The only way I’ve been able to lose weight consistently and keep it off has been to count carbohydrates. I needed to lose sixty pounds and I didn’t want to put it back on. I’d tried Weight Watchers, powders, and even hypnosis, but nothing had worked.
Finally, I asked my doctor what he’d suggest. He told me that counting carbs could be the answer I’d been searching for. He gave me a chart of foods and their carbohydrate values, and told me not to eat more than fifty grams of carbohydrates a day. Anything I wanted to eat was fine, as long as I kept it under fifty.
I was skeptical but decided I had nothing to lose. The next day I had bacon for breakfast—a lot of bacon. For lunch, I had a huge salad with chicken on it. I ate smoked sausage for a snack and meat and vegetables for dinner. I discovered that if I wanted to eat a carb-heavy meal like spaghetti for dinner, I wouldn’t eat things with many carbs in them for the rest of the day.
I ate anything I wanted, but I balanced it out. My basic rule of thumb was to avoid white foods—pasta, noodles, potatoes, bread, and sugar—except in small quantities from time to time. I read packages and cans to make sure I knew how many carbs a food had, and I kept a careful count. I bought a book that listed the carbohydrate counts of basic foods as well as food from restaurants.
The pounds started coming off. In a little over five months, I had lost sixty pounds. I have kept the weight off for seven years now.
I found out that the more color a food had, generally the better it was for me. Strawberries, for example, are a great sweet treat with very few carbohydrates. Carrots, while higher in carbs than some other vegetables, made for a delicious crunchy snack . Even high-fat foods like sausage and bacon were welcome; the fat made me feel fuller longer.
Because I had to eat on the go sometimes, I developed fast-food strategies including buying two crunchy tacos for lunch (only 11 grams each), eating the first one as it was, and then eating just the filling out of the second. Not eating the shell saved carbs. I also would buy a sausage biscuit for breakfast but only eat the bottom half of the biscuit. Again, I got the same taste without as many carbs.
I’m so glad my doctor recommended counting carbohydrates and encourage other people seeking to lose weight to give it a try!