Cookbook editor and writer Fran McCullough struggled for many years to lose weight, and she's shared her solution: a low-carb diet.
In her book, Living Low-Carb, McCullough sums up low-carb diet plans, from Atkins to Paleo, and explains how each can help you lose weight. She also includes a collection of recipes to make low-carb living easier.
She encourages exercise, not because it will make you lose fat, but because it's good for you, and she gives you more than a dozen reasons why you should.
Does it Work?
Low-carb diets seem to be fine for short-term weight loss. But whether they're safe over the long run is questionable.
Nutrition experts have some concerns with going very low-carb, if it means restricting healthy foods like whole grains and certain fruits and vegetables. Also, the type of protein you eat matters. Too much red meat that isn't lean, for example, could be bad for your health.
What You Can Eat
If you want to go low-carb, McCullough suggests doing this:
- Limit carbs to between 0 and 30 grams a day. How low you go depends on how much weight you want to lose.
- Avoid white foods. That includes potatoes, rice, bread, flour, and sugar.
- Make protein part of every meal. Eat about half a gram of protein for every pound of your ideal body weight daily. That works out to about 60 to 85 grams for an average-sized person.
- Drink 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water a day to flush toxins from your body.
- Eat whole foods -- organic and raw, if possible.
- Choose healthy fats. Olive oil, avocado, and nuts are smarter choices than butter and cheese.
McCullough's book explains the differences between the most stringent low-carb diet plans and the more liberal ones that she favors. She then outlines how to adapt the latter group of diets to fit a pleasure-eater's perspective. Rather than a "diet" book, Living Low-Carb is more of a lifestyle and self-help guide with recipes for everything from home fries to Moroccan-style chicken to what she calls Intense Chocolate Cake.