I have been using the low carb method for losing weight. It is my own adaptation of it. Atkins is the leader in the field it seems. I tried to follow it once upon a time but that first couple of weeks was unbearable for me - tired from lack of carbs, bad breath, bad taste - just not for me. The goal is to get the body into ketosis and the urine is to be tested to see if this has been accomplished. When the body is forced to burn fat for energy because the stores of carbs are gone ketosis happens. The ketones (ash left behind when fat is burned) are passed through the kidneys and a lot of water has to be drunk because otherwise it is unhealthy for the kidneys.
One of my beliefs is that our food plan must be ours and not something we follow that someone else devised. I found a level of carbs that kept me from being tired but not too much to interfere with weight loss. This was about 50 carbs a day for me. I exercise 6 times a week. High blood sugar is the body's signal to store fat. When we overeat or just eat too many carbs, the insulin necessary to digest this blood sugar causes the body to realize that there is too much blood sugar and what is left over after a certain amount is stored in the liver is stored in the fat cells. We want as little insulin response as possible so fewer carbs means less insulin means less fat storage. Once the stores of carbs are used up, the body turns to stored fat for energy - this is what we want. It makes sense to me to keep carbs low but not so low as to cause tiredness.
I do not crave sweets anymore. I rarely have bread or potatoes and I don't miss it. I am shocked by this but it is true - if you will get off the carbs you can take or leave them. Haven't you noticed how sugar makes you want more, more, more? The blood sugar spikes, then drops - then we spike it again with more carbs and the vicious cycle begins.
The beauty of low carb for me was I can pretty much be satisfied most of the time. We do have to endure some hunger to lose weight and calories do count but the satisfaction is better if more lean protein is eaten rather than another slice of bread.
My downfall and something you will have to be careful of is thinking, "These unsalted, dry roasted peanuts have almost no carbs so I can eat 3 cups of them". No. That is also probably why I only lost 2 lbs. this month. You won't be nearly as starving hungry on low carb as on other diets but nothing is unlimited. Have you ever noticed that most fad diets have something that is unlimited?
I think fruit is unlimited now on Weight Watchers - that would not work for me. Weight Watchers is not a fad diet but that word "unlimited" has special appeal for overeaters. Even though fruit is a natural sugar - the body still thinks carbs. All food is turned into blood glucose but it is a much longer process for proteins and fats. The body uses the quick energy first - that found in carbs like bread, fruits, rice, pasta, potatoes and such. If we get the blood sugar too high, the insulin produced to digest it can signal the body to store fat.
I like low carb because I can have a killer salad with a chicken breast, some bacon, cheese, sunflower seeds, and all the greens of course - real salad dressing. There are some great sugar free products on the market and labels have all the information you need to keep track of your carbs. Vegetable soup is great and I don't miss the crackers - I make it thick with cabbage anyway. The Quest Protein food bars are great and Atkins has several good products on the market that are low carb (the peanut butter cups are great - just don't eat the whole box) - who would do that anyway? :-) Be well.