I have a healthy skepticism of dietary plans and weight loss “experts”. My diet book would be so clear and simple it would consist of only three pages:
1. Eat less.
2. Exercise more.
In reality, I could then fill up the sequel with how to accomplish that fourth, all-important step: Have willpower. I haven’t cracked that one, yet.
Although those steps can work, you can tweak both diet and exercise in ways that help lose weight faster. But losing weight alone doesn’t make a person healthy: I give you as a famished example rail-thin, malnourished supermodels. At the beginning of last winter I was thirty pounds overweight (although I somehow lost some since), and still more healthy than any number of skinny people I could snap like a celery stalk.
Better to meet in the middle – or, for you vegans, to vegetate in the middle. So who do you believe? Eat all protein; eat all veggies; eat nothing but cabbage soup. (I actually tried the cabbage soup diet, and did lose weight. Fringe benefit: Once it worked its way through my system nobody wanted to be around me.)
Then I discovered a new twist: Packing on the carbs.
A Health.com article talked about Resistant Starch, which is what happens when your dry cleaner goes overboard and your suit won’t bend to fit your body, and is also apparently a kind of food. Starches would be that stuff people are always telling me not to eat. Like baked potatoes. Yum …
Resistant starches apparently include bananas and oatmeal, beans, potatoes, and plantains, which are like plantations only built under mountains. Also included is Pearl Barley, made immortal in the song, “Won’t you come home, Pearl Barley?” Pearl Barley, as I recall, was a very large woman, which makes me question her diet, and wonder if she didn’t come home because she was at a fast food place.
Oh my gosh – I just checked, and Pearly Bailey died thirty years ago! (And she wasn’t that large.) Is part of getting older having to explain your jokes to younger people? Also, it was her brother, Bill Bailey, you didn’t come home – possibly because she sent him for take out.
According to this article, which is written with all the authority of someone with a website of their very own, resistant starches are cool, which makes them hot. The reasons:
1. Carbs fill you up.
That makes them appetite suppressants, more filling than protein or fat, and digested more slowly. I usually accomplish the same goal of losing my appetite by watching disgusting TV shows: The Biggest Loser, Dirty Jobs, or Congress on C-Span.
2.Carbs curb your hunger.
Researchers say when dieters go from a low-carb diet to one high in fiber and resistant starches, their cravings go to the curb.
Not unless they make resistant starch chocolate bars, bub.
3. Carbs control blood sugar and diabetes.
One study indicated a 38% improvement in blood sugar and insulin response, if carbs were eaten in certain combinations. Which is actually an idea I can’t make much fun of.
4. Carbs speed up metabolism.
In other words, the body fires up its natural fat burners. Usually, when I burn fat, I have to run for a fire extinguisher. In this case the body releases fatty acids, which sounds disgusting but kicks your metabolism right in its overly padded butt.
5. Carbs make you lose belly fat faster than other foods.
Even when the same number of calories is consumed this is true – calories, keep in mind, are a unit of measurement, so in theory one calorie is the same as another. In actual practice, with carbs the calories are the same, but the body burns them faster. Imagine the federal government maintaining the same income, with decreased spending. No, seriously, imagine it. Just try. Stop laughing.
6. Carbs keep you satisfied.
Foods high in resistant starch trigger your body’s fullness signals. Your brain says, “Gee, I’m full – I don’t want to eat anymore”. You’ll no longer crave foods, and can then go on to craving other stuff, like brains. Carbs will start the zombie apocalypse!
7. Carbs make you feel good about you.
That’s because dieters can lose weight without doing something really unhealthy, such as cutting out food groups, crash dieting, or chopping off a limb. They feel empowered by the results, although be warned: You’ll never be a runway supermodel.
The main problem I have with this article is that there’s a dearth of sources quoted. Dearth is more than an evil Sith Lord, by the way. Is this a big study, or the result of a poll taken after a big family reunion?
I’ll consider that one … over dinner.