Carbs aren’t necessarily bad for you. In fact, they provide lots of energy for you to get through your day. But for some, reducing carbs is a quick way to lose weight without feeling like they’re having to give up many of their favorite foods.
Part of the problem is, most men and women get far too many carbs – way more than they need for energy. They might even eat mostly carbs, avoiding protein, so they never feel full for long, and constantly want to snack throughout the day.
This packs on pounds quickly. A typical carb-laden diet might be donuts for breakfast, a sandwich with fruit and chips for lunch, and pasta for dinner. There’s very little (if any) protein in a diet like that, so the person is always hungry, and might even add dessert carbs to the mix, too.
Try reducing your carb count to under 100, lowering that number the more weight you want to lose at a faster speed. You can focus on net carbs when you look at the nutrition label.
Net carbs are the total amount of carbs minus the fiber count in the product. This actually allows you to eat more carbs than if you simply tally the total carbs on the label and log those in your tracking system.
Swap out certain foods for low carb options. For example, if you like making bean burritos at home, switch your regular white flour tortilla with a white flour low carb option. A regular tortilla has about 98 carbs, but you can find low carb options with only 4 carbs in them.
Or, invest in low carb bread that you can order online from places like Netrition. The bread looks, feels and tastes like white bread, so the flavor is there, and you don’t feel deprived.
Focus more on eating carb-friendly vegetables (like broccoli or avocados) and fruits (like berries). Eat plenty of protein. Don’t worry about the fat content. If you like a marbled steak, go for it!
You can even have real butter and plenty of cheese when you’re on a low carb, high protein diet. Fat isn’t the enemy. In fact, it gives you that full sensation you need to stave off the munchies.
If you’re craving dessert, there are low carb option you can make such as chocolate bombs. Or, buy sugar free candies in the store made for diabetics – because these give you the sweetness you desire, without the heavy carbs!
Low carb has been studied and it is well documented that their effectiveness is multi-faceted. Of course, the thousands of people who have lost a lot of weight and were able to keep it off makes a low carb eating plan something of an attractive proposition, especially since it is not your typical fad diet, but an actually lifestyle change.
Harvard completed a study that explored just how impressive the results of a low carb diet can be for weight loss, in comparison to a low fat diet that people tend to rely on for all of their weight loss needs.
By now, most people are aware how excellent low carb diets can be for rapid weight loss, but do they offer any other health benefits?
Yes, they do, and that is what makes a low carbohydrate diet such an attractive option when deciding what path to follow.
Additional Health Benefits
The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition explains what other effects a low carb diet has on the human body. Medical professionals have been using it since the 20’s to help epilepsy sufferers reduce the symptoms, furthermore in some cases has rendered the use of medication unnecessary.
There have also been strides made in proving that a low carb diet can be use a therapeutic tool for a number of other conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome, the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, a number of strains of cancer, diabetes and even acne.
The point of the study was to determine whether the preconceived notions surrounding ketogenic diets have prevented doctors from relying on it as a therapeutic method.
The Mayo Clinic has also explored the other effects that are seen when on a low carb diet. While citing many of the same issues listed by the EJCN, the Mayo Clinic has added cholesterol levels and high blood pressure to our list.
There are variations on what is considered a low carb diet
Anything from 20 grams to 150 grams can be considered low carb. 150 grams will not kick start ketosis to burn fat stores that actually requires less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.
Dr. Judith Wylie-Rosett led a study that makes mention of The American Diabetes Association belief that a low carbohydrate, low fat diet can be used to achieve improvement in both weight and metabolism, pointing to the Mediterranean diet as evidence.
The Mediterranean Diet
This is an interesting point, because it’s well documented that the residents of countries in the Mediterranean have higher life expectancies, and while they do eat carbs, their carb intake is much lower than it would be in the United States, or the United Kingdom.
The Mayo Clinic breaks down the Mediterranean diet which hinges on eating plant based foods, nuts whole grains, and legumes. Olive oils are used in place of butter, and herbs and spices replace salt. It is more common to eat white means and leave red meat to the odd occasion, and meals are spent with family and friends and consumed over a few hours.
WHO has a list of life expectancies for every country and the United States average is 79, while Greece is 81, Spain is 83, and so is Italy.
There are a number of low carb diets that you can follow; you can be as strict or as lenient as you wish. Whether you are looking to lose weight, maintain muscle, or reduce your risk of heart disease.
In addition to the benefits listed above, a low carb diet can also serve as an appetite suppressant. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition explored the reasons why, concluding that the high protein diet could be an explanation as to why.
Additionally, another similar study saw that participants on a diet that was high in protein and fat, but low in carbohydrates didn’t have the same food cravings as the participants did that were on a low calorie, low fat diet. This is because greatly reducing carbs and eliminating sugars, actually helps to regulate blood sugars so that the appetite is naturally suppressed eliminating those horrid out of control food cravings.
A low carb diet is essentially, what it says – it is a diet that greatly reduces intake of carbohydrates. This is not as easy as it sounds.
Carbohydrates are found in foods such as sugary snacks, bread, pasta, starches, fruit, and many processed foods. Typically, the most strict low carb diets limit intake to 20 grams of net carbs per day, at the very least less than 50 grams and the main source of these carbs should be non-starchy vegetables.
Although it may seem drastic, there is plenty of scientific research that shows low carb eating to be beneficial to your health, from weight loss, medical reasons, or a wish to simply eat better. Whatever your reason for starting the low carb lifestyle, there are several key health benefits that can be attributed to this kind of diet.
With many diets, people often end up hungry and then snacking and fail to lose weight. They try to restrict their food intake too much and end up ‘falling off the wagon’. This is a very real issue for many people and the ultimate reason why they do not lose the weight they are trying so hard to shift.
In contrast, with the low carb lifestyle you do not get the hunger cravings or need to eat like you do with other diets. Research has shown that people who reduce the amount of carbohydrates they eat and replace these with additional protein and healthy fats will eat less and reduce their overall calorie consumption.
If you are trying to lose weight then this can be an effective method, as you actually want to eat less. When you are eating a low carb lifestyle, you lose weight in different ways.
For example, a lot of the body is made up of excess water and the low carb diet can help to get rid of some of this.
A low carb lifestyle leads to lower levels of insulin, which causes the kidneys to work more efficiently and by eliminating insulin triggers, most people lose weight and often very quickly.
Lower Levels Of Visceral Fat
When we do lose weight from following this diet there is an important point to consider. Not all weight is the same, and visceral fat is the bad kind that sits around our organs and can cause serious health problems.
Research has shown that a low carb diet can help to reduce levels of visceral fat specifically rather than the other type of fat, the subcutaneous type.
Stabilize Blood Sugars – Prevent And Manage Type 2 Diabetes
When a low carb diet is followed long term, there is a clear reduction in the chance of developing diabetes and other health issues.
Eating less carbs reduces the need for the body to produce insulin; insulin is used to break down all the sugars in carbohydrates and too much of this can lead to diabetes in later life.
By simply reducing the amount of carbohydrates (insulin trigger foods) that you are eating, you are reducing the production of insulin the in the body and reducing the body’s resistance to it.
A low carb diet prevents erratic blood sugar spikes that may lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Similarly, research has shown that diabetes, both type 1 and type 2 can be better controlled with a low carbohydrate diet. Of course, anyone who is considering changes to their diet should consult their doctor. This is particularly the case if you are taking medication for your diabetes, as this may need to be adjusted too.
High Blood Pressure
Like diabetes, high blood pressure has been connected to many serious health disorders such as heart attacks and strokes. Ultimately, we should all aim to keep our blood pressure within the healthy range, but this can be hard with our lifestyles.
Research is therefore focused on finding ways everyone can realistically lower their blood pressure. The low carb diet can help to keep blood pressure where it should be and prevent it from getting too high.
The overall message is that a low carb diet can be beneficial in many ways and can help with certain health issues.
However, there is always a risk when making drastic changes to your diet such as significantly reducing the amount of carbohydrates you consume. It is therefore best to consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet; this is particularly the case if you have been diagnosed with any current health issue.
Ask your doctor, a low carb lifestyle may really work for you.
Deciding to go cold turkey on your favorite carbs (yes, the same ones that are bad for you, but so delicious) could be the hardest time in your life.
In fact, sugar addiction is a very real thing, not just a made up condition in the figment of your imagination. It is being researched more and more these days, as it has been discovered to share similarities to drug addiction, whereby pleasure and reward centers in the brain are constantly seeking their next “high” or feel good moment.
However, the good news is that carb addiction is not that difficult to break. In fact, after just 2 weeks or so of going commando, you can do without them, and you will not be subject to violent mood swings and out of control cravings.
So how exactly can you stop missing those carbs, and overcome your addiction? By following the tips we have outlined for you, of course!
Prevent Hunger From Occurring
Sometimes, the difference between a craving and true hunger is confusing. In general, if you hear or feel your tummy “rumbling” you’re hungry. At other time, you think you’re hungry, but no signals are being sent from your tummy.
The best way to prevent this?
Eat timed meals. If you find waiting 4+ hours between meals isn’t quite working for you, divide that one larger meal into two smaller servings, which can be taken to hours apart. Ensure the meal is rich in protein and quality fat, as they are both very filling and will shut down your desires for sweets and starches.
The moderate amount of protein and high fat intake in a low carb diet really helps to satisfy your hunger, so you want to eat less naturally.
In addition, when you begin to burn fat for energy, as you will on a low carb diet, you will not experience blood sugar spikes, which also helps to naturally regulate the appetite, as long as you eat protein and healthy fats on a regular basis.
Keep Yourself Busy
Do you notice that you, or your kids tend to gain an extra 5, 10 or 25 pounds during holiday or vacation times? Even though you may not be travelling and trying exquisite cuisine, the act in itself of being home all the time, bored as hell paves the way for overeating.
Binging on carbs offers a short time fix for feelings of boredom, like smoking a cigarette to fix an itch. Keep yourself engaged in activities will help distract your mind from useless snacking, starting an addiction if you haven’t yet developed one.
Know what is absolutely jaw-dropping? The fact that a study revealed that cravings are not necessarily a result of hunger, but rather your mood. If you’ve ever watched a show like the biggest loser, one thing that usually resounds is the trigger than started the cascade of weight gain.
Normally, it was some sort of depression- having lost a family member, being bullied at school, having no friends or sheer boredom.
Food does improve your mood, albeit for a very short period of time, but then just leads to you wanting more and more, frequently that bag of chips or candy.
Instead of filling up your thoughts with somber, woe-is-me thoughts, do something to take up your time, such as visiting somewhere new, doing something you truly enjoy, getting some exercise or going to a movie.
Sometimes, just talking the talk isn’t enough; you need something tangible to fill the void created by the absence of your favorite sweet treats.
Good options here include foods like fatty fruits (avocadoes, olives) protein and fat rich meats, and bulky veggies.
You can even try making some kale chips, which taste delicious and fill you up pronto!
The key to getting over missing carbs is surviving the first two weeks, and getting them out of your sight. It is futile trying to break the cycle, when you have cookies stashed in your pantry begging to keep you company. You won’t be missing any of them in no time when you begin to lose weight and get control of your appetite back!
Wait just a darn minute, so you mean to tell me fats are not the bad guys? That they are merely “accomplices,” or the subject of peer pressure?
Yep, chances are you have been wrong about fat your entire life. Kind of like that one guy in high school who was too weird to be friends with, but now owns a fortune 500 company!
See, for years, decades even, we have been fed with misinformation, as a result of a correlational, and not a causational link. To illustrate, a great example would be to say, “People that are born have a 100% chance of dying.” We know that we all have to diet, but being born is not the direct cause of it. That sums up the similar assumptions made on fat.
Interestingly, fat began to get a bad rap sheet the same time the introduction of readily available carbs appeared. Think breakfast cereals, and snacks. At this time, cases of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, a range of metabolic disorders and obesity began to spike.
Yes, in fact, by approaching studies involving fats with a biased eye, the verdict was met before having a fair trial.
So what is the truth? Read on and find out yourself!
Insulin Calls The Shots Behind The Scenes
When we ingest foods, be it fats, carbs or proteins, the molecules contained in them do not magically turn into fat, or new cells or whatever. They must be “shuttled” to their final destination y something. This conductor is insulin.
Under normal circumstances (by normal, we mean occasional stimulation), insulin is the prodigal hormone. It is important for ensuring nutrients get where it has to go, so that cells and subsequent organs function, as they should.
However, following the introduction, and subsequent frequent consumption of carb heavy foods, insulin started working overtime, “hoarding” nutrients into cells, more particularly, fat cells.
As these fat cells grew, and insulin lost sensitivity, a dangerous cocktail of elevated blood sugar and fat levels resulted, setting the stage for diabetes and high cholesterol.
Fat Does Not Like To Be Stored
You may or may not know insulin by its name “the storage hormone,” as its primary role is that defined. However, fat had different things in mind. Research has shown that our ancestors were very lean and healthy, all thanks to a primary fat metabolism.
Their diets consisted mainly of wild animals, with the occasional forage consumed too (such as berries). The result was a metabolism that used fats for fuel, the way we were meant to function but altered via means of mass produced cheap carbohydrate foods. Under the influence of insulin, however, fats are powerless to be burned directly as fuel, and will only be called upon in cases when sugars are low.
It is then, or when following a ketogenic diet (low carb eating that results in ketosis where the body uses fat for energy instead of dietary carbs), that the true beauty of using fat as a primary fuel source is revealed.
Fats Do Not Stimulate Insulin Release
Fact- you can literally eat a whole cow and not experience a surge of insulin, causing your body to begin oxidizing the fat directly for fuel. However, the typical idea of a meal includes both carbohydrate and fat, resulting in storage of both in cells until needed (if ever).
Without the influence of carbs, and associated insulin spikes, fats are easily burned off and not stored in fat cells.
Truth: fat is not bad for you by itself; rather only when under insulin’s grasp.
What’s even more revealing is the fact that the ketogenic diet; one high in protein and fats, but extremely low in carbs, promotes weight loss and leads to improved health, far over the “approved diets” of the world’s governments.
A deliberate ploy to enrich pharmaceutical companies? Hmmm we hope not!
The many studies that have shown low carb diets to be more effective in actual pounds lost and reducing cholesterol levels than low fat diets support the theory, that low carb is more effective for weight loss and burning body fat.
Of course, you can also ask the thousands of people, many of whom were obese, who have successfully lost weight and kept it off with a low carb diet if you are still not convinced.
Low carb diets are common in the weight loss spectrum. Many studies have shown them to result in more weight lost as compared to the standard low fat diet plan.
Going on a low carb diets has so many health benefits, including the fact that they are highly effective at eliminating visceral fat, such as that in the belly, a most dangerous type of body fat.
There have been so many speculations, thoughts and ideas on why low carb diets are effective for weight loss, hopefully this article will bring some clarity.
What Exactly Is A Low Carb Diet?
A low carb diet is a system of eating where carbohydrates are drastically or significantly, cut from the diet, and in the strictest plans, like the Ketogenic diet, carb intake is limited to non-starchy vegetables and some dairy. When ones diet contains fewer carbohydrates, the body no longer gets its energy from the glucose they produce and instead begins to burn fat for energy.
Starch and sugar carbohydrates are substituted with healthy fats and a moderate protein intake. Sugar, pastries, pasta, bread, cereal, beans, or any other starches are no longer allowed, as you will indulge vegetables, fatty foods such as butter, fatty fish, oils and some dairy along with eggs, steak, chicken, seafood and other protein sources.
How Does It Aid Weight Loss?
Triggers Ketosis: Eating a low carb diet triggers a process known as ketosis, which is where the body begins to burn fat for energy instead of dietary carbs, which is a very efficient way to burn fat stores and lose weight.
Eliminates water weight: People who have gone on low carb diet typically lose quite a bit of weight in the first two weeks, likely, this occurs when water that is tied to glycogen comes off the body and is actually a quite encouraging event that supports the continuation of a healthy lifestyle.
Eliminates insulin trigger foods: Starch and sugar carbs are insulin triggers that cause blood sugar spikes that lead to weight gain. While on a low carb diet, these insulin triggers are eliminated so the body can burn fat instead of storing it.
They are high in protein: Protein helps keep you full and satisfied so you naturally eat less, it also helps to increase lean muscle mass that promotes fat burning. This is one of the factors that make low carb diets effective.
Regulates the appetite and naturally reduces calorie intake: A low carb diet naturally regulates the appetite because all those insulin triggers foods that wreak havoc in the blood stream to cause erratic hunger and out of control cravings are eliminated.
Additionally, Researches from St. Louis and Japan (Banks WA1, Coon AB, Robinson SM, Moinuddin A, Shultz JM, Nakaoke R, Morley JE, et all) found that the hunger regulating hormone leptin is positively affected by the low carb diet’s ability to reduce triglyceride levels in the body, which allows that hormone to work more effectively in regulating the appetite.
When people embark on a low carb diet, their appetite significantly drops naturally, and they naturally feel satisfied with less food, resulting in weight loss as they naturally eat less calories and without suffering and starvation.
Are Low Carb Diets Safe?
This is a frequently asked question, which is common amongst people wanting to embark on a low carb journey. The low carb experience is not for everyone, though it is followed by thousands of people around the world, without any problems.
It may have side effects for some, while others may experience nothing. Usually any side effects are short lived. In general, statics and research shows them to be highly effective for weight loss, and to also reduce risks for cardiovascular disease better than low fat eating plans.
Make sure you understand what a particular low carb diet has to offer before choosing it.
In conclusion, low carb diets aids weight loss by triggering ketosis, a metabolic state where the body uses stored fat as its source of energy.
Low carb diets also do a great job of regulating appetite and naturally allow those following them to eat less, while feeling satisfied and this is another one of the main reasons that the weight loss is so strong and visible.
Low carb diets are not fads, but lifestyles that have helped thousands of people reverse obesity and improve their health. It may just do the same for you.
Stay well and take care!
When you’ve decided to lose weight, you can structure an eating plan on your own or you can find a low carb diet that you can customize to your lifestyle. Having a diet that’s tailored to suit your needs and preferences will make dieting easier.
With all of the numerous diets you hear about, knowing which diet is the best one for you can be tough. But you can compare the 5 best low carb diets to see which one will suit your lifestyle to help you lose weight.
The Atkins Diet
This diet is one of the most popular low carb weight loss plans you’ll find. Numerous studies have detailed multiple cases of long term weight loss success on the Atkins Diet because the focus is on healthy eating of low carbs while centering meals around fatty proteins, good for the body fats and vegetables.
When you decide to choose this diet, you’ll go through it using their four steps referred to as phases. In the first phase, which is called the Induction, people who want to lose weight eating low carb have to make sure that they keep their carb intake at less than 20 grams.
The focus is on consuming foods that are loaded with protein found in meats like beef, chicken, pork and other meats. Though some of the meats in the Atkins Diet are high fat, this is not an oversight.
Eating high fat during the Atkins Diet will not have an impact on your cholesterol level. In the Induction phase, dieters are to consume low carb vegetables and stay away from the high carb ones.
As long as the vegetables are low carb, preferably dark and leafy green, and the meat high protein, you can have foods like this at this stage. The reason the carbs are less than 20 grams for the first 14 days of the diet is because it causes your metabolism to kick into high gear and you’ll see noticeable weight loss during this time.
The first stage is when you’re streamlining your diet. The next stage is where you’ll include additional foods. In this second phase, called the Balancing, dieters should add items like fruit, more vegetables and nuts such as almonds and walnuts.
Because of the low carb foods in the first and second phase, you’ll lose weight rather quickly. Once you get within sight of your target weight, you’ll increase your carb intake in the third phase, which is also called the Fine Tuning phase.
Increasing the amount of carbs that you eat during this phase will cause the weight loss to decrease slightly. It’s during this phase that you should reach the weight loss goals you set for yourself on a slower pace.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be ready for the Maintenance stage or the fourth phase. During this step, you can have the amount of good carbs that you want as long as you don’t gain weight during this phase.
You should stay away from sugar, trans fats and things like wheat, but you have the green light on eating foods such as eggs, dairy and even dark chocolate. You’ll need to track your carbs to see where your levels should be, since everyone’s body acts a bit differently on this plan.
The Dukan Diet
Another popular diet – known as the Dukan Diet – also consists of four phases. The first one is called The Attack Phase. This beginning phase causes fast weight loss in order to help motivate you to keep on going.
The key to this stage is that how long it needs to last is going to depend on what your weight loss goal is. If you plan to lose less than 10 pounds, then the Attack Phase should only last one to two days.
If you have between 15 to 30 pounds to take off, then the first phase should last between 3 to 5 days. Any amount of weight that’s over 40, then the Attack Phase will last about a week.
During this first phase, you will eat lean protein. These protein choices are going to come from a list of 68 pure proteins that are okay to eat for the diet. You can eat as much of this protein as you like, but during this stage, you have to consume the recommended 6 to 8 glasses of water each day in order to keep your system flushed.
Exercising at this point is also encouraged. The second stage is known as the Cruise Phase. Along with your proteins that you were introduced to in the first stage, this step will have you adding vegetables to your meals.
You’ll get 100 foods that you can choose to eat in unlimited quantities. This ratio is made up of the 68 proteins and 32 vegetables. This stage also encourages alternating protein days with vegetable ones.
One day, you eat protein and low carb vegetables. The next day, you would only eat protein. You can do this on a sliding plan. Such as 1/1 – meaning protein along with the veggies and then just the protein. You can alternate this eating plan up to 5/5.
The third stage in the Dukan Diet is the Consolidation Phase. At this stage, eating the low carbs for weight loss has accomplished the goals that you set for yourself.
It’s at this point that you can now eat additional foods that are starchier than the ones you were allowed to have in the other phases. This stage is important because at this point, the foundation is set for long term success in keeping the weight off.
How long the stage lasts will differ from person to person according to what you lost. You would multiply 5 times the number of pounds you succeeded in losing to figure out how long you need to remain at this phase. So if you lost 20 pounds, you would need to remain at this stage for 100 days.
The final phase is the Stabilization Phase. During this phase, you can eat what you want to have as long as you eat in moderation. You’ll find the right combination of carbs, proteins and fats to keep your weight at the level you want it to be.
The Paleo Diet
The Paleo Diet is a way of eating that dates back to the time when cavemen were around. By eating the way that they did, you’ll lose weight and studies have shown that the risks of developing certain health conditions do decrease.
The gist of this diet is that it’s based on eating a lot of fiber and plenty of protein. It’s not as calorie strict as many diets are, but does focus on choosing foods that are low in carbs.
So that means that your meals will consist of things like plenty of lean meat or fish. You’ll also forego the bad kinds of fats for the ones that are better for your body.
Your eating plan will also include plenty of fruits and vegetables. On this diet, you’ll be allowed to eat foods like eggs and you’ll be able to cook with oils such as olive oil.
Something that this diet does restrict is processed foods, but since those aren’t good for you anyway, getting rid of them is a healthy change. This diet does call for followers to cut out things like wheat, cereal, potatoes, sugar, beans, dairy, and salt.
What makes the diet so popular is the focus on low carb while allowing people to eat in a way where they’re not hungry and not always watching their calories. Because much of the diet is focused on fiber, dieters are left feeling satisfied rather than hungry.
Unlike most diets, the Paleo Diet takes into consideration stepping away from the eating plan so that users can have cheat meals. During a cheat meal, dieters can eat whatever they want.
But what usually ends up happening is that as the body gets used to the low carbs and more natural foods, the high fat, high carb, processed stuff will stop being appealing to your taste buds.
There are no clubs that you have to join with this plan and no fees involved. However, there are several online groups dedicated to the diet that you can join for moral support and tips for recipes and other advice.
If you’re someone who isn’t a big meat eater or you’ve chosen a vegetarian lifestyle, then the Paleo Diet will not work for you because of the emphasis on consuming meat and you won’t be able to get the protein that you need otherwise.
The Mediterranean Diet
When most people think of this diet, they think of lots of pasta and wonder how that can possibly lead to weight loss. But this diet focuses on healthy eating of low carb foods and eliminating foods that aren’t good for you.
Many doctors recommend this diet as a healthy and safe way to lose weight successfully. This way of eating puts a focus on foods like fruits and vegetables. The more plant foods you eat, the better it is for your health.
You can still have things you enjoy such as bread – as long as it’s not covered in fats that are bad for you. That means switching out butter-laden bread with a healthier option, like dipped in healthy oils.
Stay away from saturated fats and choose ones that contain fats that lower cholesterol levels such as olive oil. You can eat things like nuts on this diet even though most diets consider them off limits.
The truth is that nuts are good for you when eaten in moderation because their fat content isn’t the kind that’s bad for you. You can even consume peanut butter on this diet.
The Mediterranean Diet puts the spotlight on choosing to eat low carb for weight loss rather than trying to strictly eliminate entire food groups the way that some diets do.
The meat source of this diet isn’t red meat, although some is allowed in moderation. The biggest meat source is fish such as trout or salmon for their omega 3 benefits.
You should eat fish baked, broiled or grilled for two of your weekly meals. If you eat red meats, they should always be lean meats and stay away from meats like bacon and any other kind that are high in the unhealthy type of fat and additives.
Small amounts of wine are encouraged on this diet on a daily basis for its ability to cut the risk of heart disease. The plan to get started on this diet is simple. Make sure your eating plan includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
You should have at the minimal seven servings in the fruit and vegetable category each day. You can have foods like cereals and pasta as long as these are whole grain.
Make sure that you use spices in your meals. Not only does it prevent bland food boredom, but many spices contain ingredients that have health benefits. Plus, they’re better for you than sodium.
You can have dairy with this diet as long as you always choose the products that are either low in fat or fat free. Because the foods in this diet are based on low carb choices, you will lose weight. Making sure that you get in exercise is a recommended part of this weight loss plan.
The Bulletproof Diet
This diet is one that’s low carb and focuses on eating high fat foods, but the kind of fats that are considered good for the body. The amount of protein that you’ll eat on this diet is what a normal eater would have.
What the diet boasts – besides the low carb, weight loss benefits – is that you’ll also experience anti-inflammatory results. The diet suggests that followers do occasionally fast.
On this diet, you’ll be changing the way that you’ve always eaten to a healthier, more natural way of eating. One of the first steps you’ll be called on to do is to stop consuming sugar in its various forms.
You’ll also need to stop consuming fats that are bad for your body. The diet calls for substituting butter with the grass fed kind as well as using coconut oil or ghee. Because the focus is on low carb, healthier eating, you’ll have to stop consuming gluten.
This means you’ll need to eliminate pasta, cereal, bread and any type of processed food – including junk food – from your diet. Gluten can trigger inflammatory reactions in many people – even those who don’t have reactions to gluten, which is one of the reasons the diet calls for the elimination of it.
You’ll have to rid your pantry of vegetable oil and you’ll also need to toss out anything that’s artificial-based like food dyes, sugar substitutes and anything that contains MSG.
You’ll also need to stop eating legumes. What you’ll switch to when it comes to eating meat is a grass fed version. You can eat beef and you can also consume eggs, fish and shellfish and seafood.
You can also eat poultry. Dairy that’s processed isn’t recommended on this diet. You can have dairy such as whole milk that’s higher in fat than what most diets call for as long as it’s from grass fed cows.
Any fruits and vegetables that you consume should be completely organic to avoid the contamination by pesticides and other harmful sprays. You’ll need to limit the amount of fruit that you eat.
When you make your food, cook it using methods that are as natural as possible. You’ll have to stop using your microwave. You will lose weight on the diet and the elimination of processed foods and foods that contain artificial coloring and flavors can improve your health.
It’s very easy to go out and get distracted looking at a huge menu when ordering food while on a low carb diet. If you’re lucky, sometimes restaurants will have the macro nutritional information such as: protein, carbs and fats listed below the item.
However, there are many places where no other information but the picture of the item, as well as a description of it is listed, making it a bit more difficult to decide what to order.
Luckily there are a few solutions when it comes to going out to eat and ordering for a low carb diet. First off, most restaurants have “Lighter Choices” or something similar on their menu, making it easier to find a section of healthier options.
These options typically have vegetables and proteins such as salmon, chicken, or beef while leaving out popular carbohydrates such as potatoes and bread. These menu items still taste very well, and this kind of menu is designed to make the protein the star of the plate, usually with well-cooked side items low in fats or carbohydrates.
Not all restaurants offer a “Light” menu, so that leaves the responsibility up to you. You might not be able to find a zero carb item on the menu, but a few good rules of thumb could at least help steer you in the right direction so that you don’t sacrifice all of your hard earned success.
Look for items with little minimal bread, and perhaps no pasta dishes for the night. There are usually items that pair protein and vegetables together, and if there are any bread or high carb veggies, you can always ask to leave those ingredients off or make a sensible swap.
Looking at the ingredients of almost every item that looks tasty can take some time, so if you’re worried about it taking too long to order, you can look up the menu online to check it out beforehand.
Using tracking apps on a smart phone is also a great way to look at the macros of the dishes that you are thinking about ordering! If all else fails and they don’t have a lighter menu, you can’t figure out what has a lot of carbs and what doesn’t, and you’re just not sure about what to order – try to ask the waiter or waitress about low carb items on the menu.
Nobody knows the menu better than the people who work there, so it couldn’t hurt to ask, or even call ahead and find out so you’ll know what to order before you get there. Sometimes you can order it low carb even if it’s not on the menu, and most chefs will know what that means, such as a burger without the bun, or carb friendly vegetables with no pasta.
Staying on a low carb diet and still wanting to go out and socially drink or party can be a tough situation to manage. Everyone thinks beers are carb-laden drinks, and yes this may be true for some beers, but there is a way around this.
First off, it’s a good rule of thumb to remember that light American made beers typically have fewer carbohydrates than those of darker beer brands. It also takes fewer beers for someone to get intoxicated if they are on a low carb diet, so you need to watch your drinking levels if you’re on a low carb diet.
Some studies have shown beer to be almost twice as intoxicating when using a low carb diet due to the change in kidney functions and how kidneys process alcohol. If beer isn’t your style, then no worries, because wine and most liquors have even fewer carbs per serving than those of beers.
Champaign and wine would be the best choices for a night out, and red wine has even been known to have many powerful antioxidants. Straight shots such as Whiskey, Brandy, Tequila, and even a Martini have almost no carbohydrates in them as long as there is no sugar added, so feel free to take some shots or drink those with no to low carb additions.
Sugars in an alcoholic drink might not only mean sugar around the rim, but sugar in the base if made with juice, or any extra fruits that have been added as well. Now all of this information isn’t a free pass to drink nightly, because too much alcohol on a regular basis will hinder your hard earned progress, so just make sure you keep everything in moderation when drinking.
If you’re ever unsure about what a mixed drink’s macro nutrients are such as the carbohydrates, just keep a calorie app tracker on your phone so that you can check it out before you decide to purchase it.
If you have a cheat day added to your weekly or monthly regimen, then it might be a better idea to plan on drinking that day, or using that as an opportunity to make sure you don’t get too off track with your dieting.
Lastly, make sure you keep track of how many drinks that you’ve had if you plan on drinking a heavier amount or over a longer period of time one evening. You don’t want to risk losing track of your carb count for the day.
Low carb diets and many other similar diets can be stressful after a certain amount of time. That’s just normal for almost everyone. A popular way around the stress of changing and limiting their typical comfort foods to low carb or limited options is to incorporate a cheat day.
Cheat days are uncertain in how you decide to use them, because they can either help you progress along your regimen, or be detrimental to your success. First, take a second to realize your level of comfort with not giving into temptation when it comes to cheating on meals.
Are you the type who would give in easily and grab that extra dessert, or be the one who could go months without ever eyeing any junk food? If you don’t do well for long periods of time without thinking of cheating a meal, go ahead and give yourself a regular cheat day in the week, month, or however long or short you need it.
This will lower the stress causing you to give in to those urges to eat when you shouldn’t and let you have a more manageable diet fit for you. If you can go long periods of time without giving in to wanting something unhealthy, then maybe you shouldn’t risk adding in a cheat meal.
You’re doing great and making the progress you want. Maybe it’s fine to get one cheat meal in on a special occasion, but don’t make it a regular thing if you’re doing fine without it.
Cheat meals are a mental coping tool to tell yourself, “Okay, I’ll eat bad this time, but right after that, I’m going back to my low carb regimen.” Adding unnecessary changes that don’t benefit you, unlike it does for the people who use it to bounce back without feeling like they are risking losing their mental motivation, isn’t as useful to you.
The first set of people who benefit from it use it to stay in their eating habits and slowly improve. The second group of people who are already doing good, but want to see if it would hurt to add a cheat day, are slowing their results, and risk slipping into more and more comfortable eating habits.
A cheat meal’s only purpose is to support stress management when following a low carb or any other type of diet. If a cheat day will lower your stress, helping you to stick with your low carb plan, then you can benefit from a cheat day.