Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Take *THAT* South Beach!

I have been battling an extra 15 to 20 pounds for the past two years. I've tried the South Beach diet (aside from being expensive, I have enough health issues without taking on the "South Beach Flu" that comes with carb withdrawal), portion control (I just eat small portions of too many foods) and the 11-Day Diet that mixes foods up in an effort to speed up your metabolism (all fruit day is okay, but all veggie day sucks).

I like food. Period. I eat well overall. That's a big rationalizing statement, I know. I have cookies in my pantry and frozen yogurt in my freezer. I also have lots of lean meat and fresh fruits and veggies.

One reason for my battle of the bulge is stress. My gastroenterologist told me about something called cortisol. It's called the stress hormone. It can do good things, like mimic hydrocortisone and help reduce inflammation.

It also causes you -- or more specifically, ME -- to gain wait around the middle. The doctor as much as told me that until my stress levels drop, I can eat a proper diet and exercise and I'm still going to have trouble losing this spare tire.

So I've concentrated on those lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies and limited amounts of complex carbohydrates (except for those cookies and frozen yogurt, but a gal's entitled to SOME fun, isn't she?).

Now I read online that certain carbs can actually help you lose weight. OH HAPPY DAY!

I'm going to quote the article in full and to give credit where credit is due, the original article can be found here.

Eating a diet packed with the right kind of carbs is the little-known secret to getting and staying slim for life.

When we talk about the right kind of carbs, we mean Resistant Starch. Hundreds of studies conducted at respected universities and research centers have shown Resistant Starch—such as grains, beans, and legumes—helps you eat less, burn more calories, feel more energized and less stressed, and lower cholesterol.

Sound too good to be true? Here are eight evidence-based reasons you must get carbs back in your life if you are ever to achieve that coveted sleek, slim look.

Eating carbs makes you thin for lifeA recent multi-center study found that the slimmest people also ate the most carbs, and the chubbiest ate the least. The researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs make up to 64% of your total daily caloric intake, or 361 grams.

That's the equivalent of several stuffed baked potatoes (a food we bet you've been afraid to eat for decades).

Most low-carb diets limit you to fewer than 30% of total calories from carbs and sometimes contain as few as 30 grams of carbohydrates a day.

Carbs fill you upMany carb-filled foods act as powerful appetite suppressants. They're even more filling than protein or fat. These special carbs fill you up because they are digested more slowly than other types of foods, triggering a sensation of fullness in both your brain and your belly.

Research done at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom found that consuming Resistant Starch in one meal caused study participants to consume 10% fewer calories (roughly 150 to 200 calories for the average woman) during the next day, because they felt less hungry.

Carbs curb your hungerAccording to researchers, when dieters are taken off a low-carb diet and shifted them to an approach that includes generous amounts of fiber and Resistant Starch foods, something wonderful happens: Within two days, the dieters' cravings go away.

The fiber and Resistant Starch fills them up and satisfies them while allowing them to eat the foods they crave. These good-news carbs also raise levels of satiety hormones that tell the brain to flip a switch that stifles hunger and turns up metabolism.

Carbs control blood sugar and diabetesThe right mix of carbs is the best way to control blood sugar and keep diabetes at bay. In one study at the Beltsville Human Nutrition Center at the USDA, participants who consumed a diet rich in high Resistant Starch foods were able to lower their post-meal blood sugar and insulin response by up to 38%.

Eat the carbs you want, but you need to combine them so that they don't cause a spike in your blood sugar. Instead of eating white rice, switch to brown and combine it with beans, corn, or other high Resistant Starch foods that keep your blood sugar more balanced than low-carb diets.

Carbs speed up metabolismCarbs high in Resistant Starch speed up your metabolism and your body's other natural fat burners. As Resistant Starch moves though your digestive system, it releases fatty acids that encourage fat burning, especially in your belly.

These fatty acids help preserve muscle mass—and that stokes your metabolism, helping you lose weight faster. Researchers set out to fatten up two groups of rats, feeding one group food that was low in Resistant Starch.

A second group was fed Resistant Starch-packed food. The rats fed the low Resistant Starch chow gained fat while losing muscle mass. Rats that ate the high Resistant Starch meals preserved their muscle mass, keeping their metabolism moving.

Carbs blast belly fatCarbs help you lose your belly fat faster than other foods, even when the same number of calories are consumed.

When scientists fed rats a diet rich in Resistant Starch, it increased the activity of fat-burning enzymes and decreased the activity of fat-storing enzymes. This means that the belly-fat cells were less likely to soak up and store calories as fat.

Carbs keep you satisfiedCarbs keep you satisfied longer than other foods. Here's why: Your brain acts like a computerized fuel gauge that directs you to fill up whenever it notices that its gas tank (stomach) is empty

Foods high in Resistant Starch flip on every single fullness trigger in the body. They release fullness hormones in the intestine and make your cells more sensitive to insulin.

By increasing your consumption of filling foods and releasing satiety hormones, you'll minimize your hunger and cravings.

Carbs make you feel good about you!"Dieters feel so empowered once they lose weight on carbs. For the first time, they are able to lose weight by eating in a balanced manner, without cutting out entire food groups," says Sari Greaves, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

And what are these resistant starches they talk about? Here's a list:

Legumes such as black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, edamame, great northern beans, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soy beans, split peas and white beans.

Whole, intact grains such as pearl barley, bulgar wheat and long grain brown rice.

Bananas that are slightly green.

Yams & Potatoes best served cooled after cooking.

I LIKE most of these foods.

I think I'll hit the grocery store and get me some green-ish bananas! And for supper I can have lentils and brown rice.

Are YOU as excited about this as I am???????


PM's Mother said...

Listen to your Mother! Weight Watcher's works and you don't have to deny yourself many of the goodies. I lost 26 pounds in 26 weeks way back in 19## -- gained it back when I quit the program though.

Karen said...

Weight Watchers is good but it's costly. And when your budget is tight it's hard enough to buy fresh fruits and veggies, much less pay someone to tell you that's what you should eat. Interesting that the green bananas are lower in sugar. We already eat beans and brown rice a couple times a month so it's nice to know I'm feeding my family something healthy.

PM's Mother said...

Canned or frozen veggies are as nutritious (if not moreso)as fresh veggies -- and a lot less expensive; and they don't rot in the fridge if you don't eat them right away. Margaret Holmes canned veggies are good just warmed right out of the can.

Cheryl said...

Y'all haven't seen me lately but I've dropped some weight. I cut out the regular Cokes (which I dearly love). I read that if you drink one can of it a day for a year you will gain fifteen pounds! Yikes! I was drinking a whale of lot more than that!

Also, I have begun, when possible, to eat what I call Lupper (Lunch/supper) at about 3:00 o'clock. Then I keep no snacks in the house so at night I just stand in the pantry and say there is nothing to eat.

Angel said...

Ugh!!! Long day.

I've decided I need to eat meals that are good for me at lunch, since I'm the only one who will eat them, and eat a salad with our regular supper, so I eat less. The kids are doing better, but they are all still reall picky. None of them will eat beans, which I really like.

Don't like green bananas. They taste weird, but since I have a sweet tooth, that's not surprising. :) I'm trying to go for high fiber when I eat carbs.

And if I have to wait for the stress to go away before I can lose my belly, I'll have to wait until I'm dead, at this rate.


Problem Child said...

Carbs are good. I like carbs. No one has ever convinced me to give up carbs, and the lack thereof might make me homicidal.

And I have such issues with my weight and food that you probably don't want me going into that here... Even Counselor Shelley treads carefully around that subject.

Smarty Pants said...

I've always liked green bananas. Just slightly crunchy. Not really green. Just a touch. DB likes them darn near brown. Bleh.

My problem is carbs are a trigger food. If I don't eat much I'm ok, but once I do it's like a floodgate opens.

Christine said...

Sounds like a proper plan to me. I don't do food deprivation/elimination of food type diets anymore. I like a healthy balance. I believe exercise is the key to a decent body and a healthy heart.

Best of luck!

Pat said...

Great information. Before Thanksgiving I cut out all refined sugar and in two weeks, I no longer craved sweets...then the Christmas party came along *sigh*. So much good food and desserts. Maybe this will get me back on track!
Great post, Marilyn