It stands for the Carbohydrate Addicts Diet. According to two doctors, a husband and wife team, named Richard and Rachael Heller, nearly three-fourths of everyone who is overweight finds themselves fighting the battle of the buldge because of an addiction to carbohydrates. The cause of this addiction is excessive levels of insulin. According to the doctors, the rise of insulin created by certain types of foods actually induces the “addict” to eat more carbs.
While most diets focus on certain foods you should and shouldn’t eat based on fat or calorie contents, this diet instead focuses on how your body reacts to certain foods.
Instead of counting fat or calories, you are paying attention to what you take in according to the hormonal response your body has to that particular type of food, in this case “bad” carbohydrates.
The most appealing part of the CAD is the idea that one meal a day is a “reward” meal. In this meal you can have equal amounts non-starch veggies (like string beans); protein such as meat or eggs and carbs (including desserts) and you have to finish eating it within an hour. Your other two meals each day must comprise of only protein and veggies- no carbs of any kind allowed at these two meals.
The Hellers suggest that once you follow these rules for a while, your cravings for carbs will all but disappear. If you still have cravings after a week or so, they ask that you re-check your diet and make sure that you’re following the guidelines correctly. Once you have mastered your carb cravings and you have achieved your goals you must then follow the lifetime plan in order to keep up your maintenance.
You will need to purchase the Hellers’ book, The Carbohydrate Addict’s Lifespan Program: A Personalized Plan for Becoming Slim, Fit and Healthy in Your 40s, 50s and 60s and Beyond to get a full grasp of the plan.
The catch is to be careful about your portion sizes; remember, overeating on any meal plan won’t lead to weight loss! Note in particular that the plan calls for you to divvy out your protein, carbs and veggie correctly, and, that if you go for seconds, they should also be measured correctly.
And since you will be eating protein, it’s easy to get higher-fat foods worked into your menu. A hamburger is protein-rich, but it’s not exactly healthy. Choose lean meat instead and make sure to not choose just the protein item; you need those “good carb” type veggies in the other two meals to round out your diet.
Please remember that any of the information included at this site is for informational purposes only. You should not drastically change your diet without your doctor’s prior approval, especially if you have serious health conditions or you are nursing.
Revision date: June 18, 2011
Last revised: by Sebastian Scheller, MD, ScD