What is a low carb diet?
A low carb diet plan is high in fat, moderate in protein and low in carbs. It restricts carbohydrates found in sugary foods, pasta, pizza, or bread and allows you to eat whole-foods including fruits and vegetables.
Carbs are stored in your muscles and liver in the form called glycogen which helps to provide glucose during meal gaps for instant energy. As it is stored in your body, it also binds within itself a lot of water. When you go on a low-carb diet, the water content in your muscles goes down, thereby allowing you to shed more weight.
Additionally, low-carb diets result in drastically reduced insulin levels, causing your kidneys to shed excess sodium and water. For these reasons, low-carb diets result in an amazing and almost immediate lowering of water weight.
Moreover, studies reveal that low-carb diets also reduce body fat — especially from your liver and abdominal area where harmful belly fat is located.
So the question is, how does one adapt to a low carb diet in the initial stages? Well, it may sound confusing and intimidating at first, but with proper guidance you can understand what forms a low carb diet, and what are the things you should stay clear from, to shed all that extra weight.
Of course, managing weight can naturally reduce your risk of innumerable health risks, while keeping your heart and blood pressure in check.
Benefits of a Low Carb Diet
Apart from benefits that include weight management and reduced insulin levels, low carb diets have many perks, that include but are not limited to:
Blood sugar control
Reduced cravings & appetite
Lower blood pressure
Higher good cholesterol
Stable mood & energy
What should you avoid?
Sugar: Soft drinks, fruit juices, candy, ice cream and other products that contain added sugar.
Refined grains: Wheat, rice, barley and rye, along with bread, cereal and pasta.
Trans fats: Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
Highly fully processed foods: like breakfast cereals and tinned vegetables and convenience foods.
Starchy vegetables: It’s best to limit starchy vegetables like corn, potato and pumpkin in your diet plan if you’re following a very low-carb diet.
What to eat?
Meat: Chicken breast, pork, lamb and others.
Fish: Mackerel, Tuna, Trout and others.
Eggs: 1-2 Hard Boiled
Vegetables: Spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and others
Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, cashews and others.
Seeds: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds etc
High Fat Dairy: Cheese, butter, yogurt
Fats and Oils: Coconut oil, fish oil, clarified butter
What can you eat in moderation?
Legumes: Lentils, black beans etc.
Tubers: Potato, sweet potato etc.
Dark Chocolate: Chocolates with at least 65% cocoa
Unrefined grains: Brown rice, quinoa
Healthy Low Carb Snacks
Apart from the three regular sized meals in a day, if you often feel hungry, do not feel that the low carb diet is restrictive of snacks. You can refresh yourself with some:
Hard boiled eggs
Nuts like fox nuts, or almonds
Full fat yogurt
High in fibre vegetable salad
Clear your pantry
Stay clear of all the unhealthy food items like chips, sodas, processed juice, bread, and refined flour. It will reduce your chances of eating anything that might obstruct your low carb diet. You can enter the wholefood section in the supermarket where all the things you eat on a low carb diet can be easily available. While preparing your shopping list, you can include:
Meat (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, bacon)
Fish (fatty fish like salmon is best)
Yogurt (full-fat, unsweetened)
Fresh vegetables (green veggies, peppers, onions, broccoli, carrots etc.)
Drink plenty of water
Since carbohydrates are responsible for holding water in your body, going on a low carb diet may mean that most water is excreted, thus giving you a reason to keep yourself hydrated at all times.
Cut back on sugar
Refined and high sugar foods only provide short bursts of energy. When you go on a low carb diet with no sugar, you are left with energy that lasts longer through the day.
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