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Patient Question - Weight Loss and Carbohydrates

A patient who wanted to start the New Year off with a new weight loss program but was confused about the types of carbohydrates to avoid asked the following questions:

1) What types of carbohydrates should I avoid?

- avoid refined simple sugar carbohydrates which are heavily concentrated in foods such as cakes, cookies, candies, baked goods, breads, pasta, ice cream, potatoes, regular sodas and fruit and coffee drinks that are heavily sweetened with regular sugar, and alcohol. There is no convincing scientific data that suggests that artificial sweeteners are harmful, cause weight gain or are toxic.

2) Is sugar addictive?

- there is no creditable scientific data that documents that sugar is an addictive substance, it is ‘addictive like’, but it is not addictive. But it has a potent neurochemical effect that can calm, reduce anxiety, and energize an individual, such that the more you eat, the more you will want.

3) How many cabs should I eat if I want to be on a ‘low carb diet’ that might also produce ketosis?

- generally any diet that has only 10-20% of its total caloric content coming from carbs will function as a low carbohydrate diet. But for significant and sustainable weight loss, while carbs count, it is the total calorie intake that matters the most.

4) What can help me to reduce the cravings for sugary snack foods and carbohydrates?

- eating in a structured manned, 2 or 3 meals a day, without snacking during the day and after dinner and late at night will help to reduce the subjective need for “something to eat’, a feeling which is usually more psychological than physiological, drinking non caloric drinks throughout the day, like water, tea, coffee and non-sugar sweetened beverages will help to fill the stomach and help reduce the need to snack. Because carbohydrate cravings are such a big problem for individuals who want to lose weight, I developed two herbal weight management tools, Attenuate and AttenuSlim, to help deal with the desire for carbohydrates, both of these safe and effective tools were developed to: reduce appetite, decrease hunger, curb carbohydrate cravings, and lower the stomach producing hunger hormone Ghrelin.

For more information about these helpful weight loss tools, please go to

Peter Vash, M.D., MPH

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