Sunday, May 21, 2006

I'll Pass On Carb-Loading One Hour A Day

Is the plan devised by the Hellers one that I would recommend?

When you have lost weight, it's a very natural thing for others to be curious about how you lost your weight and kept it off. Whenever they have heard me tell my story, read my blog or book, or found out that I did it on the low-carb lifestyle, one question invariably has come up from time to time:

"What do you think about this low-carb diet where you can eat whatever you want for one-hour per day?"

My initial reaction to these people was usually something along the lines of this:

"That's absolutely crazy! There's no way you could ever lose weight and keep it off using this method."

I did the Atkins diet and honestly have not stayed on top of all the bazillion other low-carb diets out there. But there was something very odd about this plan that it made me look around to find out more about it.

Little did I know there was an actual book out there about this very diet so many people had been telling me about. It's called The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet and it was written by a husband/wife team Drs. Richard and Rachael Heller.

The CAD diet, as it is referred to, makes the claim (and I agree with it) that many people are addicted to carbohydrates and need to be weaned off from depending on them for sustenance. Just like a drug addict gets small concentrated doses of their preferred drug daily so they can eventually get by with less and less, that same concept is what goes into the CAD diet.

If people think the Atkins diet is restrictive, then check out what you have to do on the CAD diet:

BREAKFAST: ZERO-carb meal consisting of protein and fat.
LUNCH: ZERO-carb meal consisting of protein and fat.

You are NOT allowed to eat any bread, fruit, milk, juice, and most starchy vegetables. Absolutely NO snacking whatsoever except for black coffee or diet soda. You cannot use artificial sweeteners either.

Sound appealing, anyone? Hmmm? I suppose if that's all there was to this diet, then NOBODY would do it. But there is one more key aspect of the CAD diet that you probably will be interested in.

DINNER: Eat equal amounts of protein, vegetables and dessert of whatever you want to eat in whatever amount, but it must be eaten in a one-hour time frame. You can even enjoy a beer or glass of wine with your "reward" meal.

How's that for incentive? You basically starve all day long just so you can get to those sixty minutes at the end of your day where you can say hello to the buffet line! Who wouldn't enjoy a diet that lets you do THAT?!

Well, I'm still very skeptical about any lifestyle change that encourages you to eat the very foods that got you overweight or obese to begin with on a DAILY basis. I caught a lot of flack from my fellow low-carbers about my controversial "planned splurge" meal every 6-8 weeks during my weight loss. However, the Hellers give you a DAILY planned splurge!!! What's up with that?

We can blame this on Dr. Rachael, who stumbled upon this way of eating when she weighed 268 pounds after being on diet after diet. She became a psychologist to learn more about why people overeat (ostensibly to help herself in the process, too). She had skipped breakfast and lunch on a particular day she was fasting for a blood test and then, like most of us would, ate to her heart's content whatever she wanted for supper. The next morning she noticed she had dropped 2 pounds.

Thinking something must have gone wrong with her scale, she tried it again the next day, skipping breakfast and lunch and then eating a gargantuan dinner and once again, she lost another pound. She played around with what would eventually become The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet and went on to lose 150 pounds which she has kept off to this day.

The frequency of eating carbohydrates is the key behind the CAD diet. The Hellers believe that anyone who consumes ANY amount of carbohydrates during the day will set off all the bells and whistles in your body that you are hungry faster than if you avoided them altogether. They say that eating carbs throughout the day is like giving lots of small doses of cocaine to a cocaine addict. It will make them crave their poison even more!

That's why you basically avoid eating carbs on the CAD diet until the end of the day. This process of getting over carbohydrate addiction is a tricky one, and the Hellers think they have found a solid plan for making it work for lasting weight loss in people.

I still can't get around the fact that you don't change the poor eating habits of the people who have packed on the pounds. Sure, they basically starve themselves throughout the day before they eat their one BIG meal each day, but how is that stimulating the metabolism and preventing the biggest obstacle to weight loss success -- HUNGER!

There's no way I could do the CAD diet because I enjoy eating every 2-3 hours to keep my digestive process constantly in motion. I truly believe this is one of the things that has helped me lose the weight and keep it off. Since you cannot snack or use artificial sweeteners on the CAD diet, it would literally drive me insane even if there was that "reward" meal at the end of the day!

Wanna take a test to see if you are a carb addict? Click here to take the 10-question Carbohydrate Addict's Test. I scored a 2, which means "You do not appear to be carbohydrate addicted." No kidding, ya think?

Dr. Jonny Bowden, author of Living The Low-Carb Life, examined the CAD diet and said the diet uses some fuzzy science to make their points about why their plan works.

"While it seems pretty clear that there are both insulin and serotonin abnormalities in the obese, it's not at all clear that high levels of insulin depress levels of serotonin, as the Hellers hypothesize--in fact, the majority of the evidence points to the opposite response."

Furthermore, Dr. Bowden said he is concerned about the lack of attention on exercise as part of their weight loss program, stating "it's vital to both maintaining weight and to raising the metabolic rate."

While The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet has worked for a lot of people and I always tell people to do what works for them to lose weight and keep it off, I still have my reservations about this program. I think I'll pass on carb-loading my body for one hour a day!


Blogger Science4u1959 said...

A UK collegue of mine, who at the time, about 7 years ago, was experiencing incredible weight loss on Atkins, tried (the first version of) this diet for 2 weeks and found no weight loss - he could however maintain his weight on it, most likely due to the inherent caloric restriction. Back to Atkins, and he easily lost weight again (in total he lost -and kept off- 212 pounds on Atkins). Michel Montignac, the (in France) famous French "docteur Atkins" promoted something similar: all carbs during dinner needed to be consumed within 1 hour, and literally not a minute more. Even wine is allowed on his diet - but since he's French that shouldn't surprise anybody. However, there seems to be some science to this, related to the body's secondary insulin response. In other words: by consuming all carbs precisely within 1 hour the full glycemic load is not "fully recognized" by the body and the resulting secondary insulin response is smaller. This seems to result in less fat storage. So a "planned splurge" should be consumed within one hour.

Nevertheless, I'd rather stick to controlled-carb, as that most certainly causes less glycemic load and hence less glycative damage, and is more healthy. As far as I can see, this would never be a true ketogenic diet anyway, and hence doesn't provide the metabolic benefits for those that desire weight loss. At best this diet would sustain weight maintenance - but still, why consume all these unneccessary carbs when they are what made us unhealthy and fat in the first place?

5/22/2006 1:49 AM  
Blogger Lowcarb_dave said...

I am with you science4u!

I prefer all my meals to be relatively low in carbs. I've lost 120 pounds so fat on Atkins and it is working well. In fact if I ate this low incarbs 20-30 grams a day for the rest of my life - I wouldn't mind it all!

But if this WOE works for some - then do it!!

5/22/2006 5:58 AM  
Blogger detox said...

I've read about CAD (and worked myself through the book) a few years ago and wasn't convinced at all. One of the pure benefits of being on a low carb diet is not to be hungry anymore. Not to think about food all day, which is exactly what would happen to me on a three-meal-a-day routine like this. And, of course, I cannot see much sense in stuffing myself with junk once a day to lose weight and become healthier...

5/22/2006 6:17 AM  
Blogger LCforevah said...

I went to a book signing for Dana Carpender a few years ago. She talked about all the diets she had tried before coming upon the regimen that worked for her, and , she is so carb sensitve, that while trying out the addicts' diet, she fell asleep in the middle of her own dinner party, which was the carb-addict high carb meal for that day !
Some people cannot load on carbs at all, and I find that I have cravings the minute I eat bread or pasta or potatoes. I just have to avoid them and avoid the cravings.
I don't think anyone knows enough about how insulin works yet to be able to recommend a daily high carb or "balanced carb" meal.
Does anyone know of a person who has succeeded on the addicts' diet?

5/22/2006 2:51 PM  
Blogger 1Peter3 said...

I don't think I could do that one either. Just too carb sensitive, especially if it includes a real sugary dessert. I'd be nodding off to sleep in an hour or two from the blood sugar spike and crash.

In fact, back in my high carb days, if I was having trouble sleeping at night, I'd eat a starchy/sugary snack, because I could be pretty much assured of falling asleep within an hour. Even if it was consumed along with protein, I'd have the same reaction.

5/23/2006 9:37 AM  
Blogger Kanna said...

Everybody keeps talking about "stuffing their faces with junk" and going crazy with food at dinnertime... That's not what the book says. It asks that you try and eat a well-balanced meal, however much you feel like you need, and it says that you can have dessert, too... not a mountain of ice cream, but a normal serving of dessert.

It's basically a way to be able to enjoy those high-carb foods that you aren't allowed to eat during the day.. making it easier to pass it up because you know you can reward yourself later with the very same food.

I've tried Atkins... I lost 20 pounds, looked great, felt awesome... a year later, I had regained everything and then some. It's just not realistic for me. I need to know that I can eat whatever I want, even if it's once a day, restricted to a time limit of 60 minutes. Otherwise, it's not a permanent lifestyle change... it's a temporary fix. That's why I'm now on the CAD, hoping to end weight struggles for the rest of my life...

1/08/2008 1:34 PM  
Blogger DrTony said...

I am a CAD success story -- twice! I have struggled with weight loss most of my adult life (even though I lead a very active life being an Army officer), and CAD was a perfect lifestyle plan for me. Contrary to what some people may say, the Reward Meal isn't a buffet line pig-out. The key word is "balance", not "engorgement". I have been training for marathons and switched to a high-carb diet (huge, huge mistake...I've gained 20 pounds even though I'm running), and am returning to CAD in two day. I can't wait!

2/23/2008 12:30 PM  
Blogger beccabu said...

I am also a success story. I lost roughly 45 pounds twice on the diet and the first time, (before I was pregnant) I lost 40 pounds within about 3 months, and kept it off for 2 yrs, when I had become pregnant. To be honest with you I would make that hour a total binge fest! Anything and everything I exageration, my family would even joke hide the food Becks is on the "hour a day diet"! Now I am doing a healthier version of it, but in all honesty it works.

7/28/2008 12:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This diet does work and it is sensible. Firstly you don't starve yourself all day - just as with any low carb diet you eat breakfast and lunch consisting of protein, some fat (usually included in the protein dish) and 2 cups of low carb veg or salad. Then you eat a balanced meal in the evening within a 1 hour window - consisting of protein, veggies/salad/fruit, and a serving of carbs. It is not a buffet line pig out at all. Within the guidelines you can eat delicious food everyday. You don't have to eat dessert everyday - as with normal non-food-issue people, you can vary things, small dessert on one day, fruit and yogurt on another, french fries another, then brown rice another etc.

As for Jimmy saying what good can come of eating the stuff that got us fat in the first place...well the point is that most people eat carbs sensibly and don't get fat. This plan allows you to be normal too! He's stuck in a carb binge mindset.

Perhaps Jimmy needs to abandon the idea of eating every 2-3 hours which also seems a pretty good way to get fat, once you start eating a normal balanced diet!

The best thing for me about CAD as opposed to Atkins is that I don't spend a lot of time eating ersatz junk with sweeteners which is bad for you, or planning food or thinking about it. I do feel a natural appetite but no way am I hungry all the time either.

This works by insulin control rather ketosis and I personally feel physically great, much better than on a ketogenic diet. I am a runner and have no problem with energy levels.

It is easy to maintain too. I think the reason why people rebound from ketogenic diets is because they never cure their carb addiction - ketosis just masks the symptoms, so when they flip out of ketosis they rebound big time.

This is truly a plan for life!

1/20/2009 6:54 AM  
Blogger ProverbsWomanWannaBe said...

I have just started this diet, but just to clarify the black coffee no sweetner thing is not accurate, in fact they tell you that you may have coffee with 2 oz of cream or 1/2 and 1/2 on time during the day with a meal. It also says you may use artificial sweetners. You may have diet soda as well and it also tells you are allowed to have diet gelatin during your daily lunch if you need something sweet. (Atkins says the same thing about diet gelatin.) This dies is working for me. It is not about gorging yourself, you really do want sweets and carbs less and less. It is a wonderful process and I no longer "resent" dieting. Instead of saying no, this diet is a life style change that allows you to go through all kinds of events without being angry because you can't have this or that. It is fantastic! Most people have difficulting sticking to a diet because of the can't haves or the wedding they just couldn't not eat at. this is a lifestyle change that allows you that ability to eat at that wedding... or party or christmas dinner. It is a wonderful relief from the stringent "NO NOs" of other diets.

1/20/2009 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About 8 years ago I lost 45 pounds on the Atkins diet and subsequently gained it all back. It's way too hard to be deprived of certain foods. I'm now on the CAD and I love it. I've lost weight and really look forward to a regular dinner. A small roll with butter and a couple of cookies with dinner is all I need to be satisfied. I don't have to give up my biggest weakness - potatoes prepared every which way (cheesy au gratin potatoes - yum!!) I just have a small amount and that's all I need. Yay for the CAD!

3/18/2009 10:21 PM  
Blogger Redprincessk said...

I first tried the atkins diet about 4 years ago and lost weight, but I fell by the wayside because I can't give up carbs. The atkins diet was an unrealistic life style for me. I would do it faithfully for 2-4 weeks at a time and loose weight, but when I fall off the wagon, I fell hard and long because I needed my carbs.

Finally, 4 years later, I determine that I'm a "carb addict" and not willing or able to give them up. So, seven days ago I started the CAD diet. I lost 3 pounds without depriving myself. I eat breakfast if I'm hungry, but most of the time I'll just do a boiled egg without the yoke because I'm not a big on breakfast. I drink 6-8 glasses of water. For lunch I do veggies and meat (turkey, chicken or fish). For dinner, I do my veggies, and whatever I want. I have chocolate cake one day, ice cream one, candy bar or whatever.

Yes, a couple of days I pigged out (the first couple of days). It was like letting a crack addict loose in a crack house with no limitations. However I found that I could only do it for about 20 or 30 minutes and then I'm satisfied. (This included my meal along with special carbs)

One day I only ate a bowl of cereal. The point is, I satify that carb and I've lost weight. There were two days that I just at sweets and I couldn't believe it, I LOST WEIGHT.

However, after a three of four days I didn't pig out because the craving for carbs wasn't as strong. Nor did I feel guilty or feel as though I had to sneak to eat my carbs.

A normal reward meal for me would be baked chicken (2 pieces, dark meat) spinach, broccoli, a roll, potatoes or beans and rice and a dessert. I generally just do water for all meals. The Atkins diet was a struggle for me each day to stay faithful.

NO!!!! I don't starve myself during the day and I feel great. What I really do is the Atkins for the first two meals of the day and for my third meal, I add my carbs, but eat the carbs meal in the 60 minute time frame.

The CAD works for me, the Atkins doesn't because I have to deprive myself. However, the Atkins works for my sister because she's not a carb addict like me.

I'm happy, content and could do this everyday of my life.

ITS NOT FOR EVERYONE!!!! DO WHAT'S BEST FOR YOU, BUT DON'T KNOCK IT. I'm 44 years old and I weigh 151 (was 154 last week). I have arthritis in both knees. I have a small frame and not use to carrying this much weight. My doctor told me that I need to get down to 115 to get some weight off my knees. Before I discovered the CAD I was discouraged and almost at a state of depression because I didnt know how I was going to pull it off. Now I'm encouraged and looking forward to dropping the weight at about 2-3 lbs a week.

If you're trying or need to loose weight, I wish you the best. Try one and determine what's best for you and which one fit in your life style. Whatever you do stay encouraged and whatever you do, DO GIVE UP!!!! Best regards to everyone.

6/02/2009 5:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started CAD on 7/6/2009. I have lost 10 lbs in three weeks. This is the easiest diet I have ever been on. My cravings are gone and I have more energy than I have ever had. I truly feel like this is a diet I could stay on the rest of my life. I have 50 more lbs to lose and can't wait till others start noticing and I can tell them about CAD. Give it a try. I was so sceptical. I told my husband that I would try it for 1 week and if I lost weight I would keep going. He has also lost 5 lbs and he cheats. I have found that the first week I did want to pig out for the 60 minutes but it only took a week to get it out of my system. Now I want a balanced meal at dinner. It is great to know I can lose weight without depriving myself like most diets!

7/28/2009 6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I am a happy CADDIE girl today. I used to be sad, isolated and lethargic.
I have tried most diets and done insanely amount of research on the topic.

I started with the CAD (I call it the happy diet) in 1999 and lost 17 kilos. Kilos I had gained durring pregnancy and from eating "3-5 times a day".

People would get very irritated over my joy and obvious success. A "helping friend" told me I was wrong and had to apply Atkins thought to my diet to be truly safe and "clean" from sugars.

Since I still was struggling with untreated codependency I fell of the wagon having had the best year ever and gained it all back.

Dealing with my codependency and facing my well kept guilt and shame in a ACA (adult children of Alcoholics or otherwise dysfunctional homes) I found myself and started to heal. Finally I could say NO!!

Thanks! CAD is truly for those that need it not for all, but we who do find "home" in the happy diet are blessed. There is something about love, bounders, security, peace and great chemistry in our bodys, mind and soul in the CAD.
Today I have happy brain! Thanks to Dr. Rachael Heller for sharing her story and giving some of us peace.

I just lift my hat for those that are happy in other programs and stick to my path. I donĀ“t need to change them and they have no right to attempt to change me.

Gratefully (who would have thought)
/Happy Girl

12/13/2011 4:35 AM  

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