The Low Carb Diet
With the focus for many solely on fat when it comes to dieting, we all too often forget about the other things that can make us gain weight.
Unfortunately, with the battle of the bulge, many concern themselves too much with fat and not so much with the OTHER fat builders – sugars and carbohydrates.
If you have been dieting for quite some time and are finding that it’s just difficult to lose weight, even while you are exercising and watching what you have eaten, then perhaps it’s time to explore your diet further.
All too often, many would-be weight losers suffer the disheartening feeling of getting on the scale and seeing no movement of their weight.
We say things like:
“I’m exercising and eating right, I can’t believe I’m STILL not losing any weight.”
Now, understand that our ideas of eating right are subjective. What some deem as eating right, may not be the case.
We fall into the trap of going to the gym, eating fruits and vegetables and watching the fat intake of our favorite foods.
So what’s the deal?
The deal is that those carbohydrates could very well be messing up your entire dietary plan.
So what’s the solution?
Well, you can try another diet OR you can try out a low carbohydrate diet.
What many have come to call the low carb diet.
What Is The Low Carb Diet?
That question in and of itself already holds the answer that you are looking for. The low carb diet is just that – restricting the amount of carbohydrates you take in.
To some degree you can start a low carb diet on your own, by just watching the amounts of carbs you have been eating.
If you are one of those individuals that just loves to eat pasta, have bread with every meal or enjoy rice, then this may be a bit of an adjustment period for you.
We don’t recommend that you completely take the carbs out of your diet, because it has been something your body has been used to for quite some time. The problem that many face is the crash from trying to eliminate all of the carbs from their diets immediately.
While this may work for a short period of time, what you will find is that you just won’t be able to sustain it if it is too much of a shock on your body. For instance, if you up and decided that one day you would just eat protein and no carbs, your body would definitely let you know about it.
What you should do instead is to taper off the amount of carbs you take in. Instead of completely taking it out of your diet, try something a little more realistic.
Let’s use the example that we talked about earlier. Let’s say that you like to eat a lot of pasta and breads. What you can do instead is to reduce the amount of carbs that you are eating and try filling yourself up with other things like water.
Or you can try taking out one over the other. Say you enjoy a few slices of French bread with your pasta. You are already getting a ton of carbs with that kind of meal. You really don’t need the excess of carbs.
Instead, why not skip the bread altogether and just have the pasta for now, or have a smaller portion of pasta and one slice of bread.
While it may not be enjoyable at first because you have gotten so used to it, it is possible to do. All it takes is a little discipline.
What Foods Should I Try To Avoid?
If you plan on being on a low carbohydrate diet, then there are some foods that you want to stay away from. We will warn you though, some of these foods are probably the kinds of foods that you enjoy eating and perhaps may even be some of your favorites.
Here are just a few examples of these types of foods:
- Different types of white breads
- Different types of pasta
- All kinds of tasty cookies
- Canned drinks with a lot of sugar added
- Of course candy
If you are looking at this list and shaking your head thinking that you can’t do this, what you need to do is stop telling yourself such things.
You can do this!
All it will take is a little discipline along the way as well as eating things in moderation. You can still eat some of your favorite foods like cake and candy, but you will have to do so on a limited basis.
In fact one of the things that you can do is have a cheat day. All this entails is allowing yourself one day out of the week when you can splurge on your favorite foods. It’s not recommended that you eat as much as possible, but giving yourself this kind of time will allow you to still indulge in your favorite foods, while staying on your diet for the rest of the week.
One of the difficulties with a diet such as this, is that the view of eating vegetables is painted in a different light.
We have been taught all of our lives that eating vegetables is a good thing, so how could they be bad for us?
Unfortunately there’re some starchy vegetables that are just plain bad for a low carbohydrate diet.
Some of the vegetables that immediately come to mind are things such as potatoes. This can be a tough thing because many of us have grown up with potatoes as a staple of our diets.
We find them as sides for many of our meals, and also find them mixed it to our main entrees.
So What Kind Of Foods Can I Expect To Be Eating?
Now that you know the kinds of foods that you will need to avoid, the question comes down to what kind of foods can you expect to be eating on a low carbohydrate.
A low carb diet generally focuses on proteins, so you can expect that you will be eating a lot of meat such as chicken or fish. If you’re not a big fan of meat such as steak or chicken, then there are other proteins that you can have such as eggs.
While there are many other people who say that you can eat fatty foods while you are on a low carbohydrate diet, keep in mind that your body is still taking in the fat.
Again the idea here is moderation. You can still have many of the foods that you enjoy, BUT you will just have to ensure that you’re eating them in moderation and not being overly excessive when you partake in such meals.
Where Do I Go From Here?
There are many diet programs on the market that promote low carbohydrate diets. There are many to choose from, however what you want to do is see which one works best for you.
If you would like to try out a low carbohydrate diet for yourself, then what you should do is try it out on a smaller scale.
So what does this look like?
Well, you can start with the meals that you’re having in the upcoming day.
Think about your own eating habits, do you like to eat a lot of pasta or rice? Do you find yourself eating a lot of starchy vegetables like potatoes? Do you find that you rather have a good baked potato over a juicy steak any day of the week?
If you do enjoy any of the above, then there will be a bit of an adjustment period for you.
What we would suggest that you do, is try this diet out on a smaller scale. What we mean by this is to try to cut back on the amount of carbohydrates that you normally take in to see if it’s something that you’re up to.
See how your body feels when you reduce the amount of carbohydrates that you take in. If you’re seeing that it is doable, then you can try to scale it up and increase your protein intake while decreasing your carbohydrate intake.
If you couple this type of diet with an exercise program then you will be well on your way to losing the weight that you so desire.
One of the things that you should keep in mind is diet and exercise should be lifelong lifestyle changes. If you’re doing a diet on a short-term basis just to lose a little bit of weight, then there is the chance that you will put the weight back on if you haven’t made the proper changes.
Take a look at your current lifestyle, and see how a low carbohydrate diet can integrate into the current changes you’re trying to make.
Remember, weight loss and weight maintenance should be a lifelong decision, not one we make for a short amount of time for vain reasons. If you keep that in mind then the battle of the bulge will be much easier.