CAD/CALP Overview & General Rules
Many CAD/CALP forum members have asked me questions in various threads to which I gave some or all of the answers/explanations below. I thought it would be helpful to have them together in a new thread. Please read "Carb allergy vs Carb addiction", too.
Also, if you think the plan fits you, please by the book(s). You will refer to them many times.
CAD/CALP is a diet and life plan for carbohydrate addicts. The plan calls for 1-3 meals/snacks a day of low carb (induction level) meals, called complementary meals by the Hellers. In addition to the complementary meals allowed you are allowed one meal a day that contains carbs called a reward meal.
In the first book, CAD, the Hellers said at your reward meal you can have whatever you want, however much you want. They did make a passing mention to having a balanced meal. Of course carb addicts did not hear that and some used the reward meal as a carb binge. Carbs taken to the extreme and not in the presence of other foods can still affect insulin levels. Additionally fake sugars cause carb addicts to react as if they are true sugars.
Therefore, in the next two books, CALP and ? the Hellers clarified rules and fingered triggers, fake sugars, diet drinks, MSG, that can cause an insulin reaction and thus hunger, weight gains or stalls.
There are degrees of carb addiction and and uncontrollable appetites for carbs. However, Rachel Heller also tried Atkins and couldn't lose and even gained.
For a "true" carb addict, there is an escalating insulin surge that occurs with every incidence of eating or of the eating of carbs. Since insulin is the hunger hormone, hunger grows and grows even if you have just eaten. This chemically induced appetite can become uncontrollable.
So you see, it is the amount of carbs you eat each time but it is also the frequency with which you eat at all. Think of a superball that bounces higher each time it hits the floor. Now think of the well-meaning suggestion that you eat six times a day or that you take in more carbs.
This is why the Heller's have the various eating plans of two to four meals a day. Each carb addict needs to find his/her own eating program but no more than four times a day.
This is probably why, unknowingly, some Atkinsers refuse to leave induction even though their weight loss has stalled and their metabolism has lowered. They know instinctively and through experience that if they leave the strict carb levels of induction their hunger comes screaming back and they wind up binging.
Make sure your reward meal is balanced. That means approximately 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 of carbs (including dessert and alcohol), protein and vegetables. Also try to start your reward meal with a small salad. That way you won't get out of control. Also check your other meals for hidden carbs. Protein shakes and bars are not allowed on this diet because of possible reaction to sugar alcohols. Also diet soft drinks, sugarless gum and, in fact, all sugar substitutes are also limited due to insulin reactions. A carbohydrate addict is very insulin sensitive to sugars and sugar replacements. If you get them at your other meals, your insulin will surge and your appetite can get out of control at your reward meal. Remember insulin is the hunger hormone.
It is important to follow the one hour Reward Meal limit, that is what controls your insulin levels. You get used to it after a while. Do not stop and start your meal again later for dessert. Have your meal and then dessert. Also if you're eating in a restaurant, don't touch your beverage until your dinner comes, have them bring appetizers and entree together. When you are half done with your meal, order dessert, if you want it.
The reward meal can be moved to any time of the day for special occasions. The reward meal can also regularly be at any time of day you choose to fit with your lifestyle (business luncheons?); don't move it around except for special occasions/events. Some of my best weight loss on CAD was to have my reward meal every day for lunch. That strategy gave me a chance to work the extra carbs off through the rest of the day.
Alcohol is only allowed at the reward meal and subject to the constraints of the 60 minute limit. Beers, low carb or otherwise are only allowed at the reward meal. I think low carb beers have over 3 grams of carb/serving and are therefore restricted.
If you have cravings on CAD or have trouble stopping at your reward meal, you need to examine the non carb meals for hidden carbs. Also read "carb allergy vs carb addiction". Carbs (other than allowed foods) at non carb meals/snacks can cause insulin surges and rebound appetite/cravings. Shakes and bars are notorious for this effect in carbohydrate addicts.