Low Carb Basics
What is a low carb diet? The term “diet” can be confusing. A diet implies a temporary process. We do something drastic to lose weight and then when we get the results we desire we go back to doing what we did before. All this can result in yo yo dieting and weight loss – weight gain cycles. Sometimes we gain even more than we lost in the first place.With the advent of fast food restaurants, microwave dinners, and processed foods we’ve developed unhealthy eating habits. It’s no wonder obesity and other health issues have become a scary reality for many people. All this bad news has us looking for the perfect diet to live a healthier lifestyle and lose that excess weight. What we need is a lifestyle change.
Why has there been so much hype behind people following a low carb (carbohydrate) lifestyle? When we hear the term ‘low carb diet’ we may think ‘Atkins’ or ‘South Beach.’ But even low carb diets differ. Many of us have moved away from the old traditional low-fat, calorie-counting diets and embraced these newer low carb diets, and I might say with great weight loss success. But, will a low carb diet work long-term? In my opinion the only plans that will work are the plans you can stick with long-term. Let’s take a look at a few basic theories of the low carb diet:
Carbohydrates are a source of fuel. They break down into glucose which is energy for our bodies to run on. The typical diet is heavy in carbohydrates. When we reduce the amount of carbs we take in on a daily basis, the body will start burning fat as that source of energy instead. If we eat too many carbs, the body secretes excess insulin and that can cause the body to store fat.
When following a low carb diet we aim to eliminate all foods with added sugars and empty calories. It makes sense that we are going to lose some weight due to just these simple changes in our eating habits. Instead of getting carbs from processed foods we get our carbohydrates from frutis and vegetables which provide us with so many more high quality nutrients.
Proteins and fats tend to make us feel fuller for a longer period of time. Thus, it can help us to avoid overeating and snacking between meals because we feel satisfied and do not crave more food. A low carb plan is easier to stick to than some other diets out there. Foods that are higher in natural fat and calories are often okay as long as the total carbs remain low. For this reason, we can still enjoy some of our favorite foods eating this way without feeling like we are cheating. You can find more information on the best protein for weight loss and all around health here.
What are your favorite low carb foods?