Count Carbs, Not Calories…

What I have learned:

  • Carbohydrates are more than just fuel; they are a potent regulator of metabolic processes and hormones
  • People vary widely in their ability to metabolize carbohydrates. Those who cannot are “carbohydrate intolerant”
  • The ability to metabolize carbohydrates decreases with age.
  • The simplest test to determine if you are carbohydrate intolerant – look in the mirror.  Pinch-able belly fat, even on skinny fat people is a bad sign.  This is visceral fat.
  • Visceral fat excretes inflammatory molecules plus too much leptin.  This wreaks havoc throughout your body and even your brain.
  • Other simple tests that indicates you are carbohydrate intolerant:
    • You become tired after eating; especially after lunch.
    • You cannot go more than a few hours without eating or you become “Hangry” (Hungry + Angry)
    • You always need to snack during the day.  You live with food cravings.

What has worked  for me:

  1. I do not count calories
  2. I count carbs:
    1. I keep carb intake to less than 50 grams/day; often below 25 grams/day
    2. I read all labels and add-up the carbs.   I also determine the carbs for all non-labeled foods.
    3. Through experience I no longer need to count carbs.  I just avoid any food serving with more than single-digit grams of carbs.
  3. I monitor my fasting blood glucose and ketone levels.  These two at-home tests provide great feedback on how I am doing:
    1. Ketone Strips at Amazon – measure a few times per month, in the evening…I am typically around 1.5 mmol/L
    2. Glucose Monitoring System at Amazon – measure a few times a week, in the morning before eating.  My fasting glucose is in the mid 80’s mg/dL.  It use to be over 100!
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