Boot Camp Lite – Day 2 — Carbs

I don’t know about you people but I was a real witch last night.  My children actually seemed scared of me which is novel.  I would rather, though, that they feared my disciplinary tactics and weren’t afraid that I might actually eat my young.  I did everything this stupid blog told me to do but I still don’t feel any thinner.  I drank at least 64 1/2 ounces of water which I carried around in my “Think Green” canister.  I took a hot yoga class and learned that I have to work on my right and left — the people next to me were not happy.  I ate spaghetti squash* instead of the real thing and had NO wine.  I did accidentally scrape some chewed up meatloaf off of my daughter’s plate into my mouth when I was clearing the table.  Do you think that’s why my diet isn’t working???  I swear I didn’t do it on purpose.  Clearly hunger, in addition to making me grow horns and a tail, makes me lie.  I kind of like having an excuse though, so I think I will stick it out for a few more days.  Did I mention that I didn’t have any wine (or any fun)?

Carbohydrates. Dr. Atkins started talking about carbs in the 70s but people were obviously much more sane then because I don’t recall hearing about it until it became a craze in the late 90s.  I tried it once.  Normally, I don’t eat breakfast at all but on the day I started the Atkins’ diet, I had 3 eggs and a side of bacon.  By noon, my craving for sugar was so fierce that I ate a loaf of bread.  How is this a good thing?  Moderation, ladies and gentlemen — moderation.

1.  Carbs – the big foundation of the food pyramid – are found in grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and legumes.  They are also found in sugar and sweets.

2.  Low-carb diet — Here is the general idea behind this kind of weight loss strategy.  Carbs are our primary sources of energy.  When we digest our food, carbs are converted into sugar which raises insulin levels.  Insulin pushes sugars into the cells to be used as energy.  If you eat less carbs, your body still needs energy so it turns to fat cells to harvest that alternative fuel — Exxon could learn a few things from God.  It is an efficient system and a low-carb diet definitely makes sense.  But it is hard to maintain because warm bread with butter, followed by pasta, followed by chocolate cake with a big glass of red is what makes life worth living.

3.  Good carbs are those that are not processed.  Good carbs are high in fiber which gives you sustained energy.  They have a low glycemic index which means that they don’t cause big fluctuations in your blood sugar and insulin levels.  Good carbs also have a low energy density.  Think pound cake vs. broccoli.  Pound cake is very dense and a little has a lot of calories which makes it have a high energy dense food.  The opposite is true of broccoli.  Good carbs are the ones that you want to take home to meet your parents, e.g. vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains.

4.  Bad carbs are the more exciting, yummy ones that have tattoos and ride a Harley.  They are refined and processed so that they taste good but all the “good” has been sucked out of them.  White breads, pastas, snack foods, and candy will take you for a great ride but they are full of nothing — empty calories, empty promises, broken hearts (literally, they increase your risk of heart disease as well as obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer.)  These kinds of carbs have only become readily available in the past 100 or so years and from an evolutionary digestive standpoint, we cannot catch up.

5.  Carbs and alcohol – I was shocked when I realized that 1.4 fluid ounces of vodka has almost as many calories as 5 oz of white wine.  It is the carbs that make it an unwise choice if you are trying to lose weight.
So you know when you belly up:
White Wine (5oz)        Red Wine (5oz)       ROSE (5oz)        Budweiser (12oz)      Bud Light (12oz)     Vodka (1.4oz)
Calories     120                                127                             100                       145                              110                             103
Fat               0g                                  0g                                0g                          0g                                0g                                0g
Carbs          5.5g                              5.5g                             2.2g!!!                   10.6g                           6.6g                             0g

As a comparison,
2 slices of white bread have 106 calories, 0.7g fat and 10.1g carbs
oatmeal (1 cup) has 147 calories, 2.3g fat and 25.3g carbs
snickers (1 bar) has 280 calories, 14g fat and 35g carbs

I have a t-shirt that says, “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Pink Wine”.  I think I should burn it in my fireplace while enjoying a nice bottle of Rose.  I will dutifully wait until Saturday night.

* Spaghetti squash – surprisingly very good as a pasta substitute and really, really easy to make.  They are the large yellow ones that don’t look like acorn or butternut squash which I only determined after asking twelve different employees at Whole Foods.  Just cut it in half and steam it face down for about 15 minutes.  Or, you can microwave it face down in a little water in a dish, covered with plastic wrap for 15 minutes.  Then, you scrape out the insides with a fork and cover it with your favorite sauce.  I made a fresh tomato basil sauce and really enjoyed it — no joke, highlight of my day.

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