Whether you‘re starting a diet today or you‘re simply looking into your options, we‘re here to help you sort through the ins-and-outs of a low-carb diet.
It may seem impossible for you to break through the barriers to your weight loss goal. However, the simplicity of a low-carb diet can be the missing piece you’ve overlooked.
You might have heard the “low-carb” term being thrown around before—but never sufficiently researched what it meant.
In this quick overview, we’re going to go through the main points of what it means to be on a low-carb diet and how it can be an effective weight-loss tool on your fitness journey.
First and foremost—we want to sort out the myths from the facts.
We know that there are so many rumors circulating about the benefits and disadvantages of taking on a low-to-no carb diet.
Low-Carb and Weight Loss
Whether you’re looking to lose that extra weight or if you’re wanting to keep it off for good, the low-carb diet can be an effective nutritional way of life to try out.
The term itself pretty much explains the entire principle of the diet—limiting your carbohydrate intake.
But to understand how to follow the diet, you have to first understand what carbs are.
Carbohydratesare generally found in foods like fruit, starchy veggies, and grains like bread. Certain simple carbs—can actually spike your blood glucose levels and leave you feeling worse off than before.
A low-carb diet, on the other hand, focuses on taking in foods that are generally high in protein and fat.
The Benefits of a Low Carb Diet
So, what’s the point of a low carb diet?
There are actually quite a few benefits connected with this nutrition style—both short term and long term.
Not only can a low carb diet help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, but it can also help you lose weight.
If you’re looking for a long-term goal of a healthier lifestyle, a low carb diet can also help get you into a stronger routine of changing your overall eating habits to healthier ones.
The Breakdown of “Good” and “Bad” Carbs
As we mentioned earlier, there are complex and simple carbs.
The simple carbs are the ones that you want to watch out for—which can be table sugar, lactose in milk, and even fructose found in certain fruit.
Complex carbs can actually be quite beneficial to your diet—when accompanied with a healthy exercise routine and also eaten in moderation. Some complex carbs include whole grains, beans, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds.
These carbs are used as your body main’s source of fuel but too much of it can lead to a rising level of blood sugar. In a low-carb diet, however, your body will experience lower levels of insulin, which can help lead to weight loss—since your body will turn to burning stored fat for its main energy source.
Ok, ready to get on a low-carb diet?
What to Eat
While at the grocery store, you can reach for fuel-rich proteins, like meat, poultry, and fish. If you happen to be a vegetarian, you’ll most likely find your main source of protein in foods like eggs or beans.
Walking down the produce section, make sure to collect a couple of handfuls of non-starchy veggies.
Avoid the aisles altogether which have bread, sweets, pasta, and even nuts. Depending on the low-carb diet plan you’re following, youmay be allowed to eat certain fruits or grains—but double-check before you reach the cashier’s counter.
Typically, your diet will be limiting the number of carbs you eat to a range of around 20 to 60 grams a day. Especially at the beginning of the diet, you’ll notice a sudden drop in carbs, which will send your body immediately into its other fuel source of fat storage, helping kick off weight loss.
No Risk, No Reward
With every diet or food restriction comes certain risks.
With a low carb diet, you may experience certaintemporary effects on your health like fatigue, weakness, a headache, and even bad breath. Make sure you’re watching out for more impactful effects like constipation, diarrhea, a skin rash or muscle cramps.
However, if you decide to carry on with the low-carb diet for the long term, a person can see a decline in their mineral or vitamin levels—which can lead to a whole mess of health issues like bone loss or gastrointestinal issues.
You can even increase the risk of developing a chronic disease.
Which is why a diet should never be started lightly. Make sure you speak with your doctor to see if a low-carb diet is for you. Seeking a medical professional or nutritionist for advice before embarking on a low-carb diet can help save you from putting your health in any risk and get you on the right track for weight loss.
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