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The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Body and Soul - - HEALTH -

of this is un­true but it takes time for peo­ple to trust and un­der­stand how the body re­acts to cer­tain foods.

Carbs are a com­mon scape­goat for our weight prob­lems, but what you’re re­ally ex­pe­ri­enc­ing when you first in­crease your carb in­take dur­ing your wash-out pe­riod is an in­crease in wa­ter con­tent in the body. Carbs are made up of many sugar units that can be bun­dled to­gether and stored as glyco­gen in the body. And each gram of glyco­gen binds to 3g of wa­ter.

So the num­ber on the scales might have gone up af­ter adding more carbs to your meals, but it’s not a con­cern. Peo­ple see this change on the scales, though, and panic as they as­sume it must be true weight gain. In ac­tual fact, carbs – from fruit, veg­eta­bles and whole­grain sources – are go­ing to help you lose the weight in the long-run, along with help­ing to pre­vent cer­tain types of can­cer, type 2 di­a­betes and heart disease.

So don’t be dis­heart­ened when you see the num­ber on the scales go up with the rein­tro­duc­tion of healthy car­bo­hy­drates. It’s just wa­ter. Can you re­mem­ber a weight you were at for a long pe­riod – say, for one year – in the past five years? This is likely to be a weight you’ve al­ways hov­ered around. This is your set point. Once you’ve reached that weight and it’s sta­ble, you’re at your set point. For some, your cur­rent weight may be your set point, even if that’s the heav­i­est you’ve been.

If you haven’t weighed your­self very of­ten in re­cent years, weigh your­self now. If your clothes have been fit­ting the same for at least a year, you are most likely at your set point. If not, do a wash-out pe­riod while weigh­ing your­self weekly un­til your weight has sta­bilised for about a month.

There are ex­cep­tions to my wash-out rule. If you are cur­rently at your set point and don’t have an ex­ten­sive his­tory of di­et­ing, then you will see suc­cess on my plan from the get-go with­out hav­ing to put on any weight first. How­ever, I can­not stress this enough – you must en­sure your weight has sta­bilised be­fore start­ing my plan. This sets the foun­da­tion for long-term weight loss as your body will be able to cre­ate new lower set points as you move through the pro­gram.

You may need to shift your mind­set from the idea of a quick fix to suc­ceed in this ap­proach. It may seem like a drawn-out process, but it will en­sure you never have to go on an ex­treme diet again. And that’s def­i­nitely worth the wait.

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