The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet

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The Carbohydrate Addict's diet was created in 1993 by Dr. Richard Heller and his wife, Dr. Rachael Heller.

The diet is thought of as the early introduction to carb-restricted eating programs like the Atkins or Paleo diet, and the premise of the Carbohydrate Addict's diet (CAD) is that reducing the frequency of carb consumption can enable weight loss and insulin balance in the body.

Addiction to Carbs

The diet is centered around the idea that most people – especially those who are overweight or obese – have a physical and psychological addiction to carbohydrates. Another principle of the Hellers' program is that most people are unable to metabolize carbs properly, which causes insulin levels to yo-yo up and down. When the body is on the downward swing of a sugar "high," intense food cravings occur, leading to overeating and weigh gain. By eating a well-balanced diet, individuals can control insulin levels and manage cravings.

What can you eat?

While the CAD does promote the extreme restriction of carbs, this is most pronounced during the first two weeks of the diet. After that, the idea is that carb intake frequency is just as important as how many carbs you're consuming. For 14 days, you are required to eat only certain foods, like poultry, eggs, low-fat dairy, fish, salads and healthy fats. Some low-carb sweet treats are allowed during this phase.

Then, the CAD suggests that you eat three meals a day that are high in protein and have a low glycemic level, like vegetables with fish or a salad with chicken. Dinner is considered the "reward" meal, where you are allowed to eat whatever you want, but the food must be consumed in one hour.

Benefits and Limitations

The CAD is popular with individuals who have a hard time completely cutting out carbs from the diet, as this program allows dinner to be a "cheat" meal. You don't have to completely eliminate the foods you love, and weight loss is still achievable. The downside to this type of program is that the cheat meal may be an excuse to load up on too many carbs, thus doing more harm than good. To get the most benefits from the CAD, it is recommended that you follow the diet on a long-term basis.

Source: The Carbohydrate's Addict Diet

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