and weight loss phases of his diet—even the good carbs that are proven healthy. This creates rapid weight loss and the appearance of a hugely successful diet right from the first week.
Again, the real questions are: What kind of weight was lost and can you keep the weight off for good?
A healthy, maintainable fat burning diet should be centered on natural foods—and for most people, that includes natural carbs in moderation—not the total removal and demonizing of all carbohydrates.
Lie 9: Ketosis makes you feel better and doesn’t affect your performance
Your body is a remarkable machine that is fully capable of adapting to whatever fuel is provided in predominance. You can burn protein, fat, or carbs for energy. However, carbohydrates are your body’s preferred—and most efficient—fuel source for vigorous physical activity.
Many low-carbers believe that fat is a more efficient energy source than carbohydrates, but this is not true. Fat is not a more efficient energy source, it is only a more concentrated energy source.
Since the fuel for muscular contraction is carbs (glycogen) a high-fat, low-carb diet is not the best approach to fat loss for athletes, bodybuilders or highly active individuals. These diets simply don’t support high intensity training.
Very low-carb diets might be appropriate for the sedentary, severely overweight, or those with orthopedic conditions that prevent any exercise. It seems that ketogenic diets take off weight even with little or no exercise (although the weight won’t be pure fat and you may not keep it off).
Some Atkins dieters even report feeling more energetic after adapting to the low carbs and higher fat. It’s likely, however, that most of them were relatively inactive. Low carbs and high activity don’t go well together.
Truth is, a more balanced diet of natural foods combined with exercise is a much better way to take off pure fat for good.
Anyone who CAN exercise SHOULD exercise! Of the two methods for creating a calorie deficit—burning more, or eating less—the former is the superior method with far fewer downsides.
Any fat loss program that does not make exercise the centerpiece is ultimately destined for failure.
Lie 10: Ketogenic diets (very low carb) are the secret to fat loss
The term “low carb” is used very broadly. To some, a diet like the Zone, which consists of 40% carbs is “low carbs.” To others “low carb” is more extreme. A ketogenic diet is a VERY low carb diet, usually between 40-70 grams of carbs per day or less. The induction phase of the Atkins diet is limited to only 20 grams per day.
Because they allow virtually no carbohydrate, Ketogenic diets, by definition, are extremely strict and nutritionally unbalanced. It’s an irrevocable law that the more “extreme” a nutrition program is, the greater the side effects will be and the more difficult the diet will be to stay on.
Dr. Atkins claimed, “Ketosis is the secret weapon of super effective dieting.”
Truth is, while some recent studies have suggested low-carb diets do work, not a single study has proven that it’s necessary to restrict carbs so severely that you go into ketosis.
The benefits of reduced carbs and more protein include a higher thermic effect, appetite regulation and hormonal control. What the low-carb folks don’t want you to know is that a moderate reduction in carbohydrates (and/or removal of processed carbs) is often all it takes to get these benefits, while being much easier to maintain for the long haul.
What Is The Best Way To Achieve Permanent Fat Loss?
Dr Atkins made many excellent points about weight control in his book. He spoke out on the evils of processed carbohydrates. He identified carbohydrate sensitivity and hyperinsulinemia as contributing factors in obesity.
He spoke of the metabolic advantage of high protein. He pointed out that there may not be a direct one to one correlation between saturated fat, dietary cholesterol and heart disease.
The fact is, Dr. Atkins—to his credit—had discovered some important facts about weight control, and had the courage to publish and stand by them long before anyone else did. In the end, unfortunately, he drew some questionable conclusions from this information and, like so many other diet gurus, he left out some large and important pieces to the puzzle.
If permanent fat loss were as simple as removing carbohydrates from your diet, then why has obesity surged to an all-new high in 2003 and why are there so many Atkins failures?
Could it be possible that the conventional high-carb, low-fat food pyramid approach and the Atkins diet approach have BOTH missed the mark, and that the optimum diet for permanent fat loss is somewhere in the middle?
Could it be possible that dieting is the absolute worst way to lose body fat and that the proper type of exercise program combined with a more balanced approach to nutrition is the answer?
One of the biggest errors weight loss seekers make today is to accept one philosophy completely or reject it completely, taking a side and “taking up arms” to defend their position without considering the alternatives.
Most of the weight loss philosophies being promoted today contain valid points, but as a whole, are a total mish-mash of truth, half-truths and lies.
That’s why, for over 20 years, I have literally turned myself into a human guinea pig in my search for a sensible and healthy method of permanent fat loss. I studied and then personally tested the ketogenic diet, the high-carb diet, low fat diet and nearly every other diet in between.
I found good points and bad points in all of them, many of which I have already revealed to you in this report.
I then compiled all the positive points of each fat loss method into a structured format, while discarding all the negatives. What emerged was nothing short of remarkable: An all-natural system that has allowed me to peak at a body fat level of 3.4% and to maintain my body fat at 9% or less all year round? without drugs, extreme diets, or unnecessary supplements. It’s worked for thousands of other people too.
If you would like to learn exactly what I discovered about permanent, natural fat loss from two decades of study and experimentation… and if you’d like to learn how it can help you escape the diet wars for good, and finally achieve the body you’ve always wanted, I encourage you to visit my fat loss web page at www.burnthefat.com and take a look for yourself.
Everything I Believed About Carbs Is Wrong
Similar to many, I carry extra weight in my midsection. Despite my Herculean efforts to crunch, plank, and cardio-blast away my excess abdominal fat, my belly remains. I like to refer to it as carrying a little extra love, at least on the days when I’m not being too hard on myself. Because let’s be real: Even when we do our best to love every curve and imperfection—they are great, and they do make us unique—some days those wobbly spots can feel like a real drag.
Everyone has a trouble section, and my stomach is mine. It’s something I’ve been insecure about since my childhood, and I’m still haunted by memories of sporting an oversize t-shirt at the beach when I wasn’t feeling brave enough to rock a bikini—which was always. That feeling has persisted, and even at 30 years old, an age I’ve dedicated to acceptance and self-love, I still have moments when I dread donning anything snug in the waist, let alone a bikini.
A Little Diet-Obsessed
It should come as no surprise that I’ve tried every trick in the book when it comes to whittling my middle and finding those flat abs. From rigorous workout regimens to all kinds of cleanses to pretty much every diet I’ve heard of… you name it, I’ve dabbled in it. These fat-burning tactics ranged from unsustainable and unsupported to simple and healthy(ish), but one trend lingered: eating low-carb.
A low-carb diet has many science-supported benefits and is often touted as one of most effective ways to minimize abdominal fat. Time and again, as I eagerly flipped through magazine pages and succumbed to ab-tastic clickbait—”You’ll never believe what this celebrity cut out for her best body EVER!”—I came to the same conclusion: Low-carb was the answer.
Like many failed dieters, I’ve started more diets than I can count. Atkins, Paleo, Whole30… While none are completely carb free, they do eliminate grains and legumes, two major—and arguably healthy—sources of carbohydrates. The Atkins diet even regulates servings of fruits and vegetables (also healthy carbs), as do some Paleo philosophies.
I was intrigued, intoxicated even, by the success stories about changing to a low-carb diet. It’s no wonder that even after multiple failures, I always went back for more. What’s not to love about the prospect of higher energy, greater mental clarity, and more confidence (which for me, would undoubtedly come from shedding a few pounds—preferably in my midsection)?
But there comes a time when you have to stop beating your head against a wall and admit defeat. In this case, that meant giving up on everything I believed about carbs.
For the Love of Carbs
Though I can definitely vouch for the fact that eating a low-carb diet encourages healthier eating habits—like snacking on veggies instead of reaching for processed, sugar-packed snacks—it has downsides too.
While eating high-fat, which often coincides with eating low-carb, works wonders for some, without the help of whole grains, my digestive system goes haywire. So much for less bloating! To take it a step further, and perhaps into TMI territory, when I drastically reduce carbohydrates, I also eliminate my body’s ability to eliminate (if you catch my drift). Cue excessive bloating, bouts of gas, and generally feeling like I belong in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade—though mentally, I feel even bigger than those floating monstrosities. And that backlog (sorry) ends up sapping my energy, spinning my mood into a downward tizzy, and, perhaps worst of all, makes me gain weight—a lot of it.
I’m also sick of being told that carbohydrates are the devil and that all bodily woes are cured by eating low-carb.
Now, I know what some of you are thinking: I’m just not doing it right. Perhaps that’s true, and perhaps there’s yet another way I could play with a low-carb diet to find just the right combination of fats, proteins, and produce. But quite frankly, I’m sick of trying and sick of not feeling good. I’m also sick of being told that carbohydrates are the devil and that all bodily woes are cured by eating low-carb.
Why Carbs Actually Rock
Let’s focus on the positives here. According to science, we got this going for us if we eat carbs:
- They help us fall asleep and stay asleep.
- They fuel us through busy days and heart-pumping workouts.
- They make us feel satiated and even alert. (Hello, power breakfast.)
- Complex carbohydrates, which are comprised of starches and dietary fibers, help keep the digestive track movin’ and groovin’.
- The body needs them—hence why they’re one of three macronutrients.
We hear it time and again, but the most important thing to remember when it comes to nutrition is that every bodyis different. While you may feel kickass riding the low-carb train, I don’t—which is why I will never cut them from my diet again.
That said, I am a big believer in moderation. And while I’m pro-eating that serving of grains, I’m not starting my day with a bagel, digging into pasta for lunch, and topping things off with pizza for dinner. Quality is incredibly important, as is making sure I’m eating a balanced diet, i.e. getting those greens and that protein too.
It’s easy to overdo it and overthink it—especially if you love eating like I do.
How I Make Carbs Work for Me
- Switch grain intake from the morning to the evening.
I’m a big fan of low-carb breakfasts and high-protein dinners with a serving of quinoa, farro, or brown rice. It helps me sleep like a baby, and when I wake up, my stomach is ready to go. We may be snoozing, but our bodies work incredibly hard overnight.
- Try to stick to the good stuff.
This means focusing on whole grains, like oats, brown rice, and quinoa. While I love bread, I know that gluten is difficult for me to digest, so I limit it much as I can. Another gluten-free favorite: sweet potato.
- Go lighter on low-activity days and heavier on the days you need some serious fuel.
On the days I don’t work out and am glued to my computer, I limit myself to one serving of fruit and 1/2 cup of grains (or a half of a sweet potato). On days where I’m running around town or powering through an actual run, I have a 1/2 cup of grains or sweet potato (or both) at lunch and dinner—and sometimes even breakfast! I feel better eating grains at night, but sometimes, I just can’t resist oatmeal.
I hate to be a broken record, but it’s all about finding out what works for you. If that’s eating low-carb, great! If that’s embracing the oat, great! Do you. Just make sure what you’re doing is actually you, and making you feel good.
And don’t believe everything you read. I continue to learn (the hard way) that what works for celebrities and the individuals writing their success stories doesn’t work for me. While it’s fun to try new things, ease into changes instead of going cold turkey on entire food groups. It’s easier to learn from trial and error when you’re taking baby steps as opposed to leaps of faith.
51 Celebrities That Follow A Low Carb Diet #51Scoops
Celebrities are always trying new diets and boasting the results that they’ve achieved. Low carb and ketogenic diets are this years “go-to” for Hollywood stars. Check out the list of well-known celebs who are going low carb!
1) Megan Fox
The mom of two detailed her restrictive diet. “I cut out all bread and those sort of carbohydrates. No crackers, no pretzels, no chips. Nothing unhealthy. The worst thing I put in my body is coffee, once a day. I don’t have any cheat days.”
2) Mick Jagger
The Rolling Stones front man, Mick Jagger gets satisfaction from the keto diet that could add years to his life.
3) Vanessa Hudgens
Vanessa Hudgen said no to carbs and joins a long list of Hollywood A-Lister’s going ketogenic. “No carbs. No dairy. No refined sugar. eating real foods. It’s honestly high-fat, high-protein. I think that we’ve been brainwashed to think that fat is bad, but really, it’s what going to make you feel fuller longer. And your body can burn it and use it as fuel.”
4) Adriana Lima
In 2010 Adriana Lima was eating almost no carbs and working out two hours every day in the weeks leading up to the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show to make sure her body was ready for the runway.
5) Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian’s dropped over 50-lb of baby weight on a ver restrictive low carb, ketogenic style diet that saw her eating less than 60 grams of carbs per day.
6) Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow is fit and fab at 44, thanks to a gluten free, low carb diet and regular yoga workouts.
7) Halle Berry
At 50 years of age Halle Berry has a figure enviable to women half her age. She credits the ketogenic diet for keeping her fit and works well with her diabetes. “The idea of it is you train your body to burn healthy fats and so I eat healthy fats all day long,” she told U.S. talk show Live! with Kelly and Ryan
8) Kourtney Kardashian
In June 2017 Kourtney Kardashian said, “I’m not going to sugarcoat it, this detox is difficult,” she says, adding that her goal has been to stay on the diet for 3 months.
9) Matthew McConaughey
McConaughey dialed his physique to another setting for Magic Mike. And he needed to considering he was topless for the majority of the film 😉
10) Melissa McCarthy
In April 2016 Melissa McCarthy added her name to the long list of celebrity transformations losing 75 pounds on a low carb diet.
11) Tim McGraw
Tim McGraw and his entire crew adjusted their diet after years on the road. Tim and Denny Hemingston lost over forty pounds each on a ketogenic-based Paleo diet.
12) Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez used to follow a vegan diet but now sticks to a mostly low-carb diet to stay tight and toned.
13) LeBron James
Basketball superstar LeBron James said he experienced drastic weight loss one summer while on a 67 day no carb, ketogenic style, Paleo diet.
14) Robin Wright
Robin Wright attributes her thin figure in House of Cards to the low carb Paleo diet.
15) Jessica Biel
In March 2017 Jessica Biel revealed even she has cheat days saying “Okay, so we’ll have to keep the sweets and French fries for our 80/20 method, aka cyclical ketosis, enabled cheat days”.
Eating less bread and pasta like Madonna could have amazing health benefits.
17) Drew Carey
When Drew Carey dropped 100 pounds in 10 months back in 2010 the rumors started flying. Was it surgery or a new magical weight loss pill? No. In fact, it was the fact that Drew changed his thinking around eating. He was enjoying a typical American diet high in saturated fats and processed carbs. When Carey started eating carb free foods the results were incredible.
18) Kobe Bryant
Former NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant knows how important energy and mental states are, which is why he decided to get serious about his diet. In fact, most of the Lakers team actually followed his meal plan which involved scaling down his carbohydrate intake.
19) Jack Osbourne
Jack Osbourne has credited a low carb ketogenic-style Paleo diet for helping him manage his multiple sclerosis and fueling his 70-pound weight loss.
20) Renee Zellweger
It was said in December 2014 that Renee Zellweger has had success with the low carb diet.
21) Cindy Crawford
The model for over 30 years still wows at 50 with low-carb diet & yoga workouts.
22) Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston’s anti-aging beauty and fitness secrets are a low carb diet, yoga, cardio exercise and careful skincare.
23) Guy Sebastian
The ketogenic diet is the what Guy Sebastian followed to look ripped on the cover of Men’s Health Australia.
24) Elle Macpherson
Elle Macpherson credits her low-carb, alkaline diet for her super fit physique and her ageless appearance.
25) Courteney Cox
As part of her low carb diet, Cox eats plenty of protein, including steak, chicken and fish while avoiding fruit.
26) Catherine Zeta Jones
Jones used a low carb eating plan in order to help her shed the excess weight after giving birth. This diet along with exercise made it possible for her to be back on screen in record time looking better than ever.
27) Geri Halliwell
With the help of a low carb diet and plenty of yoga, Geri lost a great deal of weight to keep her slim figure.
28) Ben Affleck
Among the other hollywood stars to go low carb when slimming down for a role is Ben Affleck. Ben was known to favor low carb foods whilst shaping up for his role in Pearl Harbor.
29) Kelly Osbourne
After losing 7-pounds Kelly Osbourne has kept the weight off by following a low carb diet and working out every day.
30) Mark Sisson
Mark Sisson follows a low carb “Primal” based diet and talks about it on his blog Mark’s Daily Apple.
31) Sharon Osbourne
In 2014, Osbourne attributed her 30-pound weight loss in 6 weeks to the low-carb ketogenic-style Atkins diet.
32) Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan follows a low carb, ketogenic based diet which he talks about regularly on his podcast. In Febuary 2016 he said this on his Facebook page, ‘So the latest update on this wacky diet I’m on – I’m about 2 weeks or so in, and I love it’.
33) Brendan Schaub
This former UFC fighter turned comedian has adopted a ketogenic lifestyle, eating very low carbohydrates and high amounts of healthy fats.
34) Shane Watson
Australian cricketer Shane Watson eats an Low-Carb, High-Fat diet to stay in top physical condition.
35) Tim Ferris
Tim Ferris, Author of the 4 hour work week follows a Keto Diet.
36) Jessica Simpson
Jessica dropped 70 pounds following her tow pregnancies. Her weight loss secrets were a low-carb diet and rigorous exercise.
37) Rosie O’Donnell
Comedian Rosie O’Donnell, who was pre-diabetic before her gastric sleeve surgery said she tries to follow a low-carb, sugar-free diet. She admits kicking her sugar addiction remains a daily struggle.
38) Lindsey Vonn
In 2015, Lindsey Vonn said, “I eat bacon and avocados, and I own butter. You know, just eat a lot of fat.”
39) Alyssa Milano
The 5-foot-2 Milano slimmed down from 172 pounds to 126 pounds with a low-carb, ketogenic-style Atkins diet.
40) Kendra Wilkinson
Kendra Wilkinson lost 55 pounds in just five months thanks to the ketogenic atkins diet.
41) Tim Noakes
South African physician Tim Noakes, one of the world’s greatest sports scientists, has been preaching an ultra-low-carb, high-fat diet as the key to fitness and health.
42) Christina Aguilera
Christina Aguilera shed 42 pounds in 3 months on a low carb diet and regular yoga workouts after the birth of her second child.
43) Britney Spears
If you want to get a body like Britney, it is possible – just think of how far she has come through consistent hard work. Try some yoga and a low-carb diet to lose weight and tone your body.
44) Joe Manganiello
Joe Manganiello credits the low carb, paleo style diet and Crossfit workouts to his rugged physique. “When I’m training for ‘True Blood,’ I don’t eat any sugar except for some fruit here and there. So it’s no sugar, no bread, no real carbs all day,” he said.
45) Tom Kerridge
Star chef Tom Kerridge lost 150 pounds when he changed his diet from beer, and burgers to a more low carb style of eating. Ditching anything sugary and starchy for meat, fish, eggs, nuts , dairy and veggies.
46) Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba maintains her hot bikini body with a low-carb diet and CrossFit workouts.
47) Mariah Carey
Mariah swapped the carbs out of her diet. Her new diet focused more on seafood for protein. In a 2008 interview with Oprah.com she revealed the contents of her fridge which featured swordfish and baked clam dishes
48) Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton, the decision to halt a vegan lifestyle and choose a Paleo-style low-carb high protein diet occurred when his wife Hillary introduced him to Dr. Mark Hyman.
49) Tobey McGuire
Keeping active is one of Tobey’s secrets, while his low carb diet is adapted to accommodate the look of the different characters that he plays.
50) Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson dropped 80 pounds as a weight watchers spokesman but also went the extra mile to remove carbs from her diet. “I made sure when I felt the need to eat something crunchy I ate nuts instead and stayed away from the carbs.”
51) Shania Twain
Country superstar Shania Twain credits a low-carb vegetarian diet, yoga and Pilates workouts for her age-defying body at age 51.