Tips & Tricks of the Trade

If you have decided to try lowcarb eating, congratulations! Itís your first step on the way to optimal health. However, you should do some research before you begin so you know what to expect and can be better prepared for some of the challenges. Yes, there will be challenges. But, after 2-3 weeks your cravings should be gone, you should have tons of energy, and youíll probably be sleeping better and in a better overall mood. There are tons of other tips to lowcarbing but these are a few of the ones I think are important.

Tip #1 - Read a book! I know this sounds ridiculously simple but it is very important. Many people think they can just read some info off the net and start lowcarbing but itís really best to read about the principals behind it so you understand whatís happening and why. Iíve read many of the lowcarb books and I would recommend reading these three; The Schwarzbein Principal; Dr. Atkinsí New Diet Revolution; and Protein Power Lifeplan. Between these three books, youíll be well armed with the hows and whys of lowcarbing and have a better chance of seeing it through.

Tip #2 - Visit a support community online to help with questions not answered in the books. This should possibly be tip #1 because without the support and advice I got from the posters on, I donít know if I would have lasted long enough to actually make this a healthy lifestyle. There are many bulletin boards on the net but is my favorite. And no, theyíre not paying me to say that!

Tip #3 - DRINK YOUR WATER! I canít tell you how many people underestimate the value of water not only on this woe (way of eating) but in general. The vast majority of people on this earth walk around in a state of mild dehydration most of the time and donít even know it. A popular formula for how much water to drink is half your weight in ounces. Myself, I think more is required unless you weigh 400 pounds. In that case, 200oz is probably plenty! Iím not a doctor nor an expert in water consumption but I think generally healthy people trying to loose weight should shoot for a gallon a day. I usually drink between a gallon and 150oz. each day.

Tip #4 - Donít drink alcohol for AT LEAST the first month. Your body will burn alcohol before it burns anything else for energy so, if you drink, you will be robbing yourself of fat-burning. Not worth it in my opinion. Sure, after you get into the ďgrooveĒ of lowcarb, have a drink now and then if you want but be careful not to have too much as it can stall people. Even just drinking one day a week can wreak havoc with your weight loss efforts.

Tip #5 - Watch out for the protein bars and lc chocolate. I know many people like the convenience and/or the ďtreatĒ of having them but just remember, they contain various sugar alcohols (sorbitol, maltitol, etc.) that for many people, act just like sugar in the body. Especially to us lowcarbers. We eat very small amounts of sugar/starch so we are extra sensitive. Some people are also very sensitive to glycerine.

Tip #6 - READ LABELS! You will be both shocked and dismayed to find out exactly how many products, foods, packaged treats, etc. have added sugar. Things you never think about such as ketchup, salad dressing, cough drops, cough syrup, etc. Reading labels must become second nature. Also, watch out for other names for sugar such as fructose, corn syrup, honey, dextrose, maltose, and juice concentrates. The closer to first on the ingredient list, the more it has.

Tip #7 - EXPERIMENT WITH FOOD! Creativity in the kitchen is one of the keys to making this woe fun. How can you be bored making dishes like mushrooms in garlic, zucchini lasagna, or salmon with lemongrass cream sauce? Donít be afraid to try new things and use ingredients that youíve never tried before. Youíll be surprised at what you may discover you like.

Tip #8 - Donít expect too much. Most people enjoy a large loss at first but that usually slows to a moderate pace after the first couple of weeks. Donít get discouraged. Thatís just how it works. Some people lose 10 pounds a month easily and others (like me) usually only do about 5. Whatever pace your body sets, just roll with it. Fighting it only makes things more difficult.

Tip #9 - Take your measurements the morning you begin. Trust me on this one! There will be times when the scale doesnít move or, it only goes down a pound or two in a month but you will have lost an inch from your waist and another inch from your hips. Never go by just the scale. Always measure yourself.

Tip #10 - EXPECT A STALL! It happens to almost everyone so donít panic. I stalled (or should I say ďpausedĒ) for three weeks after induction. It drove me crazy but I stuck with it and finally started losing again. Have faith in it. It WILL pan out.