The low-carbohydrate dietary program basically means restricting carbohydrate consumption. The person who dares to embark on this diet is meant to replace easily digestible carbohydrates (which include sugar, bread, beer, candy and sodas, etc.) with a higher percentage of protein and fats (for example, meats, eggs, seeds, cheese, most fruits and vegetables, etc.).
The allowed amount of carbohydrate intake varies from one diet program to another, but the basic idea remains the same. Sometimes, they go far into no-carb territory that they can be called “ketogenic” diets. These sorts of diets restrict carbohydrate intake to such an extent that they can cause ketosis. This is a metabolic state in which your body has to start relying on ketone bodies in your blood. This is a stark contrast to a state of glycolysis in which, as the root of the word suggests, the glucose in your blood provides most of the energy.
In order to understand better how to put these facts into practice as fast as you can, here’s a brief overview of a low-carb diet for beginners.
How did we get here?
Are you old enough to remember the “fat” craze? For decades, we have been misinformed that fat is detrimental to our metabolism and overall health. This movement was filled with horror stories about cardiovascular diseases and cancer rates.
However, as it turns out, this had inadvertently led to another problem. Low-fat diet products were flooding the market. These supposedly healthy meals and snacks were actually filled with sugar which led to the beginning of obesity epidemic that has lasting consequences to this day.
What’s the twist?
As it turns out, the latest medical studies have reliably shown we have no reason to fear natural fats. In fact, fat is an important factor in a low-carb diet, and if you are one of those people that don’t trust contemporary science, try the diet out and you’ll have empirical evidence on your own body. When you minimize the intake of starches and sugar, you increase the intake of other foods, among others, foods brimming with natural fats, which you can eat to your heart’s content and still lose weight.
It’s a metabolic process that’s actually really easy to understand. When you avoid carbohydrates like sugar and starch, your blood sugar will stabilize at a particular level. This level is dictated by a fat-storing hormone insulin drop. As a consequence of this, fat burning increases and makes you feel less hungry. This naturally leads to weight loss, which basically means there are two major benefits of a low-carb diet – a lean body and blood sugar control.
What to eat, what to avoid?
In order to get there, you’ll have to avoid sugar-filled snacks, bread, pasta, rice, beans and potatoes, beer, bananas, rice (cooked), chocolate bars, candy, and sodas.
The foods you should consume include meats like chicken, fish and turkey, as well as eggs, vegetables that grow above the ground, natural fats like butter, olive oil, cheese. If you can afford it, avocado is really an excellent source of nutrients you need on a low-carb diet and it is considered by many to be a quintessential super-food.
Also, it’s important to note that you can eat as much fiber as you want and drink a lot of water and tea. Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up on coffee, it’s actually helpful, and if you need to get decadent every once in a while, red wine is totally in the green zone. With all the aforementioned foods out of the loop, you just need to eat when you’re hungry until you are satisfied. It’s as simple as that. The times of counting calories are gone.
However, we all get that chocolate-bar craving from time to time. It’s downright impossible to resist the urge and the image of a delicious chocolate bar can be stuck in the back of your mind for several days. To satisfy this need, you can go with a low-calorie Optifast power bar meal replacement. Most of these nibbles are based on clinically-proven dietary programs that are supposed to manage obesity and they can come in all shapes and sizes – from berry crunch power bars to chocolate mousse or chicken soup.
The benefits of this diet are manifold. You’ll lose weight, calm your stomach, reduce sugar cravings and even reverse type 2 diabetes. It can even normalize your blood pressure, lead to less acne and help lessen the impact of chronic migraines. All these benefits can contribute to a significantly improved lifestyle and add to your longevity.
Luke is a fitness and health blogger at Ripped-Science.com and Ripped.me and a great fan of the gym and a healthy diet. He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles. https://twitter.com/mrlukeidouglas