In that last sentence lies concealed a secret message, and each dieter must work out its meaning for himself. Sixty grams of carbohydrate per day has been set as the maximum which the average individual can allow himself in order to achieve a satisfactory, steady weight reduction. It is here that you start out. As you go on, you may find that you are not losing weight fast enough to keep you happy. In that case, ask your doctor if you can trim down your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams a day, and try a short walk before breakfast.
The chances are that if the diet is not working quickly enough to satisfy you, it is not because it is wrong for you, but because you haven’t yet discovered the precise proportion of carbohydrate to protein and fat which will work best for you. Taking it down a few grams will usually do the trick-but keep in mind that the danger of ketosis makes it essential that you check with your doctor first.
On the other hand, there are those fortunate types who, having lost as much as they hoped to on 60 grams a day, find that they can start inching upward by minute steps until they are taking in perhaps 65 or even more grams a day, while still, like the teen-ager previously cited, retaining their weight loss. It is premature here to emphasize this, because you must start out with 60; but it is nice to know that though this diet is full, satisfying, and tasty, you may be one of the lucky ones who can eventually go on to even better things.
Meanwhile, start with 60. Make meat, fish, poultry, and eggs the backbone of your diet. Go cautiously in the direction of all desserts, all flour, potatoes, noodles, rich dishes, all addenda like honey and jam. Shun candy, sweet soft drinks, beer. You must snack between meals? A slice of cheese, a few almonds, an olive or two, dried crisp bacon curls (here is one cocktail-type tidbit you can dip into) should pacify your craving-but face facts, they do add something; you’ll have to either trim the extra grams off something else or, better still, train yourself not to snack. It can be done.
In stews and gravies, experiment. Omit flour and corn-starch thickeners and rely instead on flavour-building spices, herbs, and wines to make these items more appealing than ever before. However, don’t lose your head; if, in dining out, you cannot avoid a dish in which some thickener was used, try to eat as much of the solid portion and as little of the sauce as possible-and remember that if two or three tablespoons of flour were used to thicken a stew served to six people, your allotment of it is not really going to be disastrously large.
As a matter off act, a cook’s tour of favourite recipes will be a remarkably cheering experience for the low carbohydrate dieter. Barring desserts–and barring of course main-dish recipes based on noodles or pasta or other starch -so many of the meat, fish, and poultry recipes that you like can be adapted so easily to this diet that unless you prefer to live simply on plain foods you certainly don’t have to. The menus and recipes included in this book have been organized to show what can be done; they are far from the limit of what you can do, if you have the time, taste, and mind to do it.
On this diet you will eat fully and well. You will reduce quickly down to your own best weight and will at the same time form new eating patterns which will maintain this weight for you easily. You will accomplish this without endangering your health, disrupting your way of life, making yourself anathema to friends and co-workers, or creating soap-opera spectaculars about your sufferings (because there won’t be any) unless you want to. You will avoid depression, low energy, and nervous strain induced by semi-starvation; if you have a nasty temper you will have to find some other excuse to explain it. You can enjoy your liquor like any other civilized human being. What are you waiting for?