So why do we love the lower carb eating approach? When we were first designing the Danny’s Place ‘Be Your Best Program’ (BYB), we looked at all the programs that have been run around the world for obese adolescents and we found some very common themes – there were not very many of them and most of them involved very restrictive diets that the kids had to follow. We noticed the drop out rates from these programs was high so the results were not fantastic. It was clear to us that restrictive diets in adolescents is not going to work, nor is it practical to implement into busy families lives.
We were also very aware that there has been plenty of research into the benefits of lower carbohydrate diets and their use in treating obesity and weight loss, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). There was evidence that many obese teenagers have insulin resistance and we certainly have seen a high percentage of our Danny’s Place kids with high insulin levels that our Paediatrician measures and manages.
We decided without doubt we wanted our program to use a lower carbohydrate dietary approach to help manage this insulin resistance and to help with body fat loss. We also did not want to put these kids on diets, so it became very clear that we would educate our kids in the BYB program to focus mainly on lower carb eating. No diets, no calorie counting,no banned foods, no shame for individual eating preferences.
We teach our kids and adolescents to count carbs in a basic serve format, but our Dietitians work out how many carb serves each individual child needs for their age, growth and physical activity level. Once we work that out we simply teach the kids and their families or carers how to carb count, and reduce their typically very high carbohydrate intakes down to the target we have calculated for them.
To do this education, we have developed some of our own carb counting education resources that our Dietitians and our Program Nurse Co-ordinator use to teach families how to carb count, and how to get these carbs into the basic routines of school lunch boxes, after school snacks, eating out with friends etc. We also love to share fantastic ideas from what we consider outstanding external teams – such as Anna’s Low Carb Kitchen ! We look forward to posting some regular blogs for you 🙂