Hello everyone, looks like my “Low Carb Diet” post was very popular. That means two things. One is that people are reading my blog, and I thank y’all. Did I just write y’all? Yes I did. Anyways, I thank y’all, because I know you’re busy with your careers and families, for finding time to read my blog.
The second thing it means: people struggle with carbs. Remember, I am not suggesting that you not consume carbs. Humans need carbs for energy, but it is the over indulgence of carbs, especially the processed sugar and flour type, that wrecks our inch trimming dieting efforts. So today I will answer two questions from some readers regarding cutting back on carbs.
The first question is from Suraya. Hello Suraya. Her question is “How do you resist carbs at parties and outings?” This is a tough one because what do we do at parties and outings? Well not everyone, but most of us, we drink alcohol. And what does consuming alcohol do? It raises insulin levels, insulin levels then plummet, and then we’re hungry, so we eat anything in site, but preferably carbs because the body instinctively knows carbs will bring your insulin levels back up. The human body does not like the feeling of low blood sugar levels.
Suraya, if possible, eat something at home, before you leave to attend your social function. I don’t care if it’s a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of milk, eat something. Eating before you go to a social function may seem counter productive, but it is not.
First, because you have had something to eat, you won’t be driving to wherever it is you are going to, with food on your mind. This is to a dieter’s advantage. When dieting, you never want to let yourself get super-duper hungry. (On the hunger scale, super-duper hungry is a shade under ravenous.) And then when you arrive at your social function, you won’t be ready to eat everything and anything in sight like a high school football player after a game. The second thing eating at home before you leave to your social function does, is that it does not leave you at the mercy of eating whatever they serve at the social function like adult beverages, potato salad, chips, pizza, cookies, some pasta stuff, or whatever (all carbs, by the way).
If you eat at home before your social function or outing, you can then go to the social function, have some adult drinks if you like, eat something there, just enough to not offend the host but not enough to offend your waistline, and then, when the function is done or you’re bored with all the adult empty talk and gossip, you can take your healthy butt back home, and eat something that you want to eat, is not loaded with carbs and sugar, and will help you stay trim. Got that? This puts all the control of the type of foods you consume on you, and not on a social function, it’s host, and their budget and food preferences. (I once went to a social gathering hosted by cash strapped vegans. I left hungrier and weighing less than when I arrived.)
I follow my own advice too, not all of the time though, like divorced marriage counselors and foul-mouthed nuns.
My wife and I go to baseball games, carnivals, football games from Pop Warner to the pro level, to visit friends, and other social outings. I prefer outdoor social events with possible escape routes, or indoor gatherings where the people are familiar enough to not need an escape plan. Being in a room full of adult strangers with their customary nosy questions (y-a-w-n, like a bored old dog) is just not my thing. I know, the previous statement was TMI and so is the following. I wear briefs, oh well.
Other than if we are going to a restaurant, I almost always have something to eat before I leave the house so I won’t be super-duper hungry when we arrive wherever it is we are going. Even if I just have a snack, an apple or something, it calms the hunger so that when I do arrive at the baseball stadium I won’t have a burger, fries, funnel cake, peanuts, and some harmless ice cream. I have learned that if I show up hungry anywhere, I will effing grub like a lion who hasn’t had a successful hunt in over a week! And so will you. It’s ok, we are human, and humans are designed to eat. We don’t run on batteries. If we did, chocolate covered ones would be my favorite. For now, I will settle for chocolate covered pretzels.
Ok, on to the next “carb” question. This one comes from my good friend Darth Vargas. What up Darth? Darth says he struggles so much with cutting back on flour (bread), that only if I put him on a deserted island, with fishing poles, bait, and water, could he not eat flour for 100 days. (I added the fishing poles and bait part because I couldn’t leave Darth on an island without some crucial survival equipment.) Thanks for your honesty Darth. Oh yeah, he wants to know if I have any recommendations for stopping or curbing bread cravings because when he tries to cut flour out, he craves it even more.
Yes, it is true that when you eliminate something from your diet that you obviously enjoy, you will crave it because in order to cut it out you actually have to think of not eating or drinking it. Just like when smokers quit, they have to think of NOT having that cigarette. And for many smokers and quitting smokers, just thinking of a nicotine stick makes them crave it. It makes sense. So if you are one of those folks that craves the foods and drinks you are trying to reduce or eliminate, like bread, ice cream, pizza, sodas, and alcohol, don’t feel bad, because everyone craves those foods and drinks too. And just like you, people especially crave them when they are trying to cut back on them. We are all in this together.
Ok Darth, sounds like with a person like you, I would have to meet you and your cravings half way. Let’s say you were my client, and you came to me and said “Hector, I am working out and eating clean as best as I can, but this no flour thing is effing hard. What can I do?” I would charter a skydiving plane, fly us over some deserted island out by Fiji somewhere and push you out of the plane, with a parachute of course, and your backpack full of fishing gear, bait, and water. I would return to save you in 100 days and see if you stayed away from flour for the whole 100 days. I’m just keeeeding. I would only leave you there for 30 days.
Seriously though, I would have you make a list of all the flour products you consume, and I do mean ALL OF THEM, and then we would eliminate as many as possible, within reason.
Let’s say that here and there you have pizza and pasta. You know, that harmless “I only eat that once in a while” claim people love to make, including me. I would have you eliminate those “once in a while” flour foods that you know you can absolutely commit to eliminating, but I would allow you a certain amount of flour products per week or day. I would say “Darth, Monday is no flour day for you. You are going to work, be with your family, workout, and then eat healthy and clean, like I know you can, minus the flour. Then Tuesday you can have some bread for lunch or dinner. Preferably 2 pieces or so and not in the form of a big ass restaurant basket of bread. (But those damn restaurant breads are so good, aren’t they? Especially when they’re fresh out of the oven.) Wednesdays are no flour days again, just vegetables, clean carbs, and good healthy protein..” so on and so on. With someone like you, Darth, I would pick just certain days for you not to have flour products. That way, in the back of your mind you know you will have flour the next day, or on the weekend, or whatever. Pick your flour battles and cut back here and there on flour products you know you don’t have to consume, but do anyways.
Sounds like the crappy-carb curbing attack consists of some choices, and strong discipline within those choices. Where art thou, ever so elusive discipline? Oh yeah, the Shaolin Monks took it all.