Q: Carbs seem to simply make me fat. Even low Glycemic Index carbs. Does this mean I need to stay off them forever to lose weight and keep it off?
A: It’s not just the carbs that are making you gain weight. It’s consuming more calories than your body needs. The carb-heavy foods that we know (and sometimes love) are often loaded with calories.
Instead of giving up carbs all together (something I personally could never do), I always recommend eating a balanced diet so that you satisfy your nutritional needs as well as your cravings.
The most important thing is to understand how many calories you are consuming and burning. Do a little homework. Keep a food diary for two weeks and calculate the amount of calories you consume at the end of each day. There are approximately 3,500 calories per pound of body fat, so if you eat even 100 calories more than your body burns per day every day (surprisingly easy to do), you can add a pound every month. Twelve pounds a year!
Here’s a bonus tip: Increase the amount of fiber in your diet. This will not only help you feel full and eat less but according to recent studies those on a high-fiber diet lost more fat from around the abdomen than those on other types of diet plans.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.