It’s All in the Timing

With what you now know about insulin, you can now understand one of the basic rules of the PVC Diet – push your carbs later in the day! The longer you can go without significantly stimulating insulin, the less of an appetite you will have.

So many people start their day with carbohydrates in the form of bagels, cereal, waffles, pancakes, granola, toast, smoothies and yogurt. They are setting themselves up for problems controlling their appetites, because they are stimulating insulin early in the day. They eat breakfast and then two hours later are hungry again. It’s about that time that they hit the vending machines or have a sugar-containing drink or even raid the leftover donuts in the break room. Then they roll into lunch hungry again only to feed their insulin with more carbohydrates in the form of a sandwich and a few chips and cookies. Usually two hours later, they are tired in the mid-afternoon and resort to another carbohydrate pick-me-up in the form of a cookie or again hitting the leftovers in the break room. Exhausted from a long day of work (and carbohydrates), they eat their dinners (which usually contain more carbohydrates) and collapse on the couch to watch TV. Does this sound familiar?

The PVC Diet solution is to push the carbohydrates later in the day. Don’t have that starchy, sugary breakfast—start your day off with a sensible breakfast of protein and only a little bit of carbohydrates. I like to have an egg-substitute omelet and maybe one slice of whole-wheat toast. On alternative days, you can have some oatmeal (with few, non-sugary toppings) which has carbohydrates but they are of low glycemic index and do not stimulate insulin as much.

Why is this so important? One of the physiologic functions of insulin is that it stimulates appetite. Since insulin levels peak about two hours after a meal that contains carbohydrates, so does your appetite. You then crave the same thing that stimulated the insulin in the first place, carbohydrates. I can’t tell you how many people go through their day craving carbohydrates every two hours. It’s all about fluctuating insulin levels. Our goal has to be to have low insulin levels.

Do an experiment. One day have a healthy breakfast of just an egg substitute omelet and then check to see how long it takes for you to feel hungry. On the next day have a large meal like pancakes that contains carbohydrates. Check when you become hungry after this meal. I would bet that even though the high carbohydrate meal has more calories, you will be hungry sooner after pancakes than you will after the egg substitute. I routinely have an egg substitute breakfast and do not become hungry until lunch, saving that mid-morning urge to snack.

To maintain low insulin levels, limit your lunch to a salad (for me, without meat). You will find you are not hungry until dinner. Since it’s now later in the day, you can go ahead and let yourself have carbohydrates.

PVC Point

Push your carbohydrate intake to later in the day and you will postpone that rush of insulin which stimulates your appetite and starts you on your eating course for the day.