The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet

The Carbohydrate Addicts diet is based on the theory that many people have an exaggerated insulin response to carbohydrates, which creates an addiction to them.

Type - Carbohydrate controlled diet

Are special products required? - No

Is eating out possible? - Yes

Is the plan family friendly? - Yes

Do you have to buy a book? - Yes

Is the diet easy to maintain? - No

So how does it work?...

The Carbohydrate Addicts diet is a modification of other low carb diets programmes such as the Atkins Diet. Its authors claim that as many as 75% of us are carbohydrate sensitive. This creates an exaggerated insulin response to carbohydrate intake, leading to hunger and cravings after consumption.

Instead of limiting carbohydrates completely to ketosis – as in the Atkins Diet and other diet plans – this plan recommends limiting carbohydrate consumption to one hour each day in order to balance insulin responses. The programme recommends that two out of three meals each day be carbohydrate free. These are called ‘complementary’ meals.

Unlike the other carbohydrate controlled diets, which can lead to carbohydrate craving, the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet allows one ‘reward’ meal each day. At this meal, any foods can be eaten, including carbohydrates, as long as they are part of a balanced meal and are consumed within a one hour period.

The Diet Plan...

The Carbohydrate Addicts diet is somewhat complicated because it is divided into an entry plan and four different diets. Everyone on the diet uses the entry plan and then, once it is completed, you determine whether you will follow plan A, B, C or D, according to how much weight you have lost and whether or not you wish to lose more.

This is not as difficult as it sounds, since the different diet plans are very similar. For example plan B is the same as plan A except that you do not eat the snack.

There are also five guidelines for following the low carb diet plan:

• Eat two complementary meals daily
• Eat on reward meal daily
• Complete your reward meal within one hour
• Consume any alcoholic beverages with your reward meal
• Drink plenty of water, vegetable or fruit juices, or coffee during the day

Is it good for you?...

Many of us would probably lose weight if the only time we drank alcohol was with our evening meal and we cut out snacking between meals. If you are the type of person who feels tired an hour after having a piece of cake, or if you get hungry soon after having a carbohydrate based meal, then this low carb diet will teach you a lot about managing your appetite and avoiding cravings.

On the down side, it is difficult to confine all your carbohydrates to one hour long period each day and it is not obvious that this provides any benefit over avoiding simple sugars altogether. The authors ran a weight loss clinic for years and presumably had good results on their carbohydrate controlled diet, but there is no data on its long term health effects or its effectiveness in maintaining lost weight.

The Carbohydrate Addicts diet is promoted as a lifelong solution to yo-yo dieting; however, there is no evidence as yet that being allowed to eat whatever you like for one hour each day will enable you to maintain the diet and lose weight.

Example Day...

• Omelette with steamed spinach and soured cream

• Big bowl of green beans cooked with olive oil, spring onions, fresh basil, cloves, and chilli powder, and topped with soured cream

• Chicken cooked with 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper
• Broccoli florets
• Steamed rice
• Cucumber salad dressed with salt, white wine vinegar, soured cream, sesame oil, spring onions and ginger.

• Only on some plans

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