Talking Health with Dr. Carter

March 22, 2013

weigh inTime to weigh in (part 3)

In a fully functioning body, leptin sends signals to the brain that reduce hunger, increase fat burning, and reduce fat storage. Surprisingly, this hormone is produced by our fat (white adipose tissue). That’s right. That stuff we think we don’t want is not inert. Although it does serve as padding, insulation, and fuel storage, that’s just the beginning.

This week we continue to look at resensitize ourselves to leptin as well as to insulin and adrenaline as we achieve our “right weight”, by using the 3 most popular diet methods by Doctors Richard, Richard, and Rosedale.

4.) Reduce the amount of carbs eaten. Here we begin to see the parting of the ways in the two plans. The Richards recommend that you cut back on starchy and sugary carbs, not cut them out. Oppositely, Rosedale’s plan is to avoid them altogether for the first 3 weeks.

This may seem unnecessarily strict, but the truth is that Americans eat double the amount of carbs that the body can metabolize. Too many carbohydrates confuse the natural ebb and flow of leptin. For example, too many carbs at lunch can cause ravishing hunger at dinner. More importantly, an excess of carbs keeps the body from going to its fat reserves for energy, which is how we got into this overweight problem in the first place. Plus, excess carbs are easily stored as fat.

Dr. Carter

Dr. Carter

The Richards don’t concur with eliminating dense carbs altogether.

Saying that when an insufficient amount of carbohydrates is eaten, fat is not burned efficiently and one is dissatisfied after eating, they recommend a “50/50 technique”. Have a palm size piece of protein and match it with a starch. In other words, when eating a meat or other protein food, eat about the same size serving of bread, rice, potatoes, fruit, or dessert. (If you are going to eat dessert, skip the heavy starches in the meal- bread, rice, potato. Otherwise, have only a bite of dessert.)

When you read their books, you will find that Dr. Rosedale does allow a very low carb sprout bread which is helpful.

Otherwise starchy carbs and certainly sugary foods are a big no-no for the first 3 weeks of his plan. Rosedale reminds his followers that his diet is a high good fat diet (avocados, nuts, olives, olive and coconut oils), and he supplies great recipes. The first 2-4 weeks put your body into transition, ‘unlearning’ how to bum sugar and ‘leaming’ how to bum fat. He adds, “Once this transition happens, you’ll notice your hunger decrease and your energy will skyrocket. The transition period may vary, but EVERYONE gets better, no exceptions.”

Although carbs are essential, this need does not have to be satisfied by starchy carbs – as anybody who has ever experimented with Atkins knows. Both plans include all the non-starchy veggies you want.

Here is an easy way to determine if your daily carb intake is too high. Weigh in before breakfast and then again before you go to bed. Compare. If you weigh over two pounds more than your morning weight – and you have followed Rules 1-4 – then, you’ve eaten too many carbs that day.

5.) Eat 3-4 meals a day and do not snack or eat carb free meals and snack when hungry. Here is the Great Divide. The Richards prefer that you eat 3 meals, one every 5-6 hours. (They relent for those of us who can’t do that and we eat every 4 hours.) They point out that grazing is counterproductive to having our goal weight. This is because during the first three hours after a meal, insulin is in charge of storing the calories from the food we have eaten. They point out that even low calorie snacks stimulate insulin release (not to mention that waiting an hour after a meal to eat dessert creates a huge insulin surge). In this case, fat burning either ceases or never gets started in the first place.

But what about non-insulin stimulating snacks? Rosedale points out that hunger is the greatest human drive and that one must eat when hungry. He then directs us to eat very low glycemic snacks, so insulin doesn’t get started in the first place. Nuts of all kinds, olives, avocados, veggies like celery, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower eaten with nut butters or dip are very satisfying and help break the sugar craving cycle.