The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet is a book written by Rachael Heller, MD, and Richard Heller, MD, two confessed carbohydrate addicts. The book includes testimonies and stories of many dieters who struggled with food cravings and weight gain and after answering a series of questions were found to be addicted to carbs at varying degrees. This diet helped them to finally get their eating under control and to lose the unwanted weight.
Theory Behind the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet
The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet is based on the theory that many people who are overweight are addicted to carbs. When you consider the problem many people have with binging on carbs, it seems the theory holds credence. According to the Hellers, those addicted to carbohydrates experience high levels of insulin and the unquenchable cycle begins. It results in cravings-carbohydrate cravings that lead to overeating, which leads to more cravings and overeating.
Who Benefits from the Carb Addicts Diet
According to the premise of this diet, not everyone suffers from this metabolic imbalance they call carbohydrate addiction. However, it is suggested that 75-85 percent of adults see themselves as carbohydrate addicts. Critics of the diet point out that these figures are not scientific.
How the Diet Works
The Carbohydrate Addicts Diet is fairly easy to follow. Foods allowed on the diet are said to control fat-storing insulin and break the craving cycle that undermine weight loss plans of many dieters.
First 2 Weeks
For the first 2 weeks of the diet, dieters follow the entry plan and choose their meals from foods listed on the Complimentary Meals list. This list offers a wide variety of low-fat, low-carbohydrate foods but still keeps fiber in the diet. Breakfast and lunch are composed of foods found on the Complimentary Meals list with food categories that include:
- Meat and poultry
- Fish and shellfish
- Fats, oils and dressings
- Eggs and dairy products
- Vegetables and salads
- Desserts (special low-carb recipes are included in the book)
Dinner is known as a reward meal and is not restricted. Dieters can eat whatever they want, but the meal is to be consumed within one hour.
After the First 2 Weeks
Once the entry phase is completed, one of the benefits of following this diet plan is that it allows dieters to adjust their meals based on weight loss from the previous week. Plans A-D are similar to the entry phase with minor adjustments. The reward meal at the end of the day is the same and aids in thwarting cravings because nothing is "forbidden" as long as it is eaten within the one-hour time frame.
Some of the plans allow for a low-carb snack during the day. Snacks are small-a true "snack" and never exceed half the amount of a complimentary meal. The Hellers also recommend drinking plenty of water no matter which meal plan you follow.
The diet works because it limits high-carbohydrate foods. By cutting back on carbs during the day, the body produces less insulin which translates to less stored fat. This also helps keep you feeling satisfied and less hungry.
Foods to avoid during the day include things such as:
- Fruit juices
- Processed snack foods
The Reward Meal is a dieters dream. It allows you to eat anything you want as long as it is consumed within the one hour time limit. The timing helps to control insulin release.
Is It Healthy?
This diet does stop cravings and helps shed those unwanted pounds, but is it healthy. The fact is that carbohydrate addiction is disputed among experts. While the diet does include vegetables, it is limited in fruits and grains and it is not recognized as an ideal diet by nutritionists.