Are you Carborexic?

With the surge of high protein diets including Dukan, Atkins and South Beach over the last few years, it’s not surprising that we’re hearing about a rise of women suffering from carborexia.

It may sound like a bit of a naff name but carborexia – the fear of eating carbs – is on the rise. According to eating disorder experts, many women now actively avoid carbohydrates in a bid to shed pounds quickly.

You just have to look to the TOWIE weight loss mantra; No Carbs before Marbs, to see that many women believe cutting them out is the fast track to a bikini body!

While ditching refined carbohydrates like white bread, sugar and white pasta can be a good way to lose weight, cutting out carbohydrates altogether is not the way to go.

Slimmers may shed the pounds rapidly in the initial stages of low/no carb diets like the Dukan diet, but this is predominantly water, and will be regained once carbs are reintroduced.

My advice? Don’t fear the carbs!

You’re not going to suddenly pile on the pounds if you eat a few carbs, after all vegetables are carbohydrates too! Any diet that advocates cutting out vegetables (I’m looking at you Dr Dukan), is not a healthy approach to weight loss.

The key is to making the right carbohydrate choices. Cut out refined carbohydrates like sugar and anything white; pasta, bread, rice and instead opt for their low GL alternatives – whole grains and vegetables. Follow the eating well guidelines for a healthy plate- ¼ of your plate lean protein like fish or chicken, ¼ a wholegrain like 70g brown rice and fill the other half of your plate with vegetables. This will help to keep you full, give you energy and also help to support any of your weight loss goals in a more sustainable way.

If, like many dieters, you want to follow more of a controlled plan then I recommend Patrick Holford’s Low GL diet bible. This allows 40-45 GL’s a day, with an allotted 10 GLs for each meal, two 5 GL snacks and an additional 5 for drinks. Your typical day could see you eat 50g porridge with a chopped apple and flaxseeds for breakfast, a tuna salad with brown rice for lunch and quinoa tabouleh for dinner. Add your two snacks; perhaps a punnet of strawberries and two oatcakes with peanut butter, and you really will never be hungry!

To find out more about a low GL diet and what you can eat, visit these two previous posts…

The benefits of a Low GL Diet
What you can eat on a low GL diet

But the message is clear – Keep Calm and Eat Carbs!

Are you Carborexic? What do you think of low carb diets?


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