Living Low-Carb: The Complete Guide to Long-Term Low-Carb Dieting

Living Low-Carb: The Complete Guide to Long-Term Low-Carb Dieting

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by Fran McCullough, Frances Monson McCullough

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From the author of the bestselling The Low-Carb Cookbook comes the ultimate lifestyle companion to the diet that has taken America by storm—everything millions of low-carbohydrate dieters need to know to succeed at the table, on the road, in the kitchen, and in the high-carb world we live in.

In Living Low-Carb, Fran McCullough explains

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From the author of the bestselling The Low-Carb Cookbook comes the ultimate lifestyle companion to the diet that has taken America by storm—everything millions of low-carbohydrate dieters need to know to succeed at the table, on the road, in the kitchen, and in the high-carb world we live in.

In Living Low-Carb, Fran McCullough explains the various approaches to the low-carb diet and lifestyle, and helps you figure out which approach—or combination of approaches—is right for you. McCullough sorts through the various objections to the diet raised by the nutritional establishment and tells you what you really need to know; provides an arsenal of secret weapons; and gives special attention to everyday problems, such as how to handle impromptu dinner invitations. Whether you're backpacking, eating on a plane, or traveling abroad, McCullough shows you how to keep on track while you travel with a minimum of angst.

A highly respected cookbook editor and author, McCullough sees her subject from a pleasure-eater's perspective. Living Low-Carb includes more than 175 real-food recipes that are simple, delicious, and designed to keep you eating happily — and healthily — low-carb for the rest of your life. McCullough has tracked down specialized kitchen tools that make low-carb meals especially easy and enjoyable, and provides sources for finding great low-carb products (including bread), a tour of the world of fake sugars, and a list of Web sites that offer more information and support.

As everyone who stays low-carb for more than a few months eventually finds their own way of doing it, Living Low-Carbalso features real-life stories from successful low-carb dieters from a wide range of backgrounds. These stories are inspiring and instructive, explaining what people really eat and how the regime works for them.

Whether you're a low-carb beginner or a long-term dieter who has already solved your health and weight problem and now wants to stay the course, Living Low-Carb is an invaluable resource.

From the author of the bestselling The Low-Carb Cookbook comes the essential companion to the low-carb lifestyle, the book that takes this winning concept to the next level. For beginners as well as seasoned low-carbers, here's everything you need to know for long-term success, including:

  • Making the low-carb lifestyle diet work for you by developing your own personal eating style

  • Strategies for dealing with real-life issues such as binges, dinner parties, and holidays

  • The best foods to eat for people who have already lost excess pounds and want to maintain their weight

  • Tips for dining out and eating on the road, no matter how you are traveling

  • Secret weapons and tricks for troubleshooting, including how to handle cravings

  • An up-to-the-minute guide to new products that are revolutionizing low-carb cooking, and how to find them

  • When it is safest to eat higher-carbohydrate foods

  • Sources for keeping up with the latest information and developments, and for finding the support you need

  • And more than 175 deliciously simple new recipes.

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  • Editorial Reviews
    More and more, people are enjoying the benefits of diets low in pasta, sugars, and other carbohydrate-drenched foods. Fran McCullough offers a host of practical tips for incorporating a low-carb diet into a busy lifestyle in Living Low-Carb. This indispensible guide by the author of the bestselling The Low-Carb Cookbook includes advice for travel and dining out, suggestions for kitchen tools that make low-carb cooking a snap, and 175 delicious low-carb recipes.

    Product Details

    Little, Brown and Company
    Publication date:
    Edition description:
    1 ED
    Product dimensions:
    6.23(w) x 9.56(h) x 1.23(d)
    Age Range:
    13 Years

    Read an Excerpt

    Chapter One

    Why Are We Doing This, Anyway?

    The Basic Idea

    The objective of all low-carb diets, which date back at least to the early nineteenth century, has always been weight loss. Although plenty of low-fat advocates continue to insist that it's only water that's lost on a low-carb regimen, many patients using it have lost over 100 pounds in short order. Among the many formerly obese, it's pretty well agreed that low-carb is the most effective, most enjoyable, and most successful over the long term of all the various diets. Despite our government's dictate that we load up on carbs to maintain our health, low-carb books have consistently topped the bestseller charts for nearly a decade. Literally millions of people have followed these diets with no reported ill effects so far. Although low-carb diets are still controversial within the health establishment, they have never been vulnerable to charges like the deaths that have been associated with fen-phen or liquid diets. The theoretical argument will continue to rage, and it's extremely unlikely that any definitive studies will be done anytime soon to settle it.

    Why do these low-carb diets work so well when almost nothing else does? For a long time the exact mechanisms weren't clearly understood, but when Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades (authors of Protein Power) went back to their basic biochemistry texts, they discovered not only the weight-loss mechanism but also the huge number of health benefits that can accrue to many who follow the low-carb path. These include dramatically lowering high blood pressure, levelsof the dangerous blood fats called triglycerides, and LDL (bad) cholesterol; controlling diabetes; supplying extra energy throughout the entire day with no up-and-down swings; increasing concentration and focus; enhancing lean body mass with loss of excess body fat; improving immune function; eliminating gout and esophageal reflux; and many other benefits, such as a reversal of inflammatory conditions.

    All this happens, the experts in the area now agree, because restricting carbohydrates — sugar and starch in whatever form, from Popsicles to baked potatoes — puts the brakes on insulin, the hormone that's responsible not only for storing fat (and worse, keeping it stored) but also for raising blood pressure, damaging blood vessels, and wreaking other bits of havoc throughout the body for those of us who are genetically predisposed to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Incoming sugars and starches require insulin — the more sugar you consume, the more insulin is needed to process it at the cellular level. After an individual has been on a steady high-sugar diet over a number of years, the insulin receptors on his or her cells may become resistant, in which case even more insulin is required to handle the sugar load. Such a person usually develops insulin resistance, sometimes called Syndrome X or hyperinsulinemia, which usually leads to Type II (adult-onset) diabetes. An insulin-resistant person usually has an increased waist-to-hip ratio, high blood glucose levels, high uric acid, high triglycerides, and low HDL (the good cholesterol). There seems to be a genetic propensity to have problems with insulin. If your family tends to gain weight easily, especially in the abdominal area, you probably have this syndrome, and are therefore at risk for the related health problems (if you don't already have them) unless you change your diet.

    The only way to cut back on this outpouring of insulin is by reducing your intake of carbohydrates. Since you always need the same amount of protein, no matter what diet you're on — about 0.5 gram for every pound of your ideal weight — you'll obviously eat more fat on a low-carb diet. (Remember, there are only three food groups to choose from: protein, fat, and carbohydrate.) A number of low-carb diets feature enormous amounts of steak, cheese, butter, and cream, and many anecdotal tales tell of people consuming up to 3,000 calories a day on such a regime and still continuing to lose weight. Other low-carb diets limit the consumption of fats, or vary the ratios of the kinds of fats consumed.

    So, do calories not count? They do and they don't. If you don't have insulin problems and have a normal metabolism but simply eat too much, you can go by the standard advice: Cut calories and you will lose weight. But if you do have genetic insulin problems, as you probably do if you're from an overweight family, you may not fare as well on a reduced-calorie diet unless you also cut the carbs very far back. Except for the amazing tales of the 3,000-calorie dieters, though, there's no free lunch on a low-carb diet: If you want to lose a substantial amount of weight, you still need to create a caloric deficit, though perhaps not such a dramatic one as if you weren't concentrating on cutting carbs.

    Many people who aren't actually overweight adopt a low-carb diet for health reasons. Some of them are skinny but diabetic; others would prefer to attempt to control their cholesterol or blood pressure without dangerous and expensive medications. The muscular guys you see at the gym eat low-carb to build their lean body mass and minimize fat. Many children with epilepsy have for decades now been given a very successful treatment that involves a no-carb, high-fat diet — not only has their epilepsy been controlled when medication has failed, they've suffered no ill effects from such a drastic regime.

    The nutritional establishment's thinking on the subject of dietary fat has begun to change, partly because the low-fat prescription has had fairly unhappy results, such as continuing rampant obesity throughout the population and childhood diabetes increasing by 20 percent in the last decade. Fertility levels have fallen, which may also be a result of our not eating enough fat, and leading researchers such as Dr. Walter Willett of Harvard have started arguing that it's the kind of fat, not the total fat consumed, that makes the difference in weight gain. Willett is comfortable with a diet that's as high as 40 percent fats, as long as those fats are mainly unsaturated.

    The fact is, we don't really know very much about human nutrition and metabolism, despite experts' having made claims for "the perfect diet" since the beginning of time. What our species actually evolved to eat, though, is quite like the low-carb diet: protein and fat from small animals and sea creatures and birds, small amounts of carbohydrate from plants and berries and seeds and nuts, and the occasional feast on a major animal. Dairy products are quite recent additions to the human diet, as are agricultural products, which we've had for only 10,000 years — a minuscule amount of time, from an evolutionary standpoint. Many of us may simply not have adapted biologically to this relatively "new" diet, which may be one reason we feel so good and flourish so well on a low-carb plan.

    Needless to say, there are many theories within the low-carb camp, and many different low-carb regimens. If you're seriously thinking about eating this way for the rest of your life — as you should be if you have the insulin problem — you ought to take a look at all of them and choose the one that seems best suited to you.

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    Living Low-Carb: The Complete Guide to Long-Term Low-Carb Dieting 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This is a wonderful book. It has very helpful information to help you stay focused and on track with Low Carb eating. She even has a section in the book that suggests things you should eat when you go to different types of restuarants. There is a recipe for 'Alot like lasagna' WOW it is great my whole family loves it. Have yet to find a recipe in the book we don't like.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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    Guest More than 1 year ago
    This is a great book for those who have been following a low carb eating style. I believe that it is best as a supplemenal source for those who have already tried and read quite a bit about this way of eating. The writing is straightforward and easy to understand, and provides a lot of info about nutrition, coping strategies, and recipes. However, I wouldn't read this (yet) if you are just starting a low carb lifestyle, as the informatin could be a bit confusing until you have waded through various other plans and books.