Before you start the test, ask yourself about the signs and symptoms
of carbohydrate intolerance.
Following is a list of some common complaints of people with CI.
Many occur immediately following a carbohydrate meal, and others
are constant. While keeping in mind that these signs and symptoms
may also be related to other causes, ask yourself if you have any of
• Physical fatigue. Whether you call it fatigue or exhaustion,
the most common feature of CI is that it wears people
out. Some are tired just in the morning or afternoon;
others are exhausted all day.
• Mental fatigue. Sometimes the fatigue of CI is physical,
but often it’s mental (as opposed to psychological); the
inability to concentrate is the most evident symptom.
Loss of creativity, poor memory, and failing or poor
grades in school often accompany CI, as do various forms
of “learning disabilities.” This is much more pronounced
immediately after a meal, or if a meal is delayed or
missed. The worker who returns to his or her job site after
lunch, only to be unable to concentrate due to mental
fatigue, is a very common example. Some actually fall
asleep at their desk after lunch.
• Blood-sugar problems. The blood sugar may be normal
until a carbohydrate meal is consumed, or if meals are
not eaten on a regular schedule. Periods of erratic blood
sugar, including abnormal hypoglycemia, accompanied
by many of the symptoms listed here, are not normal.
Feeling jittery, agitated and moody is common with CI,
and is relieved almost immediately once food is eaten.
Dizziness is also common, as is the craving for sweets,
chocolate or caffeine. These symptoms are not necessarily
associated with abnormal blood-sugar levels, but may
be related to neurological stress, possibly due to the
changes in blood sugar and insulin.
• Intestinal bloating. Foods that produce the most intestinal
gas are complex carbohydrates, specifically starches,
such as wheat products and potatoes, and other nonstarch
carbohydrates such as sugar. People with CI often
suffer from excessive gas production. Antacids, or other
remedies for symptomatic relief, are not very successful
in dealing with the problem. The gas tends to build and
is worse later in the day and at night.
• Sleepiness. Many people with CI get sleepy immediately
after meals containing more than their limit of carbohydrates.
This is typically a pasta meal, or even a meat
meal that includes bread, potatoes or dessert.
• Increased body fat. For most people, too much weight is
too much fat. In males, an increase in abdominal fat is
more evident and an early sign of CI (I call this the “carbo
belly”). In females, it’s more prominent in the upper body
compared to the thighs and legs. In the face, “chipmunk
cheeks” may be a telltale sign.
• Increased triglycerides. High triglycerides in the blood
are often seen in people with CI. These triglycerides are
the direct result of dietary carbohydrates being converted
by insulin into fat. In my experience, fasting triglyceride
levels over 100 mg/dl may be an indication of a carbohydrate-
intolerance problem (even though 100 is in the socalled
• High blood pressure. Most people with hypertension
have CI. There is often a direct relationship between
insulin levels and blood pressure — as average insulin
levels elevate, so does blood pressure. For some, regardless
of whether the blood pressure is elevated, sodium
sensitivity is common and eating too much sodium causes
water retention along with elevated blood pressure.
• Depression. Because carbohydrates can be a natural
“downer,” depression is common among people who have
CI. Carbohydrates do this by adversely affecting levels of
neurotransmitters made in the brain, producing feelings of
depression. Many people have been taught that sugar is
stimulating, but actually the opposite can be true. Some
people have a short, initial burst of energy after eating
sugar, but it does not last. This is a significant consideration
for children or adults trying to function optimally at
school, home or work.
In addition to the signs and symptoms listed above, carbohydrates,
especially sugar, can be addicting. Some people have trouble
accepting that notion as there are no clear scientific studies to demonstrate
the claim. Many professionals have struggled trying to help
patients who could not reduce or eliminate sugar despite its
unhealthy hold on them.
Write down the problems that you have from this list, along with any and
all other complaints you have. This may take you a few days as many
people are so used to certain problems they can’t recall them all at
once. This is very important because after the test, you will review
these complaints to see which ones have improved.
Next, weigh yourself before starting the test. This is the only
instance I recommend using the scale. During the test you may lose
some excess water your body is holding, but you’ll also go into a high
fat-burning state and lose body fat. I’ve seen some people lose only a
few pounds during the test, and some 20 or more pounds. This is not
a weight-loss regime, and the main purpose of weighing yourself is
to have another sign of how your body is working, especially after the
Before you start the test, make sure you have enough of the foods
you’ll be eating during the test — these are listed later in the chapter.
Go shopping and stock up on these items. This requires a little planning,
so make a list of the foods you want to eat and the meals and
snacks you want to make available. In addition, go through your cabinets
and refrigerator and get rid of any sweets in your house, or
you’ll be tempted. Remember, many people are addicted to sugar and
other carbohydrates, and for the first few days you may crave these
Planning is very important. Make sure you do not go hungry during
the test! Schedule the test during a two-week period that you are
relatively unlikely to have distractions — the holidays or times when
social engagements are planned can make it too easy to stray from the
plan. There are many foods to select from so you don’t ever need to
go hungry. Eat as much of the allowable foods as you want — there
are many of them. Don’t worry about cholesterol, fat or calories, or
the amount of food you’re eating. This is only a test, not the way
you’ll be eating all the time.
Plan to eat as much as you need to never be hungry. This means
planning your meals and having snacks available. Most importantly,
eat breakfast within an hour of waking.
Following the diet for less than two weeks probably will not give
you a valid result. So, if after five days, for example, you eat a bowl
of pasta or a box of cookies, you will need to start the test over.
You are allowed to eat as much of these foods as you like during the
• Eggs (whites and yolk), unprocessed (real) cheeses,
heavy (whipping) cream, sour cream.
• Unprocessed meats including beef, turkey, chicken,
lamb, fish, shellfish and others.
• Tomato, V-8 or other vegetable juices such as carrot
• Cooked or raw vegetables except potatoes and corn.
• Nuts, seeds, nut butters.
• Oils, vinegar, mayonnaise, salsa, mustard and spices.
• Sea salt, unless you are sodium sensitive.
• All coffee and tea (if you normally drink it).
Be sure to read the ingredients for many of these foods if they are
packaged, as some form of sugar is commonly added.
You may not eat the following foods during the Two-Week Test:
• Bread, rolls, pasta, pancakes, cereal, muffins, chips,
crackers, rice cakes and similar carbohydrate foods.
• Sweets, including products that contain sugar such
as ketchup, honey, and many other prepared foods
(read the labels).
• Fruits and fruit juice.
• Highly processed meats such cold cuts, which often
• Potatoes (all types), corn, rice and beans.
• Milk, half-and-half and yogurt.
• So-called healthy snacks, including all energy bars
• All soda, including so-called diet types.
If you normally drink small to moderate amounts of alcohol, some
forms are allowed during the test.
Alcohol allowed: dry wines, and pure distilled spirits (gin,
vodka, whiskey, etc.), and those mixed with plain carbonated water,
Alcohol not allowed: Sweet wines, all beer, Champaign, alcohol
containing sugar (rum, liqueurs, etc.), and those mixed with sweet
ingredients such as tonic, soda or other sugary liquids. If in doubt,
Below are some other suggestions for eating, food preparation and
dining out which may be helpful during the Two-Week Test. You may
find these suggestions helpful after completing the test as well.
• Omelets, with any combination of vegetables, meats
• Scrambled with guacamole, sour cream and salsa.
• Scrambled with a scoop of ricotta cheese and tomato
• Boiled or poached with spinach or asparagus and
hollandaise or cheese sauce.
• With bacon or other meats.
• Chef — leaf lettuce, meats, cheeses, eggs.
• Spinach — with bacon, eggs, anchovies.
• Caesar — Romaine lettuce, eggs, Parmesan cheese,
• Any salad with chicken, tuna, shrimp or other meat
• Extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar (balsamic, wine,
apple cider). Plain or with sea salt and spices.
• Creamy — made with heavy cream, mayonnaise,
garlic and spices.
Fish and Meats
• Pot roast cooked with onions, carrots and celery.
• Roasted chicken stuffed with a bulb of anise, celery
• Chili-type dish made with fresh, chopped meat and a
variety of vegetables such as diced eggplant, onions,
celery, peppers, zucchini, tomatoes and spices (no
• Steak and eggs.
• Any meat with a vegetable and a mixed salad.
• Chicken parmigiana (not breaded or deep-fried) with
a mixed salad.
• Fish (not breaded or deep-fried) with any variety of
sauces and vegetables.
• Tuna melt on a bed of broccoli or asparagus.
• Plain melted butter.
• A quick cream sauce can be made by simmering
heavy cream with mustard or curry powder and
cayenne pepper, or any flavor of choice. It’s delicious
over eggs, poultry and vegetables.
• Italian-style tomato sauce helps make a quick parmigiana
out of any fish, meat or vegetables. Put this
over spaghetti squash for a pasta-like dish. Or make
lasagna with sliced grilled eggplant or zucchini
instead of pasta.
• Hard-boiled eggs.
• Slices of fresh meat and/or cheese wrapped in lettuce.
If you do cheat you must start the test from the beginning. Please keep me
informed of your progress, remember to weigh yourself before you start the test.
All the best,