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colette_heimowitz's Blog
Newsflash: Refined Carbs Make You Fat

Imagine devouring a plate of white pasta or a pile of sugary cookies. First your blood sugar soars (and the guilt sets in if you’re following Atkins!). Then, suddenly, your blood sugar drops to new lows. Four hours later, you’re hungry again (more hungry than if you had eaten a meal consisting of protein, fiber and fewer carbs), and you’re craving more cookies or pasta. I am sure you have encountered this vicious cycle (I like to call it carb rollercoaster). And now a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical school and Boston Children’s Hospital, supports the theory that these refined carbs not only mess with your waistline, but they mess with your brain.

When the obese and overweight subjects in the study were fed a high-glycemic meal, they experienced a subsequent drop in blood sugar and increase in hunger and cravings compared to when the subjects were fed a lower glycemic meal. The study authors hypothesized that the sharp drop in blood sugar caused by those refined carbs in the high-glycemic meal not only stimulates hunger but also makes the idea of eating more of this stuff seem more rewarding and pleasurable to your brain. On the other hand, whole grains and carbs found in vegetables take a longer time to break down, which means you stay full for longer, and your blood sugar rises more slowly, also making you less likely to succumb to cravings.

According to the authors, this study suggests that limiting these refined carbs could help overweight people stop overeating. In other words, avoiding refined carbs (white flour, sugar, corn syrup, etc.) and focusing on protein, healthy fats, fiber and fewer carbs—for example, eating the way that’s recommended on Atkins—might be a good weight loss strategy. To this, I say a resounding “Duh!”

Published Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:02 PM by colette_heimowitz
Filed Under: Carb Balance/Carb Intolerance, Weight Loss, Nutrition, Cravings / Problem foods, Personal observations & lessons learned
Comments
terrilou60 said:
Refined carbs and sugar are POISON to my body!! Thank God for Atkins!! It has saved my life!
July 16, 2013 12:34 PM EST
debbily said:
Great post! I just wish that my doctor would be supportive of the Atkins program!
July 16, 2013 12:47 PM EST
ClassicStyle said:
So true! As long as I steer clear of refined carbs, I can lose/maintain. Breads, refined sugars, and foods high in starch always make me bloated and tired, as well as put on pounds. Proteins, veggies, and fruit is what helped me reach my goal weight. Great blog!
July 16, 2013 03:15 PM EST
thompson3232 said:
This is my third week on Atkins and I have noticed a significant difference in my sleep pattern. I am not tired during the day anymore and I sleep like a log at night. Before Atkins I had serious issues sleeping and yet I was tired all the time. I was up several times a night and I don't think I ever got the REM sleep that your body needs. I honestly attribute all that to an unhealthy high carb diet. THANK YOU ATKINS!
July 17, 2013 07:11 AM EST
Chan1030 said:
I have done Atkins before lost 20 pounds my first month and then slowly got off of it and slowly gained back my weight. Now I'm back on and I am almost to my second full week. This time around tho I feel like I'm not losing as quickly. They say you can lose up to 15 pounds in your first 2 weeks and I have been stuck at 4 pounds. I'm starting to get discouraged. I weigh every day maybe i shouldnt do that....I didnt know If anyone could tell me what I should be doing differently. Im counting my net carbs and have had no sugar or bread...PLEASE HELP! :)
July 17, 2013 08:17 AM EST
colette_heimowitz said:
hello Chan1030. Hang in there. Try posting a typical days menu in the community "getting Started" and the veterans can help you adjust the program if necessary. if we assume for a moment you are doing everything right, your body may just need more time to adjust to fat burning. Plus the scale is the least reliable source for information regarding fat loss. Get on the scale only once a week and you should also keep track of your inches with a tape measure. If you are losing inches, it means your fat cells are shrinking and the scale is bound to catch up.

With its ability to help you lose weight, improve your lipid profile and blood pressure, increase your energy and reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and many other life-threatening conditions, the Atkins is indeed a healthier, more balanced way of eating and living. Don't give up!
July 17, 2013 12:42 PM EST
lizame said:
Colllette thanks for posting. Information is really powerful as I change my thinking about food!
July 20, 2013 11:21 PM EST
jbrun9 said:
Many thanks Collette for your research and scientific based notes. Many other weight loss people use the hype without the well based information. I look forward to your blog as it helps me stay focused. There are so many negative things out there and it is easy to get on the wrong track. Looking forward to your next bit of info for us!
July 21, 2013 08:58 AM EST
abellesmom said:
I know your comments are so very true for my body! If I "over carb" I crave sweets. I don't mean want. I mean crave! It is crazy. Since following Atkins the past the last 7 weeks, I can truly say that 'bone craving of carbs" is all but gone! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and truths. They are mood altering and life changing!
July 23, 2013 08:52 AM EST
kpatlakis said:
I love this article. Especially the "duh" part at the end. Experts are catching up, slowly, with the Atkins Philosophy. I am back on it myself, and working very hard on it. I have noticed that my fingers don't hurt like they use to do. My daughter only 24 is in a lot of pain. I encourage her to stop the wheat, even the milk. I have stopped both myself. But, not the cheese. However, I am also experiencing problems with it also. My diet, meaning. I zig-zaged a bit up & down, 1 1/2lbs. After loosing several pounds, I am stuck at a plateau. And, the scale won't move for me. I am going to make sure I measure my vegetables more. Cup for cup. I noticed that my stomach is much calmer, this time around. And, I really try to be careful with those sugar alcohols. I also try to make sure that I eat enough. And, I am trying to get more physical with exercise, walking/treadmill. Also, recording/writing everything down. I know I just need to be more patient with it. And, have perseverance with it. And, it will all play out, positively. But, I seriously don't know what I might be doing wrong, again! I really love, and have enjoyed this article, greatly! Thank You for it!
July 25, 2013 08:21 AM EST
pinktulips4pam said:
Ive read the lesson for phase 1 but I didn't fine how many carbs you can have they mention net carbs but not regular carbs can someone please tell what that is please
August 10, 2013 11:48 AM EST
lindav310 said:
@pinktulips4pam, net carbs are the result of taking All Carbs, subtracting dietary faber grams, and then subtracting any sugar alcohols. Most natural foods do not contain sugar alcohols, but there are many processed sugar free foods that do include sugar alcohols that do not affect the glycemic index.
August 11, 2013 02:24 PM EST
kafarrow said:
Thankyou for your help to chan 1030! it is so inspiring to hear that I am not the only one with questions. I just returned from a 28 day vacation and have gained back 20 lbs!
As thhe new school year starts I am having doubts and almost want to throw in the towel and give into a life of elastic waist poly pants, after all if they wrinkle you can throw them in the dryer for 5 minutes and they are back in shape! unlike me!
Please help from going over that cliff.
Thankyou for your advice in advance!
August 24, 2013 05:08 PM EST
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