Low-carb diets – do they work and should you follow one if you love carbs? Read on as I tackle this question and more in part 2 of my interview with abs expert, Scott Colby.
Did you miss part 1? Find out what advice I gave Scott when it comes to eliminating fat from the body.
Scott Colby: Let’s get to our next question. It’s from Menar from Jordan – I hope I pronounced it right. It says, “Hello, how are you? Hope you had a merry Christmas. I LOVE carbs, and this is my problem. Is being on a low-carb diet the SOLUTION for me? Thanks a lot.”
Craig Ballantyne: Absolutely not.
I mean that’s just not gonna work, if you like carbohydrates and you think you’re gonna go on a low-carbohydrate diet. I mean really what you should do is try and eat ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day. That’s gonna fill you up. That’s also gonna give you some of that sweetness from the fruits. So I would say probably five fruits, five vegetables, so it’s a total of ten servings. I mean everybody that’s listening to this call should be getting ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
And large apples can be two servings, so don’t be overwhelmed by when I say ten servings, because it’s really not as much as most people think. But we need to be getting more, and then really you just need to look for foods. Read the ingredient list.
There’s even HIGH PROTEIN PASTAS.
I’ve been consuming a lot of those. Beans, legumes, lentils, that type of stuff. Other carbohydrate sources. But I really don’t think that personality-wise you are suited for a low-carbohydrate diet if you like carbohydrates. And I think maybe the truth is you like eating sugar and stuff, and that has to be eliminated from every diet down to that 10 percent category if you wanna lose body fat.
So get the sweetness from fruits, and that’s fine. But added sugar, you should not have any processed foods. So I think that’s really important to understand is that what are you really saying when you say you like carbohydrates? Is it that you like sugar, or that you like bread? Bread is fine in some cases. I mean I wouldn’t eat a whole loaf of bread in a day, but if you wanna have a sandwich with almond butter that’s certainly okay.
CALORIES IN, CALORIES OUT – I know that’s another one of the questions we’re gonna talk about in a bit – is still a fairly large component of weight loss, no matter what people are saying, and trying to minimize the calories in, calories out.
It still is a very important component – mostly the calories in. So high fiber bread with almond butter, that’s gonna fill you up a lot more than the bowl of breakfast cereal that we talked about and a cup of milk. And you’re probably gonna have more calories in that cereal and milk, but not have that long-term suppression of appetite. You’re gonna be hungry by mid-morning.
But high fiber bread plus almond butter plus one piece of fruit, you’re gonna get through the morning a lot BETTER than with the breakfast cereal, and probably on fewer calories.
So overall I think go back to what we said in the first answer, is to use a FOOD JOURNAL.Write down everything that you’re eating for at least seven days. Use FitDay. Continue to use a food journal if possible.
Men’s Health magazine back in their February 2009 issue talked about a study that showed that people who use a food log lost 3 ½ pounds more than people that didn’t use a food log over a 12-week period. So that’s IMPORTANT.
Drinking lots of fluids, lots of water – water, green tea, no-calorie fluids – to minimize any hunger that’s really just thirst. Some people say, “You’re not really hungry, you’re thirsty; have an extra couple of cups of water.”
Having soups, vegetable-based soups before your meals, that’s also research-shown to reduce calorie intake. So vegetable soup, that’s gonna help contribute to your ten servings per day. But if you have a vegetable soup before you have your lunch and before you have your dinner, you’re gonna cut your calories.
As I mentioned, there’s a lot of high protein like what people would traditionally call carbohydrate foods. There’s pastas that I’ve been using recently – there’s spelt pasta and there’s another one called kamut pasta – K-A-M-U-T. And the kamut one actually is really good for people that have gluten insensitivity, because it does contain gluten, but for some reason a certain kind that doesn’t cause problems in people who are insensitive.
And it’s 15 grams of protein per serving, and so people are always worried about on a non-meat or non-animal-product diet how they’re gonna get protein. I know we’re gonna talk about that as well. But if you have that, you’re gonna have 15 grams in a single serving, plus you’re gonna get some other type of protein in that meal, I’m sure, whether you’re going to have cheese in it or whether you’re going to have meat in it as well. Clearly you’re gonna get plenty of protein from that, but also you’re gonna get protein from your legumes that you may have with it. Or you may have vegetable soup with legumes – that type of stuff, so plenty of options there.
I’m just going through as many of the nutrition things so we cover them kind of in this question.
Another thing I want people to do is they SCHEDULE that reward meal once per week, but then if they really want advanced results they stick to that 90 percent.
We remove all the sugar and trans fats from our diet, and you talked about a couple of those foods, which are gonna be the processed packaged foods. The ones that have a lot of ingredients are gonna probably have more sugar and trans fats in them, so remove that.
And then another thing I want people to do is take three or four minutes and just write down every nutrition obstacle that’s in the way of their week.And then in addition to every one of those obstacles, write down two solutions.
So for example, every Wednesday you might have a long meeting, all afternoon from 1:00 till 5:00, and then you immediately have to go and take your child to a sporting activity or some type of after-school activity. And so you really don’t have any chance to eat from 1:00 until 8:00. Or you might just go to a vending machine or something. So that’s an obstacle.
Now the SOLUTIONS of course are to make sure that you PLAN AHEAD and you have an apple and almonds for while you’re commuting between work and the activity.
So you’re planning ahead – that’s just one solution. You may have another solution. You may say, “Okay, I’m gonna take all these vegetables and some hummus, and that’s gonna be my other solution. So if I don’t have the ingredients for one of those solutions I’m gonna have the ingredients for the other.” And just come up with every single obstacle in your way and two solutions – problems are solved.
And make sure you plan shopping. Prepare preferably one day on the weekend where you have lots of time and you can go to the grocery store. Make a list. Get it.
Prepare as much as you can, chopping stuff up, etc., cooking stuff in advance, and that will help you get through those tough times.
So again, a long answer to a question – went off on a tangent there a bit. But I want to cover a lot of this stuff as soon as possible, so that everyone heard it and can apply it to their questions, which we’re gonna answer in a couple minutes as well.
Scott Colby: Awesome – good stuff, Craig. One suggestion I gave on my blog a few weeks ago – actually kind of a light-hearted suggestion, but it would actually work – is to keep an ingredient journal for like a day or two.
So instead of just writing down your foods, write down all the ingredients you eat. So if you eat the nice, whole, natural foods that Craig is suggesting, your food list and your ingredient list is gonna be the same. Apple, eggs, nuts, things like that. But if you’re eating all these boxed foods, your arm’s gonna fall off trying to write down those ingredients, but it’s a REAL GOOD EYE-OPENER.
If you do write down an ingredient that you’re eating, it’s an eye-opener to see everything that you’re putting in your body. And hopefully if you just see it down in writing, that’ll make you change some of your habits as well. Very cool.
People have a tendency to think they are eating well, but is your nutrition as good as you think?