Starting a Low Carb Diet Plan: The 7 Best Keys to Success
Research into nutrition is getting better, and it seems like the real issue with our diets isn’t necessarily too many calories or too much fat, but rather, all the carbs. Carbs get used as energy, which is handy unless you eat too many. If you’re like most sedentary modern folks, you don’t need much energy, so your body stores it for later. Hence, weight gain.
Before rushing to toss out every carb-containing food in your refrigerator and pantry, however, you might want to keep reading.
1. Choose the right carbs
Slow down there Sally. Not all carbs are bad. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends starting out at around 45 to 60 grams of carbs at a meal, but depending on your lifestyle; you might need more or less. The carbs you do eat shouldn’t come from foods with little or no nutritional value (talking to you white bread). Give starchy foods the cold shoulder and embrace whole grains, brown rice, beans, and fruits and vegetables.
2. Learn how to count carbs
Maybe it goes without saying, but the secret to success is reading labels to know how many carbs you’re getting. Sometimes, however, that’s harder than it sounds. Packaging might flash a low carb number in your face, but when you read the fine print, it turns out the serving size is the size of a pea. Yikes. Aside from sneaky labels, you also have to consider how to count carbs in foods that don’t have labels or require measuring, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Luckily most of this information is available online. If you are bad at math and hate counting, you can also go by the ADA’s Create Your Plate method to simplify things.
3. Invest in a good low carb cookbook
Even the best diet plan is bound to fail if you get bored. When you make the decision to go low carb, you might find yourself eating a lot more fruits and vegetables than usual, but if you just eat a bunch of bananas and broccoli all week, you’re going to start craving something yummy, which might end up destroying your progress. Luckily, there are lots low carb recipe books filled with delicious and innovative recipes to inspire your meal plans. They even have some healthy(ier) dessert recipes in case you just can’t go another day without something sweet and sugary.
4. Get fit with fiber
Fiber might just be the key to healthy living, and low carb diets. According to the NHS, it works in some ways to reduce bad cholesterol, improve digestion, and make you feel full to cut cravings and quench your appetite. Many sources of fiber like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds also happen to be low in carbs, so eat your heart out.
Unfortunately, diet isn’t everything, exercise is important, too. You don’t have to go all out (walking briskly most days of the week will do), but studies do show that exercise combined with a healthy diet result in more weight loss in the long run, and has numerous other health benefits as well. Check out Glozine lifestyle fitness to get some ideas of easy exercises to boost your diet.
6. Embrace healthy fats and protein
Lots of people buy into the misconceptions that eating fat will make them fat. However, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for you, and it turns out saturated fat isn’t as bad as we once thought. Actually, New York Times contributor Anahad O’Connor reminds us that studies show people who eat few carbs, but more fat are more likely to lose weight and improve their cardiovascular health.
7. Eat lots of nuts
Wait, don’t nuts have a lot of calories? Well, yes but they’re pretty low in carbs and high in protein and healthy fats. More importantly, research shows time and time again that nuts not only reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, lower blood pressure and increases your lifespan, they also help manage weight according to the New York Times. In fact, one study found that people who ate nuts regularly were 43 percent less likely to become overweight. Nuts are amazing and make the perfect snack for low carb dieters.
As you can see, a low carb diet is pretty flexible. By following these tips, you’ll make your life easier and get started on the path to low carb success.
Sophie Addison is a popular blogger and skincare expert. She is very passionate about writing on skincare and beauty.