I have so many patients struggling with weight loss and being postpartum myself, I'm always looking for tips and tricks on how to make weight loss less frustrating and difficult. From post-menopausal women who cannot get their bodies back, to 30-something men with a few more pounds on their waists than they would like - I get asked everyday to help patients lose weight.
In my readings and research I've come to a final conclusion - carbs cannot be a major part of your diet if you want to lose weight or keep weight off. In Gary Taubes, Why We Get Fat, he gives an in-depth review of the literature and presents a powerful biochemical argument for a low carbohydrate diet. The biochemistry shows us that carbohydrates (especially processed, white, sugary ones) provoke insulin secretion. Insulin produces an effect in our body that causes sugars to be turned into fats and fats to be stored in fat cells. Meanwhile, we become hungrier because the fat gets trapped in those cells and we do not have fuel available to us in our bloodstream to power our muscles and brain - so we eat more carbohydrates - and the cycle continues!
The solution? Cut the carbs. I know you love your cereal. I get that pizza is your favorite splurge. I understand that chocolate is a daily treat. But, I'm telling you like it is - carbs cause you to get fat and carbs prevent you from losing weight. If you've tried to cut calories, you've tried to exercise, you've "tried everything!" - well this is what you have to do.
When you eliminate all processed carbohydrates from your diet (pasta - including whole wheat, rice, crust, dough, bread, crackers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, desserts, potato chips, french fries, sugary sauces, sugar-infused processed foods) and replace them with protein, fats, and non-starchy vegetables (or if you absolutely must, a low-glycemic-index carbohydrate like quinoa or brown rice), you WILL start to see the pounds come off.
Some patients keep them off by keeping with this new lifestyle change and others slowly trial adding back one carbohydrate favorite at a time. But, for many, like alcohol & drug addiction, carb-addiction means cutting them out for good. Sugar promotes addictive responses in our brains just like drugs & alcohol - just watch a 2 year old with a cupcake and you'll understand. But, the key is you do not have to calorie restrict or feel hungry all the time. I don't advocate counting calories or measuring exercise. I believe a diet full of whole foods (eat what you can get on a farm!) is the key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. And, if you're not sure what to do or how to do it, we can help.
Dr. Mark Turshen MD and Dr. Lauren Hedde DO are accepting new patients at their Direct Doctors family practice in North Kingstown (Wickford), Rhode Island. Direct Doctors is an innovative primary care practice emphasizing an improved doctor-patient relationship. Drs. Hedde and Turshen offer 24/7 access, no waiting, same day visits, home visits, and a doctor who knows YOU well! If you are frustrated with “fast-food”, “cookie-cutter” health care, Direct Doctors may be just the prescription for you. Check out the Direct Doctors difference at www.directdoctors.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 401-400-2699
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.