Counting calories. Checking food labels. Measuring portions. Eating only “approved” items or nothing but grapefruit, cabbage soup, or some other “super” food.
Fad diets are everywhere these days, all promising quick results if only you follow their complicated (or silly) regimens for weight loss.
Peter Gott, M.D., spent his long medical career helping people lose weight. His life’s work culminated in a diet so simple it is described in its entirety by just four words: “No Flour, No Sugar.”
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Dr. Gott passed away last year, but in the aftermath there has been renewed interest in his book – “Dr. Gott’s No Flour, No Sugar Diet” – which became a New York Times best-seller. Dr. Gott is now seen as a prophet of no-gluten eating, preaching the evils of wheat and sugar years before it became fashionable. His diet plan is now more popular than ever.
Diet’s Key Elements
Gott came up with the concept for his diet after hearing from patients who had a hard time following the complicated requirements of other popular diets. At the center of his diet is the old good-carbs, bad-carbs issue, with a brand-new spin.
“Simple” carbohydrates – found in white wheat flour, cane and beet sugar, and corn and maple syrup – are made up of small sugar molecules the body easily coverts to glucose that fuels cellular functions and provides quick energy. But the metabolic fuel provided by simple carbs is quickly depleted, producing feelings of fatigue and hunger as the body craves more.
By contrast, “complex” carbs – in whole grains (rice, wheat, oats, barley, and corn), legumes, and vegetables – are comprised of complex sugar molecules that take longer to process and lead to more stabilized energy. What’s more, simple carbs in processed foods are stripped of their nutrients, while complex carbs retain them.
How to Get There?
It may seem like a difficult task – eliminating wheat flour and sugar from your diet. But it may not be as difficult as it seems.
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Take, for instance, a typical breakfast of a bagel (250 calories) with butter (50) and coffee with sugar (30). Switching to a healthier bowl of oatmeal (100 calories), a cup of skim milk (90), apple (80) and coffee with artificial sweetener (0) adds a nutritional boost to the day’s first meal and cuts calories. For the rest of the day, Gott recommends, combining a variety of healthy options from the following food groups:
Grains: Eat at least three ounces of whole-grain oat cereals or rice.
Fruits and vegetables: Eat more veggies that are dark green (broccoli, spinach, leafy greens) and orange (carrots, sweet potatoes). Dry beans – such as peas, lentils, pinto, and kidney beans – are also healthy choices. Go for a variety fresh, frozen, canned and dry fruits.
Milk: Choose low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, and other dairy products or lactose-free foodstuffs.
Meat and proteins: Go lean with meats and poultry, and bake, broil or grill proteins. Try to up your intake of fish, nuts and seeds.
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