The Carb Sensitivity Diet claims that the secret to maintaining a healthy weight is determining how various grains and starches uniquely affect you. The book's author, Dr. Natasha Turner, explains why it isn't just white flour that's hurting us, the secrets to repairing your metabolism, and how to finally nix that stubborn belly bulge. By Ava Feuer, REDBOOK.
What does carb-sensitive mean?
Just like with food allergies, each person's metabolic response to carbs-or what I have termed "carb sensitivity"-is unique. My program is an extremely specific type of elimination diet that hones in on insulin levels to restore metabolic health. The progress of your weight-loss, your decrease in cravings, and how you feel overall indicate whether you're sensitive to certain carbs.
If you're worried that you might be carb-sensitive, pinch your waist. If you can grab a lot of excess fat, you probably have some level of insulin-resistance, which means you're likely prone to carb-sensitivity.
Related: 25 Lazy Ways to Burn Extra Calories Just Like That
Why don't low-carb diets work in the long-term?
Many recommend removal of all of the carbs for 8 to 10 weeks before reintroducing them. At this point, most people gain back their weight and sometimes more. In the end, nothing is done to fix the problem, which at its root is insulin resistance.
The solution isn't to remove all carbs, because each person's individual ability to process carbs is unique, but to identify three main things: which carbs work well for your physiology, key supplements that improve your insulin sensitivity, and a specific metabolic workout that will improve your carb tolerance. Mine is a "carb rehab" program to repair your metabolism, so you can break through your carb addiction and end the yo-yo dieting cycle. Most importantly, you can get your carbs back-without the weight gain.
Related: 31 Days of Snacks for Grown-Ups
How do you figure out if you're carb-sensitive?
A great initial step is to begin eating more lean protein and healthy fats, and cut back on starchy carbohydrates. Avoid bread, pasta, rice, grains, oatmeal, potatoes, beans, carrots, and squash for a week. Instead, choose leafy greens, broccoli, and low-glycemic fruit. The next week, introduce one serving of starchy vegetables, like soybeans or carrots. At the end of the week, assess your weight, cravings, appetite, and energy. If you haven't experienced any issues, reintroduce legumes and grains the next week. Keep a journal and make notes about how foods make you feel. During this process, pay special attention to what triggers cravings, bloating, or mood swings-and consider eliminating those foods altogether. If you carry on losing weight from one week to the next, you should continue with your weekly introduction of carbohydrates. If, however, you gain weight, retain water, or experience cravings, increased hunger, or decreased energy levels while consuming a certain category of carbohydrates, you've exceeded your current tolerance.
Related: 21 Ways to Burn Fat Faster
If you are carb-sensitive, how should you exercise?
I recommend doing two to three 30-minute intense strength-training circuits, one to two interval cardio sessions, and one yoga session each week for optimal effects. Do every workout at high intensity, work multiple muscle groups during each strength-training session, and keep cardio sessions short and sweet.
More from REDBOOK: