Diets have appeared in many different forms, especially fad diets. Among the problems with these fad diets is that as well as often leaving you feeling very hungry they can also be unhealthy and only work for a short space of time. Research has indicated that the most effective diets are those that can be adhered to over long periods of time. In the case of fad diets, weight tends to be very erratic and while you may lose weight initially it is not unusual to put that weight back on and eventually increase your weight.
One of the huge benefits of a low carb diet is that you do not need to feel hungry. This may seem like it avoids the point of a diet, but it doesn’t. The aim of dieting is not to eat less but to lose weight or eat more healthily. The most famous of all low carb diets is the Atkins diet and this remains popular because it allows you to eat good-sized meals and is proven to help you lose weight.
A low carb diet typically has 4 phases.
- Phase 1: Induction. Eat under 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks. Keeping a food journal is a great idea.
- Phase 2: Balancing. Slowly add more nuts, low-carb vegetables, and fruit.
- Phase 3: Fine-tuning. When you get close to your weight goal, add more carbs until your weight loss becomes slower.
- Phase 4: Maintenance. This is the tricky part. Maintaining the weight you want. Be sure to keep up with exercise as well.
The basics of a low carb diet are that you can eat as much food as you like until you are full, as long as you only eat the allowed foods. Generally speaking, this includes meat, cheese, fish, eggs and poultry. You are also allowed a certain amount of green vegetables each day. As well as being a healthy way to lose weight, a low carb diet will give you a sustained weight loss meaning you can continue to lose weight even after the initial push and you will keep the weight off once it is gone.
- Lean meats, such as sirloin, chicken breast, or pork.
- Leafy green vegetables.
- Cauliflower and broccoli.
- Nuts and seeds, including nut butter.
- Oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and rapeseed oil.
- Fruit, such as apples, blueberries, and strawberries.
Benefits of a low carb diet include:
- Can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure as well as stabilize your blood sugar level.
- You feel more energetic – Breaking down carbs is a long process. It takes time to convert it into energy. A low-carb diet, on the other hand, will make you feel more energetic.
- It also drops the level of triglycerides, keeping your heart healthy. Triglycerides can contribute to cardiovascular problems. They are basically small fat molecules that flow through the bloodstream. A higher level could lead to accumulation in the veins, restricting the blood flow towards your heart which could increase the risk of a cardiac arrest.
- Low carb diet keeps your metabolism in control – Having a good metabolism doesn’t just help in weight reduction but it also keeps your overall well-being in check. Your digestion, blood pressure, sugar level, and absorption of cholesterol depend on the kind of metabolism you have. A high-carb diet can be the biggest enemy to your metabolism.
Adopting a low carb diet can be very good for you. But it can also have it’s downsides. Be sure to do your research before deciding if this diet is best for you. If you’re not sure – try speaking with a nutritionist.