Juliana’s younger sister, Molly, has never been overweight. She has always had a smaller appetite and more energy than her sister. She did get grumpy if she didn’t eat, but often felt no hunger even when she needed food.
Molly’s height and weight always tracked girls’ clothing sizes. When the size 6s got too snug, they were also too short, then 8s, then 10s. A few months before Juliana and I started eating really low carb, Molly’s size 12 pants got too tight, but the size 14s were much too long. I also noticed she had a bit of a double chin developing.
Although Molly didn’t adopt low carb eating when Juliana and I did, she now eats many fewer carbs because I’ve totally changed the food I prepare. Now she has eggs and bacon for breakfast, but there’s no toast. There’s no French toast, no pancakes, no bagels. The daily bag of popcorn in her lunch has been replaced by cashews. Her peanut butter or ham sandwich by a “fried rice” mix that has mostly sausage and egg, and a little rice and carrots. She rarely eats pasta, and if she does, it’s usually because she’s not feeling well and has some asian style soup with a few rice noodles–not a big plate of spaghetti. We still eat what we call “pizza chicken,” but the chicken is no longer breaded. Yesterday I made meat balls without bread crumbs in them, and cauliflower on the side instead of pasta. The most carbs she eats in a day come from gluten-free breaded chicken nuggets, or an ice cream bar. She is not as sensitive as Juliana is to carbohydrates, and not as sensitive as Teddy is to gluten, so she sometimes eats a pumpkin muffin from my favorite coffee store, Peet’s. We don’t tell Teddy, who really likes pumpkin muffins. This flexibility helps to keep her on board with following the eating plans for the other two the rest of the time.
And what’s happened? Molly has slimmed right down. Her size 12 jeans fit fine again, and her double chin has receded. In Molly’s case, eating “less carb,” rather than “low carb” doesn’t create craving problems or excessive hunger, and returned her to her longstanding height/weight ratio. But for an overweight, probably insulin-resistant child, less carb has a lot of potential pitfalls.