Low-carb diet patterns have been quite popular among fitness enthusiasts for decades owing to their potential in shedding surplus weight. It basically limits the intake of carbohydrates, mainly found in sugary foods, bread, and pasta and focuses on eating protein-rich whole foods and vegetables. Several researchers claim that low-carb diets tend to cause significant weight loss than low-fat diets in a short period. Further, they also enhance several health markers such as better blood sugar control and maintain lipid profile and blood pressure. The best part is you don’t need to count calories or use special foods. All one has to do is eat wholesome foods that make for a complete, nutritious and filling diet.
Read this article to know more about the low carb diet and how it benefits your personal fitness goals.
What Is A Low Carb Diet?
A typical low-carb diet simply means eating a low-carb or carb-restricted diet. This eating pattern is lower in carbs and higher in protein. It usually stresses adding meats, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats. One must restrict the intake of high-carb foods like grains, potatoes, sugary drinks and all highly processed and sugar-laden junk foods.
When you refrain from sugar and starched, blood sugar tends to stabilize, and the levels of the fat-storing hormone insulin drop, thus making it easier to burn fat stores in the body. Additionally, the higher protein intake and presence of ketones make you feel more satiated, thereby naturally decreasing food intake and supporting weight loss.
The recommended carb intake per day depends on the personal goals and preferences of an individual. A common low-carb category is given below:
100–150 grams: This range is suggested for weight maintenance or regular high-intensity exercise that allows choosing from a spectrum of fruit and vegetables including some starchy foods like potatoes.
50–100 grams: This range is meant for slow and steady weight loss or weight maintenance. Also, a broad range of vegetables and fruit is allowed.
Under 50 grams: This scale is intended for rapid weight loss, where one can eat a lot of vegetables, but restrict fruit to low glycaemic index berries.
Eat Meat, fish, eggs, all vegetables growing above ground and natural fats like butter.
All foods included in the carb diet contain less than 5% carbs by weight. Sticking to these foods will make it easy to follow on a moderately low-carb diet (less than 50 grams of net carbs /day) or even a stringent low-carb diet, with less than 20 grams of net carbs per day.
Avoid Sugar and starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice, beans and potatoes.
Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satiated. It can be that simple and easy, as you don’t need to count calories or weigh food.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Long Can I Continue A Carbohydrate Diet?If you plan to start on a low carb diet, it is essential to seek advice from your health care provider to suggest the duration that would be suitable for you. Monitor your blood lipid profile to stay healthy. Also, ask your physician if you need any vitamin and mineral supplementation.
2. Is Bad Breath A Concern, While Following The Low Carb Diet?Well, bad breath may be due to ketosis, that is the production of ketones (as the body burns fat), which is a good sign that diet is working well. Ketosis is necessary for constant weight loss to happen.
3. What Is Ketosis?When the body cannot completely metabolize fat due to a lack of carbs in the system it is termed ketosis. The unused part of fat cells is called ketones, which are eliminated from the system via the urine. The presence of ketones in the urine is a sign that the body is effectively breaking down fat cells.
4. Who Should Not Do A Strict Low-Carb Diet?Most healthy adults can safely start a low-carb diet. But it is not advisable for a person taking medication for diabetes, e.g., insulin, medication for high blood pressure and lactating mothers. If you are not in any of these groups and don’t have other chronic medical conditions like liver or kidney failure, you’re all set to go.
5. Is A Low Carb Diet Another Diet Fad?
No, it is a lifestyle change and it is not intended as a temporary remedy or quick weight loss regimen. Several pieces of evidence have shown that a low-carb diet is highly effective for sustained weight loss and confers other possible health incentives.