Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year's Perspective on Low Carb

The holidays provided a challenge: stay on a low carb diet and jolly at the same time. Tis' the season. Now that the toughest days are over, it is time to gear up for a low carb New Year. Ring in 2010 with a plan to stay on plan. Begin on January
1st, 2010 and continue throughout the year. The results on January 1st of 2011 will be worth the effort.

1. Set your carb limit based on your body, your health, and your beliefs. In the book, Protein Power, Dr. Eades shows you how to calculate the carbs you need for your body to run efficiently. My personal carb limit is 20 a day. If I start to creep over 20, my blood sugar begins to creep up. Some people can handle a little more, and some need less.

2. Make your carbs healthy carbs. Healthy isn't on the back of a cardboard box or plastic wrapper. Healthy is in the vegetable section of your grocer (or better yet, the farmer's market). Healthy comes from the Earth. It isn't altered with chemicals. It isn't man made. Healthy carbs come in the form of low glycemic vegetables and fruit.

3. Create a weekly menu. If you take the time to sit down and plan, chances are you will follow through with your plan. Think through your week. Do you need to take Chris to scouts or ball practice? Does Mindy have ballet? Does hubby have to work late this week? These are the kinds of things you should anticipate while planning. And don't forget to plan for breakfast and lunch. Always have a backup, emergency plan for when things go awry (and they will). Planning a menu will also save you money. When you go grocery shopping you will have a list (and surely you will eat before you go), and stick to your list. Peruse your grocery store fliers (you can do that online these days) to see who has sales on meat. This type of planning is effective cost cutting in a tough economy. It will also save your hips from that emergency candy bar from the vending machine. After you've created several weeks worth of menus, you can cycle through them. Time up front will save you time in the long run.

4. It's time to start back on the exercise plan as well. Fitness centers run lots of specials this time of year, giving you the opportunity to shop around. If you can't afford a gym, pick up an exercise dvd or try Jorge Cruise's 8 Minutes in the Morning (avoid his carby diet plan).

5. Cut the diet sodas and add back water. If you were like me, you probably hit the caffeine harder during the stressful holidays. It's time to dump the diet drinks and pour a glass of ice cold water. It's the Earth's greatest diet drink and it's free (well, sort of).

If you need a little motivation, check out the following books:

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