Suzan wrote: "When you have a very limited budget, eating low carb is extremely difficult. Not only do I have diabetes, I am a celiac."
My Answer: Suzan, I also am celiac, so all of my recipes are gluten-free. Here are some suggestions about eating low-carb on a budget.
Aggie writes: Yes, it has been too hard for me. I just have not been able to force myself to stick with it. Perhaps part of my problems is that I hate to cook, and I am not going to buy and try a bunch of exotic low carb substitutes like shiritake noodles.
Even though I am on the verge of being diabetic, I just canít seem to stick to a low carb diet...Iím basically just depressed about the whole thing. I feel like I am doomed; that my diabetes will progress if I donít stop eating carbs, but I just canít stick to it.
My Answer: Aggie, there are a few issues here. I find that one major cause of not being able to stick with eating low-carb is being trapped in a cycle of carb cravings. As long as you are eating too many carbs, that will produce cravings, and it is very hard to battle them. We have all been there, and we know how hard it is! But if you get your carb count low enough for a week or two, those cravings will go away, and then it becomes SO much easier to stick with. Of course, if you are taking medication, you will need to work with your doctor as you reduce carbs.
The cooking issue is a hard one, as many of us have gotten out of the habit of cooking our own meals in recent years. But truly, to make any healthy change in eating, you almost have to start cooking more. There are lots of short cuts, and I have a lot of them on here on the site. But I will tell you that if you can convert to making a few simple meals at home, you will be greatly rewarded. And Aggie, your health depends on healthy eating. You do not want to wind up blind or losing a foot because you didn't want to learn how to cut up vegetables and cook them! It is such an important investment in your health.
Sharon writes that she had initial success a number of times, but "I was so bored with the limited diet, but probably would have stayed on it if I was still seeing progress. After over three months of being at the same weight and not being able to lose anymore, I gradually gave up. I was also out of work for a time and could not afford to follow the Atkins diet anymore. Of course, the weight came back."
My answer: Being bored comes up a lot. If you cook, there is no need to be bored because there are so many substitutes for high-carb foods. Some of them can be purchased, but some you must make yourself. Really, pick any cuisine in the world, and there are lots of low-carb choices. With a few spices and condiments you can have almost unlimited variety. Explore the recipes on this site for inspiration.
As far as the weight goes, I talked a little about this in my recent blog about Oprah's weight gain. This is why I am actually opposed to setting a goal weight. When I started to lose weight this last time, I took the role of an interested observer. My goal was not a weight, but to eat in the way I knew was healthiest for my body, and to achieve the best health possible. What happened to my weight, I felt, was none of my business. I feel that many people are derailed by the number on the scale, and this number is largely out of our control. Some people will lose a lot of weight, and this is wonderful! But even a moderate weight loss can make a huge difference in our health, and that is the most important thing.
Photo © Lucian