May the Thanksgiving season find you counting your blessings and NOT your calories!!
For some of us we have lived a lifetime of hearing: “To lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more.” “Balance calories in with calories out.” “Move more, eat less.” “A calorie is a calorie.”
Conventional dietary advice for controlling weight simply isn’t working and is not true. All calories are far from equal. For example, 1,000 calories of baked goods are not the same as 1,000 calories of meat, vegetables or olive oil. When it comes to calories, forget about counting them at all!
So what should you count? Carbohydrates!!!
Carbohydrates from sources of grains are particularity dangerous. Grain consumption stimulates the appetite, causing you to feel hungry all the time – some of us would even say hangry. Grains spike blood sugar levels, and what goes up must come down. Blood sugar highs are inevitably followed by blood sugar lows with shakiness, mental cloudiness, and hunger, a cycle that sets the grain-consumer in an endless hunt for food all day long. A constant blood sugar roller coaster. When we live the Wheat Belly or Undoctored lifestyle we aim to keep blood sugars steady by focusing on net carbs.
We follow this simple rule: Never exceed 15 grams net carbohydrates per meal. We calculate net carbs by the following simple equation:
NET CARBS = TOTAL CARBS – FIBER
By exceeding 15 gram net carbs per meal, it turns off your ability to lose weight for that entire day, as well as delay any hope of reversing high blood sugars and insulin resistance. Here are four tips for managing carbs:
- Limit fruit. Choose fruit with the least carbohydrate content and greatest nutritional value. Berries of all varieties are a low-carb choice. Ripe bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and grapes are higher in carbs. Eat them in very small quantities, if at all, since their sugar content is similar to that of candy.
- Avoid fruit juices. As with fruit, be very careful with fruit juices. You’d do best to avoid juices altogether. If you must drink fruit juice, drink only real, 100% juice and only in minimal quantities (no more than 2 to 4 ounces per meal), as the sugar content is too high.
- Limit dairy products. Be aware of the carb content in dairy. Remember: fat is not the problem, we choose full fat dairy in this lifestyle. We limit dairy because of the lactose sugar content and the peculiar ability of the whey protein to provoke insulin which can impair weight loss and encourage insulin resistance.
- Limit legumes, cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes, and yams. In general, don’t eat more than 1/4 cup of any of these foods per meal. Including some of these foods can be important, for bowel health: especially beans, hummus. lentils and RAW (not cooked) white potatoes.
Focus on fats
One of the most common mistakes people make in the Wheat Belly or Undoctored lifestyle is to remain fearful of fats. They continue to hold onto old misconceptions such as “fats raise cholesterol,” or “fat causes heart disease,” or “fats are calorie-dense and therefore make you fat.” None of this is true, no more true than “healthy whole grains” are a key to overall health.
Getting sufficient fat in your meal is satiating, curbs cravings and eliminates impulsive eating behaviors. Here are some strategies that can help you get more fat:
- Buy fatty cuts of meat–Ribeye steak, for example, over sirloin tip. T-bone and skirt steak are moderately fatty. When buying ground meat, don’t buy the lean (e.g., 90% or 95% lean); buy the fattiest you can find (70% lean). And remember, don’t trim the fat off your meat, eat it!
- Save the fats/oils from cooking meat–If you prepare uncured bacon or other meats, save the oils and store in a jar in the refrigerator to use for cooking. You will appreciate the deeper flavors they provide over, say, something bland and awful oxidation-prone like corn oil. You can also purchase lard and tallow, but be sure they have not been hydrogenated.
- Use more butter and oil– Slather everything in butter or ghee! Butter is among the least problematic forms of dairy, as it is mostly fat. Cook in butter and good oils and add more after cooking. Choose olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. We also avoid mixed vegetable oils, corn, soybean, canola, safflower, sunflower and grapeseed oils (as they are high omega-6).
- Eat more avocados–With around 30 grams of fat in an average-sized avocado, you can get a nice wallop just by eating one . . . or two. Avocados added to your smoothie will thicken it substantially while providing a healthy dose of fat.
Enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season!!
From Dr. Davis and the Wheat Belly and Undoctored Team